Friday, July 10, 2015

Stranded color work, and learning

 

 

I'm working lately on stranded knitting. This is the opposite of the garter stitch blanket; it involves charts and pencils and markers and figuring and measuring and ripping back. Sometimes, I need that kind of work, too, an interesting project that keeps me thinking. There's no looking away from it, so I can't work on it while we watch American Horror Story [Yiiiiikes! So creeeeeepy! I might be too chicken for that show! I'm scared of my own basement now!] but it goes really well with coffee and This American Life, which is much more my usual speed.

 

 

There's nothing for it but to spread out all over the table and make everyone eat their dinner off their laps because my papers and markers and stuff are all over every flat surface--don't move that, I'm workiiiiing!--but watching the design emerge from what seems in the beginning like a mess is pretty fun. I keep stopping to look at it, even though it is a (pre-blocked) puckered and crumpled pile, and to say oooh, aaahhh! Look! Value contrast! It's so satisfying.

As you know, this is an area where I struggle, and since I don't like to struggle, I am giving myself a crash course in stranded colorwork this week. It's difficult, at least for me, to look beyond color and see the value differences--I see pink and think "Well, pink is a 'light' color, right?" I'm determined to learn to recognize it.

Shooting in black and white mode helps. All of a sudden, aha! See how the first three are pretty much the same? The bells go off in my head. Learning is happening.

I arranged these in what I thought was the correct order, ranging from light to dark, and then shot it in black and white to see how I did. You can see I had a couple wrong at the dark end of the range.

Once the values are all sorted out, it's time to figure out a pattern--Alice Starmore has already done a lot of hard work there, so I just get her to help me with the charts. That book is a wonderful resource. Then, there's measuring, a little math, and away we go.

This should keep me busy for awhile.

12 comments:

  1. I stand in awe and will patiently wait to see what emerges, but as you knit at the speed of lightning, that might just be after the weekend ;-)

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  2. You are a better man than I am!!! WAY too.........too for me......but so beautiful and worth it.

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  3. I borrowed Mary Jane Mucklestone's (such a great name!)200 Fair Isle Knit patterns from the library 'cause I like to look at the pictures. Your project is every bit as entertaining and I totally love the colours. I aim to get to Shetland one day to visit Jamieson's for myself. I've heard the boat trip is excruciatingly rough - well, it is the North Sea after all - so I'm saving up for the flight, which constitutes a price that you could probably get to America for. It's all relative, I suppose. Have a good weekend. x

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  4. Hi Kristen, I love your stranded colourwork, and love those colours! I am a sometime knitter and crocheter, but mainly a quilter, and often find putting things into black and white really helps, and often gives you some surprises too, that some colours or fabrics are not as light or dark as you think they are!

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  5. You make it sound sooo easy, especially "a little math" - that would stump me right there! xxx

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  6. Ooh, this looks like just my kind of puzzle. While I haven't figured out the new chanics of stranded knitting yet, I am no stranger to spreading my notes, graph paper, and lots of math all over the table in pursuit of a project :-) What a great idea to shoot your colors in black and white! I hope you don't mind if I borrow it next time I am trying to explain color contrast to my Polymer Clay students. I am often surprised at what an elusive concept it is for some people, and that is a great was to illuminate it!

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  7. it's beautiful already.....blocked? it's going to be zowie!!! :)

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  8. my daughter and I- she is 11-- I am much older- sat with our mouths open as we looked at the black and white photos of your yarn- then we got our cameras out and were amazed with our own photos- thank you so much for teaching such a difficult concept is such a simple true way- we appreciate it!

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  9. my daughter and I- she is 11-- I am much older- sat with our mouths open as we looked at the black and white photos of your yarn- then we got our cameras out and were amazed with our own photos- thank you so much for teaching such a difficult concept is such a simple true way- we appreciate it!

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  10. Such impressive knitting I am always in awe of your talent.

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  11. Ah, the piles of our craftiness strewn across the table. I know it too well. Just spent the last 2 days on Youtube learning how to "unknit" my mistakes and mastering knit front/back. This is miles away from your amazing stranded color work, (charts with dots, math???) but someday.....

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  12. Que lindos colores, me gustan mucho los tonos que has mostrado. Hace mucho que no tejo con agujas, pero a ti seguro que te va a quedar muy lindo :D
    Que tengas muy buena semana ^u^

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