In our Loomy Question and Answer Day we are going to tackle the question of adding color to your loom knits.
Question: How do I add horizontal stripes to my loom knitted items? How do I work fair isle patterns?
(Picture caption: samplers to find the perfect motif for the Knitty Gritty show)
This topic right now comes close to my heart as it is part of my presentation for the Knitty Gritty show on knitting looms and to face reality, I know so little about it compared to some of the great needle knitters out there that I have acquired a small library of books with this topic. Some of them come with only charts, others come with informational and historical background.
If you are in search of books in this topic, I recommend the following:
1000 Great Knitting Motifs--great for loom knitters as everything is charted and you do not need to make any "translation".
The Art of Fair Isle Knitting--superb book: historical and informational, plus some patterns, and some charts.
Traditional Fair Isle Knitting--my first book that I got on this subject and I highly recommend it. Easy to read, great history background, charts.
In the video below, I demonstrate horizontal stripes, and working a simple stranded color pattern. Sorry for the background noise, the kids were playing :).
Enjoy, and as always, tips and questions are always welcomed.
Tip 1: When working your stranded color patterns, remember the following: consistency/yarn dominance
Background color--Over (reach over the foreground color to get this yarn)
Foreground color--Under (reach under the background color to get the foreground color yarn.
Keep this consistency throughout your pattern, if you don't, your motif won't be as defined.
Experiment before embarking with your project, try by exchanging which yarn is coming from above and which one from under--knit a complete chart repeat and see the difference.
Tip 2: Do not travel too far with your yarn, keep it to less than 1". If you travel to long, the knitted item will have overly long floats (Floats: the strand of yarn that travels behind the work). If traveling for more than 1 inch (or 3 stitches), weave the yarns around each other.
Tip 3: Block: items worked with stranded colour knitting look their best after blocking.
Tip 4: General tip when working with 2 different colors: keep a ball of yarn at each side of you. By keeping them separated the odds of the yarns tangling are less.
Tip 5: If possible, try to obtain a small gauge or even fine gauge knitting loom to try out your fair isle knits--your stitches will look more defined and the entire motif will look more crisp.
The samples swatches in the video were knitted on a fine gauge knitting loom and the hat was knitted on a regular gauge with 2 strands of worsted weight yarn. The three items were knitted with the Knit Stitch.