Blog · Knitting · Musings On Life

Summer Colourwork Challenge 2016

The idea behind the Summer Colourwork Challenge was to explore and practice the art of colourwork in my knitting. For this I spent hours upon hours looking on Ravlery for projects that I thought would be suitable for a novice. I chose my first pattern based on the fact that it only had two colours and looked fairly simple and non-threatening. It was the Quick Ombré Hat by Emily Dormier and was exactly how she described it in the pattern description ‘a great pattern for some who is new to colourwork”.

You can find the pattern HERE and my project on Ravelry HERE.

So how did it go?

Well, I have not knit a hat in a while, but that was fine, it’s like riding a bike, you never forget how simple it is once you can do it and I have been knitting socks religiously this year so really, it was just like knitting an oversized sock on larger DPNs.

The yarn I used was purple 100% Merino from a local to me Fiber Shop; Mother Goose in Nailsworth and some gorgeous olive green Cashmere Merino by Debbie Bliss. I chose the purple to be the first colour so the green would have more pop.

hat-2
Voila!!

 

I read somewhere about ‘floats’ and how many stitches you should go before entwining them with the other yarn, some said 3, others said 5. Me? I just used my instinct and went with how the yarn was working, I knew the tension needed to be positive so I checked that religiously, making sure there was plenty of give and the floats were on the loose side but not so loose that they were dangling everywhere. I think it worked out well!
The only thing that did not work out was the size, it does not fit me and is more of a toddler / child size but that is fine. They’re not really my colours anyway and I will be happy to gift it or donate it to charity. It was, after all, a practice garment for colourwork, so I paid more attention to the technique rather than the size.

hat-1
My tidy(ish) floats!

 

On to the next…..

For my next colourwork project, I chose a pair of socks that I had been admiring for a while. They were the Dale socks by Molly of A Homespun House. And they are now one of my favourite pairs of socks to wear.

You can find the pattern HERE and my project page HERE.

dale-socks-3
The finished pair!

 

The pattern was adjusted, after reading other people’s project page notes, and I am so glad I did that! Molly has very small feet, so wrote the pattern for her sizing. She has often said in her podcast that she casts on 54 stitches…..I cast on 60 normally but have switched to 64 for some socks. So it was a little disappointing to have the largest size in the pattern as 54 stitches. As a knitter, I find it so useful when designers put in various sizes in their patterns. It shows they have thought of others and have done the maths accordingly, especially when it is a paid for pattern. But that just may be me. Nonetheless, it was a lovely pattern to knit up, and like I said, the other project pages were a fountain of knowledge when sizing up. One even put in how many stitches to increase so the heart pattern would work, like I said, a fountain of knowledge, I did not even think of that! So will keep that in mind for future projects.

dale-socks
The gorgeous hearts add beautiful detailing to the top of the socks

 

The yarn I used was Wendy Roam and I used a cream sock yarn as the contrast colour. I knew I wanted it to be lovely soft, whimsical colouring so went with a heather colour and cream contrast. They were very addictive to knit and the pattern was easily memorisable. I was a little worried about the pattern going on the foot as well, but I find that it is not uncomfortable and adds a little bit of cushioning for the foot, lovely when wandering around the house.

This was the first time, I used the fish lips kiss heel, I was a little dubious about it with the first sock, I wasn’t sure if I liked it but kept going and with the second sock it grew on me a little. I doubt it will be my go to sock, I recently went back to the afterthought heel which I enjoy a lot more, maybe it’s because I’m more used to it? Anyhoo, I will use it again, it’s good to switch things up every now and then, right?!

dale-socks-2
My first time doing the Fish Lips Kiss Heel.

 

You can the heel pattern HERE.

So at the end of my challenge, I was definitely more confident in colourwork. It is certainly less scary than it was before and I won’t hesitate so much if I like a pattern which requires some. I know that it is achievable and just need to take it one stitch at a time.

Happy Crafting!

Gem XoXo

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