Posts Tagged ‘colorwork’

Ready, Set, Knit! 359: Kathy talks with Fiona Ellis

Saturday, May 31st, 2014
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This week Kathy talks with first time guest Fiona Ellis. Fiona studied fashion design with a concentration in knitwear and specialized in hand knits – no programming knitting machines for her! She used to design Ready-to-Wear for mass production but made the switch to hand knit patterns when her first patterns appeared in Vogue Knitting in the late 90’s. Fiona Ellis designs featuring Valley Yarns Fiona specializes in colorwork and cables and her patterns include charts as well as written instructions. You can see the majority of her designs on Ravelry. Two of her latest feature Valley Yarns, Sugarbeach from Twist collective knit in Valley Yarns Longmeadow and Blue Helix from Knitter’s Magazine knit in Valley Yarns Colrain.

Check out Fiona’s website for even more designs!

Steve’s Yarn Picks :

Anniversary Sale through May 31st – This is your LAST DAY to order!

Upcoming Events:

Stop by and check out current the Classic Elite Yarns Trunk Show.

Laura Militzer Bryant, Prism Yarns Trunk Show and Book Signing June 6th and 7th.

The 4th Annual I-91 Shop Hop is happening June 26th-29th, get your Passport Today!

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Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – Making Stripes Match Easily with Top-Down Knitting

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013
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Suzette is a wonderful member of our store team, and she has a very handy tip for us! Striped projects knit in pieces can be very hard get just right. If you knit your striped projects seamlessly from the top-down instead, the color changes will match up just right. Knitting from the top-down eliminates the need to painstakingly match up your stripes when assembling your garment.

Suzette says, “Knitting stripes that join perfectly can be a real struggle with pieced patterns, but top-down knitting solves all the matching up problems, with the bonus of neat looking angles at the shoulders. I used Knitting Pure and Simple #296 and Classic Elite Yarn Color by Kristin. It was fun to choose the vibrant color contrasts. The only change I made was to create the blue up the center for button loops and buttons.”

Top-down knitting also has the benefit of trying on your project as you go. You can start your hat, and knit it to just the right length. Sweaters can even be tried on as you go when knit from the top-down.


You can find more top-down knitting projects here. Stripes can be added to almost anything!

Tuesday’s Tip – Selecting Colors Using Black and White

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013
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One of the most challenging aspects of a project is selecting the colors. It can be difficult to tell which colors “go” well together. Frequently, I spend hours knitting only to discover I don’t really like how those colors I chose came together in the end. In today’s post, J shows us how we can select colors easily by using black and white photographs. He recently knit the Color Affection Shawl, so we asked him to share what he learned.

“Affection for Contrasting Colors or What Do You See in Shades of Gray?”

Every now and again as fiber artists we are tasked with choosing colors. The Kangaroo Dyer’s Color Grid is a great tool for picking colors and we make use of it regularly. For the purpose of this color exercise, we’re going to focus on the properties of color in relation to one another, specifically contrast and we’ll use the broad color palette of  Cascade 220 as an example. (And not just because it’s less than $6 a skein for the rest of April and May, but it is!)

Step One – Grab a skein of each of the colors you are considering (2 or more)
Step Two – Take a picture
Step Three – Make it black and white.
That’s it, three steps! Repeat as necessary with different color choices to your heart’s content.

When viewing your skeins in black and white, if two colors are close in their representation of gray, there will be little, to no, contrast. If the skeins can be distinguished in their representation of gray – TA-DA contrast! Below are some examples that will help illustrate this concept.

Group A: White #8505, Cotton Candy #9478, and Magenta #7803. Notice that the black and white photo shows white, gray, and black. We can see strong contrast between the skeins in both images. This means the colors won’t get lost when used together, and each will stand out in its own way.

Group B: Black #8555, Peacock #2447, and Purple Jewel Heather #7811. See what happens in the black and white version? These skeins show as three similar shades of gray -not good for showing off any of these colors. They don’t look terrible together, but they have similar tone so each gets lost in the other.

To compare these first two groups, with Group A you could stand far away and easily tell the differences in color – great contrast. In Group B the difference is so minimal that none of them take a prominent place – great if you want colors to blend, not so great if you want contrast.

Group C: Christmas Red #8895, Silver Grey #8401, and Blue Hawaii #9421. When viewed as black and white, two of these are similar, but the third stands out –  great for when you want a single color to pop. The light gray and aqua are similar in tone to each other leaving the red to take a more prominent place in your project.

Group D: Christmas Red #8895, Charcoal Grey #8400, and Blue Hawaii #9421. See how just changing the shade of gray makes a difference? It now stands in stronger contrast to the other two, helping to highlight the aqua, while still having more brightness than the red.

It should be noted that “true color” is difficult to represent on a computer screen, so this is just a guideline as color will  vary relative to your settings, the manufacturer of your screen, and the effects of the light that surrounds your screen. This is why sometimes the “color you thought you saw”, looks different when the skein is in front of you. (I love Franklin Habit’s yarn-shaming tumblr because it helps us to laugh at just this sort of thing.)

Do you like making multi-colored projects? How do you pick your colors?

Tuesday’s Tip: Easy Knitted Plaid

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
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This week, Sara Delaney shows us a clever and simple way to create beautiful plaid fabric with your knitting!


Knitting plaid fabrics can seem like a daunting task when you consider that they could involve not only two or more colors but intarsia work as well. And how do you keep the tension even in an intarsia section that is only one stitch wide?

Why not skip the intarsia all together with some cleverly placed purl ravines and the use of a crochet hook!

Work the horizontal stripes of your plaid normally and wherever you’d like to have the vertical stripes just work a purl stitch in that vertical column of stitches.

Once you’ve finished knitting the piece you can go back with your crochet hook, and slip stitch a line of stitches into the vertical purl ravine. The slip stitches will lie even with the surface of your knitting.

With this technique, it’s easy to create multi-colored plaid by changing the colors of your vertical stripes. You can stick to two colors, or get creative with as many as the color wheel can hold.

Easy to make plaid sweaters, cowls and hats…it’s addictive!

Check out our video tutorial for more details.

Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – Latvian Braids

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012
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Today’s Tip is from Emma Welford, WEBS Purchasing Coordinator and contributing designer for Valley Yarns.

If you love the Dreamer’s Braided Pullover, but are intimated by the Latvian Braid detail on the yoke, Emma has created a video tutorial to walk you through the steps. In the video below, she outlines how to construct both a left and right leaning Latvian Braid for the Dreamer’s Braided Pullover, or any future colorwork project! Click here to see more of the Dreamer’s Braided Pullover!