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Baby steps in colourwork

February 15, 2010
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Some knitters have an irrational fear of socks. Some have an aversion to elaborate lace. Others run screaming from any sweater that involves short row wrapping and turning.

But lurking in my own personal knitting room 101 is colourwork. I’ve always been bowled over by other knitters’ projects, but knitting with more than one strand of yarn at the same time? In an intricate charted pattern? How impressive! And how difficult all that looks!

But a few months back I signed up for a Swap run by the Lord of the Rings group over on Ravelry. The aim: to put together a little parcel of goodies for another group member based on their favourite LOTR characters, likes and dislikes. And to include a knitted item that pushed our own knitting boundaries a little. Aha, a chance to slay the colourwork gorgon! (Hmmm, gorgon. Now that sounds like a mythical monster that might need its own sock pattern….)

So, I felt the knitting fear. But did it anyway, using Eva Katharina’s beautiful Bird and Vine charts for fingerless mittens. (You’ll need to log in to Ravelry for the charts.) I modified the charts a little to incorporate my swap partner’s initials at the wrist….

And you know what? They weren’t nearly as difficult as I imagined. The hardest thing was keeping the floating strands at the back of the work loose enough, while keeping the front design tight and gap-free. (The yarn is Shetland Spindrift, a fingering weight wool, by Jamieson’s of Shetland, in colours Moss, Natural White and Sholmit.)

Then there was the wrapping of all the goodies to go in the swap parcel, and attaching pertinent quotes from the book to each item. And then the nerve-wracking posting them off halfway across the world to my swap partner. Were they good enough? Would she like them?  It was a huge thrill hearing that the answer is ‘yes’- they’re already keeping her hands warm at work in a Texas winter. (It’s a strange but gleeful feeling- that a fellow knitter I’ve never met is enjoying something I’ve knitted…)

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Nathalie permalink
    February 15, 2010 1:32 pm

    Very pretty. Love the birds!

  2. Lindyhopper permalink
    February 15, 2010 3:08 pm

    The gloves look fantastic, so original, and the idea of sending someone a beautiful ‘Happy Unbirthday’ box is lovely.

  3. February 15, 2010 5:08 pm

    They’re gorgeous – I love the initials at the wrist. Colourwork is my knitting phobia, but I’m hoping to get over it soon! Your parcels look so damn cute too :D

  4. February 15, 2010 5:13 pm

    Beautiful work

  5. February 15, 2010 11:58 pm

    Those are absolutely gorgeous!!

  6. February 16, 2010 1:35 am

    So pretty and neatly done too! I hate stranded colourwork almost as much as I hate picking up stitches around necklines, but it looks very effective.

  7. February 19, 2010 5:02 am

    Those are the prettiest gloves I’ve ever seen! What a special present.

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