Colormatic – Part 1

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October KAL

Welcome to the Progressive Needles Knit Along sponsored by Skacel Collection.  The mission of the KAL is to further your knitting education while having some fun along the way.  Our Fall pattern, Colormatic, certainly meets these expectations and more!  Colormatic is a beautiful cowl featuring my recent obsession – color knitting.  I adore watching colorfully complex patterns flow from my needles especially if they are deceivingly simple to execute.

Before we begin, here’s a quick overview of how the KAL works:

  • A portion of the four-part pattern is revealed here every Thursday in October.  The complete pattern, video resources and lots of helpful tips are included in each post.  An abbreviated, pattern-only version is included to download.
  • All techniques are supported with video instruction at knitpurlhunter.com
  • All questions and comments are monitored daily both here and in the Knit Purl Hunter group on Ravelry.  It’s like having your own private knitting tutor!
  • Completed projects are eligible for the monthly prize drawing – first prize is a set of addi Clicks!  See skacelknitting.com for all the info.
  • Weekly prizes are awarded to knitters who locate the prize “clues” hidden in the Skacel and Knit Purl Hunter websites or on the Skacel Collection Facebook page.  A small tag line will be inserted in the sites at random intervals with instructions on how to claim the prize.  (Example: Be the first to email “I love addis” in the subject line, etc.)  One weekly prize per knitter, please.

Colormatic is knit with four colors of the delicious Kenzie yarn.  This gorgeous tweed provides superior stitch definition in a yarn that blooms and softens to a luxurious texture with blocking.  The most difficult aspect of the project is deciding how to order the colors within the cowl.  Colormatic is knit in the round as a tube that will be closed in the finishing to create a circle.  The circle is divided into 4 sections of equal lengths – each section is one clue in our KAL.  Before beginning to knit, you must designate each of your colors as A, B, C and D.

Because this is a mystery, I can’t tell you what we are doing with the colors in each section but I have provided the schematic below to illustrate the placement of the colors in the cowl.  Each section is worked with two colors in the sequence indicated.  Take some time to play with your colors to determine the best way to arrange them.  As you can see, each color is used twice and in different combinations.  Aim for pairings that provide contrast, but don’t over think too much – every combination is beautiful!  The sample cowl was worked with A-#1009 Oceania (navy), B-#1006 Kumara (orange), C-#1007 Kiwi (bright green), D-#1000 Pavlova (natural).  FYI: In the Colormatic Part 1 video (referenced below), I use Natural as Color A because it is easier to see on film. 

colormaticschem3

The next decision you must make is on the size of your cowl.  Each section is knit to the same length.    The pattern is written for a size Small – 24″ with four 6″ segments and Large – 64″ with four 16″ segments.  One skein of each color will yield a cowl up to 32″ with four 8″ segments.  Two skeins of each color will yield a cowl up 68″ with four 17″ segments.  I will trust your good math skills to calculate the size that suits you.

Below is a schematic of the cowl as it appears before joining the tube in the finishing step.  When lying flat, the tube measures approximately 7″ across.  I love cowls that are constructed in this manner because it creates a double sided fabric with no wrong sides showing.

colormaticschem2

With all of the decisions made, it’s time to start knitting.  Part One features a simple slip stitch pattern which is the hallmark of color knitting.  Slip stitch designs make beautiful color work with only one color used per round – it’s magically easy!  The slipped stitches in this design follow the general rule – slip as if to purl with yarn in back.

We begin by casting on using the Provisional Cast On method.  This cast on is worked with waste yarn and a crochet hook.  The waste yarn is removed at the end of the project to reveal live stitches that are then grafted to close the tube.  (Don’t fret – I have a fantastic new video in Part 4 to guide you!)  Because the waste yarn will be removed, it is best to use a smooth yarn.  If you are new to the cast on, check out my Provisional Cast On video to learn this vital technique.

The first few rounds of the cowl are a bit fiddly with juggling yarns, etc. so I have a VERY helpful video full of great tips and tricks to get you off to a smooth start – see Colormatic, Part 1 Video.  I’ll explain here how it works but it’s SOOOOO much easier to demonstrate than explain.

After the Provisional Cast On, a Set Up Round is worked in Color B.  The Set Up is worked as if you are knitting in the round.  A piece is truly joined in the round when the working yarn from the last stitch is used to work the first stitch – this working yarn is the “bridge” that joins them together.  Since the stitches were cast on in waste yarn, Color B does not join the round.  To make things easier I “cheat” using a removable marker to hook the first and last stitches together to simulate working in the round.  Remember to leave an 80″ tail with Color B!  This is the yarn that will be used to seam our tube together.

I STRONGLY suggest placing a lifeline through the Set Up Round to make the removal of the waste yarn much easier in the finishing process.  See Lifelines Video.

After placing the lifeline, begin working the Saw Tooth Stripes pattern.  Round 1 of the pattern is worked in Color A.  Again we are starting the round with a new yarn so there is nothing to bridge the last stitch of the Set Up Round with this new round.  In Round 2 of the Saw Tooth Stripes we will be officially joined in the round because you will continue to knit in Color A which will bridge the last stitch of Round 1 to the first stitch of Round 2.  Remove the “cheater” marker and proceed in the round as usual.

Work Section One until piece measures desired length ending after Round 3 to set the stage for next week’s Section Two.

Happy knitting,

Michelle

Part One

Click here to download printable version

KPHtemplate_size

Short (Long) – 24 (64)” loop, 7” wide.

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Approximately 20 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette with smaller needle.

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  • 4 (8) skeins Kenzie by HiKoo, 50% New Zealand merino, 25% nylon, 10% angora, 10% alpaca, 5% silk noils 1(2) each in four different colors.  (Sample colors: A-#1009, B-#1006, C-#1007, D-#1000)
  • US #7 (4.5mm) 16” circular needle
  • US #8 (5mm) 16” circular needle
  • Size G or H crochet hook
  • Waste yarn
  • Stitch markers

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sl – slip as if to purl with yarn in back.  See Slip Stitch Video

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Set Up

See Colormatic – Part 1 Video

With crochet hook and waste yarn, cast on 84 stitches onto smaller needle using Provisional Cast On method.  See Provisional Cast On Video

Taking care not to twist, place a marker and join stitches as if knitting in the round.

With Color B and leaving an 80” tail (VERY important!) for finishing, knit one round.

I recommend placing a lifeline through this round to aid in the provisional cast on removal at the end of the project.  See Lifelines Video

Section One

Using Colors A and B, work Saw Tooth Stripes pattern (below) for 6 (16)” ending after Round 3.

Saw Tooth Stripes

Round 1.  With Color A – *sl 1, k1; repeat from * to end of round.

Round 2.  With Color A – knit.

Round 3.  With Color A –  knit.

Round 4.  With Color B – *k1, sl 1; repeat from * to end of round.

Round 5.  With Color B – knit.

Round 6.  With Color B – knit.

 

See you October 10th for Part 2!

 

 

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25 Comments

  1. Mary
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 11:51 AM | Permalink

    I was reading ravelry comments. I did 6 ” on clue 1. Other people talked about 8 inches. Did I misunderstand?

    • Posted October 8, 2013 at 5:43 PM | Permalink

      The cowl may be knit any where from 24-68″. With 4 skeins you can yield a cowl up to 32″. (8 skeins for up to 68″) Each Clue is one-fourth of the cowl so if you want a longer cowl then you must knit beyond the 6″. It was all explained in the introduction online in the first clue. It’s still there if you want a review.

  2. Roberta Korish
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 11:41 AM | Permalink

    This is my 2nd knit along, the mystery is what I like. The videos and instructions are great. I have about 5 inches done so if we want a 32 inch cowl and we have only one skein for each of the 4 colors do we have enough yarn or should we only make it to 28 inches? I dont want to be on week 4 and run out of yarn.

    • Posted October 8, 2013 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

      Thanks for joining us again! Have no fear, you will have enough yarn.

  3. Shirley
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

    Hi, Michelle! Do you take requests? Lol. I’ve been reading about entrelac and domino knitting that I’d love to try. Any chance you have a project up your sleeve using either of them? I love what I’ve been learning from you! Thanks so much!

  4. Liz
    Posted October 7, 2013 at 10:54 AM | Permalink

    This is my first mystery project and I am definitely having a great time with it, so much in fact that I purchased more yarn for a second cowl! I enjoy the pattern but I am increasing the length a little longer than the small size. Can’t wait for the next clue. Also, thanks for your videos!

    • Posted October 7, 2013 at 11:07 AM | Permalink

      How fun! I agree that KALs and color knitting are addictive.

  5. Louie
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 11:32 PM | Permalink

    I have been knitting for over 28 years. This is my first mystery project! It is so fun!!!

  6. Stefani
    Posted October 4, 2013 at 2:47 PM | Permalink

    I just started yesterday and have about 3″. I find your directions very clear and your videos are very helpful. I am looking forward to the next clue.
    Stefani

  7. Ann Beeman
    Posted October 4, 2013 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    I started this project yesterday only having a hard time getting my guage. At this attempt my project measures abt 9.5 inches wide in the tube. Do I adjust the needle size? I realize that I am not using the same yarn but it is sport weight? I could not find a shop here in Sandy, Or carrying the yarn.
    Ann

    • Posted October 4, 2013 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

      Since the cowl does not have to “fit” any one, as long as you are happy with the appearance of your knitting (not too loose or too tight) then I vote to continue on in your current needles.

  8. Laura
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 3:54 PM | Permalink

    You are a wonderful teacher! Thanks for the video instructions!

  9. Posted October 3, 2013 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

    Why do we do the set-up round in color b and not just start with a?

    • Posted October 3, 2013 at 3:51 PM | Permalink

      That will become apparent in Clue #4. You will have to be patient:)

  10. SoozB
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:39 PM | Permalink

    Do we stay on the smaller needles after the cast-on for the rest of this clue?

    • Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

      Yes, you will remain on the smaller needles for this entire section.

  11. joan
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

    thank you I was trying to go length not width now makes cents HAHA lol

  12. Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:01 PM | Permalink

    I’m very excited to start this KAL! I’m posting my progress on our Shop Blog here: http://anacapaknits.blogspot.com/

    Thanks for the pattern!
    -Kaity
    Anacapa Fine Yarns
    http://www.anacapafineyarns.com

  13. Natasha
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 9:33 AM | Permalink

    Oh, this is going to be fun! Off to play with my colors!

  14. sunandsand/Alex
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 9:22 AM | Permalink

    Michele-just a little clarification please. My 5th project with you and love the designs. Inial sizes were 32″/64″ now 24/68″ is this correct?
    Several people were hoping for a little more. Anxious to startthis am Thanks!

    • Posted October 3, 2013 at 9:35 AM | Permalink

      One skein will yield a cowl up to 32″. Two skeins of each color will yield a cowl up to 68″. You may knit the cowl to any length. Choose your length and divide it by 4 – this is how long you should knit each section of the cowl. For example, if you want a 28″ cowl then knit each section to 7″. Does this help?

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