Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Kolourwork Krazy

Its Woolly Wednesday and I have to admit that there is a black hole in my knitting knowledge and that is colour work or as I knew years ago fairisle. 

The last time that I knitted anything that could be classed as colour work was probably back in the late 1960s when I made a sweater with a fairisle yoke.  I can remember at the time forcing myself to knit a pattern repeat a day (that was 10 rows on 300+ stitches) boy was I glad when it was finished.  The last time that I can remember wearing said sweater was on a pot holing trip down Swildon's Hole - no proper waterproof clothing required, just turn up in something old was the brief..........................

Having discovered that shawls are not and never were really the lacy creations that I had thought I found through further research that shawls were garments made for warmth and generally worn by working women.  You have to wait to the late 19th century for coats to make an appearance in the wardrobe of women, until most women wore cloaks or shawls - make sense when you consider the long skirts and petticoats.  The lacy creations popular in the early 19th century were the reserve of the upper and gentil classes - think Cranford Mitts!!!

After much searching I have decided that I love Kate Davies Designs particularly as I feel an empathy with her, having suffered a migraneous stroke in 1997. (one week to the day after the General Election) Like her I have turned by life around, but unlike her I am not an expert at fairisle knitting. But this, like the stroke, can be overcome! 

So colour work shawls............... First I thought I would dive straight in and make a colour work shawl with steek - well the works really!  Then sense prevailed and I thought practise first, shawl later!  Besides the chosen shawl - Eliza is a big project and I have two shawls on the needles already

Winter Green which is a KAL

The other is a test knit of my Strawberry Thief Shawl which I can't hibernate as I am charting the pattern for a friend who is also testing the pattern

A smaller project seemed more appropriate - so a scarf knitted in the round (which I have been told is the best way to knit fairisle as you only ever do knit stitches!)  So I purchased a ball of Kauni EFFEKT and a contrast in grey.  Its a bit of a cheat really because you only used two yarns, but get the effect of more.

Couldn't find a pattern, so turned to my Alice Starmore's Book of Fairisle Knitting and sorted out a suitable design! 

All the books on knitting with two yarns suggest using the technique of Continental knitting with one yarn and English throwing the other!  It ain't easy - and I have gone back to holding both yarns in my right hand and using both my index and middle finger - it works for me!

But I have just discovered that I twisted the first row.................................. &*&()(*^%$*)()^%$£&(*&^%$! 


  1. Enjoy your colourwork knitting, I've not done any big projects so it's on my to do list one day too. I love Kate Davies designs too.

  2. Your lace work is so beautiful!

    Good luck with the colourwork - I share your pain on the twisted first row!

  3. I love colorwork but it is tedious and I have to admit I have too many WIPs to mention without shame. The lace is lovely. Right now with thoughts of spring, lace is all I want to work on.

  4. OK, hands up, never done any colourwork!! I'm a bit of a reluctand knitter, love lace shawls which I would never wear but don't knit much else...suspect I'm just a spinner hehe but seeing your shawls is tempting me x

    1. I wear my shawls all the time, edpecially in doors, but as scarfs outdoors. So easy to discard if you get too warm!!


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