Artful Color, Mindful Knits

Artful Color, Mindful Knits : The Definitive Guide to Working with Hand-dyed Yarn


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Artisan hand dyers build patterning potential - a color repeat - into each skein of yarn. When the repeat stacks as the yarn is worked into fabric, patterning happens. But if that patterning is just an occasional accident, it is often not attractive. Artful Color, Mindful Knits turns those accidents into consistent, repeatable, understandable results. Stitch, gauge, color repeat, and stitch count work together to create this intentional patterning. Laura Bryant shows how to find and maintain it in over 40 designs from simple scarves to more complex garments. But, if you want the colors to blend, she gives stitch choices and strategies that overcome unwanted pooling or patterning.

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  • Paperback | 184 pages
  • 238.76 x 254 x 17.78mm | 816.46g
  • XRX Books,US
  • South DakotaUnited States
  • English
  • 200 colour
  • 1933064269
  • 9781933064260
  • 104,687

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I have to confess, when I wanted to knit with a hand-dyed skein of yarn I would cast on a simple stitch pattern and hope. Sometimes it looked OK, but sometimes not as inspiring as the skein itself. No longer! Laura is quite a bit more scientific. In order to get the colours of a hand-dyed skein to fall predictably, she knits or crochets a multiple or fraction of the original dye repeat length, or magic number. An exact repeat gives colour stacking. One or two stitches difference from the magic number produces diagonal stripes or a diamond Argyle effect. Different stitch patterns and different placement of colour on the yarn also give surprising results. A limitation of this technique is that you can't increase and decrease stitches for shaping, but the author includes some example patterns showing how these straight widths can be joined into garments with panels of toning solids. If want something truly random or less bold - without any pooling or patterns, this also cannot be left to chance - Laura details different techniques for achieving 'randomness' such as slip-stitch patterns, floats, and knitting into the row below. She combines handdyed yarns and solids on different rows and within the same stitch. The fabric that results is more homogeneous, but still retains the proportions of the original colours. Laura illustrates the various effects using case studies with commercially dyed yarn in different repeat sizes and colour configurations, showing her experimentation samples and the final garment. Hand-dyed yarn can also be used to achieve these effects. Before dyeing, yarn can be skeined to the correct size to achieve the fabric width that you want. Just to prove it worked, I had to dig out a hand-dyed skein from my stash immediately and cast on a cowl. Gretchen Roth, Online Guild-Journal for Weavers Spinners & Dyers

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About Laura Militzer Bryant

Laura Militzer Bryant is a designer and fiber arts teacher whose work has appeared regularly in Interweave Knits, Knitter's Magazine, and Vogue Knitting. She is the founder of Prism Yarns, a popular line of hand-dyed yarns and the author of A Knitter's Template, Knitting with Novelty Yarns, and The Yarn Stash Workbook. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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