Project Planning-Yarn Color Selection

There are two types of yarn lovers. Those that have a stash and those that purchase for the project that they are going to make. Either way when it comes to picking colors for your next project it can be hard when you don’t have the actual balls in front of you. Here is one way to help your project planning and yarn color selection.

Download DIY Color Cards

Project Planning:

Planning for your next project will sometimes be easy and sometimes might take a little more work. We have already talked about starting a project planner when you have multiple projects going on at once, or a few projects to get done on a timeline. In addition I talked to my friends to get their tips on staying on task when working on a deadline. Both are essential to project planning, but they aren’t the beginning.

Typically your planning process goest a little something like this…

  • Select a pattern that you want to make
  • Select what yarn you will use
  • Pick a color that works for you or the person receiving the yarn
  • Figure out how long you have to make the project and plan out when you will make each section

Picking a pattern is usually easier for me than picking the yarn color. Selecting colors can be a challenge. Let’s talk about the two ways you shop for yarn and how you select colors both ways.

Color Selection In Store:

If you are fortunate enough to have a LYS (local yarn store) or a big box store close to you shopping in person is ideal. It is always beneficial to see the yarn in person, touch it, and see the colors up close.

Even if you can get to the yarn in person that doesn’t mean that the store carries all of the colors that the yarn is available in. What do you do then? Shop online.

Color Selection Online:

When buying yarn online there are many variables that impact the way that you see the colors on your screen, phone or other mobile device. Depending on which screen you are looking at the yarn could look a slightly different color. If you have settings on to change the brightness of your screen you will also see variations.

So how do you make the right choice when purchasing yarn? Make color cards.

Color Cards:

Color cards is a system of organizing colors of a particular item. Most commonly these are used in the fashion industry to keep track of all of the important details about a particular pattern/color. Typically the designer will have a swatch of the fabric and the important information so that they can select the swatch they want to use to more forward with in their design.

We can use the same principles in knitting and crochet. Sometimes you will find yarn brands that will have color cards that you can purchase. These are typically used for yarn shops that would be purchasing the yarn and need to see each color to know what they want to bring in their store.

Although we aren’t a store looking to purchase large amounts of yarn, having colors cards is still beneficial to us. If you have your own set of color cards the next time you want to work on a project with a particular yarn you can hold the colors together to make sure you like them before making a purchase.

FREE DIY Color Card PDF download

DIY Color Cards:

Most of us are not going to purchase a color card from yarn companies, or might not even be able to get them since we are not a wholesale account. So what can we do? Make a DIY version of course!

It is totally understandable if you don’t go out and purchase EVERY color that a yarn offers. But, we can keep a running collection of colors as we work on projects and find out favorite colors. Using the PDF that I have created you can start your own color card library to use when selecting yarn.

Grab your yarn scraps and download your FREE DIY Color Card PDF to get your personal catalog started.

Download your FREE DIY Color Card Sheet

How to Use Color Cards:

First you will need to download our FREE color card PDF. Print out a few copies, I recommend doing this on card stock so that it has a little more heft to it.

Once you have them printed out you can cut them apart, there are 4 per sheet. Fill out the information at the top of the card so that you know which yarn you are collecting and it makes it easier when you want to find the yarn again later. Then you will use a hole punch to punch out the pink circle. This is where you will put your yarn sample.

Using your DIY Color Cards-Download yours for FREE

Write the color name and code, so that you can easily find it later online. I also have a section for you to fill out the important information from the ball band. To finish your card add your swatch of yarn for each color you have and add to it as you pick up new colors.

The next time you need to purchase yarn you will have your color card that you can go to and match together making sure it is exactly what you are looking for.

FREE DIY Color Card printable

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  1. Jean Jones says:

    Wish I’d had a chart before buying my last yarn purchase. I’m printing this off right now. I definitely know which yarn I will NEVER buy again. Can you tell I’m frustrated? The scarf pattern was perfect but the yarn suggested was awful to work with. After 4 attempts to work it up it still didn’t look right. I’ve ripped out, AGAIN, and will never buy this yarn again and I’m not sure I even want to keep it in my ‘stash’. Not only a waste of my time but a waste of $$$. Glad I only have 1 ball of this stuff…

  2. Carolyn Scism says:

    This works if you have the yarn to put on the chart. This doesn’t work if you want to buy yarn you do not have.

    • Marly Bird says:

      That is true. The point of this is to slowly work up to having a collection of colors. It is easier to use your left over yarn than trying to buy a yarn card. Yes, it takes some time and it isn’t perfect but it does allow you to keep track of your favorite colors that you use often.

  3. Terry says:

    Love these! One suggestion: It would also be helpful to list on the card what size hook the label recommends. Thanks.

Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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