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Posts Tagged ‘colorwork’

Wow Your Friends with Colorwork

Monday, October 7th, 2013

One of the greatest parts about being in New England, Vermont in particular, in the fall is the ultimate explosion of color. As the trees that surround Green Mountain Spinnery turn to shades of red, gold, orange, yellow and gold, we can’t help but think about color in our fiber projects. Colorwork in knitting often looks more complicated than it is. There are quite a few ways to add color to your knitting and we hope you would consider including one of these techniques when you work on your next sweater, maybe as part of the 30 Day Sweater challenge!

 

The simplest form of color work is stripes. At first glance stripes may not seem that interesting but there are so many possibilities and combinations of stripes to try! If you’re feeling like making some stripes and want something new, check out this random stripe generator and have fun trying it out. One thing you should watch out for if you’re knitting your project in the round is the little jog that happens when you change colors. For instructions on how to make a jogless stripe in the round check out this great video over at New Stitch A Day. Shown at left is the Solstice Sweater, knit in Denim and Unbleached White Cotton Comfort.

 

 

Another easy way to wow your friends with color is with slip stitch or mosaic colorwork. This style of colorwork was developed by the knitting superstar Barbara Walker and is achieved by using slip stitches to draw color up into the next row. It is very simple to accomplish because you only work with one color at a time. That means you don’t have to worry about carrying multiple colors along each row and do the finger gymnastics required to switch back and forth between them. You can knit very simple patterns all the way to intricate motifs. Labyrinth is a design by Cap Sease that is lightweight yet warm, pictured here in Luminosity and Peridot Sylvan Spirit.

 

One of the most popular forms of colorwork (and the style most people think of when you say “colorwork”) is fair isle or stranded colorwork. Here the design is accomplished by alternating the color the stitches are knit with, in a particular row. The only technique used in this style is the knit stitch; you’ll need to learn to hold two pieces of yarn at once, but the outcome is certainly worthwhile. One unique characteristic about this technique is that it must be performed in the round; if you are not a fan of purling this could be the technique for you! If you want a cardigan, you first knit in the round and then steek it (a method for cutting your work) open. This photo shows one of newest patterns that utilizes fair isle and steeking, the Putney Mountain Vest; it will be released in our upcoming e-book, Green Mountain Weekend. Weekend Wool is an excellent choice for colorwork projects.

 

 

The last technique to share with you is the duplicate stitch. This is a way to add color to your work that you don’t have to think about before you begin knitting your project. Duplicate stitch is when you use a contrasting color of yarn and a darning needle to follow the paths of the stitches to create a small area of color like a monogram or small motif. It is a simple way add color and personalize your project after you have knit it. Shown at right are the Squirrel in the Woods mittens in which the squirrel motif is worked in duplicate stitch. If you are looking to design your own colorwork sweater there are many many great colorwork mitten patterns from which to draw inspiration!

If you’d like to learn more about planning your next sweater project, download the free Sweater Planning Guide from the 30 Day Sweater Challenge. This guide is full of advice on design basics, color choice, how much yarn to buy and everything else that goes into knitting a sweater that you’ll love! Click here to download.

This post is a part of the 30 Day Sweater Challenge promo tour. Join us this October as we help 5,000 knitters around the world knit a sweater they’ll love, in 30 days. To sign up just visit 30daysweater.com/greenmountain and download your free Sweater Planning Guide. It will help you get started on the right foot!

 

Back to School, with Love

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Back to school ads are starting to appear in newspapers, online and on tv and there is a very slight shift in the weather lately that promises fall will be here soon. As you take stock of the supplies your favorite student will need for the upcoming school year, why not include a new school sweater for the fall or replace the favorite hat and mittens that were lost last year? Green Mountain Spinnery has several classic patterns in a variety of yarns and colorways that will allow you to create a handmade hug!

Sweaters for the preschool set can be worked up quickly. The Little Billy Goat vest, in Capricorn, is perfect for a chilly day or for layering in winter. Mountain Mohair and Weekend Wool both come in a variety of colors, just like your favorite crayons. Mix and match them for a one-of-a-kind Stripy Stripe Sweater that is sure to please every child. The String of Pearls sweater, shown here in Sylvan Spirit, adds a touch of fancy without a mess of sequins and glitter.

 

What about the older kids? Why not work up a new winter hat, now before the weather turns truly bitter. Our pattern page for hats includes hats, caps and earwarmers; there is something for everyone! If you are looking for something a bit more colorful and bold, the Anatolian Flip, Icebreaker Hat, and Happenin’ Hat are all great choices. We have suggested color combinations but these make great canvases as a way to show one’s school or team spirit!

   

Though we often think first to put on a sweater and hat when the weather turns cooler, in the early days of fall that can be too much; after all it’s not winter yet! Fingerless gloves, like Eric’s Glovelets, are a great choice for musicians and outdoor sport spectators. The Phoebe Cowl will keep the cool breeze at bay without the bulk of the scarf. Leg warmers are practical and fashionable! The Renaissance Leg Warmers are a great accessory in which you could go elegant with classic Fair Isle details or playful with stripes. These patterns are great for teens and adults!

We’d love to see your work as it heads back to school! Have you made a sweater, new hat and mittens, or maybe a blanket for a dorm room for this school year? Share it with us and other fans of Green Mountain Spinnery in our Ravelry group, on our Facebook page or even send us a tweet @GMSpinneryCoop!

Projects in Alpaca Elegance

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Here in Vermont we’ve had a burst of unusual weather – within the same week we had snow and temperatures reaching over 80 degrees Fahrenheit! The weather seems to have settled a bit, and we are happy for warmer days and plenty of sunshine. We encourage you to reach for a wonderful skein of  Alpaca Elegance, our blend of 50% New England grown alpaca and 50% fine American wool. If you have never worked with an alpaca blend before, you are in for a treat! Alpaca fibers have a hollow core, making them lightweight yet warm.

Summer is a great time to try out a new technique. Give colorwork a try with Julia Farwell Clay’s “Wolves will be Wolves” hat. The sample shown used 140 yards of the main color, Chai, and 50 yards of each of the contrast colors, Cocoa and Cream. Sweaters may be far from your mind now, but remember they are a larger time investment. If you start now, you will be all ready for fall. We love Amy Christoffers’ Catboat Cardigan in Rosehip; this sweater strikes a balance between a traditional sweater and modern sports wear. This yarn is also great for crochet patterns. The Walnut Vest for Men by Mary Beth Temple is inspired by classic menswear and is sure to keep your interest with basketweave pattern in the color work section of Cream and Dark Roast against the Cocoa.

We have seen many great projects on Ravelry using this yarn too, have they caught your eye? Spindlbratt’s Doctor it’s the Dalek’s Mitts are perfect for every sci-fi fan. The One Button Waistcoat, knit by Woolymountain, is a great multi-season piece. We think you’ll agree that Riverside’s Maylie is so simply sweet! ShortrowT knit this short sleeve version of Cria, another great garment to span the seasons. Please feel free to add your projects using Green Mountain Spinnery yarns to our Ravelry group.

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Of course, we have to share a few alpaca pictures in a post about Alpaca Elegance! These are from Ibiwisi Alpacas in Westminster, VT, taken by Marti Stone.

Could your stash use a bit more Alpaca Elegance to round it out? You can purchase Alpaca Elegance online at spinnery.com!

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