Working out my “Painting with Yarn” series has challenged me to learn the various methods of using colors. It is easy to draw the picture, but knitting it is a different story.
Everyone who has knitted Intarsia, and Fair Isle or Nordic knitting, know that it takes practice to get the tension right, especially when knitting in Fair Isle- keeping those “floats” in the back from getting to tight or causing puckers is a common problem. The same issues comes up when working in Intarsia, when lifting the yarn from underneath to change color. Keeping the tension on the yarn so it lays flat is the key- at least for me.
All these issues can make it a bit scary for someone who has never worked with color before- that was me about a 2 years ago. Now, however, I can’t wait to sit down with my charts and knit away.
To that end, I thought I would start a“Colorworks” tip page. I hope to share my experience with written instructions and illustrations. The aim is to encourage the timid to give it a try.
Since I am in the middle of working on my Whitetail Buck 14 inch pillow, I will be using that for my illustrations. When I am done with the project I will put the pattern on my website for you to upload.
OK! Here goes!! First tip!
NO- hold it! I have to clear up a couple of things first.
First off, I dislike using yarn butterfly’s. I can’t tell you why, but I just do. I prefer pealing off two arms length of the yarn and just letting it hang around. I prepare for this method by rolling about 1-1 1/2 inch balls of all the colors I need in the project. Then I throw them all in a plastic Ziplock bag.
Next- I always use a spit splice to add yarn to my strands if needed. I do this by unwinding about 2 inches of yarn. I tear off about 2 inches of one of the plies. I repeat this with the ends of the yarn I am going to add to. I wet both ends in my mouth then over lap the two, one ply strands, making sure that they are at least 3/8 inch beyond the tear. With the strands laying on the palm of my left hand I rub the strands vigorously together, finishing by rolling them in one direction to match the twist of the original yarn. This method does not produce lumps or bumps that show in your work. It is worth the time is take to do it. And… when you get good at it, it just take a few minutes to do.
NOW, here goes!!!
Colorworks tip #1 –
Let’s start with the scroll edge of the pillow.
The above sample chart is part of the border around the motif.
The illustration above shows how I inserted a new gold strand of yarn, picking is up in the middle to make the first stitch. This leaves two long tails on both ends ( A and B). The arrows show how I plan to use the tails to created the needed stitches; tail A goes up and to the right; tails B to the left. The White yarn is carried across and worked as needed. I use this anytime I see that I will be working the yarn in two directions. I did this a lot in my Tropicana Rose Pillow. I saved me hours of weaving in yarn ends.
Below is the actual stitch illustration.
(X =The gold strand of yarn that I have been working up the side with.)
B/A = the first stitch of the new strand.
Above is the actual layout of this portion of the chart in stitches. You can see clearly how each end of the tail of the one strand is utilized, then X finishes off the scroll.
The A and B tail ends will be woven in later.
I posted this just to wet your appetite!
Happy New Year!!!!
PS- That little “PU” in the chart, reminds me to pick up the white yarn to be carried across.