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TRICOLOUR Thursday

October 19, 2017

so… how do I add in a third colour?

I’ll admit it, I don’t find this colour strategy as easy as the ones I worked on for  Monochrome Monday, Tonal Tuesday, and Wacky Wednesday. I actually made 4 swatch hats in the development of this blog post! None of them are truly ‘bad’ combinations, but some appeal to me more, and which less.

This post is the fourth in our 5-part Week Of Colour! Check out the other posts too:

While I did use 4 colours in Tuesday’s ombre hat, they’re all the same basic hue (that’s just another word for colour) with different value or saturation. So it was relatively easy to match them all up. Which, of course, is why that colour strategy is a great one to try!

In contrast, I find working with different hues in the same piece is more … unpredictable!

To develop a 3-colour palette, I think it’s easiest if you begin by choosing a colour pair that you like together, and which has an effective level of contrast, and then test out a few different options to decide on the third colour.

This is my favourite of the three-colour hats that I made. When it comes down to it, this combination really only uses two colours: yellow and blue. The main colour is a darker yellow, and then the two contrast colours are pale teal and a bright yellow. This combination pleased me because although it is quite low contrast, it has just enough contrast to be effective. And in natural light, the hat really glows!

It was quite a journey I took to arrive at this result! Below are some more swatch hats I made along the way.

neutral + 2 colours

This early swatch hat really got me thinking about how nuanced and fun working with a 3-colour combination could be. It’s made with a neutral (the charcoal) and two hues (pale icy blue and orangey red). This sort of combination is a little bit easier to make work than one which uses 3 different colours. With a neutral in the mix, the important thing is that the other two colours work well together. This combination ended up being a bit too ‘halloweeny’ for my tastes, but there are also things about it that I like.

3 distinct colours

Next I decided I would attempt a hat that incorporated 3 different hues. I chose a deep red main colour, and two light / bright contrast colours. The pale teal and the slightly muted yellow work very nicely together here because they’re quite similar in value, and both have a strong contrast to the deep red. This means that when they are alternately used to work the foreground pattern, this pattern has a clarity and unity. This is obvious in the X shaped motifs, which read very clearly. I didn’t initially love the colour combination. I think it was a little bit too Gryffindor for me! Regardless, I decided to complete the hat, and it turned out to be the favourite of the bunch for my son Max.

While I don’t think I would use this precise combination in a sweater for myself, I did grow to like it in the end. I think that if I were to improve this combination, it would likely be by swapping out the main colour. Here are a few interesting options:

There are many different ways this palette could be altered. I particularly like the options on the bottom row. A more muted / washed out red would take the contrast down a little bit. A muted pink would have a similar effect, but also create a combination that is more girly / romantic. On the other hand, a punchy saturated pink could be quite delicious too!

despite the best of intentions…

After that combination that was a bit ‘outside the box’ for me, I chose a palette I was more comfortable with; charcoal with teal and red. In this example, I also used the bright teal, but this time I used a neutral (charcoal) background, and a really lovely purply red.

This combination looks like an obvious winner, right?!

Despite my love for all of these yarns, the final combination was a bit bland and didn’t have the sparkle that I was looking for. But knit and learn, right? To me, this just illustrates the fact that swatching is essential to choosing 3-colour combinations. You simply can’t be sure whether a palette will work until it is on the needles!

neutral + 2 related colours

It is easier to make a 3-colour palette work if you work with a main colour, and then pick two related CCs; a deeper or more saturated plus a lighter or desaturated version of the same colour.

Alexa did this in her design for the Tenderheart Sweater; for the adult size she used a cream background and two different colours of red for the foreground patterning. Each horizontal motif was worked in a single foreground colour.

The Clayoquot cardigan illustrates a similar strategy; deep and bright green foreground colours create strong contrast against a white background. The Clayoquot toque uses a light grey background with charcoal and brilliant blue as foreground colours, which is two neutrals with a single colour to ‘pop’. And the Triptych mittens use a very similar strategy again! Try this method of employing a neutral background colour for a low-risk way to use three yarns.

Where do I use the 3 colours?

Once you’ve chosen a palette, there are different ways to combine the three colours. You can keep the background colour consistent throughout, and alternate where you use the two different foreground colours. This means that the foreground pattern has shading within it. If you want to do this, and want your foreground pattern to ‘read’ as a clear graphic, it helps if both foreground colours you are using are a similar value or brightness, and that they both contrast very strongly with the background colour (as they do in the red hat example).

Alternatively, you can keep the foreground pattern colour consistent throughout, and change up the background colour. If you want to do this, it helps if the third colour is close in value or brightness to the background colour, and that the foreground colour has a strong contrast with both of the other colours.

What a difference a third colour makes!

On the left is the basic chart of the stitch patterns used in the hat. This is how the pattern would appear in a two colour pair.

On the right I’ve shown where foreground and background colours are used. You can see that the stitch patterns in rows 1-5 and 11-15 are the same, as are the stitch patterns in rows 6-10 and 16-20. However, in the coloured version, you can see that the combination of colours used makes these patterns look different.

In row 3, the bright yellow replaces the background colour. In rows 8 and 13, the bright yellow replaces the foreground colour. In rows 17, 18, 19, the bright yellow replaces the background colour, and this happens again in rows 22, and 23. Lastly, in rows 25-27, the bright yellow replaces the foreground colour, and the teal replaces the background colour.

Do you see the difference? Of course, these two strategies can also be mixed and matched in a single piece, as I have done above. With less contrasting dark vs. light relationships you can also achieve very beautiful effects, but there is a tendency for the line or graphic of the pattern itself to get a bit more lost.

I have found that smaller horizontal patterns make for very sparkly effects when you play with 3 colours; these are the kinds of patterns I chose for the swatch hats I made. We’ve included many of these types of stitch patterns in the Strange Brew sweater recipe, check it out!

Are you knitting along with us and designing your own yoke sweater? It’s the thing to do, folks!

What are you working on now? Share your knit story with us!

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Fair Isle from TCK:

RidgelineStrange Brew

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WACKY Wednesday

October 18, 2017

Crazy combos!

Can you use handspun, self-striping yarns, marled, and speckle or multicolour yarns in colourwork? How about holding 2 lighter weight yarns together to create your own marled effect?

Speckle (La Bien Aimee), Handspun (Sweatermaker) and Self Striping (Noro)

There are some yarn types that are a bit WACKY… but can still be really effective for colourwork.

This post is the third in our 5-part Week Of Colour! Check out the other posts too:

Using hand spun yarn in stranded colourwork

When using ‘crazy’ colourful yarns for colourwork, we would argue that in each case the key is making sure you have really strong contrast. That’s why we suggest pairing a wacky yarn with a solid or kettle-dyed yarn.

As you can see, the hand spun I used is made of a single ply of pale blue, with a rainbow ply of many different colours. The deep navy I picked as my background colour is a very strong contrast, and this allows the pattern to read clearly.

Wednesday’s hat is made in Baah Yarns Sonoma in ‘night sky’ as the background colour with Sweatermaker Yarns Mac (hand spun) in a pale blue + rainbow as the foreground colour.

The colourwork pattern I chose uses large blocks of pattern, which means that the texture and mottled nature of the hand spun can really shine against the backdrop yarn. A delicate and detailed pattern might not work as well for this yarn combination.

This colourwork chart is a 4-stitch repeat, and will fit evenly on the swatch hat or cowl pattern included with the Strange Brew sweater recipe.

This hat is a perfectly lovely hat, but in all honesty, it is also just a swatch! Immediately after completing it, I was overwhelmed by ideas about how I could adjust and improve the stitch pattern. Below are my thoughts for how I might adjust the pattern for a more interesting motif which takes the great aspects of the original and expands upon them. This might be the beginning of my Strange Brew Knitalong design…

First I thought that making adjustments to the ‘blocks’ might improve the flowy nature of the pattern

Next I thought it might be interesting to pair up the triangles into almost floral motifs

That taken as a base, I expanded the idea.

Lastly I began to play with how colours might enliven the pattern, and how the pattern might be ‘broken’ within a larger (24 stitch) repeat.

what if I love my speckles!?

Alexa made a sweet hat for Hunter using Rainbow Heirloom Sweater in ‘princess rockstar’ (leftovers from this sweater), with Hedgehog Fibres Merino DK in ‘fly’ (leftovers from this sweater).

The details:

For Hunter’s hat, pictured below, I used my semi solid as the main colour and the speckle as the contrast. I worked Chart A 4 times, Chart B 3 times, and Chart C 3 times. I worked the decreases in the speckle. I topped it with a confetti pompom using both colours.

You can see that the speckled yarn (the teal) has some speckles which contrast strongly with the solid (the pink), and others which get a bit lost. This doesn’t particularly matter, because the colourwork pattern that Alexa used creates an overall effect, rather than relying on each specific stitch to read distinctly.

self striping yarns in colourwork

There are a lot of colourwork knitters who pair a self-striping yarn with a solid when working colourwork. The blending is automatic, and so there are far less ends to weave in – always a bonus!

Alexa made this Banff hat in Spincycle Yarns Independence (a self-striping yarn) in ‘the bees knees’ and YOTH Yarns Father in ‘caviar’.

While this isn’t stranded colourwork (it’s a slip-stitch pattern), we made a LOT of Bumble hats and sweaters using a solid colour yarn paired with a self-striping yarn. These examples give you a sense of the effect you could also achieve with stranded colourwork patterns.

Bumble beanies that combine a self-striping yarn with a solid for a beautiful tweedy effect!

I find these ‘wacky’ yarns really addictive and delicious, but sometimes quite challenging to use in a way that really highlights their beauty. So if you’re feeling adventurous, grab your wacky yarns and the Strange Brew pattern to design your own yoke sweater, or choose one of our ready-to-knit colourwork patterns.

Strange Brew

Use Strange Brew recipe, and a dash of your own inspiration, to design your own yoke sweater!

Want to Knit Along with Alexa and Emily? It’s the thing to do, folks! We’re running a fun KAL starting tomorrow –  Thursday, October 19th. All the details are here!

Got Handspun?

Sometimes spinners have a difficult time finding projects to showcase their beautiful yarns! The strategy of pairing handspun with solids or commercial yarns can both highlight the special nature of the handspun, and make the precious yarn stretch a bit further! To share this idea, just click the links below to share this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, or by email. And invite your friends to join in the KAL too!


Crazy Colour from TCK:

POP blanketMarley BlanketBumble Sweater

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TONAL Tuesday

October 17, 2017

Because we love an ombre…

Are you a collector of ombre mini-skein sets? Do you love blue so much that your entire stash is blue? Well when it comes to creating colourwork projects, tonal combinations are often an easy win!

Just like Monochrome Monday’s hat, this hat is worked following the swatch hat pattern included with the Strange Brew sweater recipe. I made the child size, and worked an ombre of reds with a cream foreground.

This post is the second in our 5-part Week Of Colour! Check out the other posts too:

To help in planning my ombre I pulled out my DK weight yarn stash. In fact, I included some lighter worsted weight yarns, and some sport weight yarns too, because I find you can usually combine across yarn weights fairly successfully in colourwork.

I pulled out my stash options for DK, light worsted, and sport weight yarns to choose a suitable ombre.

I decided to aim to work with an ombre of red, and then choose a single contrast colour that would work well with all the tones.

Strange Brew Hat

To make this hat, I used the swatch hat pattern included with the Strange Brew sweater recipe, and worked the chart shown below.

This is the chart for the colourwork pattern I used on this swatch hat! This 6-stitch repeat will work for any of the sizes of the hat, if you would like to make one for yourself.

I used 4 red tones, and a warm cream as the contrast: Zealana Heron Worsted in ‘h07 carnival’, Fleece Artist BFL Sport in a brick red colour, SweetGeorgia Superwash DK in ‘blood orange’, and Shibui Baby Alpaca in peach, and chose Blue Sky Fibers Baby Alpaca (Melange) in ‘toasted almond’ as the warm cream. As you can see, I’ve used a worsted weight, a couple of sport weights, and some DK weight too! It all plays pretty nicely together.

Testing Colour Combinations

To test my ombre, I folded up a bit of card, and wrapped the yarns I was considering around it, in order from dark to light. At first I thought I’d use the purply red, rust red, then a salmon. But then I tried wrapping a bright orangey red over the salmon, and it looked to me like it should be included too.

Wrapping yarns in this way around a card is a great technique to trial out colourwork without knitting – it’s fast, doesn’t use much yarn (and in fact, you don’t even need to cut the yarns, as I have).

Ombre chosen, I proceeded to consider the contrast colour. My plan was to use the reds as the background colour, and have the foreground of the pattern worked in a lighter / brighter contrast colour that would POP out against the reds. So that meant a light / bright colour was called for. So I photographed each of my options laid across the ombre of reds, for consideration.

After taking a look at all the photographs, I decided that cream or pale grey would most definitely work. The goal was to keep this knit simple and easy to duplicate for knitters who wanted to employ a similar strategy but swap out the ombre. Next time I plan to try knitting it with the icy pale blue, or bright golden yellow!

An ombre can either form the background colour, or the foreground colour. In the example hat I made, the cream is the foreground colour, and the ombre of reds the background. The critical point to keep in mind is that each of the colours within the ombre need to have a strong contrast with the main colour against which they are placed. Confused by colour terminology like contrast? Review our post on Colour Theory for Knitters.

This chart shows the colours I used for foreground (FG) and background (BG) on each round.

This hat would look pretty great in other ombre combinations, I think!

You don’t have to stick to a single hue, and use only lighter or darker (or saturated to desaturated) versions of that colour. Your ombre could also shift from one hue to another. Many hand-dyers and mills create exquisite gradually changing yarns, that in themselves might inspire your ombre colour choices.

You can also work one ombre against another, like I’ve shown in the example above. We’ll talk more about this when we get to Fair Isle Friday!

KAL with us:

The Strange Brew KAL starts this Thursday, October 19th. All the details are here! Get started with a hat, then jump right in to designing your own sweet Fair Isle yoke sweater. Working alongside us and other knitters you will receive all the inspiration and guidance you need.


Ombre Inspired from TCK:

ChromaticPrism

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MONOCHROME Monday

October 16, 2017

Two tones for the win!

If you’re ready to try colourwork, but you are anxious about choosing colours, a monochrome or two-colour combination is a conservative choice. You’ll probably be able to choose this kind of palette and get it right first time. If you’re ordering online, and want your choice to work out first time (don’t we all?!) then this is a likely winner. Low risk, and high satisfaction!

This post is the first in our 5-part Week Of Colour! Check out the other posts too:

Monochrome, technically, means an image that has only one colour. That colour could be black, red, blue, green (you get the idea), but the image is made up only of tones of that single colour.

To pare things back to the very most basic, Monday’s hat uses black as foreground on a white background. If you use white (or lighter grey) with black (or darker grey), you’re pretty certain to have success. The difference in effect comes in how much contrast there is between the two colours. You may prefer a very high-contrast pair, or a lower-contrast pair; they create different moods.

To make this hat, I used John Arbon Knit by Numbers DK in ‘KBN55’ (white) and ‘KBN02’ (charcoal). I LOVE working in this soft-as-butter yarn and I enjoy the satisfying way it blooms and melds together into a lovely fabric for colourwork.

I followed the swatch hat pattern that is included in Strange Brew, making a child size hat, using the chart included here. I used 3.5mm needles at the 1×1 ribbing and 4.0mm at the colourwork and stockinette. After blocking, I found I had achieved a slightly tighter (smaller) gauge than the Strange Brew and Swatch Hat pattern called for; the gauge measures 25 sts & 27 rounds in 4”, while the pattern calls for 22 sts & 26 rounds. So this child size hat came out a little bit small; it’s a good fit on Neve, my 18-month-old toddler, but it probably wouldn’t fit an older child. Confused about gauge? Review the basics here.

What I learned about gauge was that if I use this yarn to make a Strange Brew sweater, I would either have to try using a larger needle size (I’d try 4.5mm) or adjust the pattern for the gauge I did achieve (6.25 sts per inch rather than 5.5 sts per inch). We have a tutorial on adjusting patterns for a different gauge here.

Monochrome with a twist

For Alexa’s monochrome cowl she worked with a marled yarn, Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in ‘newsprint’, along with tweedy solids ‘cast iron’ and ‘snowbound’ for the ribbing and the Fair Isle. The ribbing is a garter rib, worked as follows:

Round 1: [k1, p3] around
Round 2: knit
Work rounds 1 and 2 for a 1×3 garter rib.

Then she worked in newsprint for a few rounds, then worked the chart below in ‘cast iron’ and ‘snowbound’, followed by newsprint and another section of garter rib.

Strange Brew Swatch Cowl

The overall effect is punchy contrast in the colourwork section of the cowl, with a marled look for the rest. A winner for sure!

An (almost) Monochrome North Shore

North Shore is still one of my very favourite things I’ve designed. When I was up in Alaska this past summer I brought the original sweater and the knitters there took an immediate liking to it. I could see why, it seemed like it was made for Cordova! Water, trees, mountains, all hallmarks of that beautiful place.

I re-fell in love with the North Shore sweater and after some colour consultation with Melissa of Sweet Fiber, I cast on a North Shore for Hunter (ignoring all the other WIPs and deadlines I had at the time). This sweater is mostly greys (‘smoke’, ‘paper birch’, and ‘charcoal’) but has a pop of blue in the waves and the sky with ‘marshland’ and ‘sea glass’. I am in LOVE with this colour combo for this sweater, I might just need to cast one on for myself…immediately! For all the details on Hunter’s North Shore check out the Ravelry project page here.

Pump up that contrast!

But back to the colour! I’m very pleased with the high contrast effect of the black on white pattern. I think the swatch hat would look pretty great in other monochrome combinations too.

A related strategy to monochrome colour pairs is to use 2-colour pairs. Here are a few examples of colour pairs. Probably the most critical aspect to consider when choosing colour pairs is the level of contrast between the yarns.

One thing we always recommend to those who are new to working with colour is to develop a colour file of combinations you love. In fact, we’ve written all about it this, and included some of our own favourite combos!

To help you choose just the right monochrome or two-colour combination, we created a Pinterest board of all kinds of beautiful projects that use this colour strategy.

Are you ready to tackle colour? We’re running a fun KAL starting this Thursday, October 19th. All the details are here!

Share the colour love:

Colour is one of those things that many knitters find very difficult. Practice makes perfect, and we find knitting colourwork patterns HIGHLY addictive! You can’t help but knit just one more round to see how it will look. It’s a delicious adventure. To share this colour strategy, just click the links below to share this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, or by email. And invite your friends to join in the KAL too!


Monochrome Fair Isle from TCK:

Mukluks

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Week Of Colour : strategies for stranded colourwork

October 15, 2017

Let’s admit it. Even for experienced designers, choosing colours for stranded colourwork can sometimes seem daunting.

So what do you do? You may pull out all of your yarn in a given weight, or head to your local yarn shop, and then feel overwhelmed by the colourful mess of possible options.

Max is undaunted by the pile!

Week of Colour : 5 days, 5 example hats

Our Week of Colour is designed to make the process of choosing a palette simpler. This coming week we will outline several colour strategies which you can use as a guide. Beginning with a colour strategy can help by narrowing your choices to a manageable number!

Wanna skip ahead? Check out all our Week Of Colour Posts:

To choose yarns for my Week of Colour hats, I began by pulling all of my DK weight yarns, plus some sport and light worsted weight too. Then I played with them, pairing, combining, and recombining before casting on.

choose a colour strategy

How does choosing a colour strategy help? A strategy narrows the focus and limits your decisions. For example, once you decide that you’re going to work in 2 colours, then all that remains is to choose which two. You can simply choose your main colour, then try out various contrast yarns until you find one that feels right. Or if you decide you would like to do a Fair Isle style blend using 3 background colours and 3 foreground colours, you may begin by choosing the approximate value of either your background or foreground, then choosing the opposing blend that will have sufficient contrast to make the pattern really pop!

In the past we shared tips for knitting colourwork, how to collect your favourite colour combos, and how to choose a great colourwork palette, but the Week of Colour will delve deeper into the specific ways you can use colour in stranded patterns.

Clayoquot HatSpotlight by Tin Can KnitsMukluksClayoquot Cardigan by Tin Can KnitsNorth Shore

After you’ve knit a number of colourwork projects, this process may become second nature to you. You will get comfortable improvising on the needles. But when you are starting out, it helps to choose a strategy and narrow down the set of decisions that you’ll have to make before you can cast on. The Week of Colour starts next Monday, October 16th!

The Week of Colour

  • Monochrome Monday will look at monochrome and 2 colour pairs
  • Tonal Tuesday will illustrate how effective an ombre can be
  • Wacky Wednesday will explore wackier combos; using handpaints and speckles, marled, handspun, and self-striping yarns
  • Tricolour Thursday will cover the complexity you encounter with three colour combinations
  • Fair Isle Friday will overview the Fair Isle blending technique with a 6-colour example

Even given LOADS of info, you’re still not guaranteed to nail it the first time. Swatching is vital, because it’s nearly impossible to know whether you’ll like the finished combination until you get the yarns on the needles. Still, we we hope these tutorials point you in the right direction!

Are you ready for this?!

If you want to play along, get the Strange Brew pattern. Along with the fair isle yoke sweater recipe, it includes a swatch hat & cowl pattern for DK weight. This is the pattern that we have used to create all of the swatch hats this week. We’re also hosting a Strange Brew (and Dog Star) KAL starting October 19th, with plenty of time for Q&A in our Facebook group! Learn more and join in now!

What are you most confused about?

When it comes to stranded colourwork or Fair Isle knitting, many people have questions! Let us know, in the comments, what is holding you back, or what you’d like to learn, and we’ll do our best to cover it in our coming tutorials. Many knitters find Fair Isle knitting delicious and addictive once they get started, so we would love to introduce you to this world of colour!

Fair Isle Knitting

Follow along by visiting the blog, or find us at your favourite social spot. If you aren’t already getting Tin Can Knits email updates, sign up now to get our special stories and knit tips once or twice a month. And you can find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest too!


Some Fair Isle Favourites from TCK:

Spotlight by Tin Can Knits

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Colour Theory for Knitters

October 12, 2017

Since we released the Strange Brew recipe, a pattern which guides knitters to create their own colourwork yoke design, we realized there were a number of colour-related terms we hadn’t yet defined on the blog. The KAL for Strange Brew starts next week and we know you are all picking colours! This discussion of colour theory is included in our book Mad Colour.

When picking and combining pairing colours, there are some concepts and terms are useful.

Hue

Hue is what we generally mean when we say what ‘colour’ a thing is. If you’ve been through primary school, you’ll probably already know that there are 3 primary hues: red, yellow, and blue. Mixing these hues (in light, in paint, etc.) generates the 3 secondary hues: orange, green, and purple. These colours make up the ‘colour wheel’.

Colour Wheel

A colour wheel of Rainbow Heirloom Sweater

Taking the colour wheel as a starting point, we can name a series of relationships between colours.

Complementary colours are located across the colour wheel from each other, these colours have a very strong contrast against each other. This can be great, or sometimes a little to strong or harsh. Red + Green, Purple + Yellow, and Blue + Orange are complementary colour pairs.

Analogous colours are located adjacent one another, these ‘similar’ colours often play nicely together. Green + Blue, Blue + Purple, Purple + Red, Red + Orange, Orange + Yellow, Yellow + Green are analogous colour pairs.

We find that analogous colours are a pretty solid bet for colourwork, provided there is enough difference in value between the colours for the pattern to read clearly.

Contrast

Low contrast pairs create a more blendy (which is totally a word) or soft effect which is indistinct. High contrast pairs create more crisp graphics, really emphasizing each stitch, stripe or motif. When working stranded colourwork, the higher the contrast, the more clearly and crisply the pattern itself will read.

Contrast

Saturation

Saturation is a measure of colourfulness or colour intensity. Less saturated is closer to grey

If you think of mixing paints, then the more white or grey you add in to a pure colour, the less saturated it becomes. Or when dyeing yarn, the less dye you add into the water bath for a skein of yarn, the less saturated the finished yarn will be.

 

 

value

Value is how dark or light a colour is. Sometimes this can be difficult to perceive clearly with your eyes, because your perception of the hue can get in the way. Converting an image to grey scale can help you perceive value more clearly. You can see that, for example, blue is darker in value than yellow is.

These concepts are useful as they can help you to choose colour combinations. Next week, in preparation for the Strange Brew Knitalong, we are bringing you an in-depth look at colour strategies you can use when designing your own colourwork projects.


More colourful designs from Mad Colour:

 

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Dog Star

October 6, 2017

While we were developing our Strange Brew recipe we thought to ourselves, ‘knitters are going to want to know what this looks like’, and so we created Dog Star. This twinkly yoke is was designed following our recipe, with 3 patterned sections, separated by decrease rounds.

Dog Star is knit in Sweet Fiber Merino Twist DK in ‘paper birch’ and ‘tree line’.

My favourite part of this design was experimenting with colour. For Bodhi’s little sweater I kept it utterly simple by using 2 colours. The main colour is a classic neutral, and the contrast colour is a subtly variegated yarn, which adds some depth and interest. The high contrast between the two colours makes the pattern really pop. This kind of two-contrast pair with strong contrast is a great starting place if you are new to colourwork.

When I swatched the charts for the adult sizes I experimented with changing the background colour and the contrast colour part with through each chart. It has a completely different look! That is really the charm and addictive nature of colourwork for me, the same pattern with a few minor tweaks is a whole new sweater. Check out our posts on our favourite colour combos, and choosing a palette for colourwork too.

This is the same sweater, but with a few small colour changes: Sweet Fiber Merino Twist DK in ‘charcoal’ with ‘chartreuse’, ‘sea glass’, and ‘winter’.

Dog Star Pattern Details

Pattern: Dog Star

Sizing: 0-6mo (6-12mo, 1-2yr, 2-4yr, 4-6yr, 6-8yr, 8-10yr, Women’s XS, S, SM, M, ML, L, LXL, XL, XXL, 3XL, 4XL, Men’s S, M, L, XL, XXL, 3XL, 4XL)
Finished Chest Measurement: 17.5 (19.5, 22, 24, 26, 28.5, 30.5, 32.5, 35, 37, 39.5, 41.5, 43.5, 46, 48, 50, 54.5, 59, 37, 41.5, 46, 50, 54.5, 59, 63.5)

Yarn: DK weight yarn in two or more colours
MC: 300 (400, 500, 650, 800, 900, 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800, 1900, 2100, 2200,1300, 1500, 1700, 1900, 2000, 2200, 2300) yds
CC: 100 (125, 150, 175, 175, 200, 225, 250, 250, 275, 275, 300, 300, 325, 350, 375, 400, 400,300, 325, 350, 375, 400, 425, 450) yds
Sample shown in Sweet Fiber Merino Twist DK in ‘paper birch and ‘tree line’, adult charts shown in ‘charcoal’, ‘chartreuse’, ‘sea glass’ and ‘winter’

So, if you are a little hesitant to use our Strange Brew pattern to design your own Fair Isle yoke, get started with Dog Star! Pick your 2 contrasting shades (or many!) and cast on.

Join the party!

We’re hosting an epic Strange Brew (and Dog Star) Knitalong. It starts Thursday October 19 and running for a full 7 weeks, until Monday December 11th. Join in the chat on our Facebook group, then list your finished knit in our Ravelry thread for a chance to win a prize. We will release more details when the KAL begins, but for now just get the pattern and start choosing colours!


More Fair Isle fabulous with TCK:

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