I am so excited to share with you the first pattern in my book! This is Colour Trail.
I love finding textures to show off hand-dyed yarn, so it makes sense to start with this pattern. Here, arcing lines of slipped stitches create long trails of colour. The garter stitch blends shades together, and dashes of colour flash in the simple lace border.
The shawl makes a gentle crescent shape, so it sits beautifully around the shoulders. It’s lovely to wear, and pretty easy to knit – it’s an intermediate project with no difficult stitches.
The patterns in Knit Play Colour are structured so that there is a basic pattern first. You can follow these instructions to make a beautiful project. The shawl shown here is made with 3 skeins of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK, knit at a loose gauge of just 18 sts per 10cm/4” on 5mm/US 8 needles. You can see how well it drapes and how open the lace mesh border looks.
Want to do something different? At the end of each pattern are instructions on how to “play” with the design.
For this pattern, the first thing I played with was gauge and colour choice. At a firm 22 sts per 10cm/4” on 4mm/US 6 needles, but in a similar yarn, this is a snug, cosy, textural project. With the lace unblocked, it creates dense dashes of vibrant colour in this variegated EasyKnits ZipLight in Banshee.
The pattern is designed to work from laceweight through to aran/heavy worsted yarns. If you want to adjust the width of the lace border, to allow for different yarns and gauges, instructions are given on how you can do this. Yarn quantities for these different weights are on the Ravelry pattern page, and in the book. The aim of this post is to show you more about the “play” ideas, rather than get too technical.
To give you an idea of how the design looks in lighter yarns and different levels of variegation, this is it in Ginger’s Hand Dyed Splendor 4ply (50% Merino, 50% silk, 400m/437yds per 100g skein) in Hocus Pocus. You could use 2 skeins to make a smaller size shawl, or 3 skeins for a generously proportioned version. I like this yarn at 22 sts per 10cm/4” over Garter Stitch using 3.75mm/US 5 needles, as shown. It was wet blocked gently to open out the lace. The gentle variegations show beautifully.
I currently have on my needles a version in Fyberspates Gleem Lace (55% Bluefaced Leicester, 45% silk, 800m/875yds per 100g skein). I’m using 1 skein of Lundy Island at 24 sts per 10cm/4” over Garter Stitch using 3.5mm/US 4 needles. With 1 skein, I’ll work to the smallest measurements given in the pattern. With 2 skeins, you could work to largest measurements. The swatch has been wet blocked hard. I want this as a summer shawlette; light and simple. I’m also thinking I’ll wear it scrunched up and wound round my neck in autumn. It is so subtly semi-solid that it’s hard to see the colour changes, so it really shows off the textures in the design.
It’s often a trade-off between showing off colours in the yarn or showing off textures in the knitting. Sometimes it’s possible to create a balance, in a design that uses different textures to show the colours in the yarn. I tried to achieve that here.
I’m also hoping that I’ve shown you how the ten patterns in the book will make hundreds of possibilities for your next project! These are flexible patterns, with ideas to inspire you and all the help you need.
This is the first pattern being shared from Knit Play Colour. The book is available to pre-order now as an ebook on Ravelry, or as a printed book (including a download code for a free copy of the ebook). Patterns are being shared during September, with the book released on the 29th.
Which yarns do you want to take with you on a Colour Trail?
All images © Jesse Wild 2015