So you are not sure about how to proceed with adding colour to your work?
Cheat a little
Don’t knit a picture in intarisa
Don’t knit with a design in mind
go with the flow of the yarns you have to hand and this is especially easy if you have variegated, self striping or oddments of various thickness, colour or texture in your yarn stash. This is stash busting 101.
You can add colour to your knitting with the help of those yarns – whatever they are – be they variegated, self-striping, or two or more different colours of yarn knitted together. Let the yarns do the work and take away some of the guesswork and planning to add the colour to your knitting. Simple intarsia or stripes with these yarns adds excitement and drama to whatever you are creating. Whatever you create this way cannot be repeated ever. You will create a unique piece.
Creating with a self-striping yarn is an easy way to add colour and drama to your knitting as the yarn changes colours for you. These are great for knitters who want to add colour to their work, but are not yet confident about choosing and knitting with many yarns as in intarsia, or on deciding on a colour range.
When I am creating with self striping or variegated yarns I often use a solid for my bands. But I may change to a range of solids – one colour each for the two wristbands and the bottom edge as well as another colour for the neck edge. Or I will use black or brown for every band or edge but I will cast on with the coloured yarn. Either way it produce a unique piece and the effect is wonderful.
The garment or piece created with a self striping yarn will most likely have colour changes that line up more or less in stripes along the piece. The stripes will be deeper on a narrower section of knitting such as the sleeves and thinner on the body or wider section of the knitting.
But you can still play – You could choose two or more self striping yarns or one complimentary solid along with the one or more complimentary self striping yarns and create a unique piece by doing free form intarsia with only two or three yarns.
Self-striping yarn can be used with any stitch, but depending on your design wish, the stripes can display more clearly with a Stocking Stitch (Stockinette Stitch), or reverse Stocking Stitch project. But this is colour work – and any stitch or pattern that that you like and enjoy is perfect. There are simply no rules in this. Just Play.
Working with Multiple Strands:
Knitting with two or more strands of yarn together is another way to add colour, drama, magic, individuality, uniqueness and texture to a project.
There may be some technical management issues for you when knitting two or more strands together – that is the yarn will tend to twist and tangle – NOTE that it does not adversely affect the finished knitting and there are ways to reduce the problem should it drive you crazy.
You can wind the yarns together in a ball, or feed the individual yarns from a separate ziploc bag. Or you could go with the flow of the knitting – you are playing with colour after all, and you are creating a unique piece – SO be brave – Break the yarn, add another colour and continue knitting. Wind the tangled yarn back to the ball it came from and add it to the knitting again later.
I love variegated yarns – and I love the surprises one gets as the knitting progresses.
Variegated or Multi coloured yarn can create colour pooling which may be an issue depending on your view of it. You could also call it a design feature and just take advantage of it.
Colour pooling is a bit unpredictable. Manage it by changing the yarn when you can see that you are developing a pool – for example: The colour red has a couple of sections/rows together – so break the yarn when you are back at the red section. Reattach at the red point on the yarn to be knitted so that the Red pool becomes bigger – and a design feature. You will have a short section of yarn of other colours – keep it and you will find somewhere else to add this into your knitting. Weave in the yarn ends as you go.
Add Swiss darning over your knitted stitches, when you have completed the piece – to alter the way the colour looks either by making the pool of colour larger or by adding another colour to distract from the pool if you do not like the effect.
Include slip stitches to break up a block of colour – the slipped stitch colour then shows in the next row – breaking the colour section of the new row.
Add a Stripe where you do not want the colour to pool, or insert a two row stripe of another colour every 4 or 6 rows of the varigated yarn knitting.
You can also work from the centre and the outside of the same yarn ball to knit two rows with from the inside and two from the outside.
or do what I do – call it a design feature whatever happens.
It is your project, do what feels right for you.
Trust your own instincts
and Play with Colour
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