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  • How I learned to love knitting colorwork

    by Hanna Lisa Haferkamp December 06, 2022 2 min read 1 Comment

    Hi lovelies! Today, I'm so excited to share my favorite way to knit colorwork with Growing Ivy Scarfyou. It was such a game changer - it brought me from shying away from any type of colorwork to thoroughly enjoying making anything and everything that has more than one color.

    Back in 2021, we published a gorgeous colorwork scarf in Issue 6: Ayano Tanaka's Growing Ivy pattern.

    It's essentially a long tube - round, and round, and round you knit, and while there is a little bit of colorblocking involved, the majority is stranded colorwork knitting.

    My mom loves taking a look at our current samples when she's in town, and she fell absolutely in love with this scarf. (I can't blame her, it's stunning!)  So I promised to knit her one for Christmas - and I worked, and worked, and worked on it, but I just didn't enjoy the knit.

    I was determined to finish it though, and then one day, I mentioned my predicament to Elsa, our Customer Care Manager, and Elsa casually asked "well, but knitting colorwork is just like stockinette, isn't it?" And I was like ... no.

    You see, I usually knit continental-style, i.e. I hold the working yarn in my left hand, catch it with the right-hand needle, and pull it through the current stitch to create the next one. For colorwork knitting, though, I was using a combination of continental and English knitting, i.e. catching one color, and throwing the other, also sometimes called "Two-Handed Stranded Knitting". While this worked fine, it also took very, very long because it involved a lot of movement.

    Elsa pointed me in the direction of Kristin Lehrer's "Continental Stranded Knitting" tutorial video, and it was an absolute game changer for me. She's showing a way of holding both strands of yarn in the left hand (for me, as a right-handed knitter), and tensioning them through your fingers so that you can knit both colors continental-style.

    It took me a little while to get the hang of it, but not very long - five, six rounds maybe! - and after that, I absolutely, absolutely fell in love with knitting colorwork. It was so fast! It was so pretty! So, if you're still looking for your preferred way to knit colorwork, check out Kristin's tutorial. Maybe it does the trick for you as it did for me!

    Have you found a good way of knitting colorwork for you yet? I'd love to know! Leave a comment down below :)

    1 Response


    December 07, 2022

    I consider myself a colourwork amateur! I am currently working on a cowl with a simple colourwork pattern and am getting along quite happily by sitting with a ball of yarn on each side of me and picking up and dropping each colour as needed with my right hand. Not sure if this would work with anything more complicated. Kristin Drysdale recommends the two handed method for beginners in her Nordic Knitting Primer but I am willing to learn any method. Good for the brain!

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