You might remember I mentioned in my earlier post the newest addition to Red Heart’s With Love family is With Love Stripes. For anyone who has not knit with a self-striping yarn before, you’re in for a real treat. The yarn is dyed in predetermined lengths that knit up into a stripe pattern. That’s right, there’s no color changing, no weaving ends in and out, just colored stripes!
This is the ultimate technique to make your knitting look more complex than it is. You can just knit in stockinette stitch and the colors change for you. My biggest enemy for stripe patterns was counting rows. I’d always forget to make a tick mark or click my row counter and be hopelessly lost. I’d have to set everything down and go back counting my rows. I did get practice reading my knitting, but it took forever. No more! Just sit and knit With Love Stripes.
There are a few things to be aware of when you’re knitting with self-striping yarns. The stripe length. This type of yarn is dyed with an optimal amount of stitches to cast on. This will make sure your stripes are not too chunky or too thin. With Love Stripes are 324” in length, that is a whole 27’. While you may think this is an astounding amount of yarn to work with for each stripe, it tends to go faster than you think. Especially if you’re knitting something like a baby blanket.
An important thing to remember when you’re knitting with self-striping yarn is the number of stitches always counts!
Imagine if you’re knitting a sweater in the round. You knit the body in the round with 200 stitches, then you start your sleeves which are 50 stitches. If your stripes on the body of the sweater are 3 rows each, on the sleeve they’re going to be closer to 12 rows each. You’ll have very thick stripes on the arms and skinny stripes on the body. If that’s the look you’re going for, then fine, but it’s best to carefully plan your projects to avoid surprises like these. If you’re determined to start a sweater and don’t want to do the math or the color work, then I would suggest a contrasting color to cover any decreases or circumference difference.
The same applies with a hat, if you’re knitting a self-striping hat in the round, as you decrease closer to the crown the stripes will get larger. I’m going to look over a hat pattern on Friday and use With Love Stripes to knit it. Make sure to watch out for that article!
The best project I can suggest, if this is your first foray into With Love Stripes is this scarf pattern. The Chevron Scarf is an easy knit that will give you a feel for the stripes and how much yarn you need for a whole stripe. If you’re not a fan of the chevrons and just want a straight striped scarf, leave out the increases and decreases that create the chevron pattern!
Needless to say, I’m totally smitten with With Love Stripes. Yarns that self-stripe are one of my favorite things! There are so many things you can do with them and they add a lot of interest to your knitting. Not to mention they add texture to your garment construction knowledge base. Join me tomorrow for more knitting fun With Love Stripes.
This is part 1 of 2 in this series.