It’s Color that Gives Knitwork Star Quality


It’s all in the color, I often tell people who admire my knitting. 

I’m a “process knitter,” I’ll admit. I like fairly simple, easy-to-remember patterns. I like to sit and let my mind go vacant as I concentrate on nothing but whether I need to knit or purl the next row. It’s my “me time.” It’s my meditative time.

But I get bored with simple stockinette or garter stitches for inches on end. Even as I zone out, I need a sense of change. I get a sense of accomplishment from finishing a section of one color and moving on to the next.

With the many self-striping and variegated yarns now available, it’s easy to give your otherwise plain, straightforward stockinette pops of color that make you look like a star. People who don’t knit will think you’re over-the-top talented if you display a knitwork with lots of intricate color. People will think you’re a genius if you add a few rows of yarn-overs to make a lacey pattern along with the colorwork knitting.

Colors give us a sense of accomplishment, give depth to our work – often without even changing skeins.

Several new books on colorwork in knitting have recently come out! Be sure to check them out:

Gradient Style: Color-Shifting Techniques & Knitting Patterns, edited by Kerry Bogert (Interweave): Specifically for knitters, this book helps crafters take advantage of the wide range of gradient colored yarn sets currently on the market. Some basics of using the color wheel are included in the introduction, followed by a good number of projects patterns using gradient colors: socks, sweaters, shawls, and mittens. The editor wisely advises knitters to go to the yarn shop and physically mix and match colors for new projects, rather than simply buying materials online. This book is great for anyone who wants to give their flat knitting some kick by using gradient color combinations. Currently on sale, in paperback and Kindle

Beginner’s Guide to Colorwork Knitting by Ella Austin. Despite the title, this book would best be used by advanced beginners or intermediate knitters. The photographs do an excellent job of showing exactly what is meant by each color work technique, but I think you would have to go to YouTube videos to be able to actually learn these techniques. If you are comfortable working with charts, this is the book for you. Just Published! Available in paperback and Kindle on March 19, 2019.

Love Color: Choosing Colors to Live Withby Anna Starmer: This gorgeous book by a color expert gives you lots of excellent ideas for choosing color schemes. I appreciated that the author urges readers to start with items of sentimental significance in creating color design choices. Many palettes are featured in the book, with tips on contrasting colors, working with textures, and use of lighting. The author does a great job of bolstering readers’ confidence in making bolder uses of color and incorporating colors that simply put them in a good mood. Available in hardback and Kindlefor less than $20.

Happy Colorwork Knitting! Cindy

Cynthia Coe is an avid knitter and author. Check out her books on her Amazon Author Page for more information.

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