Inspiration – Taking A Closer Look

It’s easy to find images full of colours that would make a great yarn or sweater.

Five minutes on pinterest could give you enough colour suggestions to keep you going for months. You can see what I’ve fallen for here.

Sometimes it all gets a bit too busy though – too many colours, too much going on.

So I thought I’d blog about a very simple way of reducing the number of colours involved.

I’ll be using a couple of postcards which I bought last time I was in a museum gift shop. I loved the colours for their retro feel.



The colours are lovely but there are far too many for one skein of yarn.

Start by taking a photo of your original image.

I’ve used photoshop elements to crop sections from the images. Any program or app which lets you crop pictures will do the job beautifully. You could even go the low tech route and use 4 strips of paper to frame different sections of your original image.

So back to card one.


When I’m thinking about colours for yarn I look for three or four colours.




I’d probably ignore the white in the last 2 images, so I’d have 3 ideas using 4 colours. It’s worth looking at things that are similar – like the 2nd and 3rd cropped sections. I prefer the 2nd version with the light mushroom colour as the extra depth in that will produce a yarn with less of an extreme shift between the colours.

Looking at smaller sections can also give you very different images.


This is the 2nd postcard.




There’s overlap between the three images, but each would produce a very different yarn.

I’m going to be talking more about this technique on Saturday as I’m teaching two dyeing workshops at Unravel in Denby Dale.

If you’re still looking for inspiration for your entry to the Great British Britsock competition then I hope this helps you to find an image and colours that you love.

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