Thursday, March 18, 2010

Color knitting links & inspiration

The Knitfinder resource section is coming along slowly – I’m trying to build it into the be-all and end-all of knitting bookmark collections, so you can start there to find ANY kind of knitting info you happen to be looking for. I’m working on a color knitting resource page now and thought I’d share a few tidbits.

image Nanette Blanchard’s blog Knitting in Color has been around since 2003, and it’s full of great information and inspiration for stranded color knitting. You’ll find tutorials, patterns, and lovely photos – Nanette lives in photogenic New Mexico. She’s self-published several how-to booklets including Stranded Color Knitting, Glove Knitting, and Mittens in Color. At left, one of her mitten designs – the lovely Tijeras mittens. Find all her booklets and patterns in her Ravelry shop.

Here’s a great resource from Nanette’s blog: a list of the best yarns for stranded color knitting, organized by weight and linked to their Ravelry pages. Yarns were chosen for their quality and wide color range. The list is a year and a half old; there are some new yarns that would be good additions, like St-Denis Nordique and Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light.

If you’re embarking on your first stranded color project, there are plenty of how-tos out there. There’s a list of the best here.  TECHknitting has a great tutorial series on stranded knitting:  Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 as well as one on slip-stitch color knitting. If you’ve never been over to TECHknitting, you’ll be amazed at the wealth of information. If you learn better from video, the KnitPicks tutorial section is a good place to start. There’s a collection of colorwork tutorials, including stripes, intarsia, Fair Isle, and color theory. Here’s one showing different methods of handling yarns for stranded knitting.

My friend Janine Bajus aka Feral Knitter is a brilliant colorwork designer and teacher. Her 3-day “Design Your Own Fair Isle” class is scheduled for March 26-28 in Berkeley, California – I don’t know if there’s still space available. There’s also a one-day class in May at Web-sters in Ashland, Oregon.

Here’s a swatch I knit in her class; she teaches a simple swatching technique for evaluating color combinations. This swatch revealed one I hated (the green and yellow in the middle), and several I loved (red and lavender, red and mint green, olive and coral). And you’ll find great tips, patterns, and color inspiration on her blog. Janine’s Celtic Pillows (free PDF from Two Swans Yarns, a great source for Fair Isle yarns and patterns) are meant as a canvas for playing with your own color choices.

There’s going to be an “Around the World” section in the Knitfinder resources, and color knitting leads us right into that. Scotland, Norway, Estonia, Sweden, Turkey, Peru…all have their own color knitting traditions. You’ll find the whole world of color knitting at unionpearl’s Knitting Letters A to Z. Many photos, great writing on knitting traditions, lots of links.

Some more photo inspiration:

Swedish Bohus Stickning on Flickr (read more about Bohus here)
Annemarie Sundbo’s collection of Norwegian mittens, stockings and sweaters
Latvian mitten galleries – from a project associated with the NATO summit in Riga, 2006
Let’s not forget modern colorwork designers: Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably, Alice and Jade Starmore.

More to come when the color knitting page goes live. I’m behind on other work this week, so there will be no pattern roundup tomorrow – look for it again next week. I may move it to Mondays or Tuesdays so I have time to write the posts over the weekend.

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