I attended my first Stitches convention this past weekend and managed to keep myself out of too much trouble in the marketplace by taking lots and lots of classes. In one of these classes (“Amazing Couture Stitches” with Jean Frost), I learned a number of ways to make knitted fabric look like woven fabric.
I thought these stitches might work well with the chenille cotton yarn I got from Viriditas Farm. Sally had told me that weavers love the chenille; knitters, not so much. Like all cotton, this chenille doesn’t have much give, but it was so beautiful that I couldn’t help myself.
So, I set about swatching one of these couture stitches (“Tricolor Tweed Stitch”) with the chenille and the chocolate brown worsted weight I’d also gotten from Veriditas. (Another lesson learned at Stitches–when selecting color combinations, swatch, swatch, and swatch again. One color can look dramatically different depending on its neighbor. Thanks, Laura Bryant.) Here are the results.
First up, I used the two yarns from Viriditas Farm with some dark blue tweed I had in my stash.
It looked pretty nice, but I wanted to know if I could jazz it up a bit. So, I took out the blue and added a brighter coral.
(I also increased needle size, which is why this one looks a bit looser than the first. Bad idea.) Definitely jazzier, but perhaps a bit too much contrast? I replaced the chocolate brown with grey (in fact, the grey yarn from Full Belly Farm).
So, which do you prefer? They all do something different to the eyes, so I guess it depends what effect you’re going for.
One last trick: I photographed these swatches on a nice neutral wooden background and on a white tablecloth. Check out the difference. To my eye, the white saps all life out of the lighter swatch (the one with green, coral and grey).
It also dulls the blue swatch.
But the brown, coral, and green swatch? Looks better on white!
Now, for the dark underbelly–the back side. Just in case you were thinking about making a blanket with this stitch. Not too bad for the low-contrast swatches.
But the high contrast swatch just looks downright messy. The fault may lie with the contrast, but it also could just be my needle size.