Peerie Flooers finished! And a little colouring in

6 Oct

It took me six days in the end to knit my Peerie Flooers (Rav link) hat. I was, as I said earlier, pretty obsessed!

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The thing about colourwork is that it’s addictive. As the pattern unfolds with every row, you get hooked on seeing what’s going to happen next.

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Making this hat (designed by the very talented Kate Davies) has got me thinking even more about colour than usual.

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I recently had the pleasure of swatching some Fair Isle style motifs in John Arbon‘s new yarn with vintage knitwear expert Susan Crawford, Excelana.

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It’s a beautiful yarn, perfect for colourwork. The challenge for a designer lies in making a relatively limited palette (there are eight colours in Excelana so far) work in harmony.

When working with a limited colour range, or in fact, any colour range, there is a great trick for making it easier. I think I first read about it in Alice Starmore‘s seminal Book of Fair Isle Knitting, but it’s a widely used technique.

Simply take your colour range and put it into black and white.

The easiest way is to take a picture using the black and white setting on your digital camera, but I prefer to take it in colour and then desaturate it in Photoshop, so that I can refer back to it.

This allows you to see the relative light or dark values of the colours. By having this extra info, you can then easily avoid putting colours which are of the same light/dark value next to each other, where a lack of contrast would make the patterning hard to see.

After that, despite all the colour ‘rules’ you may have heard of, everything else is just a matter of taste.

Having knitted Peerie Flooers in a combination of Jamieson and Smith 2 ply and Rowan Fine Tweed, I’m now looking at a new design using the Rowan yarn.

Here’s what happens when you take the colours away…

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Time to play!

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5 Responses to “Peerie Flooers finished! And a little colouring in”

  1. Jen October 6, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    Wow, thank you so much for the lesson in contrast ! And your Peerie Floors look awesome. Going to knit the mits ?

  2. Valeria Garcia October 6, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

    A beautiful hat and a good advice! Thanks!

  3. Rosee Woodland October 6, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    Thanks! I do love the mitts, but I fear pale mitts plus wrangling a 3 year old through another wet and muddy winter will ruin them pretty quickly! A dreaming up something for the Fine Tweed though, which may involve mitts… Stay tuned!

    • Martha August 31, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

      Wonderful Fair Isle knitting. Amazed how you managed so many colours in the pattern!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Reading List: My favourite blogs « Nana taught me how - February 22, 2012

    […] Scottish knitwear designer Kate Davies takes you on adventures through the Highlands, and regularly reveals her latest, exceptional design. She has a penchant for ‘woolly wool’ and Fair Isle and great taste in dogs and hats. […]

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