Welcome to the first post in our Craft Smarter in the New Year series on Color Blending!
Color blending with the purl stitch is a simple but effective way to graduate between two colors.
I came across this many years ago when knitting a stockinette stitch sweater for my husband in a Noro yarn. Once I did several inches, I turned it around and saw how great the back-side looked! While it wasn’t in that pattern, I’ve always kept this in the back of my mind and will likely do it at some point.
Yarn and Needles
I’m using Valley Yarns Northampton (a worsted weight yarn) and US 8 (5.0mm) needles.
From light to dark (bottom to top), I’m using:
CC1: Raspberry Heather (26)
CC2: Dahlia (21)
CC3: Merlot Heather (27)
CC4: Amethyst (19)
How to Work It
It couldn’t be easier – just work reverse stockinette stitch (purl on RS rows and knit on WS rows) and change colors as you go. The way that the purl stitch is built helps with transitioning the colors because of how it’s naturally made.
For this sample, I’ve worked both a 2 row (bottom of the above swatch) and a 1 row (top of the above swatch) repeat of each of the colors.
It seems a bit ridiculous to include a chart for this one, but since we plan to do it for the others, we’ll include it here for completeness.
In-The-Round or Flat?
While this works with either, placement of the ends of each color does change a bit when knitting flat. When knitting in the round, each color change happens in the same place, regardless of the amount of colors. So, this next part only applies to knitting an item flat (i.e. back-and-forth)
Even Number of Rows
If you’re working an even number of rows (2, 4, 6, etc.), then every color starts and stops on the same side. This could result in one side being heavier than the other if you’re working a single piece such as a shawl. In these cases, I suggest incorporating a join such as the Magic Knot so the ends aren’t as impactful to the overall piece.
Odd Number of Rows
If you’re working an odd number of rows (1, 3, 5, etc.) then this won’t be a factor because half of the ends will occur on one side and half on the other side.
Ends and Aesthetics
There’s always a balance between the number of ends and how the piece looks. You know what I’m going to say – swatch, swatch, swatch. You really won’t be able to tell until you give it a try.
The Wrong Side
The WS (Wrong Side) looks like regular stockinette because that’s exactly what it is. It looks quite stripey on this side, and that might be the look you’re going for! Remember, you’re the boss of your knitting, so do whatever looks best to you.
Craft Smarter in the New Year
This post is part of our Craft Smarter in the New Year Series. We’re covering both knitting and crochet, and here are the posts we have in mind:
- Purl Stitch (knitting)
- Linen Stitch (crochet)
- Slipped Stitches (knitting)
- Spike Stitch (crochet)
- Garter Stitch (knitting)
- Shell Stitch (crochet)
- Color Introduction (knitting)
- Lemon Peel Stitch (crochet)
- Holding 2 Colors Together (both knitting and crochet)
We also kicked off this series with a post on color choices and included a bunch of different resources for you to get the juices flowing!
And of course, a special thanks to our yarn sponsor, Webs, for donating the yarn for this series. We couldn’t have done it without you – plus their Valley Yarns Line is FABULOUS. I highly recommend them.