Well, if you’ve read the posts on here over the last couple of days, you’ll have picked up on a common theme – COLOR. This is definitely the time of year to start looking to nature for inspiration in terms of color as the leaves change. Actually, an easy way to create a new color palette is simply to collect a bunch of leaves (raked up from your lawn or elsewhere), take a handful, and toss them in the air. Have an area pre-selected and marked out and go with the ones that land in that area. I guarantee Mother Nature won’t disappoint and you’ll love the combination of colors. Yes, we can’t help but think about color at this time of the year – all you have to do is open your eyes and it’ll probably be the first thing that comes to mind. Over the next few weeks we’ll be delving into the world of color and exploring different ways to add color to any knitting project.
Before we cast on any stitches though, we’re going to look at what I think is the single best resource if you’re incorporating color into your work – regardless of your experience level. That resource is this book – The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques – by Margaret Radcliffe. The operative word in the title is ESSENTIAL! You know that game you play where you’re stuck on a deserted island and can have only a certain number of things? Well, if I had to reduce my knitting books library to three, this book would be one of the three! And I don’t know what the other two would be. Yeah, it’s that good! In fact, I haven’t seen a more comprehensive book in any other area of knitting as this one. It’s 320 pages of the most detailed yet easily readable information on color knitting you’ll ever find. It’s a big hard cover book that would look great on any coffee table, with it’s hundreds of illustrations and 150 patterns. The great thing though is that it’s not just for your coffee table. In fact, it will rarely be seen there as you will more than likely be using it regularly for reference, information, and inspiration.
Margaret goes through the most common methods of using color in your work – stripes, multicolor yarns, stranding, and intarsia – as you would expect. She also goes through some techniques that you may not have known about or thought to try as well – plain and textured patterns, shadow or illusion knitting!, double knitting (no, not the yarn weight), short rows, entrelac, and more. There is literally something in here for everyone. Another great thing about this book is Margaret’s approach to color – she literally starts at the beginning explaining color and hues and the different types of colors and how they’re obtained. You learn about primary, secondary, tertiary, analogous, and complimentary colors and discover new ways to use them. It’s literally like going back to school, but FUN! I actually enjoy simply reading this book. It doesn’t stop there though as reading the book just gets you salivating as you look over at your yarn and try and decide on how to use up all those wonderful colors next.
I can honestly tell you that I can guarantee you will love this book. If you don’t, let me know and I’ll buy it from you! Yeah, it’s that good. Margaret has a website that you can visit to get her schedule. She teaches a lot in Virginia, but also travels. There is a link on the website so you can see where she’ll be and what she’ll be teaching. She also has other books you will find equally informative – there are links and information on her site. Here is the link for her site – MAGGIE’S RAGS – I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as well. You can find this book and others online through the usual suspects, or you can get it from your library. Save yourself the trip though and just buy it as I’m sure you’ll be wanting your very own copy. I’m gonna have to get my butt to Virginia so I can have her sign mine!