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Picking the right kind of yarn

I have a favorite stitch pattern that I picked up years ago that was introduced as a stash pattern. I am all about stash and using up single balls and "bits and pieces". In my quest to construct, really, "paint" with my yarn, I have created several different studies of this pattern.

Here is how it goes:

Row 1: With color "A" (Background color): Cast on the number of stitches you need, Turn.

Row 2: Knit all stitches. Turn.

Row 3: With color "B" (foreground color):Knit all stitches. Turn.

Row 4: Knit all stitches. Turn.

Row 5: With color "A", K1, Sl1wyib (with yarn in back) to end. Turn.

Row 6: Slip the slipped (Color "B") stitches wyif (with yarn in front), knit the (color "A") knitted stitches. Turn.

Row 7: With color "B", Knit to end. Turn.

Row 8: Knit all stitches.

It was introduced with the capability of changing colors every 8 rows so using stash was a possibility.

My first project for this stitch was a collection of 8 balls of a beautiful DK Wool Alpaca blend in jewel tones and fall variations of those tones. They were all the same yarn content and brand, just in different colors. I wanted to make a garment that used the pattern vertically because vertical lines are more flattering. This vest is made from front to front in one piece, binding off and casting on for the arm holes then knitting panels to make the front color blocks. I created the Fair Isle collar in cool / warm contrast, then added a crab stitch finish to the arm holes.

Here is how I started this vest. I determined the length I wanted the finished vest to be and the shoulder to shoulder measurement, the depth of the arm openings and the bust measurement. I measured my hips too and designed in a slit for ease. Then the all important gauge swatch to find the right fabric feel (needle size) and stitch count.

These colors are so pretty, and I only had 8. I wanted to make the pattern stand out, so I proceeded to design colors A and B in light and darker value differences. There were variations as I experimented.

If you are selecting yarns for yourself;

Here is what you need to know:

1. What I am making?

2. What size yarn do I need for the feel of the fabric I am creating?

3. What do I have in my stash that will complete my project?

That is when I determine if I want to make a stash piece, or I want to create a more cohesive visual effect.

Let's start with a 2 color design. Here I used Silk Garden Sock in 2 colors. The Grey is the background color and the Blue/ green/ black is the foreground.

The pattern is from right to left in this picture. There are 6 pattern repeats in this swatch with a bind off row. Both yarns are long color change yarns. the background is in a lighter (pastel) hue and the Foreground is in a saturated (brighter) hue. The stitch pattern is better defined in the repeats that have the greatest value difference , where the pattern fades in and out when the value gets closer.

I have made several projects with this concept.

Here is the "Watercolor Cardigan" pattern sample for children above

and the adult version in two other colors of Silk Garden Sock. As you can tell, the background is in the lighter color and the foreground is in the darker color.

I have started to work on a stash version of this stitch. More info coming in the next blog.

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