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What do you think? Can you really make random colour choices? I can’t. I certainly try, but when I look back on my crochet project I usually see that I actually gave preference to a certain colour, or a combination of colours.

The first time I realised that I can’t trust myself to make truly random colour choices was with my very first granny square project. In this interview I speak of the green granny square that I incorporated into a cushion. It was my very first piece of crochet, my first cushion, the project where I fell in love with granny squares, and the project that showed me that I’m unable to choose colours randomly. Have a look. Do you see all the dusky pink? Out of the 32 squares, I used dusky pink in 23! (Maybe this cushion is the reason why I now don’t. do. pink.)

granny square cushion

You see, when I choose my colours I act on what feels right. I have a specific taste, I like to put a warm colour next to a cold colour, I like a bit (okay a lot) of contrast. So every time I started a new square I chose what felt right for that square, in that moment, forgetting the big picture and certainly not choosing the colours outside my “colour comfort zone”.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with choosing colours based on what feels right to you, but when you’re trying to achieve randomness, that’s not going to fly.

So, how do you achieve random colour combinations?

For stripes, the Biscuits and Jam random stripe generator is the answer to your prayers. A true godsent. I used it for the stripes in the Identity Crisis blanket. And let me tell you, not having to think of what colour to choose for the next (millionth) row, was a great help and sped things up in a huge way! I could not have done the I.C.B. without the random stripe generator.

But what do you do when you have motifs or granny squares that you have to create or join randomly?

Sarah London says in her book Granny Square Love, that she picks up whatever colour is closest to her. That could work I suppose, but not for me. I crochet in a small space so I have a very small pile near me and every time I put something back, it’s just going to lie on top which means I’ll just reach for it again.

Even though I want something to look random, I’m not a random kind of person. I’m a planner. A list maker. A “know what comes next” kind of person. So I need to cheat randomness. For Nicole’s granny square blanket that I’m working on now, I devised a plan to make my granny square colour combination appear random. Planning randomness is a great contradiction in terms for a reason; about half way through I realised that it wasn’t working. I kept on getting the same combination of three colours next to each other. I had to modify my plan, but I’m still sticking to a plan. Me needs me my plans!

What do you say? Are you able to make true random colour choices? If you do, how do you do it?

You can answer by leaving a comment. I’ll do the follow-up blogpost on Monday the 20th of May, so you have until the 19th of May to let me have your comments and tips. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!