Colors by comparison

Color, part of Signs instant downloadable patterns on Etsy

The beauty of color is chiefly recognized by comparison.

By comparison we can see that one blue may be bluer than another, one is perhaps greener, one might be more muted. One blue by itself can only say so much.

color blue

Several variations of blue can be a rich experience. Makes you want to study it, appreciate its wonderful qualities, its uniqueness and special beauty.

close up of Bittersweet pattern

That is why when I create something, I like to put these color qualities in them. When I hook a background in a rug design, I like to put variations in color and close color mixtures to create subtle surprises when you look close up.

detail of Hideaway House, instant downloadable pattern on etsy


When I make a flower, I like to use several colors that are related instead of one color.

I notice that I utilize this technique in all of my creative work. As when I mix metals in jewelry making, when I faux finish a piece of furniture with several layers of color, when I spin together fibers to make yarn, when I decorate a room with variations of the same hue.


It is as if colors love to play with other colors.

view of Herbs, instant downloadable pattern on etsy

Allowing each other to be who they truly are without reservation or envy, basking in their individual beauty and the beauty of one another.


I encourage you to bring more color into your life and learn to see color in new ways. For fun, set out a table and bring similar colors together there, and start a color school for your learning. Make a beautiful single (similar) color vignette. Let it be a color still life. See what happens as the colors show you more about themselves. Take your time as you simply look at each variation. And how a color can change because it is glossy or has a matte finish, when it is textured or heather, when it is warm or cool. Assign a mood to your vignette, such as jazzy, serene, carnival, somber, or elating.

Now introduce a single object to the table that is a totally different color. Observe for a time.  Ask yourself – how have the colors changed now? How has the mood changed? What one word describes the mood now?

Keep this exercise going as long as it adds beauty to your day.

buttonsMy experience has been that when I notice the little details about color, then I learn secrets of how to use color in new ways, and so I become inspired to create.


Have a colorful day ~ Karen

Shop on etsy and see my instant downloadable patterns by clicking HERE.


10 thoughts on “Colors by comparison

  1. Lovely post, Karen. I loved your observation about color: “Allowing each other to be who they truly are without reservation or envy, basking in their individual beauty and the beauty of one another.” The same can be said for people, too!
    Happy Derby Weekend!


  2. Love your close up pictures ~ it’s easy to use all one wool ~ not so easy to gather all those variations and make it work ~ mine to learn and yours to teach!!! Thanks for the inspiration!!


  3. Hi Karen, thank you for the refreshing guide to color. I took a workshop from you years ago and inspired me to mix colors to this day.I love it.You have changed the hooking style for most people. I hear your name referred to as a technique fondly. Thank you for taking the time to share this with us. Caryn Linn


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