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#foxpawsKAL – playing with colors

fox paws coloring page image WIPWith five colors and complex patterning, it can be tricky to decide on the color order for your Fox Paws. Here are some tools and tricks to
help you get started. (Background on the Fox Paws KAL here.) Fox Paws’ designer, Xandy Peters, has created a coloring page for us to test out our color schemes. (Thanks, Xandy!) You can grab a jpeg of the coloring page HERE¬†on¬†her ravelry forum discussion page. A PDF of the coloring page comes with your pattern purchase on ravelry.

You can either print out the page and color it in with crayons, or follow the steps below to experiment online with possible layouts. I have a breakdown of the design elements below under the heading STRATEGY SUGGESTIONS.

First stop, today’s exciting discovery (courtesy of my well-informed husband, thanks Scott): Wow, is this amazing. You can put together five colors from your imagination, or use the program to convert a photo of your yarn into a palette.

Screen cap:

I used this program to make my palette in about four seconds, not including logging in to my old Adobe account. If you get yourself¬†an account you can save your palette. See my blue arrow? It points to the button¬†for¬†importing your photo. Using a smartphone is a great way to expedite the process.¬†The interface on my iPhone provided me with the same little picture of a camera… I uploaded the photo and it found my five colors:


I moved the circles around until I found the best representation of my colors and then saved the swatch on my iPhone.

Then I got back on my PC¬†and navigated to “My Themes”: ¬†I used the snipping tool on my computer to take a¬†screen shot of the palette and saved it as an image file. Voila:

foxpaws palette

If you have fancy image editing software and know how to use it, then I think you might have¬†already stopped reading and started coloring. Share your color explorations here:¬†¬†I have a bit more on strategy below… you may want to skip down there for some additional suggestions.

If not, here’s how to do it in paint!

Open the JPEG image in paint.

Widen the size of the image so you can paste your palette onto the page. Do this by grabbing the little box handle and pulling it out to the side. Blue arrow points to the little box handle.

fox paws coloring page in paint arrow to handle


Once you’ve made some space, paste in the screen shot of your palette.

fox paws coloring page image in paint

Paint has two tools you need to use. One is the “color picker” which looks like an eyedropper. This allows you to “pick” one of the colors from your palette and paint with it. Just select the eyedropper tool by clicking on it, then click on the color within the image to select it. The second tool is the paint bucket which allows you pour the paint into an outlined section. Choose the¬†paint bucket tool by clicking on it, then pour into the desired section by clicking there. Note that Xandy has labeled the sections along the left edge. Use this as your guide to place the colors.


How is the color laid out in this design? The fox paws design repeats five times with five different color sequences. One way to get a handle on this is to color in all the A stripes from bottom to top and see how it progresses. Here is the design with all the As colored in. Look at it from the bottom up. fox paws coloring page image in paint PATTERN OF A

Starting at the bottom you see the color A steps up one element at a time. See what I mean? In the coloring page, she shows that after five repeats, you begin again with ABCDE.

The wide chevron swatch is always bordered by the same color on both sides, which to me makes a big impact on the color layout. My favorite way of experimenting was to start with a wide chevron section and place a color in it. Then decide on which two colors would be its borders. I filled those in on the coloring page. Then I filled in their counterparts throughout… Here I decided to start with a broad chevron of my green color (A), surrounded by gold (D). I filled in the chart:

fox paws coloring page image in paint A and D filled

Gosh, it’s lovely already. Now I have a wide swatch of the gold up near the top. I’ll try surrounding it with the orange.

fox paws coloring page image in paint A and D and B filledI’m still happy with it! In love, actually. So then I have two more colors to try. Since one of my colors is white, I only need to fill in one more section. Orange surrounded by white or purple? Purple.

fox paws coloring page image in paint COMPLETEWell, I love this one so much, which is a serious problem because I loved the last version I created as well. These are great problems to have.

Let me know how this swatching process works out for you! Our knitalong officially begins on March 1st. We’ll deconstruct the pattern elements, play with the special stacking stitches and agonize over our color decisions at our first session. See you at Serial Knitters for hands-on support, or see you on the Serial Knitters Ravelry forum for virtual camaraderie and photo-sharing. Feel free to head over to the KAL forum and post your photo explorations. No time to knit? Looky-loos are welcome to knit vicariously and¬†offer encouragement and opinions¬†on the forums and on Instagram with the hashtag #foxpawsKAL.




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