Category Archives: stash

Stash Game 2: Electric Boogaloo

Back-Story

StashGame is a virtual game where you send me a photo and description of your stashed, long neglected yarn and I’ll come up with at least one project idea for it and publish it here. There’s one hitch – you can’t request a type of project.

To enter, please send the following:

  • A clear photo of your yarn. It helps if I can get an idea about the colour as well as the texture (natural sunlight is best for taking pictures).
  • The name of your yarn (brand name and product name: for example Berroco Vintage)
  • The yarn’s weight (ex. 100g) and yardage (ex. 200m/220yds)
  • The yarn’s tension (ex. 18 sts & 24 rows = 4″)
  • The yarn’s suggested needle size
  • If available, the yarn’s Ravelry page: (ex. https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/berroco-vintage)
  • How much yarn you have
  • How long the yarn has been in your stash (I’m just curious)
  • Any interesting or pertinent back-story (if it has an interesting one). Was it a gift from someone special? Did you inherit it from your grandmother? Do you love it? Are you afraid of it? Do you hate it? (please note: if you hate it you should probably just break up with it and send it on to a better place)

Send your info through any of the following channels with the subject/hashtag #YarnStashGame:

Please Note:

When choosing yarns to StashGame I go with the flow and pick what feels right at the time. If I haven’t chosen yours please be patient, it’s time will come. It looks like our collective break with regularly scheduled life isn’t going to be ending any time soon, so we have lots of stash-gaming ahead. My life hasn’t really slowed down so much as shifted (facing new challenges and rising to them), so my goal is to post a new StashGame once a week.

Drops Melody

Our second stash yarn comes from Lori Ann … it’s a super soft and fluffy blend of alpaca and wool that looks a lot like a vintage style mohair but feels like what we all wish mohair felt like (but doesn’t) – ie. like alpaca. I love the fuzzy texture (I was already thinking about bringing this yarn into the store next fall) and I like the funky combination of colours – there’s a hint of a reference to the industrial design of kitchen appliances circa 1970.

  • 71% Alpaca, 25% wool, 4% nylon
  • 50g/140m (153 yds)
  • Bulky weight
  • Suggested needle size: 7mm/US10.75
  • Notes: leftovers, probably totals about 460 yds total

I’d like to say that I did an exhaustive search and thought long and hard about this one, but I didn’t. It was bashert, I knew right away what this yarn needs to be ….

Colorful Clockwork Cozy

Like, seriously Lori Ann, if you don’t do it PLEASE let me! Your yarn NEEDS to be a clock cozy. As soon as Ikea reopens you need to haul you butt out there and get yourself a cheap ‘n cheerful Tjalla and knit it a sweater! A cozy, fuzzy, funky coloured, randomly striped mohairy sweater. You can either reduce the needle size to get a tighter tension or hold the yarn double – you’ll need to play around a bit. I’ve knit one of these once, I suggest you should get the clock first so you can ‘try it on’ as you go and gauge whether your band is wide enough. And when you’re finished please send a beauty shot.

I’m Knitting To ….

Since this one was short ‘n succinct (seriously, it is a moral imperative that that yarn become a clock cozy), I’ll include some extra ‘content’ … this is what I’ve been consuming while I knit ‘n stuff:

I’m Currently Listening to: Tara Brach (available on all podcast apps, Youtube, her website). The episode “Sheltering in Love pt.1” was so necessary, so important. I’ve been following all her pandemic related podcasts, they’re all been immensely helpful for getting through this challenging period.

I’m Currently Reading (on e-book): Letting Go by David Hawkins. I started this shortly before toilet-paper became a *thing*. I’m not sure if Hawkins is still alive, but the man is KILLIN’ IT! His interview with Oprah was also good.

I’m Currently Watching: Start Trek: The Next Generation (Netflix) with my Beau. The early shows aren’t great, but I think the interior design of the Enterprise really stands up, it’s still my favourite Enterprise. I also started watching Hilary (Netflix), which is interesting, and The Pizza Show (Crave), which isn’t great but I keep torturing myself and watching it because pizza is the only thing I miss about gluten.

I’m Connecting With: Myself … and meditating with the free Insight Timer app and occasionally Tara Brach’s short guided meditations. If you’re stuck at home this is an unprecedented opportunity to connect with yourself. Plus, meditation is REALLY helpful for negotiating fear, anxiety, vulnerability, depression, and all feelings both comfortable and uncomfortable. The book that helped me get past my fear of meditation was 10% Happier by Dan Harris … don’t worry, it isn’t new-age self-helpy stuff, it’s in the literary non-fiction or memoir genre. Plus, it starts with a cocaine addicted NBC news host who has a drug fuelled breakdown on live TV – any mistake you’ve ever made will feel demure compared to this guy’s, and he’s cool with it.

I’m Crafting: DIY Face Masks … well, I’m seriously thinking about it. I bought a mask on Amazon and have been wearing it out and about for a few days. It’s good, it fits beautifully and comes with extra filters (fancy!) but it doesn’t match my winter clothes (first world pandemic problems). Then, I came across this article in Science a few days ago, and I decided it is very important to me to make an effort not to accidentally give someone the virus if I’m asymptomatic and don’t know I have it (I see myself coughing for the very first time and accidentally taking out a whole retirement home … I don’t care to live with that). I discussed this with my Beau (who lived for many years in Hong Kong and has had both SARS and Swine Flu, so I figure he’s got some street cred in this department) and he agreed with my assessment and asked me to buy him a mask too (he insisted on black). Anyway, now I don’t feel right going out without a mask, but my mismatched mask in a spring floral print isn’t cutting it, it’s more of a cheerful May/June pandemic aesthetic, rather than a drizzly April mode.

I met a lady on the street yesterday morning wearing a snazzy mask and when I stopped her she said she’d sewn hers out of scrap fabric from around the house. The lovely woman even offered to make me one, but I was all “No thank you, I am super crafter, I am ON THIS!”, and then I flew away with my cape fluttering in the drizzly, miserable breeze. The first thing I found when I googled DIY masks was this Tutorial in the New York Times, so you know it’s going to be a bona-fide cultural phenomenon. There are already a bunch of video tutorials on Youtube, and crafters are selling their wares on Etsy too (not a bad activity for laid-off sewers to do).

Please note, if you are in a high risk category and need to prevent yourself from contracting the virus it is advisable you wear a proper medical mask. Fabric masks are suitable for those who want to prevent themselves from unknowingly shedding the virus and giving it to other people. Also, keep washing your hands (soap is kryptonite to COVID) and don’t touch your face.

See you soon!

xox Haley

Stash Game

Yay!!! Inaugural Stash Game! I hope this is a fun diversion!

Back-Story

StashGame is a virtual game where you send me a photo and description of your stashed, long neglected yarn and I’ll come up with at least one project idea for it and publish it here. There’s one hitch – you can’t request a type of project.

To enter, please send the following:

  • A clear photo of your yarn. It helps if I can get an idea about the colour as well as the texture (natural sunlight is best for taking pictures).
  • The name of your yarn (brand name and product name: for example Berroco Vintage)
  • The yarn’s weight (ex. 100g) and yardage (ex. 200m/220yds)
  • The yarn’s tension (ex. 18 sts & 24 rows = 4″)
  • The yarn’s suggested needle size
  • If available, the yarn’s Ravelry page: (ex. https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/berroco-vintage)
  • How much yarn you have
  • How long the yarn has been in your stash (I’m just curious)
  • Any interesting or pertinent back-story (if it has an interesting one). Was it a gift from someone special? Did you inherit it from your grandmother? Do you love it? Are you afraid of it? Do you hate it? (please note: if you hate it you should probably just break up with it and send it on to a better place)

Send your info through any of the following channels with the subject/hashtag #StashGame:

Please Welcome Our First Guest!

The first yarn looks to be a gorgeous 100% silk, fingering weight, single ply hand-dye:

  • Woollisa Silk Singles (we think, the ball-band is kinda spartan)
  • 100% silk, hand dyed in Italy
  • 100g/400m
  • Fingering weight
  • Suggested needles 3.5mm/US4 to4mm/US8
  • Notes: received as a gift by a beloved friend 7 years ago

Why This Yarn?

This yarn spoke to me for a few reasons:

  1. The owner has been afraid to use it, which means it’s time for them to use it.
  2. The type of fibre – it has a lot of limitations.

Category: Too Precious

This is a great example of the ‘Too Precious to Use’ stashed yarn. These yarns linger in our stashes for years, sometimes decades, waiting for the perfect project and the perfect pattern at the perfect time. We know we will receive a sign revealing what we are supposed to make with it, we just need to wait until all the planets and all their moons align ….

The entry point for this type of yarn problem is the descriptor PERFECT. In situations like this we’ve put this skein on a pedestal so high nobody could ever reach it, and unless you’re prepared to bring it down and live in the real, messy world, you might as well put it under glass. Don’t worry, I’ve been here, I’ve done it, I survived to tell the tale (it isn’t especially interesting).

Spoiler, if you are of the mind that perfectionism is a good thing, you’ll probably prefer to skip to the next section where I talk about the fibre.

So here’s the hitch – it doesn’t actually matter what you make with this yarn, because as long as it is on the perfection pedestal it will NEVER feel like it’s good enough or doing the yarn justice. So, you’ve got a choice, keep the yarn in it’s a safe little bubble of too-goodness, or use it and put yourself face to face with the uncomfortable feeling of not-good-enoughness. If you choose to move forward and use the yarn you’ll be putting yourself in a position of growth … but hey, it’s only string, it isn’t alive, so the experience shouldn’t be painful, just slightly uncomfortable and take you outside of your comfort zone.

One thing I suggest for getting this project off the ground is to reframe it, take the focus off of the self. Don’t use this yarn for making something for yourself, use it to make something for someone else. Since it was a gift from a beloved friend, I would make something for the person who gave it to me.

Project Limitations: Silk is Gonna Silk

This yarn is made from 100% Silk, which comes with its own set of issues. Silk has absolutely no memory, and it actually tends to grow with use. The more silk content in your yarn, the less shape it will likely hold. This means that it isn’t going to be useful for making anything that needs to have a shape or keep its shape. Hats, socks, fingerless gloves are all out and sweaters are tricky because of the growth factor. This sort of limits the types of projects that will work out successfully. The yarn is also thin, so wraps, scarves, wrappy-scarves, scarfy-wraps and shawls are the best options for a yarn like this. Types of lace where the yarn is wrapped around itself will bulk it up a little.

The silk will look good with lace, it won’t hold cables so if a design includes that it would have to be very deconstructed. This yarn is lovely and should probably be used on it’s own so it can shine. I would use pointy needles for this yarn, it will help scooping it up when you make your stitches. I would also advise using wood or less slippery needles, it will probably reduce accidents. Definitely be diligent and use a lifeline.

Herald

My suggestion for this yarn is the Herald wrap. I like the modernity of this openwork lace. It’s simple, timeless, and elegant. Plus, the yarn is a bright pink, so it’s going to dominate. Herald is worked on the bias as a scalene triangle, so it can be worn as a scarf or as a wrap, and has a cool asymmetrical sensibility (this translates to “easy to make, interesting to wear”). This lace also makes the most of the yardage available and doesn’t suck any up in a dense stitch like garter-stitch.

Materials

  • 400m of fingering weight yarn (my current favorite choice would be Fibre Company Meadow)
  • 4mm/US6 needles
  • tapestry needle
  • scrap yarn for lifeline (optional but advised)
  • Pattern

Stash Conclusions

1. I think I need to do a reassessment of my stash and see how much of it is in the “Too Precious to Use” category. I’m sure I’m DEEP down this rabbit hole!

2. Currently, we’re are all already well outside of our comfort zones, and I know it sounds strange, but now is actually the perfect time to push yourself further. Our fears are running rampant right now, and we want to avoid those feelings because they are extremely uncomfortable, but it’s actually ok to accept them. Fear is part of being a human being. If we hold on to the fear we get stuck in it (which I think is really just being mean to ourselves), when we accept it then it passes through us. This video by Tara Brach on dealing with pandemic fears is excellent.

3. The best way to get out of your head FAST is to think about how you can help others – it clears out an immense amount of space! Now is a great time to make gifts for others …. the holidays will come, I promise you, and next fall you’ll be thrilled to have already finished your gifts. You can also make gifts for right now for the people you care about, and help them get through this tough time.

It's Business VERY Unusual

It’s business VERY unusual around here (more like business surreal), but but things are also busy – you need to keep yourself occupied, I understand this well. Starting WEDNESDAY March 25th the store will be closed to walk-in traffic. This means no in-person peoples, sorry. I’ll still be here from 12 – 5pm Monday to Saturday doing the things I do (answering the phone, filling and shipping your orders, answering emails, writing blog posts, etc). Your last shot at in-person shopping is TUESDAY March 24 from 12 to 5pm.

You Can Still Buy Stuff!

You can still shop online: 24/7, by email: 24/7 (we will get back to you as soon as we can), by facebook messenger: 24/7 (we will get back to you as soon as we can), and by phone: 12 – 5pm Monday to Saturday 416-653-7849. You can have your yarn shipped or you can schedule a drive-by pick-up. If you live in a building with lots of knitters (like a retirement home) and want to organize a group shipment please get in touch and we arrange that too.

Since things are fluid I’m taking it one day at a time – any updates will be posted on our Blog.

Store Hours

  • online: 24/7
  • email: 24/7 (we will get back to you as soon as we can)
  • facebook messenger: 24/7 (we will get back to you as soon as we can)
  • phone: Monday to Saturday 12 – 5pm, 416-653-7849
  • in-person: closed

How to Get Your Yarn

  • shipped by Canada Post
  • drive-by pick-up
  • arrange a group shipment

Stock

As for inventory, I’ll do my best to keep the store stocked, but I have no idea what the future will hold, which of our suppliers will be open and which will close, and what will happen to supply chains of non-essential products. I’m not going to bank on being able to perform my normal special-order magic, so if there is something you really want or need I suggest not putting it off. If what you want isn’t gettable, I can always put my problem solving skills to work and find an alternate solution.

In-Store Support

We also won’t be available to give you hands-on advice or private classes. There’s not much I can do about this, the rules are in place to protect us all. What I’m going to suggest is that during this very weird period consider choosing projects that are going to be easy for you and don’t require jumping through hoops. If you’re currently working on something that requires an outside consultation I suggest you put it down and work on something else. I think it’s also a good idea to put down any projects that make you feel anxious or worried – that’s the opposite of what you need right now. Now is a great time to practice being gentle with yourself and give yourself permission to have an extra project on the go.

We’re In This Together

You may be at home alone, but we are in this TOGETHER. I’ve lived through some challenges, but I’ve never done it at the same time as the rest of the planet. That’s kind of cool, this might be a very interesting bonding experience for us all. I just read this facebook post by Cilla Murphy who lives in China and is coming out the other end of their quarantine, her advice is really very insightful.

Normally I do a lot of connecting with people in person, but that is going to shift for the immediate future, and I expect the nature of that connection will change a bit too. If there is some way that I can help, please let me know.

xox Haley

STASH GAME & Business as Unusual

Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to drop you a line and give you an update … things at Knit-O-Matic are still running smoothly and we are open. Things are fluid, so I’m taking things one day at a time – any updates will be posted on our Blog. The bricks and mortar store is open – people have been incredibly conscientious and socially distant, and I have been disinfecting aplenty. The online store is open too, and we are shipping.

For the time being our late night store hours are cancelled, as is the Sit ‘n Knit, group classes, and the upcoming Yarn Swap will be postponed. If you find yourself at home, cleaning out your stash, and want to get rid of the overflow you can still drop it off in sealed plastic bags and we will store it until things return to normal.

Current Store Hours

Monday to Sunday: 12 to 5pm

Cancelled

  • Late nights
  • Sit ‘n Knit
  • Group Classes
  • Yarn Swap

The Stash Game!

And now for something new and fun … a digital diversion of sorts! Do you have yarn in your stash that you have no idea what to do with? Send me a photo and description of your yarn and I’ll come up with at least one project idea for it and publish it here. There’s one hitch – you can’t request a type of project. This game is about creativity and stretching yourself, and I’m going to pretend I don’t see any of those pesky lines or limitations and colour wherever inspiration takes me.

To enter, please send the following:

  • A clear photo of your yarn. It helps if I can get an idea about the colour as well as the texture (natural sunlight is best for taking pictures).
  • The name of your yarn (brand name and product name: for example Berroco Vintage)
  • The yarn’s weight (ex. 100g) and yardage (ex. 200m/220yds)
  • The yarn’s tension (ex. 18 sts & 24 rows = 4″)
  • The yarn’s suggested needle size
  • If available, the yarn’s Ravelry page: (ex. https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/berroco-vintage)

Send your info through any of the following channels with the subject/hashtag #StashGame:

I can’t wait to see what you come up with … I can’t wait to see what I come up with!

xox Haley

PROJECT Snap

Snap

I tried this pattern a few weeks ago, and I thought it would make a great post-holiday knit because it makes great use of bits ‘n bobs of stash yarn. It’s really nice to find a stash busting project that’s small and fast – so many are blankets! The pattern is Snap from Tin Can Knits, who are great designers (and are very reliable).

The colour variation and gradation are achieved by working with multiple strands of yarn held together and periodically changing them out. I used 4 strands of fingering weight yarn held together, although the pattern offers guidance for combinations with lace weight and sport/DK weight yarn. Working with multiple strands of yarn wasn’t hard, but if this is a new thing for you it’s just a good idea to take things slow and don’t rush your stitches.

All of the yarn I used was fingering weight from stash, and almost all of it was variegated. I worked the ribbing in a combination of 4 colours, and then I started changing out a single strand of yarn every 4 rounds, graduating from the darkest colours to the lightest. I think I used approximately 9 to 10 different colours/yarns in all. I started with the darkest greens and then transitioned up through the lighter or more yellowy greens, and then into the yellows.

I’ll be honest and tell you that while I was working on the hat I fussed in my head about which colour should go next, but I don’t think it was necessary. There was so much going on visually with 4 strands of variegated yarn, and I had so many colours that were somewhat close, that each individual change of yarn didn’t make a huge difference. The hat is knit on the knit side and then turned inside out after it is finished, and the colour changes are much more subtle on the purl side.

I made the size “adult S/M”, but after blocking it fits an adult M or 22″ head. If you are knitting for a smaller head (20.5 to 21″) I suggest going down a size. The fabric is heavy, a bit on the dense side (which makes sense, sock yarn doesn’t tend to be fluffy stuff).

Size

  • baby (toddler, child, adult SM, adult L)
  • fits head 16 (17.5, 19, 21, 23)” around

Materials

KNIT HACK Stash-Busting Sock (Part 4)

 

Granny Stripe Blanket BLOG July 11 2

For all the posts in this series, you can go HERE!

Grany Stripe Blanket

I am very pleased to let you know that my sock yarn stashbusting granny stripe blanket  is coming along swimmingly! Now that I’ve worked a few rows I’ve gleaned more insights ….

How Much Yarn?

If you don’t want to run out of yarn part-way through a row, you are going to need to know how much each row uses. I measured mine at around 9g of sock weight yarn, but everyone is different and this may not be the amount you use. You can glean this very useful knowledge fairly easily (I would wait until after you’ve worked a few rows and fall into a flow with the stitch):

  1. With your digital kitchen scale, weigh the ball of yarn you are about to use.
  2. Work a row, break yarn.
  3. Weigh the ball of yarn again.
  4. Subtract the second weight from the first weight – this is the amount of yarn you used.

Project Notes

I ALWAYS suggest that you keep project note in your Ravelry Notebook. You’ll inevitably need to remember something about the project at some point down the line, and all the details will be waiting for you there. It’s also helpful to see other people’s projects, so it’s nice to pay-it-forward, share and contribute to the community. Finally, you get to show off your work, people will say nice things to you and warm your heart.

Useful things to take note of:

  • hook/needle size used
  • tension/gauge of your project
  • yarn/s used
  • modifications made
  • finished measurements
  • advice you’d give other people about your experience, or anything you’d want to know if you did this project again

Establishing Timelines

Blankets are big-ish projects and I know myself – if I don’t finish this one by the end of the summer it won’t get done for a looooooong time. It’s good to set a goal like a best-before-date, and you’re most likely to be successful achieving a goal if you break down the work into daily quantifiable chunks.  I’ve measured my gauge and I’m working at approximately 12 rows = 4″ (10cm), or 3 rows per inch. I also measured my started project and it is about 65″ wide (unblocked), and I’ll aim to make a square blanket so it’ll be about 65″ high. There are about 50 more days until September. I have worked 25 rows so far.

Here’s how you figure out the math:

  1. 65″ high x 3 rows per inch = 195 total rows required
  2. 195 rows total – 25 rows completed = 170 rows to complete
  3. 170 rows to complete / 50 days to complete = 3.4 rows per day to complete

If I work 4 rows per day I should have this part of this project completed in about 43 days – not bad. I’ll still need to weave in the ends and work a border around the edge, so the extra week will be a good buffer to finish this project by September.

I’m not super disciplined, so to keep myself accountable I’ll print off a calendar and mark my rows every day. I kind of enjoy this approach, if I fall behind I know I have to catch up the next day, or I’ll work ahead of time and carry that balance forward. Really, whatever works for you is good.

Not sure how long it takes for you to complete a row? No problem, just time yourself working a row using the Stopwatch function in the Clock App on your smartphone or tablet (I have an iPhone, but if you have another just Google how to find and use the stopwatch function, Google knows everything). I just timed myself and it took about 18.5 minutes to complete a row (probably not my best time, but it isn’t the Olympics).

KNIT HACK Stash-Busting Sock (Part 3)

 

Crochet Blanket Swatch BLOG.jpg

For all the posts in this series, you can go HERE!

Swatching

Before you start your project I urge you to swatch, especially to find the right needle or hook size. For crochet, holding one strand of sock weight yarn, a 3.5/E hook is generally good (if you are a tight crocheter, if you are loose go down). For knitting, holding 2 strands of sock weight yarn together, 4.5mm/US7 or 5mm/US8 needles should be good. Everyone’s tension is different, so play around to find the size that you are comfortable with.

I always keep track of my choices in my Ravelry Projects, it’s a great place to keep your notes because they never get lost and you can look info up from your smartphone.

Now, everyone emphasises how important swatching is for the success of your final project, and I can’t *make* you swatch, but I think I can motivate you to swatch. I made a small swatch and am glad I did, as I found out several VERY useful things …

I made a smallish swatch (see picture above), about the size of a blanket for a doll, and am glad I did, as I found out several VERY useful things … knowledge is power! 

Hook Size

I preferred a 3.25mm crochet hook since my crochet tension is on the loose side. I also found out that I have two D hooks made by the same company (in different styles) that are actually different sizes: one is 3mm and the other is 3.25mm. 

Project Changes

I wasn’t loving my yarn worked up in a log cabin style, it didn’t suit the predominantly smooth texture and mostly variegated colour ways. I am changing to a granny stripe blanket .

Enjoyment

I found the granny stripe blanket quite easy and simple. I thought I might find it a bit boring, but I think it’s actually kind of zen, and frees up my mind to play with colour.

Accurate Measurements

I now have a more concrete tension measurement. The pattern is a multiple of 3 plus 2, so I swatched with a chain of 41 stitches, which measured approximately 8.5″ (I laid it flat on a table and measured with a ruler. I did not get around to blocking, but for a true gauge measurement you really should, as textiles can loosen up). Your tension will not be the same as mine, you need to check yours for an accurate measurement.

Project Size

I have a lot of yarn, but I’d like to finish this project this summer, so I’ll make it a lap blanket size, approximately 6 feet or 1.8m (182cm) wide should be sufficient. A chain of about 348 should be right. The pattern is a multiple of 3 plus 2, so 347 would be the right number.

Alternate Techniques

I followed the pattern and did not enjoy the long chain that you start with (the prospect of 347 wobbly chains doesn’t appeal), or how you have to enter the stitches in the first row. I’m not a novice, so I’m going to try starting with a “foundation since crochet” (FSC) chain. I like the idea of starting with an FSC because it gives me a good idea of how wide my work will actually be (unlike a regular chain, which really isn’t helpful in that department), and it will be easier to work the first granny Row into. I’ll swatch this first to make sure I like the look and the technique works for me (no point in making 340 stitches and finishing out I don’t like it). Before I start the real project I’ll also have to decide if this is the colour I want the first border to be. And of course, I have to practise the FSC, it’s been a while since I’ve done it and I need to consult a tutorial for a refresher (The best instructions I’ve ever come across is in Jennifer Hansen’s Broomstick Lace Craftsy Class, but Purl Soho has a decent tutorial on their blog).

NOTE: after a practice go I also found that the FSC was tight on a small hook and should be worked on a slightly larger hook, I’ll try a 3.25mm or 3.5mm next time. Oh, and if you go with the FSC, most tutorials will tell you to put a pin in at a specific point -DO THIS, especially if you put your work down in the middle (otherwise you’ll never find where you are supposed to pick-up).

Colour Choices

I’ve been sorting out my approach to colour and experimenting as I swatch ….

1. The first aesthetic choice was to evict all of the muted colours. They weren’t making me happy blended in with the more saturated colours, so they are outie and can emerge at a later date in another project. The second colour issue I found was that I am very uncomfortable with the random look.

2.  I found that I am very uncomfortable with the random look.

3. The granny stripe pattern works with two rows per colour, but I like one row, it looks scrappier.

4. I like the occasional row of semi-solid colour, I have a lot of  yarn with complex colouration and the solids seem to break up the business of the variegated colours.

5. I like alternating between a dark/muted colour and a light/bright colour.

6. I think I will cycle through a row of each type of colour: red, orange/peach, yellow/gold, warm green, cool green, turquoise/aqua/teal, blue, cool purple warm purple, light pink/dark pink.

Fibre Choices

I’m enjoying the multi-ply yarns more than the single ply yarns. I don’t think I want this particular project to be a melange of different textures and just kind of stick to playing with colour.

 

Choosing a Colour Palette

If you are NOT artsy

If you are bad with colour and not very artsy, the most expedient choice would be to work with an ombre or a gradation. This means working through your colours in the order of the rainbow or something similar (see the colour wheel below for an idea) and within each colour group from light to dark. I like the KISS principle: Keep It Simple Sister! Another approach is to browse through other people’s projects on Ravelry.com, Pinterest, or instagram and find something that you enjoy – there’s no sense in reinventing the wheel, right? 

If you are KIND OF artsy

You have a choice to make: do you prefer chaos or control? Do you want your colours to complement each other and be harmonious and designy, or do you want them to clash and look random and scrappy?

colour wheel 1

Harmonious

If you want it harmonious consider placing cool colours (green, blue, purple) next to each other and warm colours (red, orange, yellow, pink) next to each other. Hold colours next to each other and squint your eyes (or remove your glasses) to get a better idea of whether they blend or clash.

Above is a colour wheel, which is kind of mysterious to people who have not been to art school or taken art classes. The colours opposite each other in the circle are a VERY high contrast and make each other ‘pop’ (it’s a bit of a harsh combination to my taste, I don’t really like them together). Colours next to each other in the circle are blendy. The colour next to the one at the opposite end of the circle often look nice

Clashy

If you like it clashy, combine colours that are opposites. Put bright or light colours next to dark or muddy colours. Place warm colours (red, orange, yellow) next to cool colours (green, blue, purple). Use a random number generator app (available free in your phone or tablet app store) to help choose the next colour group.

Personally, I like a controlled chaos. I’ll use a random number generator, but if I don’t like the choice I’ll run it again (and again, and again) until I come upon a colour combination I like.

If you ARE Artsy

You don’t need my help, you’ve already got it goin’ on.