Colour Confident Stitching: a book review

It’s been a while since I wrote my blog posts about color exploration and about some good books to use for learning how to use color. You can find all those blog posts under the color exercises tag.

I was at the library recently and browsing the craft shelves to see what was new (the main branch of the library had been closed for years even before 2020 to be entirely rebuilt, so the collection has changed a lot). I noticed a book about choosing colors that I thought would be helpful for any fiber artist, even though it is primarily written for embroiderers:

Colour Confident Stitching: How to create beautiful colour palettes, by Karen Barbé. Pimpernel Press Ltd, 2017. ISBN: 978-1-910258-65-1

https://www.pimpernelpress.com/colour-confident-stitching

I do want to note that there’s one place in the text that talks about traditional gender colors used for babies, but it’s not terribly prescriptive about it.

Colour Confident Stitching comes at choosing colors from multiple directions. There’s good detail on standard color theory. There’s some thoughts about choosing palettes to fit a certain mood (this section is almost poetic). It shows how to make yarn wrappings (in more detail than I show in my post). There’s also lots of information about choosing colors from photographs, including using a computer for the process.

The book ends with several projects which can be modified to use your own color palettes. Several of them involve starting from scratch, but two of them are mending projects: one involves reinforcing knitwear with duplicate stitch and one shows how to embroider linen dish towels to cover worn or stained spots.

Visible mending like that looks to me to be a great way to practice choosing palettes, since it isn’t a very large project!

Recommended for anyone who wants to practice color selection in their craftwork. (Though I don’t think it would work well for someone who’s colorblind. I don’t really know what to recommend there aside from asking friends or just choosing the colors you like and the heck with what other people think.)

If you’re already familiar with basic color theory and with choosing palettes from images, this is probably not a book for you. Also, there’s not specific instructions for making the circles on the front cover.

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