Color play with Linen Stitch

Last year, I made a blanket for my nephew, Luke.  Well, I’m at it again, but this time I’m not sure who’ll get this blanket, but I’m making it anyway.

I’m using the same Seafoam (sorry it’s washed out, my camera is only so-so and the scanner didn’t quite grab the color either) and Brown yarns that I had left over from Luke’s but this time I’m doing a 2 color linen stitch.  Depending on how you look at it, it seems to zig-zag, or checker-board.  But no matter how I look at it, I’m loving the visual.  

I even like the back of linen stitch.  If you click the image above, you’ll see what I’m talking about.  The front is on the bottom and the back is at an angle at the top of the picture. 

So if you’d like to knit along with me, you’ll need…
Worsted weight yarn in two colors (Color A, Color B).  If you’re not sure about the amount you should buy, ask your local LYS Staff to help you out.

Needles – I’m knitting back and forth using US 11s on a 24 inch circular, but the gauge is 4.75 sts per inch or about 19 per 4 inches, so, as always, if you’re worried about the gauge, please choose needles that give you the size you’re looking for.

Using color A, Cast on 150 stitches.  I’ve been using a Crochet Cast-on because I like that it matches my bind off.

Row 1, with Color b, begin linen stitch for the Right side
Row 2 , with Color b, Linen stich for the wrong side.
Row 3, Color A Linen stitch for the Right side.
Row, Color A for the wrong side.

Carry your colors up the side to cut down on weaving in ends.

You might also want to consider adding a third color to the mix. Just switch colors every row.  Don’t worry about keeping track of which to use, the pattern will present itself – really, it only takes a moment or two to catch on to which yarn comes next. 

Also, If you take a moment to untangle and move your unused yarns out of your way when you’re switching colors you’ll avoid making a giant knot. 

The sample on the right was knitted using an el-cheapo pack of pearl cotton skeins I found in the embroidery section of the craft store. 

I was experimenting with color combinations by starting with a random length and then adding in a new color as they ran out.

If you click the image, you’ll get a high def image to examine.  If you look closely, you’ll see that I started at the bottom with dark blue, light blue, and orange.

Dark blue ran out first, and was replaced with dark green and then light blue was replaced with yellow.  My color selection technique was to randomly grab a color out of a bag.  I knew I could find complementary colors, but what I was really looking for was what “clashing” colors might look like. 

What I found was that, yes, some are more pleasing combination than others, but when mixed like they are, there’s noting that’s too outrageous.  In fact, I was really disappointed that my first 3 colors were blue, blue and orange.  It felt too much like team colors rather than anything fashionable, but the tonal colors with a bright looked pretty good together.  Not sure I’d make a sweater for the office with those, but as an accent piece it would be stunning. 

It now has me thinking about my stash of odd balls and yarns that make me (and my husband) wonder what I was thinking when I bought them.  Perhaps they could be mixed into a pleasing Linen stitch throw or other object. 

Linen stitch is also quite firm, and doesn’t curl, so I’m thinking of a cotton bath mat, to keep my good towels off the floor.  I’ll let you know when I cast on. 

~Karlie

2 Comments:

  1. Hi,I was wondering if you might know what I’m doing wrong.I’m making a place mat with the linen stich, with the 2 colors.The problem I’m having is, the pattern was going just fine,then I got 2 rows of a solid color. I can’t figure out, what I’m doing wrong. Hope you can help.Thanks, Sharon

    • My best suggestion, since I can’t see the work, is to re-work the last few rows in your mind. Starting with a row that turned out as expected and just read along with the sts. K, YF, S, YB, K, YF, S, YB, etc across the row. Then do the same as you look over the sts for the purl side. That way you might be able to see where your pattern got off track.

      Once you’ve figured it out, carefully pull out your sts, past the mistake, put them back on the needle and start again. After all, it’s just yarn, so don’t get too hung up about “design features” or starting again if you won’t be happy with the pattern deviation.

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