Tag: colorwork

color knits and christmas ornaments

I’m swimming in colorful knits lately. Precious red on my red DPN’s for a new pattern.


Burgundy/dark pink, dark teal and white for color studies. As you can see I have used stranded knitting and intarsia for this. Intarsia in the round is yet a technique I don’t really enjoy. If it wasn’t for the beautiful results, I would just leave it be. I have created a tutorial for knitting intarsia in the round some time ago for the penguin handpuppet. Nevertheless I’m still looking for an easier method and found the work of Anne Berk recently. I enrolled in her Craftsy class “Next steps in intarsia” (I hope this link works, if not search for the title and you’ll find it!) and like the way she has approached the problem of intarsia in the round. Sadly, I have not yet found a tutorial of this technique that’s free, but if you like intarsia it’s worth a look.

color1 color2

In the matter of a certain time of the year approaching, I have dug out the christmas ornament kit from Alicia Paulson that is waiting to be finished for a long time now. It’s the “Sweet Home Ornament Set”. I looked for new patterns, but she seems to have broken her tradition of releasing a new set every year. When I bought mine in 2011 I finished the candle, but never got around beginning the other two ornaments. The rabbit was a fast thing, but as you can see in the picture below, the beautiful door takes a little bit mor effort. I finished both by now, but forgot to take a photo and already hung them around the house. I’ll try to remember to take them down and make a photo of them together.


One of my dear customers send me a picture of a gym bag she made for a friend with my geometric bear embroidery on it. It came out beautifully! See for your self.

Seeing pictures of finished embroidery/knitting from my patterns is always a rewarding experience for me and it makes me very happy!

I wish you a wonderful weekend, soon,


slip stitch vs knit in the row below

There are many ways to create a knitted fabric with the use of multiple colors. For beginners working with more then one thread at a time can be intimidating. Nevertheless there are ways achieve a color pattern by working with one thread per row/round. The 2 ways I want to show today are slipped stitches and knit in the row below. Both techniques are easy to do and alter the fabric to mimic color patterns.

1. Knit into the row below


The knitting needle is inserted into the loop of the stitch below the next stitch.
You can cover multiple rows this way, too, but keep in mind that very long stitches can break more easily. The knit in the row below stitch creates an downward dart or longer stitch pointing downward.

2. The slip stitch


left: slip stitch purlwise with yarn in the back
right: slip stitch purlwise with yarn in front

Slipped stitches work the other way round. Slip the stitch with either the yarn in the back or front, depending on your pattern. In one of the next rows the slipped stitch will be worked again.
You can slip one stitch for several rows, but there are limitations how long the stitch can be stretched. The slipped stitch creates an upwards dart or longer stitch pointing upward.


Both stitches elongate one stitch over one or several rows and thus cover the stitch color of these rows underneath. While knitting in the row below makes a downward pointed stitch, the slip stitch creates an upward pointing stitch. This makes a difference in pattern making, so you definitely can’t substitute one stitch with the other and get the same result.

There is also a huge difference in gauge with both stitches. The slipped stitchmakes the fabric more firm, while knitting in the row below makes a very airy fabric. I choose a smaller needle size for knitting in the row below and a bigger needle for the slip stitch compared to regular stockinette knitting. Why the difference? Let’s take a look into the nature of both stitches:


upper part: knit in the row below – the green is popping out a little bit
lower part: slipped stitch – the white slipped stitches pop out very distinctively

With slip stitch you take a regular, already existing stitch and stop knitting it for one or more rows. When you work this stitch after some rows, this regular stitch get’s pulled up and has to cover twice or more the height of rows it was made for. Since every stitch only has a certain length of yarn and can’t just simply be longer, it has to borrow yarn length from the neighbour stitches. This creates some tension, so when you work the slipped stitch it has the tendancy to stretch back to it’s own row. This however pulls together the rows the stitch is covering slightly. That is why the slipped stitch compacts the fabric slightly and makes it more firmly.

Now let’s see what knitting in the row below does differently. By knitting in the row below you essentially make a large stitch and additionally unravel the stitches of the row below (the amount depends on how many rows below you stitch). If you have ever dropped a stitch you know, that unraveled stitches don’t just disappear but leave a trail of yarn about the width of the yarn the lost stitch used AND the stitches right beside the dropped stitch grow slightly because they swallow a part of the excess yarn from the dropped stitch. So by unraveling the stitches below you create a hole (covered then by the knit-in-the-row-below-stitch) and enlarge the stitches on each side. With all this new room, the fabric becomes airy and lighter.

Here are the related articles for this mini-series:

Slip stitch vs knit in the row below
5 slip stitch patterns
5 knit in the row below patterns



my son brought me this beautiful flower when he came from school – so sweet 🙂

I tried some slipped stitch patterns yesterday and they are great! Why did I struggle with intarsia, stranded knitting and double knitting first instead of learning the easy mode color work first? I did actually even “invented” a method to work stranded knitting forward and backwards so I can knit it in rows all on the right side (yes I hate working stranded knitting on the purl side THAT much, and working in the round was no option for that project).

So I made a lot of photos and there will be tutorials on how to work slipped stitch and knit-in-the-row-below patterns. I also made comparisons between these very similar techniques and they work out very differently in the endresult – I wouldn’t have guessed it.

Joining in with Keep Calm Craft On and Ginny.


Here are the related articles for this mini-series:

Slip stitch vs knit in the row below
5 slip stitch patterns
5 knit in the row below patterns

knitting needle gauges

Mini-christmassock-knitting is happening around here. These teeny tiny socks are finished so quickly! Now that it’s getting colder outside, my husband asks for super-duper-thick socks so he can survive working out in the workshop all day long. You would guess at a blacksmith’s place it’s warm all day, but it seems like the warm air does not want to warm the feet, but the upper parts only. Poor man, I think I’m about to break my yarn shopping rule (which says no more sock yarn!) and buy some sock yarn to make him some fairisle knitted socks with 6ply yarn or so.


Today I made a new batch of knitting needle gauges. After my husband cuts them out and let the laser do it’s work, the gauges get a sanding by hand and oil finish. I use camellia oil which is traditionally used for metal polishing and wood treatment in Japan. The bloom of the camellia is so impressive, one day when I have a garden I will plant one to admire all day long.



Zebrano wood knitting needle gauges


Plenty of gauges for the yarn store Ja, Wol in the Netherlands, before sanding and oil finish.

I have knitting needle gauges in Zebrano and Lauan wood for inch and mm, US and mm sizes available in my Etsy store.

the vehicle christmas stockings knitting patterns

Phew I did it! The vehicle stockings I made in the last weeks are available as an ebook and as single patterns now. I enjoyed making these three patterns alot. The inner child in me always thrives when I do pixel art in bright shiny colors.

So here they are:


Buy here:  youtube patternfish craftsy dawanda etsy

I showed you the cars stockings a while ago and a sneak peek of the other two. There are two color options for the plane stockings, one dark blue and one light blue (which you can see in the picture above). Because I get asked quite often if these can be knit in a normal size: Yes they can. I knitted a pair of star stockings in sock yarn and the fit my feet (size 7). However this depends alot on your gauge with stranded knitting. Regarding the modular nature of the vehicle stockings you could make them in every size by leaving out one or two vehicles in every line, depending on how big the socks should be.


Preparing for Christmas

What, christmas? I don’t want to even think about it right now, right? Actually. But somehow the christmas stocking mood came over me and I whipped up a set of 3 heart patterned stockings. I have some boys stockings in the making, too. It’s so relaxing to knit some pixel art! My daughter keeps complaining that these lovely pink stockings are way to big to fit her tiny feet. Maybe I should scale them down to different sizes? I knitted the stars stockings with sock yarn and they fit perfectly (my big feet, not hers, I would have to knit hers in sewing lace yarn to get gauge, I fear).


Christmas Stockings HEARTS Set available in all of my shops

Buy here:  youtube patternfish craftsy dawanda etsy

Cleaning up threads

faden1Cleaning up loose ends in knitted socks is my new hobby at the moment. Why do I work with colors again? Ahhh right, colors are awesome. But really, why does color knitting need to involve so many loose ends to sew in?

Probably I should use some of these methods to avoid finishing-boredom:

russian join

weaving in ends on the go (I would do this with only 1 thread though and weave in the new thread tail in the next row/round)

braided join  (similar to the russian join but extra tight)

In my opinion the russian join and the braided join are the best methods if you what your reverse side clean and no risk of loosening ends. However both are quite time consuming and need a tapestry needle at hand which is not always the case.

Weaving in ends on the go is less time consuming, but the thread is only pulled in one direction. This could result in a loose end if stress is put on that spot.

If you weave in ends afterwards with a tapestry needle make sure to pull the thread through itself once, like a handwritten “e”. This way the thread secures itself from being pulled out.

Tutorial: knitting intarsia in garter stitch

Usually intarsia is knitted in stockinette stitch (every front side stitch is knit, every back side stitch is purled). In most cases it’s not neccessary to make a beautiful or reversable back side when knitting stockinette stitch because you will not see it anyway. That is why it’s possible to just twist the yarns at the transition points and go on. This is totally adaptable to garter stitch intarsia IF you knit straight lines and no diagonal patterns.

It all get’s complicated if you want to to the diagonal lines. If you use the twisting only the backside will look untidy at the back side when leaningto the left and on the front side when leaning to the right. This is caused mainly because of the nature of the purl stitch. If you work a knit stitch over a purled one in two different colors you will see, that the line get’s  kind of broken. The feet have the new color and the “bumps” have the old color. Usually to avoid this you would purl one row with the new color over the old purl row and knit with the new color then. The problem is you can’t do it in garter stitch, because knitting every row is the nature of this stitch and that includes knitting over purl rows.

So here is my way doing the garter intarsia. I wanted to achieve that on both sides the lines look the same no matter which direction they’re leading. The front lines never the less look a bit different than the lines on the back.

So here we go:

First take a marker and pin it to the right side of your front side. It’s very important to know where your front and back is and this can be mixed up easily in garter stitch. If you mix it up your line will not look the same on every side.

Tipp: Slip every first stitch of a row. This compliments the garter stitch and makes a clean border. It’s also helpful to pull the thread tight at changing points before you continue knitting.


Knit the last stitch of the back row with your contrast color (CC). Turn your work.
Stricke die letzte Masche der Rückreihe rechts mit der Kontrastfarbe (KF). Arbeit drehen.


 Leaning to the left

If you look on the front side, the line where the color changes leans from the bottom right to the top left.

On the front side:


Knit the first stitch of your front row with CC. Change to main color (MC). Go through the next stitch as if to knit.
Stricke die 1. Masche der Vorderseite  rechts mit KF. Wechsle zur Hauptfarbe (HF). Führe die Nadel durch die nächste Masche wie zum rechtsstricken


Make sure you put the needle below the MC yarn. Wind the CC yarn around the needle.
Achte darauf, dass die Nadel auch unter dem HF Faden ist. Wickle den KF um die Nadel.


Knit the stitch. Knit to the end of the row with MC. Turn work.
Stricke die Masche rechts ab. Stricke rechts bis zum Ende der Reihe mit der HF. Arbeit wenden.

On the back side:


Knit to the first CC stitch with MC. Put the MC thread in front of the needles on top of the CC thread.
Stricke mit der HF bis zum Wechsel der Farben. Lege den HF Faden nach vorn über dem KF Faden.


Take the CC thread and put it behind the needles. This way the two threads get twisted.
Lege den KF hinter die Nadeln. Auf diese Weise werden die beiden Fäden verkreuzt.


Knit the next stitche with CC. Turn your work.
Stricke die nächsten Maschen mit der KF. Arbeit wenden.

This is what you repeat when doing the left leaning color change. Basically you take the thread of the main color to the next stitch inside the contrast color stitch so it will not show a bar at the back of the knitting.

Going straight up

This is the easiest way. If you want to try out intarsia, do this first. You twist the yarn every row.

On the front side:


Knit with CC to the changing point. Lay the CC thread on top of the MC thread.
Stricke rechts mit der KF bis zum Wechselpunkt. Lege den KF Faden über den HF Faden.


Take up the MC thread and knit to the end of the row. Turn your work.
Nehme den HF Faden auf und stricke rechts bis zum Ende der Reihe. Wende die Arbeit.

On the back side:


Knit to the changing point with MC. Put the MC thread over the CC thread. Then knit with CC to the end of the row.
Stricke rechts mit der HF bis zum Wechselpunkt. Lege den HF Faden über den KF Faden. Stricke mit der KF rechts bis zum Ende der Reihe.

Leaning to the right side:

The left leaning line increased the contrast color on the front side. The right leaning line increases on the back side.

On the front side:


Knit with CC to the changing point. Lay CC thread over MC thread. Pick up your MC thread and knit to the end of the row.
Stricke rechts mit der KF bis zum Wechselpunkt. Lege den KF Faden über den HF Faden. Stricke rechts mit der HF bis zum Ende der Reihe.

On the back side:


Knit with MC to the changing point. Take the CC thread and place it over the needle behind the loop of the next stitch.
Stricke rechts mit der HF bis zum Wechselpunkt. Lege den KF Faden über die Nadel direkt hinter der nächsten Masche.


Go through both the loop of the next stitch and the CC thread you put behind the stitch as if to knit.
Gehe mit der Nadel durch die nächste Masche und den dahinter gelegten Faden wie zum rechtsstricken.


Knit with MC.
Stricke die Masche mit der HF rechts ab.


Lay the MC thread to the side facing you. This is very important!
Lege den HF Faden nach vorn. Sehr wichtig!


Knit with KC to the end of the row. Turn work.
Stricke rechts mit der KF bis zum Ende. Arbeit wenden.

So why should you do this in garter stitch when stockinette is obviously the easier way to go with intarsia?

1. garter stitch is reversible which is perfekt for scarfs.

2. garter stitch does provide a flat surface with no rolling rims. Perfect for jackets, scarfs, small accessories.

3. garter stitch has an interesting texture and is a little bit thicker (and therefore warmer) than stockinette stitch.

4. If you hate purling, garter stitch is you soulmate.