Pantone’s Color of the Year Announced!

It’s that time of year again, and wow, I feel like we really need this! Yesterday, Pantone announced its new Color of the Year: Illuminating + Ultimate Gray!

For details about Pantone’s Color of the Year 2021, click here. Read on for more about the yarns shown here. Image is my own.

I am absolutely loving this yellow + gray combination. First, in general terms, the bright + neutral is a classic duo; the bright keeps the neutral from being too bland, and the calmer neutral balances the energy of the bright. Second, this specific combination seems to speak on a deep level of the state of the world right now: appropriately somber, but also in great need of reason for optimism — and what’s more uplifting than clear, sunny yellow?

Aside: Am I the only one slightly confused by “Color [singular] of the Year” when it’s actually two colors? I just checked the Pantone site again, and it is indeed using the singular form. End of aside.

When I first saw Illuminating + Ultimate Gray, I immediately thought of a color palette I created several years back called Sunbreaks. (For those who might not have heard this quasi-meteorological term, I grew up in Seattle, where “sunbreaks” was a term regularly used to describe an upcoming weather phenomenon — when the sun momentarily breaks through the cloud cover. Trust me, we live for those moments in this part of the world. I’ve long suspected that someone made up the word just to alleviate the boredom of predicting “high in the mid-40s, low in the low 40s, chance of showers” for most of the Pacific Northwest winters.)

Anyway, here’s the palette as I originally designed it:

My “Sunbreaks” color palette.

I still can’t quite believe I’ve gotten all this done so quickly, but since I heard the COTY announcement yesterday (12/9/20), I’ve created a new Petite Scraplets™ kit, and a digital Palette Papers collection (digital products are very new for me, so I’m excited to add this palette to that group!), both of which are now available in my Etsy shop. Here’s a preview of both:

Left: A Petite Scraplets™ kit of small(ish) pieces of gorgeous yarns. Right: The cover of my digital-download Palette Papers set, which includes the original palette seen above. (And I also include a bonus file with color specs — CMYK values and hex numbers for each of the 5 colors in the palette!) All images are my own.

However we feel about 2020, we can at least celebrate these beautiful new colors for 2021, right? I’m curious — how do you think you might use either or both? I know yellows in general can be challenging for a lot of people, particularly in our wardrobes, but what about in home decor? Imagine a room in soothing gray tones; now picture a big pale-gray vase filled with bright yellow tulips in the same room. Oooh…

Color Smarts: Pantone’s Color IQ Test

Pantone color IQ test

As you know, I’m a big fan of Pantone*, the company that sets many a color standard for a wide range of industries, and provides helpful products and resources as well. You’ve probably seen their Color of the Year stories (UltraViolet for 2018), for example.


Today, I ran across another fun little thing on Pantone’s site: their color IQ test! You just rearrange color tiles into a sequence that creates a smooth gradient from one color to another. It looks (but only looks) simple enough. Continue reading

An Inaugural Protest

A timely admonition…

The Wicked Wit of the West

I say, look here, this is entirely too much. For months I have stalwartly avoided this topic, aloof from the frenzy unleashed online, but enough is enough. The state of politics (which I still promise my loyal readers will never broach these hallowed posts), has gotten beyond a joke, and I am become what I never wished to be: serious. This blog was meant to be a source of amusement (my own), and a sparkling collection of human folly; I had been confident that the twenty-first century would provide me ample material. But now the line has been crossed, and people’s behavior is simply unfunny.   

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Green(ery) Christmas: Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year!

It’s official: Pantone*, the standard-bearer for all things color-related, has announced its 2017 Color of the Year!

Meet Greenery!

Pantone's Color of the Year: Greenery!
This picture is a screenshot I took of the Greenery video at Pantone’s website; click on the image to see the full video. (P.S. This video is the perfect antidote to the polar vortex weather!)

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Shady Business: My Ombré Bracelet Beading Chart

Colormusing’s Palette of the Month for August is Seaspray, inspired by this beaded bracelet that blends iridescent silver, emerald green, and ultramarine blue into this amazing ombré bracelet:

Beaded ombré bracelet
Want to see how I changed 3 bead colors gradually to get this lovely ombré effect? Keep reading! (P.S. This is only my 3rd beadweaving project— I promise, it’s just the color changes that make it look complex.)

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Tutorial: A Palette Changes its Stripes

As much as I love my colorful stripe-y palettes (and I do), even I am occasionally in the mood for something a little fancier. Here’s one of my favorite ways to change those stripes:

Change stripes to dots with this Photoshop tutorial
Talk your palette into changing its stripes with this easy Photoshop tutorial! (Note: As for all my Photoshop tutorials, I’m using Adobe Photoshop CC 2014*.)

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Read My New Article: Color in Your Closet

Just published in Colette Patterns‘ sewing magazine Seamwork: My latest article on using color palettes in real life! It’s called Color in Your Closet: Discover (and Use) the Palette Within.


  • How to coax a palette out of your existing wardrobe;
  • Identifying your primary colors;
  • Ideas for using your palette to create new outfits;
  • Tips for using accent colors in unexpected ways;
  • Using your palette when you shop!

Using color palettes while you shop
Once you’ve created your palette based on the clothes already in your closet, carry it with you when you shop! (Click the photo to go straight to my article. Photo is my own, also used in the published article.)


Want to see sewing stuff from Colormusing? Check out myBratelier (lingerie sewing, including bras!), and Changing Your Clothes, which covers everything from repairs & alterations to dyeing and remaking thrift-shop finds. And don’t miss all my newest projects, including sew-alongs, at the brand-new SewColormusing blog!

Click on the dots above to visit my mother ship,, where you can also sign up to receive Hue News, Colormusing’s own monthly e-mail newsletter!

Catch the Wave: Alter a Palette for Fun!

In my last post, I introduced you to the idea of easily expanding the color range of a basic color palette by using the Mosaic filter in Photoshop. Now, starting with that expanded palette, we’ll take it to another level to create The Confetti Wave Palette! And when we’re done, I’ll show you some of my favorite ways to use this super-fun new version.

Let’s start with a new palette, with a sneak preview:

From palette to party!
If your simple palette needs a little dressing up, transform it into this party-worthy version, complete with confetti!

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Expansion Plan: An Easy Way to Add Colors to your Palette

Here’s something I recently discovered by accident (isn’t that always the way?): Starting with one of my color palettes, which typically have a maximum of 5 colors, I can expand that palette into 8-1o colors— and it’s super-easy to do!

Let’s start with a palette that’s divided evenly into 5 colors:

Rose-inspired palette
This rose-inspired palette will soon expand far beyond the 5 hues shown here. Later, I’ll show you what happens when I use the same 5 colors in different proportions. (Click the palette to see it on ColourLovers.)

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