Thank you all so much for the lovely compliments on yesterday’s knitted set: the Bluebird Cardigan and its matching accessories!
I love that no one thinks it’s too much matching to wear a coordinated sweater+mittens+beret set. I’m totally going to wear it all together! In my fantasy life, I’ll wear it with a circle skirt for an ice-skating date. (In my fantasy life I’m also an excellent ice-skater and can do twirls and such! In reality, I’m lucky not to fall…)
A couple of you asked about seeing the inside of the colourwork part. You got it!
I hadn’t taken the set home yet so I snapped a couple of inside photos to post. This is exactly the kind of thing I wanted to see when I was learning: what does it look like on the inside? Is there a secret to knitting with different colours? How do ‘real knitters’ do it? (Not sure I can tell you how ‘real knitters’ do it but I’d be happy to share what I did!)
Here is the inside of the Chickadee Mittens:
You can see the floats on the inside, that’s where the yarn is waiting to be used again, and ‘floats’ behind the other coloured stitches until its turn to be knit. Those floats are pulling the mitten tighter. Compare the width of the mittens, the inside-out one is much smaller than the right-side out mitten! My colourwork is still a little tighter than the ideal.
It needs to stretch, so therefore, the floats need to be as wide as the space between the colors, at least! Even better if it’s looser so there is more room to stretch. It goes against my natural inclination not to leave holes, leaving it loose between colours, but it’s necessary so the mitts fit and stretch.
Here’s the inside of the hat:
The inside of the hat isn’t that different from the outside. Because the stitches alternate, one white with one orange, it looks pretty much the same. This is actually an easier type of colourwork because you don’t have to worry so much about leaving loose floats in between each colour change.
Here’s the inside of the cardigan:
In this photo, you can see that the colourwork part is only across the yoke, and the rest of the body is plain orange. So most of this cardigan is knit normally, it’s only the one part that uses multiple colours. It’s actually kind of neat-looking, the inside of the colourwork part, and I’ve even seen some sweaters in stores that use the wrong side as the right side.
Again very important to leave loose floats across the back. Especially because it’s going around the shoulders, a place where you need movement!
You can’t see the blue colours from the right side, even though they are running behind the white yarn.
Just in case you thought this was really hard, let me tell you: I’m no colourwork pro. This is only my second and third time knitting with multiple colours, the sweater being the second and the mitts being the third. This was my first colourwork project ever – Chevron Mitts and they weren’t nearly as scary or as complicated as I thought they’d be to knit!
(they match my Robson Coat perfectly!)
When it comes to colourwork, I originally thought ‘there must be a secret to this!’ Truth is, there isn’t, or I haven’t learned it yet. It’s literally knitting a stitch with one colour, then switching to a second colour when the chart or instructions say so. There are suggestions that make it easier, like holding one colour in each hand and knitting Continental-style with your left hand colour, but I found that harder and slower.
The biggest thing I learned about knitting with two colours is not to pull the yarns too tightly. My natural urge is to pull the yarn as tight as possible so there aren’t holes between the colours. But it’s OK! The yarn itself will fill in the holes. And if you knit too tight, the fabric can’t stretch. Which makes the colourwork part tighter than the rest of the garment. And if you pull really tight, the whole thing ends up too small. (Been there, done that! Made a pair of mittens, well half a mitten in fact, that I couldn’t get over my palm.)
Here are some knitting tips I found useful:
- Tasha at By Gum, By Golly’s vintage knitting posts
- Knitbot’s colourwork tutorial (last one, with the video)
I hope this helps, to all of you who wanted to see the insides of these items! Do you have any colourwork tips to share?