Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Back to knitting basics

I have been getting back to the basics of knitting lately and thought I would share the story behind our latest knitting kit - the Beginners Knit Scarf Kit.

It all started when I was sorting through some of the yarn in my studio and wondering what to do with all the lovely extra Retro yarn balls we end up with after winding the 100gm balls. The colours looked so vibrant, that I decided to pick 6 of the most cheerful balls and design a beginners knitting project with them.

After years of teaching beginners knitting classes I have discovered that the ideal project for someone starting out includes both repetition - this gets your tension even - and some colour changes along the way - motivation to finish the project!

Using a 12ply (aran weight) yarn with 6mm knitting needles means you progress a little faster than you would with the standard 8ply (DK weight) yarn on a 4mm knitting needle. And, any bigger than about an 8mm knitting needle starts to get a little clunky for a beginner.

The width of the scarf is also an important consideration. Too wide and the rows seem endless, too narrow and you end up with a tie. I tried a few different widths and 30 stitches was just right.

The order of the colours involved a bit of colour theory and years of customer feedback. Pink and green placed together are always a winning combination - nature's colours. Placing high value colours (light colours) between low value colours (dark colours) also gives the scarf added variety eg. the yellow was placed between the blue and purple; the red between the purple and green.

Happy knitting!

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