New Favorites: Colorwork without the work

New Favorites: Uncommon colorwork

There’s a way to do colorwork that doesn’t involve stranded knitting (i.e., alternating between different yarns within the same row/round) or intarsia (changing colors mid row and then changing back again later). It’s basically just stripes — anyone can knit stripes, right? — except you jumble them up by knitting into the row below here and there instead of knitting straight across. So it’s colorwork without the work! I’ve long been intrigued by it but have never done it, and in the past couple of weeks, two tempting patterns have hit the airwaves.

The one above is the Midwinter scarf by Wendy Baker and Belinda Boaden of True Brit Knits (for the Quince and Co. Scarves 2014 collection) and looks almost like crochet! It’s a stitch pattern that is apparently called English Rose Tweed, which I only know because it’s also one of three stitch patterns artfully combined in The Purl Bee’s Stitch Block Cowl (free pattern). Worked at a slightly smaller gauge than Midwinter, it looks a little more like weaving. Even more so for the Checked Rose Fabric stitch pattern it’s paired with. (My favorite might be the one-color part of the Purl Bee pattern, the Rambler stitch.) But it’s fun to see what a difference the change of scale makes, and makes me want to play with this stitch pattern at an even wider range of gauges.

New Favorites: Uncommon colorwork

IMPORTANT SHOP NOTE: I’m in a van today on the way to Seattle for this weekend’s Vogue Knitting Live event, and will be gone through next Monday. (Don’t worry, I have blog posts lined up!) But the very capable Anie is here to take care of your orders*, and I’ll still be checking email as much as possible while at the show. I have several things with me that are new, and I’m excited to announce them after I’m back! Meanwhile, there are a few more Bento Bags on the webshop shelves (more, including more XL’s, coming soon — I promise) AND there’s a new size of the beloved Doane Utility Notebooks. It’s 5×7 and feels so right and great in the hand, I’m completely in love with it. Check it out!

*With the exception of international orders — those will ship next week when I’m back.


PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Rosa Pomar’s blanket hat

14 thoughts on “New Favorites: Colorwork without the work

  1. I love designs that look complex, but are easy to do. The Midwinter scarf looks too much like crochet to me, but the Stitch Block Cowl might just jump onto my needles this weekend.

  2. Love these patterns! I’m working on the Purlbee’s Stitch Block Cowl right now, although it hasn’t’ been my main focus for a while. I’m a huge fan of alternative color work. Usually I’ve done slip stitch patterns to achieve this look, which is why I wanted to try out the Stitch Block Cowl to learn stitches that you knit through the row below for. One of my all-time favorite patterns is the Purlbee’s Brioche Cowl, where you create vertical stripes by working Brioche with two colors. Thank you for sharing! You’re right – the Midwinter scarf does look like crochet! It’s amazing how much gauge matters. Have fun at the Vogue Knitting Live event!

  3. i just saw a sample of the midwinter scarf at fancy tiger (in denver) and i keep thinking about those awesome pompoms at the end. it’s a lovely scarf…but those pompoms!

  4. I love both of these patterns. But I would leave off the pom poms on the Midwinter scarf, though.

  5. Ya know, those pom poms could be used as weapons if warranted…I love it! Happy travels, knit lots, sell tons, have fun!

  6. Working on the stitch block cowl right now, soon beginning om the third and last block, English tweed rose. Using a subtler color combo, of white, honey, and mustard, because that is what I had, I love the original but I am really pleased with my combination too, makes the checkered rose look like honeycomb.

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  9. I am working the Stitch Block Cowl and dropped two stitches in the checked rose pattern. How do I pick them up and keep the pattern?

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