Playing with coloured yarn!

Scrolling down through my Facebook feed the other day I came across a post from Rowan: “A cardigan is a summer wardrobe essential. ☀️ Silver Moony by Martin Storey from Summerlite Horizons.”

Silver Moony cardigan by Martin Storey

Silver Moony by Martin Storey

I agree. A cardigan is a summer essential, and I like them in autumn, winter and spring too! The Silver Moony cardigan caught my eye, not just because of the apparently fitted shape (which I do prefer) but because it looked like there could be so many different colour combinations.

The original is knitted using 6 different shades of Summerlite DK: Linen, the main shade, and then for the stripes – Indigo, Black, Cantaloupe, Rouge and Khaki.


Silver Moony Shades, left to right, Linen, Indigo, Black, Cantaloupe, Rouge, Khaki.

All these shades go right across the full range of the colour spectrum so that they include a mixture of all the three primary colours:

  • Linen contains all the primary colours, blue, red and yellow but slightly more yellow plus white
  • Indigo is a red blue
  • Black contains all the primary colours
  • Cantaloupe is an orange shade so contains red and yellow
  • Rouge is a muted red and contains mainly red with some blue and some yellow
  • Khaki is a muted green and contains lots of yellow with some blue and a touch of red

So, when you put all these shades of yarn together, all the colours of the rainbow are present.

But what if you wanted to knit this cardigan using different shades? Do you have the confidence to choose 6 shades that would all work together?

Keeping it simple you could keep all the stripes as per the pattern but just change the background colour. Here’s a simplified graphic of the knitted material’s shades which represents the original colours…

Silver Moony Original shades graphic

and here I’ve changed the background to Plaster, a muted pale pink…

Silver Moony Orig Stripes On Plaster

and changing the background to Lagoon, a green-blue…

Silver Moony Orig Stripes On Lagoon

You can see the Cantaloupe shade, being orange, becomes quite vibrant on the blue background, as orange and blue are complimentary colours and will react in the eye of the viewer. By this I mean the blue will make the orange more vibrant and, at the same time, the orange will make the surrounding blue more vibrant.

If I change the background to white…

Silver Moony Orig Stripes On White

and changing the background to the dark blue, Sailor Blue…

Silver Moony Orig Stripes On Sailor Blue

Again the orange Cantaloupe shade appears the most vibrant over the dark blue of Sailor Blue.

Now I’ve changed the stripes to shades of red but kept the original Linen background shade. As there are only 4 red shades I’ve repeated 4 stripes instead of 5. From the bottom up: Fuchsia, Pink Powder, Rouge, Plaster, Fuchsia, Pink Powder…

Silver Moony White Pink On Linen

And how about changing the stripes to shades of blue on the Linen background. From the bottom up: Indigo, Ocean, Silvery Blue, Favourite Denims, Lagoon, Indigo…

Silver Moony Blue On Linen

Of course, you could just use 2 colours, one for the main background colour and one for all the stripes. Here’s Silvery Blue stripes on a Powder Pink background…

Silver Moony PPink and Silvery Blue Stripes

and Cantaloupe stripes on a Powder Pink background…

Silver Moony PPink Cantaloupe Stripes

I could go on forever.

Of course, this is just a starting point and colours on a computer screen will not look the same as the actual yarn colour in real life. But what you must remember is that a colour will appear different depending on the colour that it is next to. For example, in the graphic below the same orange coloured stripe looks more vibrant on the pale blue-green colour than on the pale orange colour…

Still confused? Well, you could choose just one shade from the 23 available…

yarn shadecard summerlite dk

and knit the background and the stripes in the same colour. You would still end up with a beautiful cardigan but just a textured one!

So, how do you choose yarn shades for your knitting and crochet projects? Please do let me know by scrolling down to “Leave a Reply” below.

Esther x

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