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Color, Texture… In My Spare Time?

Big Plans, Big Color

I have long been in love with Kristin Nicholascolorbykristinbookcover knitting designs. She uses more colors than I do (I tend to max out at 4 colors, more often 3, in my patterns). She is more fearless than I am, I think. She certainly has done this longer than I have, never mind her natural refreshing approach.

Kristin has a palette of yarns manufactured for her designs, which are in colors that all work well together. The yarn is called Julia and is labeled under the Nashua brand. It’s a wonderful blend of wool, alpaca and mohair. I have three skeins of it (we don’t have any shops which carry it in Mid-Michigan) and it’s lovely, drapey, shiny stuff.

Buy this Book!

Kristin’s new book, Color by Kristin, is WONDERFUL. Not only does it have a full spectrum of wonderful knitting projects (not just sweaters, which I rarely knit)… but it shows how you can actually create your own project yourself. It is clear and encouraging, for those who wish to make something colorful but a little different than Kristin’s offerings.

fromcolorfulkristinIf you can get this book at your local yarn shop, by all means support them. If you can not get it locally, do Kristin the favor of buying from her directly. You can buy at this book page on Kristin’s site. She will sign it for you and mail it herself.

I pre-ordered the book months ahead of time, in anticipation! Now you can get it at Rae’s shop and other wonderful Local Yarn Shops across the globe.

Too Many Choices, a High-Class Problem

In my case, I am thrilled by many of the projects. I love the Mother/Daughter mittens (they look like they have a Turkish-inspired tulip design on them). I like the coatlike ruana-with-sleeves. But I’m crazy, fanatical about the Over-The-Top Wrap.

overthetopbookThis item has 7 different colors specified. The yarn slowed me down initially. For one, my color palette is not your average American Adult Female color palette. I like hot, bright, intense and pure colors that have a blue tone to them. It’s my style, nobody else’s.

Very few yarn companies carry 7 colors of the same yarn in my favored color spectrum. Kristin’s wonderful yarn is every bit as colorful as, but not as electric as, my general style.

Mixing it Up

I actually love mixing textures as well as fibers/brands. It’s impossible to write a pattern that way, as customers won’t always be able to get the same 7 different yarns in one shop unless they shop where I did. (Assuming, that is, that they buy all the yarn at one time and use no stash yarn.)

My other high-class problem is that I make a living in great part, thanks to the Local Yarn Shops in my corner of the world (Greater Lansing, Michigan, USA). If it were not for Rae’s Yarn Boutique in particular, plus Threadbear Fiberarts and Yarn Garden in Charlotte, MI… well, I wouldn’t be paying the bills.

I think it’s important for me to buy my yarn as much as possible from these three loyal shops, who are willing to share my skills and talents between them. I owe them gratitude and loyalty whenever possible.

overthetopyarnpickingSO. I had a $25 certificate at Rae’s and an evening that was quiet enough to get Rae working with me. We sat down with Kristin’s book and combed the shelves for yarns in the light worsted-DK range, which had good drape (this shawl will need drape, not spring). In my colors. (Photo above was in the middle of the process. You can see how many yarns got tossed out in the process of choosing.)

Seven Incredible Yarns

We had to find seven yarns that would play nice with each other. I had a goal of texture contrast as well as color contrast. We figured it out. I’m thrilled. (Photo below was the result of our evening. That was fun!)


I’ve got wool, silk, alpaca, angora, nylon, pima cotton. I’ve got three in the turquoise range (bluish-green to greenish-blue). I have one purple, one magenta/raspberry, one green and one yellow. I’ve got textures from shiny to fuzzy to suede-soft cotton. This is going to be fun.

Yarns above in order are: Malabrigo Silky Wool/Teal Heather 412; Debbie Bliss Alpaca-Silk DK/26007 (raspberry); Mirasol T’ika Pima Cotton/508 (green); Shibui Baby Alpaca DK/Midnight 2955; Elsabeth Lavold Baby Llama/Purple 014; Louisa Harding Kimono Angora (bright blue-turquoise, no label); Mirasol T’ika Pima Cotton/504 (warm yellow). Talk about texture and drape? Mmmmmm…..

The main two yarns are the first two on the left in my photo. (Teal replaces the blue in the book, raspberry replaces the neutral.) They definitely have a lot of cool/warm contrast and some texture contrast. I sort of wish they had a little more dark/light contrast but we’ll see how it goes when I start knitting. We think it will work, there is no real way to know without knitting.

The bright green/darker blue will be contrasted in a small edge pattern, as will the dark purple/yellow. The fuzzy angora will be used in reverse-stockinette ridges only, and I think it should be a wonderful texture contrast near the edges. If it is too limp for a reverse-stockinette ridge, I have an alpaca in the wings waiting to rescue/replace it.

That Spare-Time Dilemma

When will I knit this? In very small chunks of time. Friend Cynthia also is in love with this book. We have committed to getting together and doing a knit-together on projects out of this book.

The intent is to not feel a need to knit this project except when we are together. We both have over-busy lives with other knitting projects. However, we meet for lunch once a week and may add another meeting or two here and there, to have tea, chat, and knit from Color by Kristin.

I’m fully prepared for this project to take a full year. This is just fine with me. Next cold season, I figure I’ll have a spectacular shawl. The team of Kristin, Rae, Cynthia and LynnH will make it work, I’m pretty sure!

One Response to “Color, Texture… In My Spare Time?”

  1. Cynthia Says:

    Cynthia says yes yes yes!

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