Thursday, 30 October 2014

Kagome Jacket Colourways

My Kagome Jacket design in The Knitter Magazine Issue 77 is knitted using two shades of a variegated yarn with a long colour change. I love the way the shades blend when similar colours are next to each other. The different width of stripes on the jacket means the blending is not uniform, but is balanced. Having sampled several different variegated yarns for this design, I would like to share my exploration of this type of yarn for this design.

Detail of Kagome Jacket
copyright Emma Vining
Kagome Jacket
Image from the Knitter Magazine
The original colour way and yarn for my Kagome Jacket was on display at the Knitting & Stitching Shows at Alexandra Palace and in Harrogate last year as part of the 2013 UKHKA Knitted Textile Awards. This jacket was knitted in Patons Colourworks Aran, which has unfortunately been discontinued.

Kagome Jacket
Copyright Emma Vining
I originally chose the Patons yarn as it was lightweight and variegated with a long colour change. The yarn colour range included two colour ways that had some shades in common. Using these two shades meant that the 'hard edged' geometric Kagome motif that the design is based on, is softened with slightly blurred edges. You can see the shape, but it is subtle.

When I was designing the jacket, I sampled several alternative yarns, but these were either too brightly coloured, had colour changes that were too 'short' and, most importantly for this design, finding two shades with similar colours of the same weight of yarn proved difficult. When the Knitter Magazine commissioned the jacket and asked me to change the colour way and the yarn, I knew it was going to be a challenge! A big thank you to Kirstie, the commissioning editor at the Knitter Magazine, for all her help in finding King Cole Riot Chunky.

Here are the results of the two Riot Chunky colour ways that I test knitted. Each ball of King Cole Riot Chunky weighs 100g. I had to knit at least half a ball to find a full colour change as the the colour pattern repeat is a 'mirror image'. The final garment was knitted in the lighter, warm colour way shown in the first sample. The darker, cool colour way version is closer to my original design, but with bright highlights. 

Sample 1 (below) knitted in King Cole Riot Chunky

Peach/ Orange/ Grey for outer section: Shade 663, Potash
Brown/ Peach for inner shape, border and collar: Shade 655, Sand Dune 

Sample 2 (below) knitted in King Cole Riot Chunky

Grey/ Green/ Black for outer section: Shade 651, Domino
Blue/ Pink/ Green for inner shape, border and collar: Shade 657, Monsoon

There is great debate about matching up variegated yarns in patterns and although I like the randomness of just knitting with whichever part of the colour repeat you are at, in this case I wanted all the start points to be the same. To achieve this, I wound the balls to the same point in the colour changes for all the garment sections.

I'd love to hear about other knitter's experiences with variegated yarns. Please leave a comment!

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