At times, a single, perfect colour is just what a new knitting project needs but adding colour to your knitting is an easy way to make a basic project a little more interesting. More often than not, the creative knitter envisions exciting colour palettes that make her handmade sweater unique or add special meaning to a gift for a loved one. Adding fabulous colour combinations to a handknit item can be as simple as working with multicolour yarn or as intricate as applying the technical concepts of knitting intarsia. Working with multicoloured yarn is the easiest way to bring colour to your projects because you don't even have to think about it; just keep knitting as normal. Whether the yarn is variegated (a series of colours that are often random) or self-striping, knitting a project with this kind of yarn makes it look much more complicated than it is and adds a bit of pizazz even to plain stocking stitch. In the photograph you will see several variations of the same basic baby cardigan i knitted recently but added colour in differnt ways to make them all look different.Stranding colours is a method for fairisle patterns (i.e. patterns where two or more colours are used on the same row). Hold the colour not in use in the left hand and carry it loosely across the wrong side of the work. To work the second colour exchange the position of the two yarns and continue in the usual way, making sure the yarn not in use is not pulled tightly when changing the colours over. To avoid long ‘floats’ where 6 or more stitches are worked in one colour, twist yarns together every 3rd or 4th stitch by laying the colour not in use across the colour being used before working the next stitch.
Another method is weaving where the yarns are twisted together every alternate stitch as follows: Hold the second colour in the left hand, insert needle into next stitch, lift yarn in left hand over the right hand needle and bring the yarn in the right hand over ready to work the next stitch. Before pulling the loop through, take the left hand yarn back again and complete the stitch in the usual way. It is possible to use this method for fairisle patterns as it gives a neat appearance at the back of the work, but as it distorts the stitches and alters the tension it is not recommended unless a pattern specifically calls for it.
Adding stripes to a knitting pattern is not that difficult, just remember to change colors at the end of a row or round and, if you're knitting in Stockinette Stitch or a similar stitch and don't want the broken line where the colors change to show, start the new color on a knit row.Sometimes, however, you might want to use that line as a design element.
Whether the goal is a softly striped throw in pastels, a pair of cozy socks in team colors, or a sophisticated cashmere wrap in a jewellike pattern, knitting is about creating a very personal and timeless style through the celebration of the beauty of fibre and colour. Its not just about the completed project, it is about the dream and the love that is woven into it.
If you would like a free copy of the Baby cardigan pattern please leave your email address in the box provided at the end of the blog.
I promise to respect your privacy and will not pass your email address on to anyone else.