Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Experimenting With Colour. . .

I wanted this year to be all about colour in my knitting and lo and behold, two surprise projects have been providing me with lots of opportunities to play.

The first pattern in The Year of Techniques was the Hyacinthus Armwarmers, designed by Jen Arnall-Cuillford. This uses a new-to-me technique called helical striping which removes the jog you can get when changing colours while knitting in the round. The original pattern uses a brightly coloured ball of Zauberball fingering weight which has long colour changes.  I decided to tone it down by striping it with another colourway full of chocolate and coffee browns and creams.  Basically, I wanted to see what would happen when I dipped a rainbow into a mochachino.

I love this technique - it's very simple to do and addictive. I don't think I've ever had so much fun with endless stockinette.  I knew early on that I wanted to knit every single bit of both of these balls, so ripped out the small bit of armwarmer I'd started and cast on for a cowl. The Zauberball is surprisingly soft and this will be very cozy around the neck.  My yardage should allow me to make it long enough to wrap around the neck twice. This was my major train knitting up to EYF and back.

Stephen West's Marled Magic Mystery Shawl KAL has proved surprisingly fun.  In every section you hold two different strands of colour together for different colour effects. I am knitting mine in odd balls of laceweight from stash and previous projects, and just going for it. There will be so many colours in this shawl that if I don't like one pairing, I'm sure it will either disappear among the others, or hopefully bounce against and compliment another clue in the future.  Below is Clue 1. On the right, I did the lace mesh bit in Steady Marl - I held one grey strand all the way through and then striped it with alternating colours.  On the left, the seed stitch section was knit with the Fading Marl technique: Start with holding colours A and B together.  Then drop A and add C for the next section, knitting with B and C together.  Then drop B, add D and hold C and D together etc.  I really liked this effect and how the one colour could completely change when held against something very different, yet blending in nicely at the same time.

Clue 2 brought us brioche and I chose Classic Marl for this, holding the same two colours together for the entire section.

And the second part of Clue 2 brought us garter stitch. Again I used the Classic Marl technique but added some mohair.  This shawl is also full of textures - the brioche is wonderfully squishy against the nubbly seed stitch, which butts up against the softness of the mohair.  This is the shawl with the first two clues finished - can't wait to see where he takes us next.

I am having so much fun seeing how the different colours play with each other.  Look at how different this turquoise changes when paired with a lime green in the brioche bit. . .

and some light blue Kidsilk Haze in the garter section.

I was originally thinking this would be a study in various greens but I can't resist adding some punches of brighter colours. This will be a patchwork type of shawl but I don't have one of those in my wardrobe, so why not?  Looking forward to the next clue on Friday.

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