Click image for link to StyleHive dress – not part of Merrick’s book.


Yesterday I reviewed Kathy Merrick’s Crochet in Color. This is a great book for people who are a little bit afraid of working with color and want to get more experienced with it. She offers numerous great tips throughout the book that can help you to get started with incorporating more color into your crochet work or finding new colors that you like if you’re stuck in a color rut.

Make a Magic Ball

granny square

My favorite tips that Merrick suggests in this book is her tip to make a magic ball of yarn using a lot of different colors of embroidery floss. Pick out about two dozen different colors of embroidery floss from your local store. Choose some colors you love and some you’re a little scared of. Now wind them in a ball, adding one color to the next without really thinking much about your color choice. As you begin to crochet something with this magic ball, you’ll be surprised when new colors come up and you will learn some new things about what you like in terms of color.

As Merrick says in her “exploring color” section of the book: “You may find you love how silvery shades look next to yellows or how much variety you can find by using a number of pale washed-out pastels”.

Find a Color Inspiration

eco friendly craft

Samples from Dahea Sun Rain Palette – an eco-friendly fashion project

One great way to get inspiration for using more color in your crochet is to look at colors in something other than yarn or crochet patterns to find a color scheme that you like. A richly colored photograph that you love or a fabric that captures your eye at the sewing store can provide the basic palette for a project. Select yarns based on the palette and find a project to work on!

Add or Subtract Method

I think one of the most interesting tips that Merrick offers for playing with color is something that I call the “add or subtract method”. You start by choosing some yarn colors that you don’t really like or that you’re a little bit scared of. Then you add a little bit of other colors and subtract some of those colors and add a little bit more until you have a colorful palette that really works for you.

Merrick’s section on this tip says: “Vibrant combinations of pinks and oranges may be overwhelming, but add a little gray and a little dull green and it looks smoother”.

Some Final Tips

colorful crochet granny square

Some of the other tips I noticed in the book as I went along:

  • Start with a small color project if you’re a little bit afraid of color.
  • Using just one or two bold colors is a great opportunity to play with more intricate stitches or shaping.
  • “Many color combinations work beautifully when they are balanced by using several shades of each color, along with justa bit of neutral to tie everything together.”
  • “The simplest way to be adventurous with color is to make stripes.”
  • It’s okay to let the color determine what you make rather than the other way around.
  • It’s also okay to combine variegated yarns in different colors in the same project.
  • Experiment and have fun with it. This is, of course, the most important part of all!

San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!


    • Kathryn

      Sorry @Kat and @Calophi – that dress actually isn’t in the book. Should’ve made that clear when I wrote up the post and didn’t even think about it. It’s a store find from Style Hive. Clicking on the photo takes you to where I found it.

  1. I am so weak. I ordered this yesterday. I hope that dress is in it. I looked and they didn’t show it in the previews.

    • Kathryn

      Eek – I did add a comment here yesterday that the photo in the post isn’t from the book but I’m going to shoot you an email over about it now. I still think you’ll like the book, though – I did!

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