Knitting in orange and yellow - from palest lemon to deepest marmalade

Published on 8 November 2018 3 min read

Yellow

Yellow, one of the first colours known to man, is the colour of the sun. 17,000 year old cave paintings in France use ochre pigments, and yellow is used to brighten, uplift and highlight in artwork from the old masters to modern artists. It’s no surprise that yellow is the colour used for road markings - it’s the brightest, most visible colour on the spectrum, there to show us the way. Sunshine, happiness, humour and light - yellow is the colour of spirituality and of cheeriness - you can’t wear yellow and not feel uplifted. It is the colour of intellect, of creativity and fun.

Lemon, canary, sunshine, ochre, mustard, flaxen, banana, corn, butter, dandelion, honey, fire, daffodil, golden rod, harvest, custard, flame, egg, zest, marigold, buttermilk, straw

Orange

Which came first, orange the fruit, or a colour named orange? We may never know, but the fruit itself was first cultivated in China, and variants such as tangerines, mandarins, satsumas and clementines are commonplace today. One of the world’s first mentions of orange as a colour was by English queen Elizabeth of York in 1502, describing sleeves of “orenge colour sarsenet” for Margaret Tudor. As far back as 1584 orange has been celebrated by the Dutch as the colour of royalty, for the House of Orange, the royal line of the Netherlands. Orange is associated with warmth, health and energy - and is one of the sacred colours of Buddhism and Hinduism. It is the colour of heat - but just a step away from dangerous red thanks to its softening blend with yellow.

Tangerine, pumpkin, carrot, tiger, amber, rust, mango, spice, apricot, burnished gold, cider, bronze, ginger, marmalade, goldfish, mandarin, peach

The power of orange and yellow

Orange and yellow have the power to brighten any mood, lighten any room, and energise any day! Bright sunshine transforms a gloomy day and a warm, crackling fire has the power to relax and restore us. Bring these glorious shades into your knitting as main colours as well as contrasts, or accents of warmth.

How to wear orange and yellow

Skin tone is either warm, cool or neutral (test this by looking at the inside of your wrist - if the veins appear blue or purple you have cool skin, if they appear green, you have warm skin - and if they appear neither one or the other, you have neutral skin.)

Warm and neutral skin tones suit orange and yellow based yarns, from pale lemons to rich mustards, rusty flame terracottas to pastel peaches.  On the wheel of colour, orange and yellow sit next to each other, and are wonderful blended together - but work spectacularly well as part of colour work combinations, with blues and greens, but also in unexpected pairings such as a deep purple and glittering gold, or hot pink with bright peach.

Our favourite orange yarns

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Our favourite yellow yarns

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Our favourite patterns for yellow and orange

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