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How To Choose Yarn Colour Combinations

Updated February 8, 2023

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Colour is fundamental to the world around us. The bright red of a London bus, the deep vivid blue of a Summer sky, the soft pink of a giant marshmallow. The world around us is packed full of vivid colour. Often, when I’m dreaming up new colour schemes, I’ll look to the world around me to pick new and interesting palettes to work with. Colour theory is an incredibly useful skill to have when it comes to choosing colours for your next crochet project. But, don’t worry, if it’s not a skill that comes naturally to you…it can be learned! I’m going to share some of my top tips from choosing yarn colour combinations that make your projects shine as well as advice from Crochet Society to really boost your colour picking abilities!

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Let’s start with the basics. We’ve all heard of the primary colours. Red, blue and yellow are colours that cannot be mixed or created. They are pure colour.

But what about secondary and tertiary colours?

Secondary colours are created by mixing two primary colours together: green, purple and orange.

Tertiary colours are created when you blend primary and secondary colours together. For example if you take yellow (primary) and add green (secondary) you create lime green (tertiary).

Understanding this is the basis of understanding how colours work together.

Take a look at this colour wheel:

Complementary Colours

Complementary colours sit across the colour wheel from each other. These colours have a very strong contrast against each other but still work well together. As you can see pink + green, yellow + purple and red + blue are all complementary.

Working with complementary colours creates contrast and stability. Here I have chosen a blush pink and pistachio green, if you look on the colour wheel you’ll see tea pinks and greens are apposite each other.

Bella Coco: Complementary Colours
Bella Coco: Complimentary Colours

Analogous Colours

Analogous colours are located adjacent one another on the colour wheel. These colours look good together, however often one of the colours will dominate the others so be sure to play around and find what combination works best for you.

Take a look at the following image which uses pinks and cream tones, if you look at a more detailed colour wheel your orange tones move into creams which is why these colours work so beautifully together.

Everything looks harmonious and dreamy in this colour pallet.

Bella Coco: Analogous Colours

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Monochrome can also have a big impact. While your brain might jump immediately to black and white, monochrome also includes other colours too. It just means using different tones and shades of a single colour. I’ve started off with a chocolate brown and worked my way lighter to create this colour combination.

See how everything is subtlety different, but works well together?

Bella Bella: Monochrome


Neutrals also have a place in colour theory. Whether you choose to use a purely neutral palette and showcase soft and natural hues or use them as a backdrop to something brighter. These colours are hardworking and go with EVERYTHING.

Bella Coco: Neutrals
Bella Coco: Neutrals


The truth is, inspiration can be found anywhere. Whether you fall in love with the colours of a flower garden during a walk, the way two colours look beside each other in your wardrobe or the shades in your wallpaper, it can all be recreated in yarn!

Pinterest is also a fabulous resource for finding suggested colour themes. You can search ‘colour schemes’ and find 100s of images with a range of different harmonious colour schemes. All you need to do is find the matching yarn!

I also absolute love Design Seeds, which is PACKED full of colour scheme ideas.

Let me show you some examples:

You may sometimes have to mix brands to find the right shade for your scheme. This one uses L-R:

Paintbox Simply DK in Ballet Pink and Blush Pink, Sirdar Snuggly DK in Twinkle Toes, Stylecraft Special DK in Lincoln, Paintbox Simply DK in Pistachio and Hayfield Bonus DK in Apple.

L-R: Paintbox Simply DK in Misty Grey, King Cole Merino Blend DK in Aran, Stylecraft Special DK in Toy and Boysenberry, King Cole Merino Blend DK in Sage and Paintbox Simply DK in Pistachio.

Another technique I rely on is using yarn pegs. They’re quick and easy to make and give you the opportunity to see yarns ‘in the flesh’ and see how they work together.

I hope this post helped you. I’d LOVE to hear about how you put together your colour schemes and if this post has helped you experiment a bit more!

I always love to see your makes so if you try any of my patterns or follow my stitch tutorials please tag me @bellacococrochet or use the #bellacococrochet

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  • Nicole Dunkle
    July 22, 2021 at 7:56 pm

    This post was eye-poppingly gorgeous!! Thanks so much for the eye candy and inspiration!

    • BellaCocoTeam
      July 24, 2021 at 8:23 pm

      You are very welcome 🙂


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