Color Me Beautiful Knitting

I found a treasure at our library’s recent book sale – that old 80’s classic: Color Me Beautiful.


Do you remember this book?

The first time I heard about it, I was listening to my aunt and my mother discussing which “season” they fit into. My aunt had recently had her “colors done”, and she’d been declared a Winter. Since my mother had similar coloring, they decided she was probably a Winter, too. And then they pored over the swatch book my aunt had received, discussing the “thirty special colors” that were supposed to best compliment their coloring. I think I was eight.

A few years later, I figured out I was an Autumn. I don’t know if my mother told me, or if it just dawned on me. It’s evident in my fifth grade school photos, though. On the left, I’m wearing a red from the Autumn palette. On the right – colors that belong to Winter’s.

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Pastels have never done anything for me.

They do, however, work for my mother. And this is something I still battle. I sometimes catch myself leaning toward my mother’s colors, even when I know they don’t suit me. I think it comes from so many years of watching her choose clothes. She’s a sharp dresser and reaches unerringly for the shades that best suit her. Maybe I instinctively reach for those colors, too, thinking they will do the same for me.

This happened recently, when I put together a scarf filled with a variety of colors outside the Autumn palette.


Maybe you remember it? It’s a beautiful scarf, but worlds away from the colors I normally wear. I got a lot of compliments, but I noticed that the people who were the most enthusiastic this scarf were the people best suited by its colors – chiefly the Winters and Summers.

So what am I getting at?

In the future, I’m going to endeavor to stick more closely to my palette when knitting – at least for projects that are going to be worn by me. I spent part of Saturday dividing up my yarn scraps into color seasons (using my new book), and was surprised to see how many colors I’d bought that didn’t really suit me. (No surprise – the bag of Winter scraps is full!) From now on, when I make things for myself, I will pull from the Autumn bag, and when I make things for other people – I will draw from the bag of scraps that best suits them.

Now – if you’re like CPT A and Pepper, you probably think all of this is ridiculous. CPT A (a Spring) and Pepper (an Autumn) wear whatever they like. They have no time for color theorizing.

If, however, you are like me, and you find color categories comforting, this probably makes sense. You might want to look into Color Me Beautiful, yourself. It isn’t hard to find, as it’s still in print, and the seasonal palettes are all available on Pinterest. If nothing else, it’s diverting. Especially if, like me, you’re fascinated by color.

From the dining room table, getting ready to knit something orange,

Mrs. Smythe

8 Comments on “Color Me Beautiful Knitting

  1. I’m a Spring and those colours have always been my favourite. Every once in a while I pick something else to break out of my box and I never look good. Red and my skin are just not friends…
    I never actually read that book, but it could be really valuable for yarn projects I think:)
    Happy Days,

    • I’ve been really intrigued with the thought of using the book for my projects. I think it will give me a place to start with combining colors. I can get overwhelmed by all the possibilities.

  2. I had mine done and I’m a winter. She told me to wear things the color of jewels, ruby red, emerald green, sapphire blue etc. I usually have done it and I feel I look better when I do. I love yellow and green but look absolutely ill if I wear it!

    • It’s funny how a person can love a color and not look his or her best in it. I love blues and they don’t do anything for me.

  3. I guess I’m like Capt.A. I think you look good in both those pictures and would have picked the white
    blouse for one I’d keep. LOL.

    • Lol – you’re sweet, Marian. 🙂

  4. I am a devoted autumn and never wear pastels, even though in the spring I get accused of being “dark.” We autumns have to stick together. When I visit the yarn store for knitting projects I invariably fill my basket with black, grey, burgundy, navy and sienna yarns. Continue to field comments like “you’re knitting another dark gray scarf?” 🙂

    • I can’t imagine you in pastels, Julia! And how fun that you knit too! Stay true to your colors and keep knitting those scarves. 🙂