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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Quick Colorwork Recap - Knitting and the Prom

So far we've practiced stranded colorwork and slip stitch.  If colorwork were the prom, Stranded and Slip would be the King and Queen of the prom.  (Attractive, popular...)


Fair Isle Sweater pic, borrowed from quezi.com
Why two names for the stranded knitting?  Well, Fair Isle (the Prom King) isn't the same as stranded, it's one form of stranded knitting.  Fair Isle traditionally is worked in relatively narrow bands in several colors.  Geometric patterns are the norm, and stacked in alternating thin and thick bands, but all bands are narrow relative to the size of the garment.  In each specific row, only two colors are worked at a time.  The traditional knits usually work 5-7 colors.  The effect is very unique and beautiful, and the sweaters are very warm.

Stranded work from Kristin's Creatives
In all other foms of stranded knitting, you don't have to follow the rule of the narrow, multi-colored bands.  You can also use more than 2 colors in a row.  As you can see from the stockings at right, no one would mistake this form of stranded for Fair Isle, but the basic work of the knitting is the same, no matter what the overall design.

Slip stitch, our Prom Queen, is the other popular and beautiful way to put colorwork into your project.  In this example from Kay Gardiner and the Mason-Dixon Knitting Blog, a really dramatic effect is created with slip stitch, with lovely texture enhancing the whimsy of the design.  All slip stitches will have texture to them by nature of the slipping of the stitches, and different designers choose to use that texture in different ways.  In general, the more texture, the warmer the fabric will be.

Lion Brand Intarsia Polka Dot Scarf
At every prom is some kid who didn't make much of a splash during school hours, but you were vaguely aware of him.  You saw him every day, and you might have even known his name at some point.  Then, at the prom, he bounces out on the dance floor, and he dances with joy and precision, and the whole crowd stops to watch.  When he stops, people applaud, and try to coax him out there to do it again.  That guy, my friends, is Intarsia.  You see it everywhere, and when you see how it's done, you'll be delighted. 

It's coming up in the next installment of this series.  Protected by Copyscape Online Plagiarism Checker

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