Do you love swatching? I do! I love playing with colour combinations, trying out new techniques and seeing what happens to a yarn when you knit it. When knitting swatches I also enjoy and admire their different textures. The possibilities are endless. While designing Gloed, a knitted landscape, knitting different kinds of swatches helped me to determine its contrasts and colours.

Gloed mini swatch and abstract swatch

Of course, I also knit swatches just for gauge, such as the dark blue garter stitch swatch, made before casting on Paris Toujours. The light blue swatch with flowers was made because I was curious to see and feel the technique of the Late Bloomer Mittens by Kirstin Ledgett. I liked it so much that I decided to knit a cushion using this technique and I cast on a second swatch (the darker one with flowers) to try different marls. That cushion is my favourite project for now, I really love alternating knitting and embroidery, it is very satisfying.

I'm pretty sure this is not my last post on knitting swatches! To be continued...

Ball Winding

two-tone centre pull ball

Centre pull balls of yarn are so useful for different kinds of knitting. Especially when knitting colourwork, I like working from two-tone or two-layer centre pull balls. How and when?

I often wind two different yarns (different colours and/or weights) separately into one centre pull ball. I just start winding one yarn on the inside - keep it on the ballwinder - and then add a second layer of yarn on the outside. This yarn preparation allows me to knit comfortably with two different yarns in one project: one end of yarn from the centre and the other end from the outside.

Two-tone centre pull balls make yarn management easier in different knitting techniques:

The main photo shows a two-tone yellow yarn ball for Gloed, a shaped intarsia pattern that I recently designed for Making No. 10 / INTRICATE. The yarn in the centre is Le Petit Lambswool by Biches & Bûches in Yellow Mustard and the yarn on the outside is naturally dyed Silk Cloud by The Dutch Yarn Barn in Berk. For Gloed I wound six similar balls (see photo below), each containing two different yarns, one ball for each surface/colour. Every surface in that particular pattern consists of a fingering weight yarn paired with a lace weight mohair and silk yarn.

Six two-tone centre pull balls in the original colours for "Gloed"

The first time I read about two-colour balls for colour knitting was in a book on a Swedish colour knitting technique: twined knitting. See Carla Meijsen - So Warm! Twined Knitting . Later on I discovered that these balls are very useful for other knitting techniques too. There are many advantages for different techniques:

  • when knitting with two colours, as in marlisle, in stranded knitting, in twined knitting and in knitting stripes, there’s less tangling in your projectbag since there’s only one ball attached to the knitting, instead of two balls.
  • when marling with two different yarn weights held together, you will often use more length of the thicker weight than of the thinner weight, since the thicker yarn knits up faster than the thinner yarn.
    After a while, the thinner of the two strands will form a loop. You don’t have this problem when winding the two strands separately as described above: in a two-tone centre pull ball each strand gets used up at its own pace.
  • after finishing the project, you can easily separate the two yarns and rewind those into single strand balls again.

Planning and preparing your yarns into two-tone centre pull balls may take a little longer, but in the end it saves you time and it makes the knitting process so much more fun and relaxed. Enjoy the combinations of colours and textures while winding your yarn balls!

Gloed Knit Wall Art

Golden yellows and Gloed, a shaped intarsia knitting pattern in Making No. 10 INTRICATE. How to knit shaped intarsia and what is Gloed? (the short version....)

As long as I can remember, I have loved yellows. Especially the golden yellows of autumn light, after summer, when there is peace in the air. So I am more than happy that my pattern Gloed Knit Wall Art has been published in Making No. 10. This issue is filled with an amazing collection of golden yellow projects (knitting, crochet, sewing and more).

Shaped Intarsia
Shaped intarsia is a knitting technique that creates flowing and meandering shapes of different colours. The difference with intarsia knitting is that crisp colour transitions and flowing lines are created by increases and decreases. An increase in one colour is compensated by a decrease in another colour and vice versa. More on shaped intarsia in a future post.

Gloed and its colours
Gloed (which is Dutch for Glow) is a knit wall art or a lightweight lap blanket. It depicts a landscape with different golden yellow hills. For each hill I combined a strand of fingering weight yarn with a strand of lace weight yarn into a marl (see next post on winding two-tone yarn balls).

These golden yellows are inspiring colours to me. You can follow my palette, or find inspiration elsewhere. Whether you are looking for high- or low-contrast combinations, your stash can be an endless colour palette. You may combine oddments from stash, your favorite mini skeins, and small quantities of handspun. It would be a great use of those yarns you dyed with natural dyes last summer.

For yarn quantities see pattern details either on Ravelry or in Making No. 10. Share your projects and use #gloedmakingzine or #gloedamsterdaph to join in online.
I just can’t wait to see your version in a different palette!

photos by Making