Sunday, 15 July 2018

Colour Planning

I love designing really colourful patterns but, when it comes to choosing colours, I do have a tendency to get stuck in the 'rainbow rut'.

See what I mean? It's just so easy to use the shades of the rainbow for a bright result that's always popular. These patterns are Colour Wheel ShawlTiddlywinks BlanketPaddle Ball and Rainbow by the way (although I think I can be forgiven for using rainbow colours to knit an actual rainbow).

Anyway, last week I accidentally designed a new Ten Stitch pattern. It was accidental in that I was just doodling on some graph paper and an idea suddenly clicked into place. Apart from a bit of fiddling about while I worked out exactly where to place the shaping stitches, it came together pretty quickly. 

So, I've knitted a small test piece and am now ready to start on the actual blanket - yes, it's a blanket. This one is slightly different from the others in that it's not worked continuously but in 'rounds', using a different colour for each round. I say rounds but it's not actually a circle or anything remotely resembling one. I thought this would be a good opportunity to use lots of different colours as I know many people use the Ten Stitch patterns as stashbuster projects. So I turned out my baskets of Stylecraft Special DK ... which is when it started to get complicated. With so many colours (now all over the floor), where should I start? So, I put them all back in their baskets and did something else.

What I did was to crochet a couple of little mats to see if I could be a bit more relaxed when choosing colours ...

... apparently not. Exactly the same colours in both of them! At this point I gave up and went to bed.

The next morning it dawned on me that what I needed were yarn pegs for all the Stylecraft Special colours to do my colour planning with. Not only would this save me being overwhelmed by balls of yarn all over the floor but it also offered the prospect of many happy hours procrastinating as I wound the pegs. 

The first problem was that I don't have all the 80 solid shades of this yarn. What to do? Obviously I went straight to Wool Warehouse to order the 26 colours I needed to complete the set. I know, that's a big order, but I justified it by remembering how much I use this yarn in my designs.

Having done that, I set about making yarn pegs with the 54 colours I already had.

Don't they look nice? The trickiest part was writing the colour names on the pegs. I deliberately covered a wide section of each peg with yarn to give me a nice big band of colour which then meant I had to write very small using a fine drawing pen.

My yarn order arrived from Wool Warehouse the next day in a big box - I've never ordered so much from them that they had to put it in a box before. Yet again I have to say how impressed I am  by their speedy service; their yarn elves must be super quick workers. When I unpacked the yarn I could see why these were the colours I'd never used before.

They're either a bit dull or, well, neon. When it came to wrapping them round their pegs though I got to like them a bit better. I suspect that some of these not-so-exciting shades might be just the thing I need to bring a colour scheme to life. Spending time making the pegs like this is also a good way to absorb some of the colours, if that makes any kind of sense.

And here they are - 80 shades of Stylecraft Special DK in their own little suitcase ...

Of course, I immediately started playing with them, lining them up ...

... fanning them out ...

... and then seeing how many different groups of colours I could put together.

I'm resisting the temptation to pick all the colours for the new Ten Stitch blanket in advance (relax, Frankie) and am, instead, going to start with just one colour I like and then choose the others as I finish each round. How scary is that? (No Frankie, not scary, exciting).

Now all I've got to do is decide on that first colour. You're not in a hurry for this pattern are you?


  1. Wool Warehouse are brilliant and I love Stylecraft special DK.I have made so many blankets using this yarn.Lokk forward to seeing your next pattern.

    1. Yes, they are my 'go to' shop for yarn. I actually went there in person a few weeks ago - that was exciting.

  2. You and Lucy from Attic24! You crack me up one minute and inspire me beyond measure the next. All that awesome colour loveliness!

  3. Thank-you. I once collaborated with Lucy but found her very unprofessional. Pretty blog though.