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Bring on the Beautiful Colors…Including Spicy Mustard!?!

by The SpinArtiste on March 18, 2016

I am totally ga ga over the Fall 2016 Pantone color report…I just published a blog post about it over at Fibery Goodness — here is the link

In that blog post, I give an overview of the whole palette with some of my ideas about how I’m going to incorporate them into what I’m making, wearing, etc.

But, for the color Spicy Mustard, I picked a nailpolish…I was sort of holding out there because I also had this image at my disposal:

image from Fashion Snoops

image from Fashion Snoops

I like yellow but that’s a whole lotta yellow! 

Yellow is a tricky color…it sometimes behaves badly and wants to “control”…a good example is this pair of shoes that I wore to the SWAY guild Art Yarn Festival a couple of years ago:


turned shoe 2

Even though there are other colors in the shoe, at the end of the day, it is a “yellow” shoe because, if you are not careful, yellow takes over.

Here is an example of yellow not behaving, as usual, and taking over — don’t get me wrong, I like this yarn I made but the yellow does give it sort of a garish appearance:

Image by Sara Norine James

Image by Sara Norine James

One trick I have for working with yellow though is to make sure to pair it with the colors it is next to on the color wheel — here is an example of a batt I made:

Oak bark and Iceberg batt

The yellow does not control here because there is some green mixed in (right next to yellow on the color wheel) and it is paired with blue.  If you are not a color theory person, then just think about the order of the colors in the rainbow to keep things simple.  

Here is another example of yellow blending in where I’ve used warm colors:

Yarn made by Arlene Thayer; Photo taken by Sara Norine James

Yarn made by Arlene Thayer; Photo taken by Sara Norine James

My other tried and true yellow trick is “the dab”.  It looks great, to me, as a pop of color as in this weaving I made:

Image by Sara Norine James

Image by Sara Norine James

I love the one little strip of yellow in the weaving on the left hand side of the image and also square of gold in the weaving on the right hand side. 

How about you?  What are your approaches when using yellow? 

Until next time, all my fibery best, Arlene

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Spiderlady March 18, 2016 at 12:29 pm

As an Artist and a Dyer, Yellow in tasteful quantities makes all the other colors pop. Shading for yellow is the opposite or the Complimentary of Purple, it makes the yellow more palatable. I for one love yellow but not to wear, never for me to wear, or orange, never ever wear orange….just for me! I use yellow like eating hot sauce, a little goes a long way!!! Great Article and great shoes….please pass the Grey Poupon!


debra March 19, 2016 at 10:31 pm

bring on the yellow….xo


Ann Pangborn March 21, 2016 at 8:55 am

I’ve created and taught a mixed-media course titled “Momentum.” One of the ten workshops in the course is based on a wonderful book by Peter London: “No More Secondhand Art,” in which London describes an exercise using “forbidden colors” — those colors we avoid because we don’t like them. In the exercise, the student works exclusively with one disliked color: exploring it, reflecting on why it has been rejected, developing a new way of appreciating the color, and perhaps re-embracing it. When I did the exercise myself for the first time, I worked with pale pink — a color I realized that I had associated with weakness; but as I explored the nuances of pale pink, I found that I loved its softness and all of the usefulness and beauty of that color. The second time I did the exercise, the color I chose was a mustard yellow, a color I found to be sticky and ugly; but again, as I explored my sense of the color, I realized its usefulness and power. Now, pale pink and mustard are among my favorite colors. I love how mustard adds vitality and sparkle and enhances other colors.


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