The Knitting with Rainbows KAL has been happening over on the Stolen Stitches Group on Ravelry. The craic has been mighty and many an accessory has been knit over the last month and I’m happy to report that as well as having some very beautiful FO’s to flash around, some very lucky people have won some yarn too! (Thanks Carol!)
In case you are new to knit-a-long’s or Ravelry (if you are go sign up here, it’s free and it’s where global knitting magic happens) then let me explain to you what happens. Carol pick’s a theme / pattern selection and we, the knitters choose what we want to knit from this and then support each other to achieve our finished objects or FO’s for short. Sometimes (more often than not) Carol has a prize for people who post a status update on her WIP thread and a prize for an FO at the end of the KAL. Doesn’t that sound like fun? Free yarn anybody?
This KAL has been impressive to me because I’ve always loved gradient yarns and this pattern collection in particular shows them off to their best. So without further a do, let’s have a look at the FO Show!
Socks that Rock
The Gillabbey socks pattern was a favourite and one of the first FO’s off the needles in this KAL. These are knit from the cuff down and have a rib that biases in and out to form a smooth wave that travels down the foot of the sock. Carol has some useful tutorials on increases that could come in handy when working this pattern and you can find them over here so you can pop these in your knitter tool box. I hear that the pattern was a lot of fun to knit, was easily memorised and is like a hug for your feet! I especially love these by Knitsnpurls in Oceanwind Knits Sushi Socks Gradients and I think they turned out beautifully. May you have happy toasty feet this winter Carol aka Knitsnpurls!
Gradient Stave Hat
A change of pace in the Stave Hat with gentle colourwork it can be subtle or dramatic depending on your contrasting colour choice. The stranded colourwork technique allows you to move seemlessly between colours. Carolynba worked her Stave hat in Anzula Cricket, Malabrigo Yarn Arroyo, and madelinetosh Pashmina, proving that this is a nice little stash buster too! Carolyba also managed to knit this hat here in Ireland while on her trip (she also got to see Scotland and Germany too the lucky knitter) so this is also one for travel knitting!
Next up is an accessory favourite of mine, the cowl. Arch Lane is the product of slipped stitches and a beautiful gradient yarn. This is a deep and slouchy cowl and perfect for burying your face in during those winter commutes. One of the best things about this cowl is that you can easily keep knitting until your gradient colours are all used up so your not wasting any of your precious yarn!
Maggie0823 knit her Arch Lane in Color Story Colorwork Kit and I think she is very happy with how it turned out. What do you think? She mixed up her colour gradients for a more dramatic effect and I love how the green transitions from the dark emerald to the pale ice blue at her face.
Fenn’s Quay is a long cowl designed to wrap around your neck twice. It is worked in the round with a bias pattern to show off the beautiful gradient
Gansai knitted this beautiful version in Townhouse Yarns Burlington Blanks. Have you ever used a sock blank? These really fascinate me as they are already knitted up and you unravel the blank to knit into your project. I have to say this turned out beautifully and I will definitely be giving them a go.
By far the shawl is always a firm favourite in KALs and this was no exception! Mardyke, Half Moon Street and Shanakiel all had knitters working away on them and I’ve tried to gather a few *drumroll please*
First up is the lovely Snowshell’s Mardyke in Fiber Optic Yarns Kashmir Paintbox Gradient and I for one drooled over the FO and the mannequin on which it is displayed. Your eye gets drawn from the light blue to the dark indigo along the length of the shawl. This is an interesting knit as it uses two biases and the wave pattern of the lace to create a parallelogram that has a wavy biased edge. Isn’t this fabulous!
Next up we have another FO (gasp two FO’s!!) by the lovely Knitsnpurls who knit her Half Moon Street in Sweet Georgia Yarns. The contrasting colour here breaks up the colour gradients creating a string of pearls effect (thanks Knitsnpurls) that gives this shawl a beautiful texture. Not only is this perfect for showing off gradient yarns but it’s generous size allows you to wrap this around your winter coat for that added glam factor.
And finally we have Shanakiel which I think is one of the jewels in this collection. MissBunt knitted hers with some handspun Nebula and that’s something I didn’t even think of! I was too busy dreaming of sock gradients to consider handspun! This is a stunning shawl that is knit on the bias to allow the colour gradient and triangular shape to work at different angles to form a dramatic effect. This is truly a work of art.
For all of the shawls here I think a useful toolkit tutorials would be the Russian Join for joining in new yarn seamlessly and weaving in ends as you go to speed up your finishing. Talking about toolkits, one of the things I love about Carol’s books are the interesting tips and techniques that she has photographed and thoroughly explained. In Knitting with Rainbows, Carol has a very useful discussion on the use of subtle and dramatic yarn gradients and the type of patterns that they work best with. It’s all neatly wrapped up in a convenient table too, so you can quickly reference the type of gradient yarns you have in your stash and the best pattern to start with.
Remember way back at the start of this post I said that each KAL has a winner well MissBunt and her Shanakiel was the Knitting with Rainbows KAL prize winner and take a look at what she won:
Have I inspired you to join one of Carol’s Knit-a-longs? If your up for a garment the Luwan KAL is just at the swatching stages and this is being carried out over on the dedicated KAL board. It’s always friendly and fast paced in there and Carol (and plenty of other friendly knitters) is around to help you, should the need arise.
Not up for a garment? It’s ok I understand that the dreaded but fun season of Knitmas is already on the lips of many a crafter. Hushed tones only please Halloween is first! There will be a KAL starting in the StolenStitches group on Ravelry and it will be announced soon so keep you eyes peeled. We added a News Reel thread to the group so that you can keep up with discount codes, classes and all things happening in the world of Stolen Stitches.
Till next week, thanks for reading