Saturday, September 8, 2007

A little exercise... color theory, or more specifically -- adequate contrast with two-color knitting.

Despite my issues with the fit of my Sandy cardigan, I really liked the colors I used. I thought the rich, chocolate brown really set off the Noro Kureyon variations. So, when I found a hat pattern Fake Isle at Mag Knits I thought I'd found the perfect way to use up that leftover ball of Kureyon. For contrast, the pattern uses Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted, which I just happened to have in stash in a slightly darker brown than I used for the cardigan. "Perfect" I thought, "the darker shade will frame the Kureyon even better." Well, maybe not so much. The brown which provides such a nice frame for the variegated yarn in the jacket doesn't do nearly as well when interspersed with the Noro in a Fair Isle pattern. Colorists could explain it better, but basically when used this way there is simply not enough contrast between the brown and the rest of the colors -- they are much too similar in value and the patterning is indistinct. (Note: the photo was taken outside in the blazing sunshine -- in average light, with average eyes, there is less contrast than apparent here.)

I could tell early on that this particular combo would not be a great success, but continued on anyway. It was good practice for two-handed, two-color knitting, and it was meant to be a hat for me, and would probably only be worn (and thus seen) around the homestead. Plus, I really didn't have anything better to use with the Noro and it pleased me to use up the yarn for a warm, useful item -- even if it wasn't a stunning example of colorwork.

The pattern itself was easily worked. I ended up with a bit of a "nipple" effect at the very top -- not so noticeable after washing, but the next one I make I'll leave out the final two non-decreasing rows to see how that looks. I may also take out one plain (non-decreasing) row from between each decrease row of the crown in order to make it just a bit shallower in depth. I changed the bottom, ribbed rows to the contrasting (Brown Sheep) yarn rather than the Noro. I find the Brown Sheep to be a bit softer on bare, forehead skin, and thought it would be more comfortable to wear.

And here's an in-process photo of the same hat, but with a higher contrast between the two yarns --


Lesalicious said...

Love the hats not a knitter but, love to read all kinds of blogs. Great job on all your projects.:)

Karen said...

Thanks, Lesalicious, just call me bi-crafty!