Stuff You Should Be Knitting: Color

Spring is officially here and it’s time for another edition of Stuff You Should Be Knitting where we link to some awesome free patterns on the interwebs.

For me, spring is an excuse to bust out all the colored yarns and work on some bright, happy projects.

If you like to knit with color, then Stephen West is the designer for you. His projects are a little on the wild side and totally addictive to knit. If you’re not ready to buy a pattern for one of his crazier designs like The Doodler, then check out this free shawl, Metalouse.

This is an intermediate level top-down shawl that uses Noro yarn to create stripes that pop.

A close up of a model's shoulder, draped in the Metalouse shawl.

One of the easiest places to incorporate color into your knitting is socks. Sock yarn comes in amazing, gorgeous colorways. For example:

Nerd Girl’s Bounce and Stomp sock yarn in Back from Earth.

A skein of yarn in pink, orange, purple and teal.

Equally gorgeous is Sweet Georgia Yarn’s Tough Love Sock in Hummingbird:

A skein of yarn in vibrant green, purple and pink

Once you have some gorgeous sock yarn, you need a pattern. My two favorite sock patterns are Skew by Lana Holden and A Nice Ribbed Sock by Glenna C.

Skew works best on circular needles, and creates a really amazing swirled pattern when using variegated yarn. It’s not the best project for a first time sock knitter. But don’t worry! I do have an easier sock pattern that works well on DPNs.

A close up on a pair of green and purple socks with a swirling pattern.

A Nice Ribbed Sock is a very easy pattern for the beginning sock knitter. It works well on DPNs and has enough stretch that it’s pretty versatile. It’s my go-to TV knitting sock pattern. I made a pair of these on the plane to RT last year and I love them!

A close up on a pair of pink and purple ribbed socks.

And because we’re a site all about book-love, I’d be totally remiss not to mention Hermione’s Everyday Socks.  You could even knit them up in this Harry Potter inspired yarn: Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans!

A colorful sock with a slightly bumpy texture.

Love colorful yarn but prefer a crochet hook to knitting needles? No problem! I am here for you!

Crochet lends itself to creating projects with more structure, and check out this adorable purse!

The Jersey Purse is crocheted with soft jersey tee-shirt fabric. Add some cute handles and you’re good to go!

A rectangular shaped purse with a bamboo handle and button enclosure.

Where I live, spring weather is pretty variable. Some days I have the heater on in my car when I leave for work and the AC on when I go home. It’s always nice to have layering pieces in weather like that.

I’m a pretty big fan of making shawls, and this Treble Fantasy shawl by Michele DuNaier is gorgeous!

A lacey crescent shaped shawl.

Something like this would really work well in an ombre yarn, and I’m totally bummed that I don’t crochet because I have some Freia Fiber that would look great in this pattern. Check out this colorway,  Aurora.

A cake of gradiant yarn that transistions from deep blue to pale green.

The last pattern I have is Sanibella, another lacey spring shawl that comes with video tutorials. I would love to see this crocheted in a Noro Taiyo Sport weight.

A smiling woman holds up a large, lacey triangluar shawl crocheted in pink, blue, red and yellow.

A shawl like this would be great for a spring or summer wedding.

Right now I’m finishing up an Ashburn by Melanie Berg and then I plan to get a start on my Rhinebeck sweater.

What’s on your needles (or hook)?

Comments are Closed

  1. Laurel says:

    I am currently working on my first real project, a scarf from the Stitch ‘n Bitch book. (The pattern is called Ribbed For Her Pleasure). It is a 2×2 rib and isn’t quite turning out as I expected – the rib is squashing together- but I figure it is practice. I have done a few washcloth squares, but they weren’t anything I will actually use. I really want to try some socks, so I will probably do that next.

  2. Kelly says:

    I’ve made three pairs of Hermione’s Every Day Socks. It makes a good, thick winter sock.

    Fruit Loop, also from makes a nice sock with colored yarn.

  3. Antonia says:

    I’m making Kelly McClure’s Sockhead Cowl. I’m using Socks That Rock ‘Rings of Glory’ yarn. Loving it, except knitting with fingering weight yarn is like knitting with parcel string! It’s gonna take a while. But I’m enjoying it, so that’s ok. 🙂 @sea_otter3

  4. Jessica says:

    Speaking of Stephen West, I’m working on Exploration Station! It’s so much fun to knit!

  5. Aoife says:

    I knitted the Skew socks and somehow, even though exactly keeping to the instructions the socks ended up with a pair that was far too large. It wasn’t that bad, I could just unravel at the toes and re-knit that bit but that (and various similar experiences with other ‘oddly constructed’ socks) made me go back to simple try-on-as-you-go-along toe-up socks. Still enough petterns for me to try 😛
    Though right now I’m not knitting a sock but a Orient Express

  6. Annie says:

    @Laurel: Don’t worry. It’s supposed to look weirdly squashed at this point in the game. A little bit of blocking when you’re done, and presto: You will have worked magic and it will no longer look squashed! (I had 1×1 ribbing in the finishing of my last lace project. I spent all 18 rows swearing about design choices, because 1×1 looks even weirder than 2×2 to me pre-blocking.)

    And, if you don’t use natural fibers, don’t worry you can still block it. (That was one of my grumbles when I started because I started with acrylic, and my LYS kept swearing you can’t block. They’re wrong, and if you do a search for the techniques used, the internet has great links of acrylic blocking vs wool.)

    On my own knitting front, I’m doing a ton of color projects: the finishing on a vest, squares for an afghan (which will, eventually, be a variant on log cabin), and this: . The latter is in various purples and greys and pinks and is stupidly gorgeous already.

  7. Laurel says:

    @Annie: Thanks for the info about blocking – I was hoping it would help, but wasn’t really sure

  8. I kinda like that crocheted purse, but I’m not a purse person. Of course, if I made it my fancy carry-around-my-crafting purse, I might make it work. And I do like the naztazia crocheting tutorials since they make it possible for me to accomplish crochet. Simple crochet. Sometimes. (On my own I can make granny squares, a circular flower button thingy, and flowers. That time I tried to crochet a “washcloth square type thing,” it ended up more of a triangle, lol.)

    I have Ravelry Search Hangover. I type in a yarn from my stash, then indulge in images of projects people have used that yarn for. And I collect free patterns that I might possibly make some day and favorite so many things.

    And dammit, I have Noro yarn envy! I try not to lust after yarn that’s not easily available to me, but Noro striping is just glorious. *pouts* *is cranky*

    Here’s a fun free project for teapot owners: a tea mitten for your pot. 🙂 (My teapot is differently dimensioned, which led me to some regrettable improvising. Which is why mine is called a learning experience.)

  9. Kelly says:

    I just finished a shawl in brilliant shades of red, coral and fuchsia. I made it to match a favourite pair of boots. You can see it here: I’m tempted to make more in different bright colour juxtapositions, but first I’m knitting a black linen tee shirt.

  10. SonomaLass says:

    I just finished a blanket sweater, that was terrific for transitional spring weather.

    I also made several hats for my mom, who is losing her hair due to chemo. And I’m making a hat for myself:

  11. catses says:

    Colour and crochet – I like this Spring Ripple Scarf. It’s also in Noro, though I haven’t had good luck with that (itchy and twisty) but haven’t tried the sock yarn.

  12. ClaireC says:

    Socks are the best, but now that I’ve become an avowed Sock Knitter, my stash has grown enormously. Far too easy to pick up random skeins of fingering weight yarn and rationalize it all away. I’m working on a simple stockinette pair right now for the #oneweeksockchallenge.

    Also working on an Ashburn! In the middle section now and progress has slowed considerably, probably because I just started a shiny new sweater, and will be getting the first clue for the Joji mystery wrap KAL this Friday. Good thing that shawls are always necessary in the over-AC’d office.

    Rhinebeck!!!! Must start thinking of what sweater to make. Usually there are 15-20 of us that make the same sweater and meet up on the grounds (we’ve even made the Ravelry front page!). This year I think Camaro is one of the picks, so I’ve got to pull out the stash and see what yarn I have for that. Hoping I don’t have to buy any – gotta make room for all the yarn I’ll be getting when I’m there!

  13. Stephanie says:

    Skew is on my to be knit list. My mom called me up late at night (for her) to tell me she needed them. As for adding colour to my own wardrobe, I am going to start Magpie Fibers new Destination Pullover soon. I am excited to create the marled combination by holding two yarns together.

  14. Stephanie says:

    @Laurel Blocking is magic and hides all sorts of sins, if I recall correctly I used the instructions in SnB for blocking my first project. For me it is a can’t miss step. Knitty has a great help section and their are some amazing youtube videos.

  15. Morgan says:

    I’m making a Ravenclaw scarf for my mom. One of the ones that’s mostly blue with thin silver stripes, not the two-colour block style. I might make a Hufflepuff one like that for me.

    I love handmade socks, but I hate knitting them. Heels give me too much trouble.

    I knit so slow that I try not to add stuff to my queue too often because I never get to it.

  16. Kimberly B. says:

    I am working on Pincha from Knitty:
    I am making it in Expression Fiber Arts’ River Rocks, a limited edition colorway that is sold out. But it is a great pattern for any variegated sock yarn, and hits the sweet spot between interesting but not too thinky for watching TV.

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