Color Clues, or Why Four Blue Sweaters Isn’t Enough

“Another blue sweater? You have four of those. Why not get something different for a change?”

“No, I have navy, cornflower, Williamsburg, and baby blue sweaters. This one is royal blue. That’s totally different!”

Okay, guys, I know that you thought women were making up some of the color names we use. Chartreuse? Why not say green? And garnet—that’s red, right? What’s this about plum, amethyst, grape, violet, mauve, and Fuschia all being different? They’re all purple, aren’t they?

No, really, they aren’t. We don’t make them up just to vex you. They’re all very, very different, which is why we would never consider wearing brick red lipstick with a cherry-red sweater. Ick!

Now there’s help for you. Free help, even!

The Color Thesaurus can help you figure out what all these words mean, right there! 1Well, it’ll show you a lot of colors, anyway. Garnet wasn’t in the database, but it only failed me that once. The site provides the RGB values for each color, as well as its opposite color.

Color Thesaurus

Sam is still out of luck much of the time, as are the partners of many long-time needleworkers, as the site doesn’t give equivalent DMC colors 2There is at least one admirable stitching/computer geek in the world who created a DMC/RGB chart.I suppose there aren’t that many people who routinely say things like, “It’s the really yellow one, like DMC 726. That one is more like 744.” DMC has come to his rescue, though, with that nifty utility on the bottom of the page for typing in a color number and getting a sample right away.

DMC Color Tool

If DMC color references are common in your household, I’d suggest the acquisition of a current3The company publishes a new version every few years as they add new colors and types of thread.4 Color Card. The stitcher in your life will be tickled to have one, and you’ll have a handy-dandy color clue book!

Please note: While the fashion industry, in general, gets carried away with fanciful color names, the cosmetics marketers assign “color” names that bear no relation to colors as used anywhere else in the known universe. Don’t even bother trying to figure those out. We don’t know, either. “Spring” could be a pale pink lipstick, a green eyeshadow, or a tricolor nail kit. Every make-up wearer I know looks at the colors, not the names.

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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