Choosing Colors for the Easter Basket Ripple

Thanks to Edith for her recent question about how I chose the colors of yarn I used in my Easter Basket ripple afghan. It got me thinking. Luckily, I haven’t taken the afghan over to the library yet, (that’s the closest donation box) so I took a close-up photo.  Now you can easily see the colors in the rainbow variegated yarn, which was the beginning of the Easter Basket’s color scheme.

This shows the right-hand end of the ripple as it lays in the original photo. The colors appear lighter here; those in the original are more accurate.

I went through my yarn collection trying to pick out at least one solid colored yarn to represent each color in the rainbow variegated. There are two kinds of blue in the variegated, but I only used one blue yarn. (I didn’t have any turquoise.) There’s only one coral, purple, and yellow in the variegated, yet I used two yarns of each of those colors..

I used the word “represent”, not “match”, before, because I often use colors that are merely similar. One of the yellows, the lighter purple and the blue are pretty close to  colors in the variegated yarn, but the others, well, not so much. It doesn’t seem to matter in the end! Once I realized I don’t have to deliberate over every color decision, I started to enjoy the process a lot more.

As far as arranging the colors, I started by weighing the variegated yarn and, using my 3 rows per ounce estimation method, (also mentioned here) I knew I had enough to make at least 17 rows, which became every fifth row in this 87 row afghan. I chose to put single rows of the same solid color yarn before and after each row of variegated, which helps the colors in the variegated yarn stand out more.

The rest of my choices were random, using yarns more often if I had a relatively large amount, less often if I had a smaller amount. I look over the last several rows I just crocheted, as well the entire partially completed blanket, to help decide which color I’ll use next. Sometimes I lay out the color sequence for the next several rows in advance. I mean, I physically line up the balls of yarn in order, so I can just grab the next ball in line. It’s faster if I can “design-as-I-go”, continually placing more balls of yarn at the end of the planned sequence. If I keep doing that, I don’t have to come to a dead halt just to think about what color I want to use next.

I hope you find this explanation helpful. I’m going to take more notice of what I’m thinking as I plan my ripples so I can share the process with you. I recently read an article about blogging that said I should learn to write the way I talk. That gave me the idea of talking to a tape recorder and taking quick snapshots while I play around with yarns for a ripple. I’ll let you know how that goes!

In the meantime, please feel free to ask me questions.

This entry was posted in Design Process, Ripple Afghans of 2011 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Choosing Colors for the Easter Basket Ripple

  1. Tracy says:

    Thanks for explaining your thought process on this ripple – the colours are lovely! I think this one might be my most favourite, yet! (so far)

    Happy stitching! 🙂

    • Linda says:

      Thank you!! I think it may be Cromad’s favorite too.
      I’m writing out the design process for another ripple, to be called Mixed Vegetables, right now.
      I think I’ll plan a monthly blog post just about color and striping choices.

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