I've gotten several questions about colorwork in general, and I want those of you who are new to colorwork to be able to jump in tomorrow with confidence when the pattern is released. The pattern will be step-by-step with some tips, but it is not a tutorial type pattern (no instructional photos). It will assume a basic understanding of colorwork knitting. If you have never done colorwork knitting before, I am giving you some homework. Please read this PDF tutorial
, or watch this video
. If the part about wrapping stitches confuses you, just ignore it. This project will not be worn, so we don't need to worry about long floats.
Also, please read the following frequently asked questions that relate to this pattern specifically:
Q: How important is gauge? How do I knit my swatch for colorwork?
A: Gauge is semi-important (row gauge more so than stitch gauge). Your swatch should be in a two color pattern, but the pattern doesn't matter. An x pattern or checkerboard is what I use. The key here is that you are figuring out which hands you are holding your colors with, and also if any of your colors need to be swapped around. Technically, you should swatch in the round when you're knitting in the round. I don't though, and since gauge isn't that crucial in this project, I won't send the knitting police after you if you don't either. I purl in colorwork, others just bring the working yarn in big floats behind and move the work on the needle instead of turning.
Q: How do I know which colors are which if I'm using different colors? Do I need to figure out which order my colors go in ahead of time?
A: Yes, you need to assign an order to your colors. The pattern is written with five foreground colors labeled F1-F5, and ten background colors labeled B1-B10. F1 & B1 are the outermost colors, and the numbers increase as you move to the center of the project. The colors are mirrored out from the center. If you are using two colors, all the F's will be one color, and all the B's will be the other. If you are using one color on top of 10, all the F's will be one color, and you will label your ten colors B1-10 (10 being the middle). If you are using five colors on five colors, you will pair the B's (i.e. B1&2 = same color, B3&4 = next color, etc.)
Q: What do you mean by "foreground" and "background" colors? How do I know which is which?
A: The foreground color (or "top" or "main" color) is the darker color in the chart. It is the color that the design is made up of (think of a silhouette of a tree against a sunset).
Q: Do we really have to steek?
Yes! Steeking is not scary. This project is a good way to practice steeking, and we will help you through it, so don't be afraid. Also, it isn't until the end--just put it out of your mind.
Q: Can we post progress photos of our mystery project?
A: Absolutely! Post away--here, Ravelry, your own blog, wherever you want!
Q: Can I still start after the 11th?
A: You can join in whenever you want. We will only be knitting a few rows each week, so it should be easy to catch up.
Alright, guys, that's all the questions I can think of. If you have more, comment away, and I will do my best to answer them.