Foolproof Stripes

I’ve been blown away by the beautiful colour combinations, yarn choices and stripe ideas that the Foolproof mystery knitalong has sparked. I’m thrilled to see such fantastic projects made when the construction was a mystery. I know there are a few days left for the MKAL to officially run, but there’s too much to share already.

I didn’t want to single out individual projects, since there are so many great ones. But what I do want to do is think about what kinds of combinations work so well for this pattern and show some great examples. So if your project isn’t here, please don’t be offended – I can only a show a few and I loved them all! This MKAL has been a real masterclass in stripe combinations, produced by you, the knitters.
Ravelry: Jenastra's Cinnamon & Grey
copyright Jenastra 2013

Graphic. Always a winner – a simple, stark contrast looks really effective. It shows the diagonal construction well and it’s relatively easy to play knowing that it is likely to turn out well. A bold result. I love stellacometa’s for its clean result. Jenastra’s cinnamon & grey is heart-stopping – the grey is just that bit more sophisticated than contrasting the cinnamon with black or white, and keeps it modern.

Ravelry: stellacometa's (145) Foolproof
copyright stellacometa 2013

Tonal. The polar opposite. Quiet. Sophisticated. Subtle. I adore Caramora’s test knit for this reason. A few knitters were worrying that their stripe combinations didn’t have a high enough contrast, but Cara demonstrates how beautiful tonal stripes look. The colours don’t have to shout at you to work in stripes. It’s just a different effect. You’ll have to wait to see the designed Faery Wings version in two shades of purple – pictures will be out on Tuesday.
Ravelry: caramora's Linear goes Circular
copyright caramora 2013

Long colour change. There was some discussion before the MKAL started about long colour change yarns. Yes, they’re always going to work instead of stripes. I do like them for accessories in particular, so the colours don’t take over from everything else. KnittyWench made a long colour change cowl with knobs on: she striped two yarns together. I’m used to seeing a plain striped with these yarns, to calm things down. I thought two together was a risk, but the combination looked good in the ball so it was totally worth a try. I’m so glad KnittyWench did because her project is absolutely stunning. Now I want to experiment!
IMG_20130510_121506 by KnittyWench, via Flickr
copyright KnittyWench 2013

Surprise pop of colour. Indielynx’s cowl was already gorgeous in tonal caramels. It moves out of the ordinary with little surprises of blue here and there. It’s the perfect shade – just as dark as the darker caramel so it doesn’t overpower, a yellowy blue so it belongs with its friends, and only in tiny amounts.Ravelry: indielynx's Foolproof
copyright Indielynx 2013

Semisolid. I love these for how the yarns take the “edge” off a tonal contrast and make it more harmonious. CriminyJickets project has a great semi-solid combination. The grey/scarlet is a classic choice, but it’s greatly improved by the blue and white flecks in both yarns. The yarns speak to each other much more.Ravelry: CriminyJickets' Foolproof
copyright CriminyJickets 2013

Variegated. There was a lot of discussion about whether variegated yarns were going to work well or not. 2muchstuff2day did a great job of stash busting and incorporating a lovely tonal orange (yes, I’m still loving orange, rust, cinnamon, caramel…). Equally, LindaMNoble and kinnikinnik made wonderful projects. The secret with these cowls was to pick a colour (or two) out of the variegated yarn and use it as the solid contrast.
foolproof complete 4 by 2muchstuff2day, via Flickr
copyright 2muchstuff2day 2013

Personally, I’ve also been wrestling with a flat navy and a variegated pastel yarn recently. The navy kept dominating the stripe while the pastel shades wilted. However the variegated yarn works now I’ve put it next to a washed-out blue that’s closer to a colour in the yarn. Reading what I’ve just written about variegated yarns, it seems obvious now.

Handspun. I really hoped someone would be prepared to use precious handspun for this mystery pattern. HappyLucky: I’m flattered you’re prepared to use your own gorgeous yarn. I really wanted this to be a pattern where people can be creative with it – “design into it” as a tutor of mine used to say. I’m thrilled that people have, and none more so than in using handspun.Ravelry: HappyLucky's Foolproof Cowl
copyright HappyLucky 2013

Be brave. I confess I particularly admire the adventurous knitters who embarked on the “free spirit” version, where they designed their own stripe combinations with no idea how it was all going to turn out. Syraj’s Jasper stripe springs to mind on this – beautiful semi-solids play together perfectly in a well-designed stripe layout.

I gathered Syraj’s project together with a selection of other gorgeous projects on a pinterest board to which I’ll keep adding. Checkout Foolproof Inspiration here. The Foolproof pattern is on Ravelry. I can’t wait to see the next projects finished!

4 thoughts on “Foolproof Stripes

  1. Pingback: Inventories | Kristenisms...

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