Posts Tagged ‘stripes’

Valley Yarns Pattern Feature – Hen Plaid Wrap

Thursday, May 29th, 2014
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We thought we’d start a new, regular feature post to show off some of the Valley Yarns Patterns that we love. First up is my personal favorite from our e-Book Soft Landing, the Hen Plaid Wrap.

Hen Plaid Wrap knit in Valley Yarns Goshen - available exclusively at

This cozy shawl takes advantage of the next-to-the-skin softness of Valley Yarns Goshen and combines a neutral and jewel tone palette for versatile wearability. The construction of this simple plaid couldn’t be easier! Knit in mostly stockinette with an occasional stacked purl, horizontal stripes are added as you knit and the vertical stripes are added afterwards with surface crochet in the purl ditches. And don’t worry about having ends to weave in from the color changes, those become part of the fringe.

Check out our video tutorial for this technique!

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!

Creating a Project with Stripes

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
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Marion works in the store and is an incredible knitter. She shares with us her story of how she got her inspiration to knit stripes in a collection of projects.

Many of us use the wonderful hand-painted yarns to give color to garments. However, I have always loved to knit stripes. I think of it as painting with yarn and it can be fun. There are many patterns written with stripes as an element, but you can stripe any plain pattern with a little planning.

I have a walk-in cedar closet that has allowed me to save many of the knitted garments made over the years. One favorite is a red, tan and grey striped sweater I made my son over 30 years ago. When he asked me to knit a light weight sweater for him, I thought of that as an inspiration.

To make my son’s striped sweater, I used Valley Pattern B1, which is a basic pull-over in different weights. I was making the DK weight and it gave me the approximate amount of yarn needed. I knew I wanted it to have red as the main color and then selected grey, gold, black and tan to match his earlier sweater. Cascade 220 Sport had the perfect shades and was the weight yarn I wanted. It is difficult to judge the amount when buying yarn for striped garments because not all colors will be used equally. To make this sweater I only needed one skein of each color (other than red).

When you knit stripes you can form a repeating pattern (8 rows color A, 2 rows color B, 3 rows color C and then repeat order) or you can change colors randomly which I did in his sweater to give it a contemporary look.

I had no set sequence but planned to put the red between each color change. I carried the yarn loosely up the side when the color was going to be used 2-4 rows later. If as in the case of the red it was not needed until 15 or more rows later, I ended it and then reintroduced it. I tried to keep the colors evenly balanced as I worked up. The black and light tan were strong colors and I used them carefully.

You can be creative when you select your colors. Unless you are knitting a garment using left over yarn, select no more than 3-5 colors or you can use shades of one color. A great resource to help combine colors is Gail Callahan’s Color Grid.

In the past I have made a few sweaters that totally use left overs. I put all the colors together and just stripe away. I really do feel like I am painting. There can be different textures and some weight variation.

Since my 11 year old granddaughter Roley was going inherit my son’s original sweater, I wanted to make a companion for three-year old Beatrice. The pattern is also a basic one made from Ann Budd’s Book of Sweater Patterns. The book allows you to make a sweater for any size and weight of yarn. (Ann Budd will be teaching here at WEBS this summer. Don’t miss out on your chance to take a class with her!) The yarn is Plymouth Dream Baby. I decided to make the stripes in a repeating order with red as the main color. I used a slip stitch with the yellow and black to combine them. I reminds me of a bee’s stripe. Beatrice is used to that theme for her. She loves the sweater. It was a fun project and went quickly.

Finally, I wanted to knit something for Paula, my daughter-in-law and I saw the Henning Cowl by Megan Goodacre in Interweave’s 2012 Holiday Issue. I modified it to be smaller but still used the stripe pattern set up.

I am happy with all the garments and can’t wait to make another striped project.

What are your feelings on striped projects? Some love them, others do not. Do you have a favorite striped project?

Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – Jogless Stripes

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012
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When knitting stripes in the round, a jog is created at the color changes (bottom arrow). This is because knitting in the round is actually knitting in a spiral. One row is not neatly stacked on top of the other, but instead a spiraling continuation of the previous row.

To avoid the jog created by changing colors during striping:

1. Knit a row of your new color normally

2. On the next round, slip the first stitch of the round as if to purl, then continue knitting normally. This slipped stitch is elongated and pulls the entire row up higher to hide the jog created when changing colors.

The top arrow shows a stripe created using the slipped stitch method. The slipped stitch blends in with the other stitches for an almost invisible join.