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.
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.
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.
Short (Long) – 24 (64)” loop, 7” wide.
Approximately 20 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette with smaller needle.
- 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
sl – slip as if to purl with yarn in back. See Slip Stitch 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
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!