Helene Knott enlightened us about how to use color in your knitting projects. She was gracious enough to put together her favorite resources, generators, and tools to help you play with color. Be sure to bookmark them! Take it from Helene:
For most of these digital sources, you upload a photo and the generator extracts a palette of predominant colors from the photo and provides swatches of those colors. Some will give you the HTML Color HEX codes (for developing websites), some also include RGB and/or CMYK codes (allowing you to find and recreate that color for various applications). But, all are useful to create color palettes.
Some require registering (free in most cases) to create an account that you can save your palette to for later reference. In all cases, you can always right click to create a screenshot of the palette you created.
Palettes (for iPad only)
This app is great! There is a limited free version but the Pro version is only $3.99 and worth every penny. It is one of the most useful apps I’ve found for creating a palette from an image because it allows you to select the colors you want rather than just generating dominant colors that the algorithm detects. You can create a palette of up to 25 colors, play with those colors using tools provided and then save and email the palette you created to yourself.
Color Grab (for Android only)
This is very close to the Palettes App for iPad, though not quite as versatile or easy to use (in my opinion). It too allows you to open a photo in the app and move a selector tool around the image and select colors to save to a palette then save the palette in a variety of formats. It also lets you point the camera at anything and select/identify the color seen in the focal point of the lens (this function is a bit more difficult to control).
This free generator includes the color HEX code and a proportional scale to show percentages of each color presented in the original photo. A slider allows you to increase the palette to up to 10 colors. To save your palette, you can right click on it and take a screenshot, then download that, copy and paste it into a photo editing program (like Photoshop) or save it to the Cloud.
Rather complex and not as easy to use as some of the other ones but a very thorough tool. You can choose how many colors you want it to extract and it gives you both RGB and HEX codes for the extracted colors. It will only work with low res (250KB and below) image files.
This generator creates a palette of 49 colors and will also give you three limited sample strips – a light, a medium and a dark palette drawn from the master palette. The palettes can be saved as CSS (for website development) or Photoshop files but you need to have CS4 or higher for the Photoshop version.
Color Code HEX Finder
This site allows you to put in the Color HEX code you get from a palette generator and it will provide the CMYK and RGB models to recreate that exact color for viewing on a computer screen (RGB) or for printing (CMYK). You type in the HEX code and it will generate all the related information along with some color design tools such as the color harmonies based on that color.
This tool does not allow you to extract colors from a photo; rather, it gives you some color charts from which to pick a starting color and an ending color. and then select how many steps you want to include in the blended transition and whether you need the HEX code, RGB or CMYK codes. The generator then creates a blended palette that bridges the two colors you selected; very cool!
Free to use and register, not as versatile as others.
Color Works by Deb Menz (ISBN-13: 978-1931499477)
There are doubtless plenty of books on knitting and color that I am not familiar with but this older book is quite a gem. It is a definitive examination of all the aspects of color theory applied to various art and craft projects. The beauty of this book is that it shows each application in the same design rendered in different media – quilting, paper collage, spinning, weaving, knitting, beading, and embroidery (both hand and machine). This allows you to see the interaction and effect of color as it would pertain to all these different mediums. The book is out of print but readily available on Amazon from third party sellers, though the price of it varies wildly from about the original list price to ridiculously expensive copies. It is well worth investing in if you find one at a reasonable price.
Other Online Resources
Following is a list of interesting websites having to do with exploring color in a variety of ways.
Color and marketing plus many interesting facts about color and perception.
Smithsonian Libraries: Color in a New Light
The history and science of color study.
Brain Den: Color Illusions
Optical illusions based on color.
Article on Synesthesia
What Is Synesthesia and What's It Like to Have It
Articles About Color and Language
The Way You See Colour Depends on What Language You Speak
You Only See Colors You Can Name
Articles About Color and Psychology
Color Affects: Psychological Properties of Colours
Art Therapy Blog: Psychological Effects of Colors
Article on Color and Marketing
8 Creative Examples of the Use of Color Psychology in Marketing
Do you have any favorite tools or interesting articles to share that aren't on this list?