The Colour in the Picture: How Much Does It Influence?

Do you remember I told you the story about “Nobody likes Green”?  It’s a running joke in my knit group: one day, one of the members went into a LYS to buy some green yarn to finish a project she was working on.  She couldn’t find any green at all and asked the owner where it was, and the reply came back, “We don’t carry green because nobody likes green.”  And my friend left and went to another LYS where her colour preferences made her a bit more of a somebody.

Now, every time I dye green, I can’t help but chuckle.  Nobody likes green.

On Wednesday, Lisa Shroyer, the editor of Knitscene magazine, tweeted this:

knitting, crochet, yarn, fiber art, knitting pattern

And the link leads to the Ravelry page showing Knitscene’s patterns sorted by popularity.  Sure enough, the top five are green.  When I put “Knitty” into the search box, I couldn’t narrow it down to just patterns from Knitty magazine but, interestingly enough, the first four patterns that did come up were green too.  In fact, most of the top 10 were green and, as you scroll down, green is the dominant colour across the whole page.

Clearly, somebody likes green!

So this got me thinking, how much are we influenced by the colour of the sample on a pattern?  How good are we at actually looking a pattern that is shown in one colour and imagining it done in another colour?  It seems easy enough — we’re all smart enough to look at a picture of a blue jumper and imagine it in yellow — but does the colour in the picture still influence whether we decide to make the pattern or not?

And, is the best default colour green?  Is green the new black?  Are you a somebody, or a nobody?

knitting, crochet, yarn, handdyed, indie dyer, sock yarn, spacecadet, space cadet
from left to right: Celeste in City Park, Estelle in Lost, Stella in City Park

So here’s what I want you to do:  Go to Ravelry and have a look through your favourites and your queue.  Is there a dominant colour?  And when you made the items in your finished objects, how far did you stray from the colours in the pattern picture?

Then come back here and tell me.  I really want to know!  Can you see a theme, a link between the colours you use and the colours in the pictures of the patterns you choose?  Are you choosing patterns because of the colour in the picture?

Oh, and while you’re at it…  How do you feel about green?

8 thoughts on “The Colour in the Picture: How Much Does It Influence?

  1. Strangely enough my stash seems to be bereft of green, even though it is my favourite colour. I think its due to trying to find the right shade (forest green seems to be in the majority of LYS I’ve visited; being the safest choice) but I much prefer more vibrant shades.

    Its wonderful to see everyone ‘going green’ :^D

  2. According to Ravelry, I am pretty all over the place, too. I think I’m pretty good at seeing something and imagining it in a different color, but sometimes it is the color of the sample that makes me fall in love with a project and I have been known to go to a lot of trouble to track down that exact yarn. Likewise, if the sample were in a color that I really hated, I think I’d have a hard time seeing past that. (It hasn’t always been a favorite, but lately I have been loving green. Ha!)

  3. Oh Goodness! Just checked my Rav…absolutely no rhyme or reason to any of it! I do love green though. Eldest daughter mentioned once that the human eye can differentiate more greens than any other color. I do believe she is correct.

  4. I like green but finding the right shade can be a challenge. I have to say that the patterns saved in my favorites are a variety of colors – no real trend. And I almost never use the colors suggested. But oddly enough, the only pattern I’ve ever made in exactly the colors used in the model – called for green.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.