Most of you have chosen your yarn, decided on size and gauge, cast on the requisite number of stitches on to the right size of needles to make the sweater to fit, and have knitted the first tube – the body of the jersey.Knitting round and round on circular needles is easy, repetitive work. Knitting, as you know, can be done in down time, TV time, waiting for a meeting to start, on public transport, when you are minding the kids or winding down after a busy day – listening to the radio or a podcast. You may find it soothing and relaxing especially if it is not complicated by difficult stitches or counting or trying to shape the garment. Enjoy.
If not – you can start now. Seeing someone else knitting makes me want to join in.
So let’s talk about colour today. If you have yarn you love at home – use it. If you have bought yarn for this project you are probably knitting it up. But if you haven’t started yet here are some thoughts and tips about choosing the colours.
- I would stick to mainly a plain colour for the jersey rather than a variegated or jazzy yarn. The idea with the plain colour is something that can be set off and enhanced by your colourwork patterned yoke.
- On the whole contrast is good. If you made a jersey in pastel shades with pastel colourwork it will not stand out very much. On the other hand if you put a stronger contrast in, it could look great. Here the dark grey would look lovely with two or three of the very light colours.
- If you know what colours suit you choose one of them. Let’s say you look best in light-muted shades try a soft pink and use a light grey and a deeper muted blue for contrast. You don’t want too much contrast as you suit a softer look.
- If you suit deeper shades a black, navy or deep purple jumper would be nice. You suit a stronger contrast so use bright shades like red, and orange, but maybe throw in teal or brown to make it more sophisticated. The colours will be enhanced by a dark background.
- You may like to make a neutral jersey that will go with everything. Neutrals include black, grey, navy, beige, cream, white, and brown. As I already have a pink and a blue jersey I am going with beige.
It is a boring colour to knit with, but I am planning on have bright colours for my yoke – probably red, blue and yellow (the primary colours). I did consider just using one shade rather than several – for example a denim blue – but I can’t resist the range of colours that make the jumper the ideal match with many outfits. If you choose to make a neutral jersey you could do your colourwork with neutrals too – this may be striking – for example black, white and grey – or subtle – using a range of natural browns that are quite close to each other.
- If you love bright colours think about a zingy colour scheme eg an orange sweater with blue and green colourwork – by choosing complementary colours your main colour will come to life. Or make a white sweater with strong colours in it?
- Finally I think you can throw in one discordant note to good effect sometimes, eg three cool colours and one warm one eg cool red, navy, grey and camel (warm); navy, or vice versa orange, yellow, peach and bright blue.
Apart from my own Colourmart yarns, I have used photographs from Love Knitting MillaMia Merino which is on offer at about £3.60 for 50 grms at the moment. The colours are rather lovely.
So think about
- What colours suit me best and enhance my complexion?
- What colours work well with the colour I have chosen for the jersey?
- How much contrast do I want – using light and dark, bright and deep, and complementary colours (yellow/purple; red/green; blue/orange)
- Do I want just one additional colour with my main colour eg navy and white; two eg navy, red and white; or three – navy with red, yellow and white?
- What colours are my skirts and trousers? – putting these into the colourwork will give you outfits. Although I have chosen a denim blue I may swap this out for teal to match my new trousers.
- What yarns do I already have that I can use? The colourwork only takes small amounts so you may not want to buy a whole ball. Obviously you should try to use the same weight and composition of yarn. If you want to use something else you should swatch it as a pattern, soak it in water, dry and press it and see what happens.
I know lots of you have cast on the right number of stitches and have started the body tube. How long are you making it? I am planning about 15″ as I don’t like a long sweater. My shortest one (the ombre is about 12″ long but it stops at the waist). I haven’t completed my body section but I have one sleeve complete. I am planning to explain the sleeves next week, and go on to the colour work the following week. The final post will cover the hems and finishing. I hope this pace is OK with you.
Let us know how you are getting on with the knitting below, where you can also ask any questions. I am sure the more expert knitters out there will be able to help with the answers.