Okay, maybe I am a knitting nerd, but I find it fascinating that stranded knitting is part of so many different knitting traditions. Fair Isle, Estonia, Norwegian, Icelandic. Stranded knitting was used to thicken the knitted fabric by carrying the two strands and alternating them in a pattern design.
My first fascination with stranded colorwork was with Dale of Norway patterns.
Beautiful ski sweaters that harken back to the traditional Norwegian lusekoft. This is the company that designs the team sweaters for the Norwegian Olympic team. Diving into these patterns is just a joy. They are written in a very efficient way with minimal finishing, and assuming you have a good working knowledge of sweater construction. Challenging? Absolutley, but once you finish, the sense of accomplishment is big. I love working with charts, for some reason they seem to knit up faster. I find I want to work just one more row much in the same way I like to read just one more page of a good book.
I rarely dye muted colors. I love love love retina searing punch you in the face super saturated colors. I love unexpected combinations. And I also love the look of hand dyed semi solids. In stranded work hand dyed yarns add a depth to the design that is just gorgeous. Here is the very beginnings of a pair of stranded mittens using my Sizzle Pop and Evil Grapes yarn.
Designing Your Own
Interested in designing your own stranded mittens? Here is a link to some graph paper to do just that.
What are your favorite stranded knitting patterns?
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