Thursday, December 6, 2012

Bulking Up Color Change Yarn

Long color change yarns are a delight to work with, but they do present a challenge for loom knitters who work with larger gauge looms. Very few of these yarns are made in bulky weights. The photo above shows JoJoland Rhythm which is a worsted weight yarn. But many of these lovely yarns are fingering weight. Doubling or tripling the strands is not an option, because the color changes are different in each skein. So what to do if you want a heavier yarn? 
My solution up to now has been to run a solid color yarn along side the color change yarn. This was not a perfect option, because the while the weight of the yarn was increased, the colors were washed out. This second photo shows an example of a Zauberball yarn doubled with a cream solid.
A better option is to use a technique of "weaving" your yarn as you loom with it. This technique is often called "Navajo Knitting" or "Navajo Plying", after a yarn spinning technique. The idea is to loosely weave your yarn into a big chain, which triples the thickness, and creates a bulky weight yarn. This is an excellent option for long color change yarns, because it preserves the clarity of the color changes. It does, however, shorten the length of the color changes, a problem to solve another day. Here is a link to an article describing the technique of "Navajo Knitting".

Blooming Loom: Colorful Patterns for Loom Knitters  e-book $12.00  
Copyright 2012 by Renee Van Hoy, Invisible Loom. All rights reserved.

Monday, December 3, 2012

December Looming

December already. How did that happen? My looms have been busy this past month, working on my next project. The little pile of swatches you see in the first photo is the start of a loom knitting stitch pattern dictionary. This is a rather large project, and I've already discovered the work will go much slower than I first thought, but I think (hope) it will be something everyone will enjoy. If there is a stitch pattern you would like to see in the collection, leave me a name and link, and you never know :)

Behind the swatches is my latest shawl, since I always have at least one in the works. I'm hoping to have a "Loom Knit Shawls II" pattern collection in the new year. 

The 'net has some great December loom knitting for you. Loom-a-long group at Ravelry is working on one of my free patterns, Travel by Rail Cuffs. Please join in and try this pattern for a last minute gift idea. It is a nice, small project on which to learn to make a ruffle, and try a little lace work. The second loom-a-long is a wide open "holiday gift wrap up". No special patterns,  just come and share your loomy gift projects and get ready for the holidays. 
The Shapely Loom e-book:  $12.00 US 

Blooming Loom e-book: $12.00 US

Loom Knit Shawls e-book: $12.00 US  
Copyright 2012 by Renee Van Hoy, Invisible Loom. All Rights Reserved.