New pattern collection! Flying V’s fingerless mitts, full mittens, legwarmers, and cowl! 4 different items, all in your choice of chevron block colorwork pattern (all the same stitch pattern, just changing colors at different points). Any color pattern works for any item, and 16 different options are charted for you!
The collection is all together as one pattern – make the mitts/mittens in fingering weight or the legwarmers or cowl in worsted weight. All items are given in 3 sizes, and lengths are easily adjusted for all of them.
Because I had so many samples to show all the different items and a variety of the chevron patterns, I took a ton of photos (with much help from my awesome husband/assistant!!) – I’m taking this blog opportunity to show a bunch of the shots that didn’t make it into the actual pattern or rav pages…
So yeah, colorwork, that’s new for me! A few months ago, I had this vision for making a chevron stitch pattern in which the V’s are off-kilter, at first thinking maybe I could make it happen with slip stitches (more my knitting style) but I eventually decided the only way to make my vision really come to life was to teach myself stranded colorwork. Like, for reals.
I’d done bits of colorwork here and there (like in Wobble Bass, and in some game knit items), but I’d always done it with the drop-and-pick-up method, slowly and awkwardly. The thing is, I’m a thrower, and I’ve never been able to work the yarn with my left hand well, so I’d tried two handed stranded knitting a little and couldn’t swing it.
So I was determined to figure out a way to really knit stranded colorwork, and after trying a few different holding techniques, I found that the best for me is holding both strands in my right hand, one strand over my index finger and the other over my middle finger. After much practice, I’m still slow, and get some hand cramping if I’m not careful, but it works!
I made my first prototype of the design idea in some scrap yarn, in my original off-kilter chevron block idea. (I later decided not to do the thumb in stranded colorwork, as I’d done here!)
And in the process of making that, I realized there could be so many more possibilities based on that concept of working a chevron stitch pattern and changing colors for each V. So I started sketching! Well, I made a couple chevron base sketches, then had fun with photoshop color filling:
Then I had more fun plugging specific color block patterns into a chart spreadsheet, eventually ending up with the 16 different chevron block color patterns which are included in the pdf. 7 of the options are shown in my samples (and the pattern tells you exactly which ones they are), and my testers worked from some of the other charts as well, so you can see more patterns by looking through the ravelry project pages. And you can even play around and come up with your own variations!
The different color patterns can use anything from 2 colors up – the charts go up to 5 colors, but you can easily stash-bust leftover mini-balls by making non-repeating color rows of chevron blocks / V’s. Or use self-striping yarn for one or more of the block colors!
As for the samples, all the mitts are in Knit Picks Palette yarn, which is an affordable way to use lots of different colors. All the colors I used are listed in the pattern.
The legwarmers are in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tweed – I used exactly one skein of each of the 4 colors (I had about 20 inches left of the green!), so if you’re making the legwarmers in this yarn and might want to add some length or just be safe, I’d recommend doing a 5 color pattern…
The large size green cowl is in Knit Picks Swish merino and Chroma self-striping for all the V’s. By using the same self-striping yarn for all the V’s instead of different solid colors, you can carry the yarn up the entire thing and have hardly any ends to weave in!
Side note about the large size (especially if done in a floppy yarn like this soft merino) – it will want to flop open, revealing the wrong side, which you may or may not care too much about… a way I found to solve this problem is to fold it over on itself and stick a pin in it (a button like this, or a shawl pin), holding it up, and preventing it from flopping open:
The medium size cowl sample is in gorgeous Quince & Co Lark worsted weight. I had small leftover balls of these colors, so I bought a skein of the Egret for the background, and I absolutely love how it turned out!
The mitt/mitten thumbs are worked modularly, with some picked up stitches to close up the hole where the thumb joins the hand. The fingerless mitts thumbs have a garter stitch edge to match the top and bottom edges.
The mitten thumbs are worked at an angle, and the then grafted closed, making them thumb-shaped at the tops. The mitten tops are also grafted closed (grafting instructions are included; none of the other items require grafting).
Some colorwork experience is recommended going into the project. While shaping is minimal, making it a pretty simple pattern, working the colorwork along with the increase/decrease chevron pattern is a but tricky, especially if you’re new to colorwork. Once you get the hang of it, it’s not hard, but it is important to carry your strands evenly across the back, and catch floats as you work each color block.
The sizes can vary a bit depending on how tightly/loosely you carry your strands, and you can make size modifications by slightly adjusting your gauge if you want. Sizes of all the items, and fit notes, are all included in the pattern, and also on the ravelry pattern pages for each item.
The pattern collection pdf is 17 pages total – the written pattern is on 5 photo-less pages, the charts are on 3 pages, 1 page of abbreviations/chart notes, and 8 pages are notes and photos (not meant to print). You can buy it through ravelry or my website (and next week through Knit Picks as well).