We get to start with some coloring! The sweater I’m making is in different colors than the designer’s original project so rather than confusing myself with her colors, I decided to print the chart page in black and white and color it to match my project.
I think it helped a ton! This really gave me a good idea of how my chosen colors will look in my sweater. I grabbed 3 markers that resemble my yarn shades and had a fun five minutes of coloring time.
To work a color work chart we start from the bottom right edge at the box labeled 1. We read the chart from right to left and because that mimics how we knit — always working to the left. We’re only ever working on one particular row and in this pattern we’ll only ever have two colors on any given row which is great.
In this case on the first row the first stitch is in MC, the second stitch is in CC1, and the third and fourth stitches are in MC again. We repeat those four stitches around and around until we make it back to the beginning.
The second row has an alternating color pattern. One stitch CC1, one stitch MC, 1 CC1, 1 MC and so on around. I like to hold my yarn as one color in each hand and cruise along the row.
As you work the alternating colors be sure to carry or “float” the yarns loosely behind the other stitches. These floats should have a light tension that will allow the actual sweater stitches to still stretch as normal. If your floats become too tight you may see some puckering in the color work section that could make the sweater a bit out of shape. If you think this might be happening you may want to hold a finger behind the work to help loosen your floats or in some cases you may need to go up a needle size when working the color pattern.
Those are both OK things to do! Color work is something that takes a bit of practice so take your time and figure out what works best for you. Remember that the sweater and the stitches will relax when we block it so an irregularity here and there is normal just like in normal knitting.
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