All weekend, I have been talking about how I was progressing on my newest project and it seems only fair to now blog about it. 140 letters are somewhat limiting!
I’ve had 4 balls of dark blue Rowan Felted Tweed DK and 3 balls of purple in my stash since… December 2010? It was given to me by Jen when she was still working at The Knitter, so it must have been around that time.
I loved the colours and they were calling to be a pullover of some sort. But I didn’t have enough of each colours to make a pullover in any one. So I thought about striping them. But I didn’t like the stripes much, as there was not enough contrast between the 2 colours. So after giving it a couple of tries, I just abandoned the yarn, not really sure what to do with it…
Fast forward to just about December 2011, and I’m in the middle of a semi successful stash diet / stash busting operation. As I was looking into the box (er, more like one of the boxes), I unearthed the bag where I had stored the Felted Tweed.
I am, at the moment, in a big colourwork phase. I LOVE colourwork. It’s such an easy way to personalise your knits. I LOVE designing colourwork. I didn’t think I would, but then, my first ever published design was a colourwork kids jumper! And I LOVE knitting colourwork. For years, I thought that one was supposed to drop colours. Then Ravelry opened my mind to the two-handed stranded knitting. I thought that was a fantastic idea, but that looks difficult. Still, I made the decision to learn this new technique. I’m a dropper by nature, that’s how I knit. My mum knits English style, but I’ve never been able to knit that way (it doesn’t help that I purl in the combined way). But hey, with practice, surely I could learn to knit 2-handed stranded? So I tensioned the yarn over my left hand, continental style, while carrying / dropping another yarn with my right hand. And started knitting. It was the most natural thing I have ever done. It took me about 1 row to get the tension right on the left hand yarn, but that’s about all. Picking yarn with the right needle is very similar to crochet, so if you crochet, it shouldn;t be too hard to learn 2 handed stranded knitting!
But I digress! I’m here to show off my latest colourwork project!
I am very very pleased with how it’s turning out. I bought 2 extra skeins of Felted Tweed DK, one in an oatmeal-y colour, one in green and it is just what this yarn needed.
I designed this colourwork pattern, inspired by traditional fair-isle and other stranded knitting. There’s nothing crazy about it, but I think it works fine for my project. I originally designed a much complex yoke, but the central part wasn’t working so well once translated into knitting. Plus, my numbers were off and the new numbers would have meant redesigning it, so I dropped it altogether.
This is the first version of the yoke, which I frogged yesterday. I am basing my numbers on the percentage method as explained by Elizabeth Zimmerman in Knitting without Tears. But I wanted my neckline much lower and wider. My numbers width wise were fine, but were totally off lengthwise (as was my row gauge, on which I had base my patterns). It was bunching up in a weird way around my neck. So I frogged one day worth of knitting and changed my rate of increases and the second version (as shown higher up in this post) is much MUCH improved!
I just need to finish the colourwork (lovely scallops similar to the neck one) and my yoke will be about done. I’ve got a work project to finish first, but that should be quite fast.
I know people are scared of colourwork, I was for many years (I blame my mum, because she disliked it!). But do give it a go, it is fun and not that difficult! And it looks amazing! Plus, Scandinavian looking knitwear seems to be everywhere on the high street, so you’d be “bang on trend”! HAHA!