What’s a Color Card? Why Would I Need One of Those?

By Caissa "Cami" McClinton – 8 Comments

That sweater! You love it and you have to make one! When you feel motivation like this, you know that you’ll practice project monogamy and work on it and only it until you can wear it proudly. But since this is a significant investment of time and attention, you want to make SURE the final product is one that you’ll absolutely love. You need to KNOW that will be well worth the time, effort, and I’ll say it, MONEY that you’re about to put in.

There is nothing worse than the following scenario: You’ve spent a lot of time thinking, comparing, asking for advice, and dreaming about your perfect yarn. You’ve excitedly selected it right down to the color that will perfectly compliment your wardrobe. You anticipate the package arriving at your doorstep, and eagerly tear into it to find that the COLOR of this yarn, this perfect, perfect yarn is just… not what you thought. Crestfallen.

Actually, this did happen to a friend of mine, and this exactly why a color card can save your life!

If I had only known

If I had only known

Okay… maybe that was a tad dramatic, but it really does happen and a color card can be a great tool to help you avoid such situations.

So what’s a color card? Think of it as a paint chip for yarn. It’s basically a collection of small yarn samples, usually collected on a piece of heavy cardstock.

Why would you want one of those? Well, think of your favorite yarn line. How cool would it be to have a few inches worth of every single yarn they make, each one labeled with color name and important stats? I don’t know about you, but I would love this! Having said that, I only have one color card in my library.

I was visiting a Navajo & Hopi trading post in Arizona and they sold YARN! How cool is that? As I selected skein after skein of beautiful wool, I inquired about online ordering and the clerk presented me with a free color card. I took it not knowing what I would do with it, but I can tell you I’ve looked upon it for inspiration time and time again. It’s perfect for creating dynamic color combos and seeing exactly how the fiber will look and behave!

You can find color cards in catalogs and on the websites of your favorite yarn companies. For some reason, they’re not free, but they could still be a great resource for your daily crochet designs and dreams!

So what about you? Have you ever used a color card? If so, how? If not, what do you think of them? A friend of mine believes they should be free, and I tend to agree with her, but what do you think?

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  1. Jodiebodie says:

    A great topic here especially since a lot of the queries I see online are concerning colour – colour choices, colour mixing, colour blending, what colour goes with one’s complexion etc.

    It is also a timely reminder about the risks of buying online. Depending on the colour setting of one’s monitor or the colour processing of the vendor’s pictures, the colours one sees online may not be a true representation.

    Have you ever noticed in your travels that the colours in some places are more vivid or muted than other places (or is it just me)? I have noticed that the quality of the light differs between different geographical areas. My theory is that it is due to differing levels of humidity and different latitudes.

    I wonder if this phenomenon also happens when purchasing yarn. Perhaps the photograph is an accurate depiction for its location but by the time it reaches the recipient in a different faraway location, the different light has affected one’s colour perception of it.

  2. Donna Gatlin says:

    What a cool idea. Saw a list on Red Heart’s site but not with examples of yarn. But, at least, it’s a starting point.

  3. Brenda says:

    Never thought of having a color card. I think I will start because I have ordered yarn and was disappointed. And yes they should be free. Thank you for sharing? ~ Brenda

  4. Peg says:

    I think it would encourage more business with the yarn companies if they supplied color cards with samples of the yarn. I have found that colors on their websites look very different when I go to the store to check them out in many cases. It’s especially difficult when choosing colors for a large afghan. Hope the yarn companies take the hint!

  5. Darlene says:

    Bought a color card once years ago. Wasn’t cheap as I had only pennies for yarn in those days! The next time I got a catalog from that company there were new colors and my color card was obsolete. Tossed that card and the idea. Never bought another one. You would think a yarn company would give them away so you would buy more of their yarn, but I guess they think they need to get all the money they can even from the little scraps of yarn on the cards.

  6. Sue says:

    Cami, thank you for the great reminder about using color cards! My granddaughters are learning to crochet, and I’m going to include your color card info as part of our next lesson.

    And, yes, I think that the cards should be free. The cards certainly could be incorporated into marketing efforts as an incentive with promotions / orders / classes. The company could include their contact info on the card. If there’s concern over yarn or colors being discontinued, the company could include a disclaimer which encourages the customer to check with them for availability and/or identify possible other options.

    Thanks again!

  7. Becca Bullard says:

    In some ways I agree that they should be free, but if you look at it in a company way it would cost a lot. Think about all the yarn it would take to make millions of color cards. they would lose a lot of money.

  8. Yarnyokel says:

    Yes, I agree a color card would be a great thing for yarn stores that sell online to provide to customers. You should try pitching that to stores. Awesome idea. Especially to stores that sell strictly yarn online. They could even sell the card to people and sell them updated ones for a cheaper price when new yarns come out. Instant new stream of revenue that would be ongoing for companies. Anyway, that is great idea I never thought of that. I learn new things everyday from all of you. Thanks

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