Daily Archives: March 24, 2012

Fun with colour. And scissors.

This weekend I hustled myself once more to Peterborough, to do a bit of hanging out with some knitter friends and do a bit of teaching. This afternoon we had a class on steeking, which I have to say just does not get old. I’ve done many steeks now and have taught this class many times, and it is still 100% fun. You get your stranded colour-work on, and then you get out the scissors, and everyone lives to tell the tale.


I always start by diving in with both feet – first we cut an unreinforced steek, then move on to various reinforcement and finishing methods. MAN, this is great. If it’s wrong to geek out over colour-work and steeking, I don’t want to be right.


And speaking of colour-work and steeking, with some bus knitting time at my disposal this weekend, I took the opportunity to start up on a project with one set of the purple/yellow-green combos I was looking at in my stash the other day. I decided to grab the Plum purple Tanis Fiber Arts aran-weight and a couple of other colours that were lying in wait as complements, and started up on a Velvet Morning cardigan.


This is a nice pattern for slightly advanced colour-work decisions, in the sense that it asks you to choose 4 colours instead of just 2, which means you need to actually stop for a second and make a decision about what colours you’ll be using. I knew the dark purple would be my main colour, and I knew I wanted to use the Lemongrass yellow/green as well. (Purple and yellow are colour-complements, so a yellowish green is approaching that nice happy colour theory balance. I dig it). So, I added in the light natural/cream to balance the pale brightness of the Lemongrass, and the paler Lilac purple to support the Plum purple with some variation in tone. I like how it’s coming out so far.


There is one main modification I’ll be making to this pattern, which should surprise absolutely no one – instead of working it flat, back-and-forth, I’ll be inserting a steek up the centre of the cardigan front to allow me to work in the round. (Since Tanis Fiber Arts Aran is a superwash wool, I will be steeking this later using a sewn reinforcement. Fun things like an unreinforced steek are only for the regular wools, sadly.) I’m a knitter who finds working with steeks more approachable than working colour-work on wrong-side purl rows, and am happy to proceed that way. (If you are the sort of knitter who prefers working wrong-side purl rows in stranded colour-work instead of steeks, I doff my cap to you good madam or sir. That is an impressive thing to me.)

The only problem about immersing myself in these techniques for teaching stints is that when it is over all I want to do is Knit All The Colour-work Things, and design a few more as well. One day. More shall come, one project at a time.

In my next post I’ll be pleased to introduce to you the two remaining Urban Collection patterns for the month of March – two relatively quick accessory knits to add to your wardrobe. In the mean time, happy knitting happy weekend, dear knitters!


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