What is it?
Stranded colowork is the technique. Fair Isle knitting with its beautiful symmetrical geometric motifs in muted colors or Scandinavian knitting with its striking large asymmetrical motifs in bright contrasting colors or even your own dramatic multi-color creative invention is the result.
Each a piece of art. Using two or more strands of yarn simultaneously allows us to create amazing designs in knitted fabric. With a full pallet of colors, wide range of fibers and a limitless assortment of patterns available to us, the creative potential is unlimited. Unfortunately, however, there is a catch to it. There always is, right? But this catch is serious and determines the difference between blissful creativity and something much more nightmarish. The catch? Yarn management. Sounds simple enough, almost utilitarian, but don’t be too dismissive. When we start to use more than one color of yarn, and therefore two or more strands of yarn, on the same project at the same time there’s always potential for trouble. Keeping track of two or more colors and keeping them in close proximity for quick access presents its own set of problems. Keeping our colors organized and finding a way to hold the yarn strands so that they don’t get twisted and tangled or adversely influence our stitch tension is the key to working with multiple colors. Actually the real key to working with multiple strands of yarn is Clover’s Yarn Guide. It does it all for us with ease eliminating twists an tangles. And the more simple and consistent our technique, the more satisfied we will be with our knitting experience and the more enjoyable will be our creative process. And there’s a bonus. If you’re into crochet, it’s a great tool for regulating yarn tension. You’re welcome.
Art No. 348 Yarn Guide
What does it do?
The challenges of organizing and controlling the multiple strands of yarn when doing creative colorwork are easily accomplished with Clover’s Yarn Guide. The Yarn Guide itself is made of a soft, lightweight but durable plastic. It fits comfortably on your index finger and is applicable to both English and Continental Knitting. Simply lift the hinged lid to reveal channels for four yarn strands. Place the active strands you intend to use in the channels that best suit your style and close the lid which snaps into place. The now slotted strands of yarn are held both apart and in close proximity making color selection convenient and preventing twisting, tangling and unwanted tension influence. The desired result is more knitting and less untangling. If we’re doing a crochet piece that requires extra yarn tension, simply open the lid, wrap the single strand of yarn around the Yarn Guide and close the lid. The more times the yarn is wrapped around the guide the more tension is applied. Adjust as necessary to suit the tightness of your desired stitches. You get the tension without the fatigue of holding the yarn and applying it by hand. No muss, no fuss.
By Steve Butler