Friday, 11 November 2011

GSoY: Colour play the Westknits Way

It's been a while, but my last post was the first of three about classes at the Glasgow School of Yarn, the first birthday celebrations of The Yarn Cake - Scotland's only dedicated knitting cafe. Of the many classes/workshops on offer I picked three (a 'Hermione Granger'-inspired time turner would have come in rather useful for getting to try some of the others). Friday afternoon's workshop was...

'Colour Play, the Westknits Way'

What made me pick this one...? I love the way colour can be used in knitting projects but when it comes down to it I tend to pick simple one-colour projects. If I ever combine colours I go looking for a combination someone else has done and do my best to match it. Boring... I'm also pretty unfamiliar with most colour-related techniques. I played with stripes for a bit in 2009:

And also tried my first stranded project in the same year:
The next stranded project was quite a bit simpler (I'd learnt something) in 2010:
To be honest I still feel like a complete beginner with stranding - I have another project on the go and I've learnt a couple of things this time around. Here's hoping it'll improve still more in the future.

Other colour techniques.... I've played with slip stitches on a few sock projects this year (I really like the way this looks):

But (prior to this workshop) I've yet to try any intarsia (although I kind of played around with the idea a bit on a pair of mittens I made up last winter):

So, what did we get up to? In this workshop we played around with a two-colour sample. (We didn't talk about colour choices but I did get to see lots of fine examples of things that worked - maybe I'll get out some brave soon.) We started out with some simple garter stitch stripes, something that actually works really well, I'm not a huge fan of garter stitch, but adding some colour definately makes it worth a second thought. To the garter stripes we then added a couple of slipped stitches which then became traveling stitches moving across the sample.

Next stop, intarsia! This was actually pretty straightforward at this scale - I hear it gets a bit more fiddly with more colour transitions... I felt like I'd got to grips with that and so went on to experiment with cables. It's not often you see cables on stockinette and I can see that they might not show so well in a single colour but here it makes and interesting linking effect:

And that was that, the light was fading and that dark blue was increasingly feeling like a poor choice of colour - time to head back to the hostel (and to a lovely haggis and neeps at Stravaigin - eating our solo is often really quite weird but the whole thing was just really pleasant - great service, great food, really lovely atmosphere).


PS - Stephen West was great too, he took plenty of time to talk us through his samples and to look at the swatches we were playing with. I wish I had his style...

PPS - Project online on Ravelry.

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