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5 ways to bring out the brights

Every knitter I know has a few skeins on their shelf they haven't worked in yet.

They picked out that color because they loved it, and they still do. But they aren't sure just how to use it so that it will get worn.

I teach a workshop in the winter and fall, called "Your Handknit Wardrobe." Today I wanted to share my top tips for getting those skeins on your body - tips that I KNOW work for knitters (and have worked for me!)


Bring in a one-skein wonder (or two, or...)

I opened this post with my Carol Bralette (available from Elizabeth Margaret), so let's start here!

Nothing in my existing wardrobe goes with neon green or banana yellow. Except maybe the sports bra I'm wearing with it, but I don't usually plan my underwear as outerwear, so I ain't counting it 😂

BUT, by pairing these colors with neutrals - a jean jacket and black joggers, I can bring in an electric one-off. Need some ideas? How about a scarlet beret or a safety orange beanie? A vibrant off-the-shoulder crop tee layered over a blank ribbed tank?


Take a capsule approach

When we plan a capsule wardrobe, we think of things we can mix and match to come up with dozens of outfits from a handful of pieces.

To make bright colors work in a capsule, choose a uniform for your bottoms - all black, all denim, all greige - or some combo of two of those. Choose neutral accessories, shoes, and jewelry. No matter what color top you knit, you know it will work. Alternately, plan your capsule with all neutral bottoms and tops, and make your accessories vibrantly colorful.

The capsule approach: neutral shoes, jeans, and tee - vibrant accessories and statement eyes.



Building a palette can be overwhelming. To make it easy, find a photo that has lots of colors that work well together, and that you enjoy looking at. (Bonus tip, I love searching Pinterest for home decor pins for this. Somehow, it's easy for me to get a sense of how much of each color is responsible for the feeling evoked.)

Then, import it into an online color picker. I like using Sherwin Williams (because I know they make their money selling paint and not like, giving me a computer virus or something shifty).

Want to go a step further? Build a whole MOODBOARD. Then, screenshot the moodboard, and upload that instead of a single photo. See it in action: here's the board for Out Loud, and the resulting palette suggestions.


Take it back to nature

If you're used to thinking of natural palettes as dull browns, reconsider. Pull a bright ocean palette, a hot clay southwestern palette, or tap into the spring's hot greens trend by layering multiple tropical colors. Maybe this palette is houseplant chic?

Here, Sepal is radiant in citrussy Lemoncello from Urban Girl Yarns


Bright doesn't have to mean overwhelming

Bright colors can be the main character or they can play a more supporting role. Adding more color doesn't mean you need to bring in colors that make your nerves feel jangled. Below, I'm styling Classic LBD with all neutrals, handknit socks with a hint of blue and rose; my earrings are a fun shape and a matching rose hue. I've set it off with a playful lippy, but I could totally see a little linen kerchief to tie in those rose hues, or a blue denim headband.

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