In a Colorwork Quandary?
Sundance, Creative Knitting, November 2011.

Sundance, Creative Knitting, November 2011.

We recently asked our Facebook fans the following question: When it comes to projects involving colorwork are you likely to:

a.  Completely shy away from a project that involves stranded colorwork or Fair Isle techniques.

b. It depends on the complexity and how many colors are in the project.

c. It makes no difference. If I see something I like, I’m on it like white on rice!

Just hearing the term stranded colorwork, or Fair Isle knitting, makes some knitters want to run for the hills. When I first learned this technique, I decided to first invest some time managing my yarns, because I knew that taking those little extra steps would really pay off later.

In the September issue of Creative Knitting, we presented a great stranded colorwork primer in First Fair Isle. In this article, designer Lisa Ellis walks you through 4 different stitch patterns that you can easily test with some readily available scrap yarns. This short tutorial instructs you how to carry your yarn, read colorwork charts and learn how to prevent mistakes in your work.

Floats on the wrong side.

Floats on the wrong side.

 

Adding a new color.

Adding a new color.

 

New color twisted around last color used.

New color twisted around last color used.

Once you’ve mastered these basic skills, you may want to tryout the Colorwork Coasters, which you can also find in the September issue of Creative Knitting magazine.

Colorwork Coasters, Creative Knitting, September 2011.

Colorwork Coasters, Creative Knitting, September 2011.

Then, when you’re ready to step things up a notch, test your skills with Sundance, designed by Irina Poludnenko, from the November issue of Creative Knitting. This piece is a brilliant example of stranded colorwork at its finest, using 5 colors of Felted Tweed Aran from Rowan. What I love best about this amazing design is the side shaping which adds dimension to this basic silhouette.

Sundance, showing side panel shaping.
Sundance, showing side panel shaping.
For more projects like these, be sure to check out the November issue of Creative Knitting magazine, and turn to Color Play on page 56 for the full selection of stranded colorwork projects.

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