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Knitting in Living Color

Oct 3, 2011
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I'm so attracted to this collection of colors. There's a silvery gray, my old favorite pewter, a beautiful gray, a lovely pink, a bright green, and my new favorite orange. It's my kind of rainbow, surrounded by a gray-blue border. (Photograph from ColorKnits, yarns are from The Fibre Company, courtesy of Kelboune Woolens)  

"I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns." —Winston Churchill

Although I must disagree with Winston about the browns, I think he captured, with his usual aplomb, how color affects us—we love some colors, we dislike others, and we're ambivalent about many. 
Yarn is such a great medium for color, isn't it? Our new eMag, ColorKnits, celebrates color in knitting and in life.

Most people have a ready answer to the question "What's your favorite color?" It's a hard one for me because I have a lot of favorite colors. You know about my attraction to the dull, drab, and dreary (black/gray/brown), but lately I've been loving orange. That's right: Orange! I just finished knitting my mom an orange sweater and the happy color made the experience really fun.

But knowing what colors you like to knit is only part of the story. How you put them together can change everything. In her article on colors in Fair Isle, Janine Bajus shows how the use of color separates true Fair Isle knitting from other kinds of stranded knitting. You might not think that my old favorite grays and browns would look great paired with my new favorite orange, but one of the color studies of Fair Isle shows options for pairings that pop.

This color study shows how colors can move in a traditional
Fair Isle design. (Photo by Joe Hancock)
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Spacer 15x15 pixels Rippling Fans Cowl by Gladys We and Karla Stuebing
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  Seurat Pullover, designed by Courtney Kelley and Kate Gagnon Osborne, from the new eMag, ColorKnits (Photo by Joe Hancock)

Handpainted yarns can be a great example of fabulous color combinations that don’t turn out as expected in the finished project. If you don’t choose a stitch pattern carefully, the colors that sang in the skein can turn to muddy pools in your knitting.

Gladys We and Karla Stuebing decided to take charge of their handpainted yarns and developed techniques for planned pooling. If I find a fabulous skein of hand-dyed yarn in brown, orange, and gray-blue, I can use the Rippling Fans Cowl pattern to stack those colors in a beautiful lace pattern.

What if you only want a bit of color in your knitting? The traditional Estonian roositud method uses short lengths of yarn in intriguing inlay designs. Nancy Bush explains how to work roositud and shares a new fingerless mitt pattern. In the Seurat Pullover, a Bohus-inspired classic designed by Courtney Kelley and Kate Gagnon Osborn (photo at left), the designers placed color at the yoke, with the rest of the pullover worked in a neutral winter white. It's a great way to show off the colorwork.

Add more color to your life: Download your copy of ColorKnits today!


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on Oct 5, 2011 10:02 PM

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to share a little about our color charting tool on tricksyknitter. It's perfect for experimenting with your fair isle color palettes. After you make a chart, you can click the Save as Copy button, and then change your colors. Here are some examples I made to demonstrate:

Happy Knitting!


Tricksy Knitter

Manilena wrote
on Oct 5, 2011 2:25 AM

Good morning, Kathleen.

Sorry, for having been a bit cryptic before. It was late in the night over here. I've just realized today, that iTunes only holds apps for the iPad and iPod, and that those won't run on MacOsX

Now, the reason, I wanted to know, whether ColorKnits would be downloadable through the Mac App Store, is that I live outside the US. Payment through the AppStore on my MacBook would therefore be much simpler than the contortions I would have to go through if I ordered directly over the website. (Since I don't hold a credit card either. I know ... that's very old-fashioned, but there.)

I realize now, though, that this would entail developing an entire new app just for the MacBook, and I do understand that that would be a bit over the top. Still, bit sad for me.

Manilena wrote
on Oct 4, 2011 4:21 PM

Oh, good! Thanks for the link, Kathleen. But will I be able to run the app on my MacBook. I don't have an iPad.

on Oct 4, 2011 11:40 AM

Hi Manilena! ColorKnits is available for the iPad. Here's the link:

Have fun!


LisaS@7 wrote
on Oct 4, 2011 8:37 AM

I was thrilled to see that emags are now available on the ipad. I instantly went and bought it from the iTunes store and started to look at it. It is wonderful! I've always wanted to have my emags (I have several - sockupied & quilting arts) on my iPad so I wouldn't be tied to my computer.  I love it!

Thanks so much. Now my dream would be complete if I could get the ones I already have on my iPad somehow.

Thanks again for including the iPad!

Lisa S. in Fairfax, VA

Manilena wrote
on Oct 4, 2011 5:24 AM

Hello Kathleen!

Does Interweave plan at some point to make its emags available for download through iTunes or the Mac App Store?