Creating a Triad Colour Palette

How to create a triad colour palette

Are you having fun playing with colour in our ‘Round the Colour Wheel make-along? I’ve missed almost an entire week after being down and out with a nasty little bug, so I’m eager to play catch up. First, though, I want to share another colour palette idea you can try: the triad colour palette. Let’s discuss what a triad colour palette is and how to put one together.

What’s a Triad Colour Palette?

A triad colour palette is composed of three colours that are evenly spaced around the colour wheel, forming an equilateral triangle. This setup provides a mix of colours that look beautiful and balanced. Triad palettes offer a wide range of possibilities and can be vibrant, bold, or subtle, depending on the colours chosen.

If you look at our Element Collection from the colour system, you’ll see just how easy it is to blend three hues this way. With twelve colours, you divide the wheel by six to find the three triadic (is that a word? I might have made it up. Haha!) shades.

Start with a Primary Hue

To create a triad colour palette, start by selecting a primary colour. This colour will serve as the dominant hue in your palette. You can choose any colour that appeals to you or aligns with the mood or message you want to convey. For example, if you want a vibrant palette, you might opt for a bright red as your primary colour. If you wanted to go with a more muted, rich tone, like in our Elixir Collection, perhaps you’d choose Twilight (oooo… seductive) as your primary colour.

Count Out to The Next Two Colours

Once you have your primary colour, choose two colours that are equally spaced from the primary colour on the colour wheel. Elixir has nine colours (10 if you include Vintage), so when we break the wheel into three parts, you can find two more matching colours at three intervals.

For instance, if you count three from Twilight in one direction, you’ll connect with Boreal Forest. Count over three more and you’ll get to Dragon Fruit. The results are lush and jewel-toned and depending on how you arrange them, and in what quantity, you can achieve a fascinating fibre project.

Experiment for Even More Variation

Once you have determined your three colours, you can experiment with different shades, tones, and tints to add depth and variation to your palette. In layperson’s terms, shades are created by adding black to a colour, while tints are created by adding white, but because we’re dealing with yarn and no such thing as white to add, tints are achieved by reducing the amount of colour applied. By adjusting the brightness and saturation of the colours, you can create a range of shades and tints that provide visual interest.

It’s important to keep in mind the balance and contrast of the colours in your palette. Triad colour palettes create a high level of contrast by evenly spacing the three colours. This can create a dynamic effect, but it’s essential to use the colours wisely to maintain harmony. Consider using one colour as the dominant hue, another as an accent, and the third as a supporting colour.

Join Me Live Today (and Thursday)

For real this time! Join me over in the Discord Voice Channel today at 2pm EST. I’m going to hop on and see if I can catch up with you all! You’ll find me with some chai tea (topped with whipped cream) and my project, so bring your favourite cuppa and keep me company. I’ll also hop on this Thursday at 10am EST if that works better for you.

Keep sharing your photos on the Discord channel. Every time you post, you’re entered in a drawing for some prizes that I’ll randomly select at the end of the month. 😊

In the meantime, try creating a triad colour palette! It’s such a fun way to bring your knits, crochet, and weaving to life.


About Tabetha Hedrick

Tabetha Hedrick is a knitwear designer and writer raising a family just outside the Great Smoky Mountains in Eastern Tennessee. As the Design Director for SweetGeorgia Yarns, her days (and heart) are filled to the brim with knitting, art, writing, editing, planning, and finding ways to put it all together. In the midst of that fibre-filled life, you'll find her living simply in the sweet spot where creativity, discovery, parenthood, and life intertwine.

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