I've been knitting for about five years. Just recently I was trying to remember why I picked up kntting and I realized it was because I wanted to make a pillow for my mom. I had no idea how complicated it would be since it was multicolor and had charts. (I still have a hard time reading charts even though I know how to knit.) I tried to find the right colors based on the pattern but obviously I never knitted the pillow. Smartly I decided to start with something easier.
Most of my projects follow the same method. I decide to make something, find a pattern that suits it, then pick the yarn. Color is usually the last choice. It tends to be dictated by the project, like doing a ladybug in black and red, or by the recipient's taste, like doing my friend's blanket in colors that match her nursery. I don't really even have much of a stash to draw from. Seriously half of the yarn I have in my stash is yarn my grandma gave me when she was decluttering. I tend to buy just what I need and I let the project dictate the color.
The monster I made for C is a good example of my typical method.
I knew he wanted a monster so I had him pick the pattern he wanted. I didn't have him decide on a color until he picked a pattern.
I can think of two examples where I did pick the project based on the color. The first was the monster I knitted for my nephew. My BIL is a huge Chivas fan so I knew whatever I did I wanted it to be in those colors and I picked a pattern to highlight the colors.
The other was my drawstring bag. I found self striping yarn at the store and I've always wanted to try it so I bought it without any project in mind. In fact it sat for a while until I could figure out what to do.
It was fun to think about color in a way I hadn't before. I always figured that it would be more of a driver in my projects but it appears I go for the patterns first.
To check out other knitters and crocheters thoughts on color, just google 3KCBWDay1. And if you want to participate head over to Eskimimimakes for the instructions.