At times, a single, perfect colour is just what a newknitting project needs but adding colourto your knitting is an easy way to make a basic project a little moreinteresting. More often than not, the creative knitter envisions exciting colourpalettes that make her handmade sweater unique or add special meaning to a gift fora loved one. Adding fabulous colour combinations to a handknit item can be assimple as working with multicolour yarn or as intricate as applying thetechnical concepts of knitting intarsia. Working with multicoloured yarn is theeasiest way to bring colour to your projects because you don’t even have tothink about it; just keep knitting as normal. Whether the yarn is variegated (aseries of colours that are often random) or self-striping, knitting a projectwith this kind of yarn makes it look much more complicated than it is and addsa bit of pizazz even to plain stocking stitch. In the photograph you willsee several variations of the same basic baby cardigan i knitted recently butadded colour in differnt ways to make them all look different.
Strandingcolours is a method for fairislepatterns (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 thewrong side of the work. To work the second colour exchange the position of thetwo yarns and continue in the usual way, making sure the yarn not in use is notpulled tightly when changing the colours over. To avoid long ‘floats’ where 6or more stitches are worked in one colour, twist yarns together every 3rd or4th stitch by laying the colour not in use across the colour being used beforeworking the next stitch.
Another method is weaving where the yarns are twistedtogether every alternate stitch as follows: Hold the second colour in the lefthand, insert needle into next stitch, lift yarn in left hand over the righthand needle and bring the yarn in the right hand over ready to work the nextstitch. Before pulling the loop through, take the left hand yarn back again andcomplete the stitch in the usual way. It is possible to use this method forfairisle patterns as it gives a neat appearance at the back of the work, but asit distorts the stitches and alters the tension it is not recommended unless apattern specifically calls for it.
Colour blocks (motifknitting) is a method used where there are large areas to be worked in onecolour. In this case it is better to use a separate ball of yarn for eachsection. The different colour yarns must be twisted over each other, to avoidforming a hole. When the colour change is in a vertical line, cross the yarnson both knit and purl rows. When the colour change is on a slanting line theyarn needs to be crossed only on alternate rows.
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’reknitting in Stockinette Stitch or a similar stitch and don’t want the brokenline where the colors change to show, start the new color on a knitrow.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 wrapin a jewellike pattern, knitting is about creating a very personal and timelessstyle through the celebration of the beauty of fibre and colour. Its not justabout the completed project, it is about the dream and the love that is woven into it.
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