My knitting failure

turquoise knitted hat and BW colour fan

...and what you can learn from it.

I love knitting. I knit all the time, and I'm always on the lookout for new projects.

A lot of my clients are knitters too, and I get emails from them with questions about colour matching yarn to their fans. Which I try to answer as best I can. We all know how hard it is to judge colour on screens, so I always emphasise that your eyes on the items in real life trumps any opinions others (including me) might have based on screenshots and photos.


This is a story about a knitter who shall remain nameless (I always prefer to be anonymous in stories about myself) who wanted to knit a new hat and went shopping for yarn. 

I am sharing this story with you because I made a mistake last time I went shopping for yarn. 

I know, I know, I'm a PCA consultant and make a living telling other people how to use their colours, and I still make mistakes when I shop for myself sometimes. It happens, ok?

My mistake this time was I got too eager to go home and start that knitting project, so I settled for a colour that was "sort of ok" instead of saying "no thanks, I'll wait". ​

Second mistake: I didn't bring my colour fan when shopping (which is one of the most common mistakes when shopping for our colour tone, as you can read about in this guide)


Here's the scenario. I own a scarf that I absolutely love, this one:

LEIK Knitwear scarf

It's a soft and lovely merino wool scarf in red, pink and turquoise. I use it all the time in winter.

The photo doesn't do it justice, it is brighter in real life than the picture, but you can see from the photo that it plays well with my Bright Winter colour fan.

I absolutely adore the quirky combination of colours, red and pink, with the splash of bright turquoise. It makes me happy. 

So I set out to get some yarn to knit a hat to go with the scarf.

I came home with a muted, quite lovely turquoise that I thought might be ok, and guess what? It was a total flop. Complete disaster.

Muted turquoise hat - knitting project gone wrong

I finished the hat even though I knew it was going to be wrong, because I thought I might share the lesson I learnt with you.

Here it is, on the left. A lovely hat, lovely colour, but it is not Bright Winter. Can you see how it looks dead and forlorn next to the Bright Winter colour fan? 

It looks dusty and boring, and the fan looks a bit "plasticky".

Blue hat with Bright Winter colour fan

My next attempt was more of a success. This bright peacock blue yarn is a much better match to my Bright Winter colour fan, don't you think? See how happy the fan looks? And the blue hat looks like it belongs next to it.

Look at the pinks and reds, how well they match. One could imagine those lipstick colours on me as I wear the hat, right?

The hat isn't perfect for my scarf, though, so I'm still looking for yarn.

Bright turquoise hat

This is the old hat that I have been using with the scarf, it is a happy and bright turquoise colour and blends nicely with my colour fan. But it's old and tattered and needs replacement, and soon.

I'm quite happy with this old hat and will use it for now, but I am still hoping to one day find a really truly bright turquoise yarn to knit a new one.

And I will bring and use my colour fan next time I go shopping.

So are you wondering what colour tone could wear that muted turquoise hat? So did I. 

Soft Summer knitted hat

My best bet would be Soft Summer. 

The melange effect of this yarn is nicely suited to the summer colour tones, and there was definite harmony between the muted cool/neutral Soft Summer palette and the hat.

Compared to how dead and dust gathering the hat looked next to the Bright Winter colour fan, it looks positively vibrant here.

A useful lesson, I thought, and worth sharing with you.

Did you enjoy the article? Have you made a similar mistake?

Let me know in the comments below!

Jorunn Hernes

Jorunn knows exactly how hard it is to make the most of your colour tone when real life gets in the way. But she has a few tricks up her sleeve, and is eager to share them with you. Minimalism, mindfulness and simplicity are also on her list of interests.

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