Monday, April 23, 2012

color work crazy

Playing with color is one of the things that's drawn me to all the crafts I dabble in ... whether it's the artful combination of fabric scraps to make patterns in a quilt, the deep saturation of a beautiful wool yarn, the addiction of knitting "just one more stripe" of a funky self-striping sock yarn, or the glowing luster of a strand of pearls that will become a bracelet--it's color that excites and motivates me to craft.  


While I've always had a hard time resisting super-saturated, gorgeous kettle-dyed yarns of any color(Madelinetosh, I'm talking about you), lately I find myself getting drawn towards fair isle and intarsia patterns more and more frequently. It's the combination of bright and funky colors that's been catching my eye, and making my fingers itchy to cast-on for yet another project (to the detriment of my countless WIPs!).

It all started with mittens. My "not-so-manly mittens" were my first foray into stranded knitting. And although I loved them, my knitting took other directions as I felted purses and began knitting my first sweaters. Several years later, it's two books that are really reigniting my desire to do some stranded knitting.

The first book that has me drooling is Charlene Schurch's Mostly Mittens. I love the clean beauty of these graphic designs from Russia ...

 

The second book that is making me itchy to cast-on for some colorwork is Kristin Nicholas's Color by Kristin. The book is filled with stunning patterns, but really is a great primer on how to create your own gorgeous colorwork combinations and includes tons of charts.
 
I love her color combinations, especially the vibrant oranges, raspberries, blues, and chartreuse greens. Just take a look at these beauties ...

 

 
Maybe it's the cute kitty, but I couldn't resist this last one, the "many hearts baby blanket." Once I saw it, I had visions of a twin-sized version for my daughter's "big girl" bed (yup, to go with the crosses quilt).

I'm using Knit Picks Swish Worsted (superwash) for these blocks, and they knit up really quickly (which is good, since I'll need quite a few to upsize this pattern from a baby blanket to a twin-bed size!). The pattern instructs you to use intarsia, but I switched to stranded knitting after my first intarsia block--there were tons of ends and it just didn't look good. If the heart was solid, then intarsia would be perfect for this project. Here's a few of my first blocks ... that's a light yellow with the turquoise blue block in the back ... I definitely need to find a good green to add to the mix!

Check out the other posts about color on this first day of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week! Enter 3KCBWDAY1 as your search term in a Google search to find more participants!

8 comments:

  1. Those mittens look so fun! You could really pick some great colors for those!

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    1. They are definitely next in my knitting project 'queue'! :-D

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  2. I prefer stranding too, if you keep it loose they lay perfectly flat. They look great

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    1. The thought of all the ends to weave in was too much for me ... and stranded will make the blanket extra warm!

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  3. wow, the blanket will be fantastic! even without the adorable kitten model:)The mittens are so nice too

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  4. I love that heart blanket! I want to get into colorwork, so I am definitely going to try to find that book!

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    1. I highly recommend this book, with the caveat that it isn't for beginners. For example, there's no how-to-do-intarsia section. But the patterns are fabulous, and so is the advice for making your own patterns using her charts!

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  5. That looks like such a great mitten book! And that heart blanket is intarsia, yeah? Oh boy are you brave.

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