Re-thinking Colour Choices

A few weeks ago I started knitting a new shawl (because one never has enough shawls). If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen some progress of it already! The pattern is called Free Your Fade and it’s designed by the Andrea Mowry. Yes, the same designer that created the Birds of a Feather pattern, another knitted shawl that I have been writing about here and here.

Free Your Fade shawl by Andrea Mowry (Photo from Ravelry)

To give you an idea… this is the shawl that we’re talking about (click the photo to see the pattern on Ravelry). She created two versions of it: one is made in a fingering weight yarn and the other is made using a DK weight yarn. I’ve decided that I wanted to do the DK version.

My Initial Colour Choice

This is the yarn that I bought for my version of the Free Your Fade shawl: three skeins of wonderfully soft Vigorous DK by the Dutch indie dyer Wol met Verve. She owns a small store not too far away from where I live and she is a regular at various yarn festivals or craft markets. I got these ones at Handwerkbeurs in Zwolle back in February.

I wanted to finish some things first before starting this new one because the list that I made at the beginning of the year definitely has to get shorter too! So, after I had finished the Birds of a Feather shawl, which is waiting to be photographed, I allowed myself to cake up this lovely yarn and get started.

A baby shawl always looks a bit quirky, don’t you think?

The pattern can definitely be classified as a comfort knit! Once you have managed the first repeat or two, you will probably be able to put the pattern aside and just knit. It’s really a joy to work on it and put the mind to rest, haha! And, since the first rows are not too long you quickly make some progress.

I was eager to attach the next colour because I was very curious how the match would work out. The skeins were a nice match and so are the cakes so far, but would they still work together in a knitted piece?

Getting Doubts

Well, honestly, I’m not so sure… The photo above shows the fade section, where both colours meet. I don’t like it. Now, don’t get me wrong… I really like both yarns on their own. The first one (the brighter one) is rather subtle, has a few colour pops here and there, but a neutral tone dominates the yarn.

The second one is much more colourful with greens, pinks, purples and some orange as well. But, it lacks the neutral base tone of the first one. And my guess is that that is exactly what bothers me. The yarns have too little similar colours to work in a fade design.

I can’t help it, but the second one looks a bit muddy compared to the first (brighter) one.

So, that is where I am know. I have put my knitting down and I have been looking at it from time to time to see if I would change my mind. It hasn’t happened so far, the mind-changing I mean. I still can’t get used to it.

Stash Diving

Here’s the thing: when I went to the craft fair back in February, I took a skein of Kate Selene yarn with me to find something to match.  Kate is a UK based indie dyer who is crazy about squish. Her yarns usually are very colourful, but at some point, she showed us a colourway called Tabby’s Paint Palette (inspired by her daughter). I immediately fell in love with it. It’s the one in the middle.

Would that maybe work as a second colour next to the neutral one and the ochre or mustard coloured one? When looking at them next to each other it doesn’t look that bad, right? But, judging colours on a skein has turned out to be difficult before… (project bag in the photo is made by Ingrid of Leukgemaakt)

What I like is that the middle one has the same neutral base tone as the lightest colour and it has similar (but more) colour speckles. The fade into the solid colour could work too, as similar tones are present as well. So, let’s get this one into a ball!


I decided to knit a test swatch with the Kate Selene yarn first. Better safe than sorry this time! (Note to self: use the right needle size next time…) The neutral base tone is definitely still there and the colours are lovely. There is a fair amount of pink present, which is a regular in the lightest yarn as well. The brown hues are very present too, which I don’t mind!

This is what they look like together… What do you think?

Here are all four of them together… As you can see, I have not yet unravelled the second section.

Should I substitute the colour or not? I need your help! Please let me know what you think… Either here by leaving a comment or on Instagram. Thank you!


  • Sandra
    7th October 2018 at 18:49

    Ooh I think the Kate Selene yarn works better. I quite liked the original choice but I do see what you mean and I have to say, seeing the swatch it is even better!

    S x

    • Judith
      7th October 2018 at 19:31

      Thank you Sandra! It’s interesting right, how big the difference is between a skein/hank, ball and swatch? X

  • Lise
    10th October 2018 at 14:50

    I think the Kate Selene yarn is much better. The tone is better, and it ties together the yellow with the first yarn.

    • Judith
      10th October 2018 at 16:44

      Thank you for your feedback Lise! I appreciate it! X, Judith

  • Diane Calhoun
    30th November 2018 at 20:13

    Hi Judith!

    I really like the new KS yarn you got. The difference is more pop.

    Just how many shawls do you have??


    • Judith
      30th November 2018 at 20:25

      Hi Diane! Thank you! Yes, it is a much better combination now. It’s finished, but I still have to block it… And yes, I have too many shawls. But they are fun to make and not too big of a project :). X, Judith


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