different colourways

One of my favourite things about designing is that, after completing my work on a pattern, I get to see it afresh through the eyes of other knitters who gravitate to different colourways. I love these changes in perspective and often I see a design quite differently when a creative knitter simply reverses the shade values of the original. I knit my Ringle, for example, in quite a solid blue with neutral stripes through the yoke, but Karine really freshened things up in her reversey version, featuring stripes of darker blue across a really pleasing pale tweed shade with dark blue flecks. Karine reversed the pattern instructions, too, by knitting her pullover top down.

I’m often drawn to blues, and I think Jennifer’s recently completed Land o’Cakes – so very different from the autumnal oaty vibe of the cardigan I’m wearing in the pattern photos – is truly glorious.

I designed Balmaha in blue, and Jane’s beautifully knitted sweater uses a Milarrochy Tweed blue too – but she chose the teal-y green-toned blue of Ardlui rather than the Tarbet I used for my original. Swapping out the pattern’s brownish shades for a brighter green (stockiemuir) and pink (campion) really lifts the yoke, and takes the design to a completely different place.

A pattern I’ve particularly enjoyed seeing differently in recent months is Tonnach. I spent a long time swatching and playing around with different shade combinations when designing this cardigan, and found that the sheer variety of effects one might achieve over a simple chevron pattern was highly absorbing and fascinating. Clearly other knitters find it fascinating too, and their versions of this design often really startle me with their freshness.

The blended ochre tones of Taylor‘s Tonnach just about kill me.

Taylor brought together a range of different 4ply yarns when knitting up her cardigan: Jamieson & Smith and Jamiesons; Rauma Finullgarn and her own Shetland handspun. I particularly love that pop of tomato soup orange lent by J&S shade 125. Yum!

Dee’s Tonnach is very different, but certainly no less appealing.

Using a palette inspired by her own oil painting of a Somerset landscape (pop over to her project page to see it!) , Dee has achieved an effect that’s really soft and subtle while still maintaining contrast between the pattern’s chevron stripes. I particularly like the way that Milarrochy Tweed shades Smirr and Stockiemuir work together in Dee’s cardigan.

I gasped out loud when I saw the palette that Sarah had chosen for her Brilliant Corners hat. It was so cheerful! So springlike! So definitively floral!

Sarah mixed up stashed oddments of Rowan fine tweed with Milarrochy Tweed and I love the effect of all these shades together.

I’m a big fan of a less-is-more approach to design, and often find I’m able to hone my ideas for a pattern simply by taking elements away. Liz took most of the colours away when knitting her Wedgwood shieling blanket to really great effect.

I find Liz’s almost monochrome take on what is a rather colourful design very calming and very pleasing indeed. Rendered like this, with the motifs picked out in inky blue, the blanket really calls nineteenth-century printing techniques and patterns to my mind, such as those which featured in my Walter Crane post yesterday.

Sophia’s favourite colour is chartreuse, and she recently knit up a Carbeth cardigan in her favourite shade of Knit Picks City Tweed. This is the first cardigan she’s ever knitted and it looks wonderful – congratulations, Sophia!

And while we are exploring green palettes, I love Lauren’s gorgeously green Port Charlotte. Like many of us, Lauren is missing the Hebrides – hopefully she’ll get to wear her Port Charlotte in Port Charlotte before too long.

Finally, this last project is not knitted in a different colourway – in fact, Aoife used exactly the same yarn and colourway as the original pattern – but transformed it into a completely different garment by removing the steek stitches and shaping . . . and knitting a pullover instead.

I love Aoife’s Epistrophy pullover!

Huge thanks to the amazing knitters featured in today’s post for all the colour and inspiration!