Saturday, August 02, 2008

Frequently, on knitting BB's or other sites, (like Ravelry)--when a new knitter asks about color work in knitting, I recommend Stripes as a first option—even though I know, stripes aren't as easy as they seem.

Yes, there is a random stripe generator
and random stripes can be interesting...

There are several elements that go into stripe patterns; Contrast (or lack of contrast) width of stripe(s) the number of colors and regularity (or lack there of!) .

I use a lot of self striping sock yarn—and the resulting socks are not always as successful—at least not to my ├Žsthetic!

Here are some stripe patterns/colors I like--the first is a self stripe Regia, the second stripes I designed--the pattern in each case is very similar--an oblique twisted rib.

and here are some I don't like--low contrast, and narrow stripes just do anything for me.

Some of the elements of the patterns I like include:
the color ways—I tend to like High contrast, but I also like shade of monochrome.
the sizes of the stripe (I tend to like patterns that have different stripe widths)
and the 'fair isle' element... (some self patterning yarns are much more successful than others)

But I also sometimes make stripes of my own, using (or using up!) several balls of yarn.

The size of the stripes (narrow vs. broad) and the balance-(different sizes of stripes vs all stripes the same size) and colors—the number (of colors) , the levels of contrast (high vs. low, shades (of the same color) vs. color ways ) and the regularity of the pattern (I like regular patterns—Way more than random ones...all go into creating a interesting stripe pattern.
Stripes mechanically might be easy to knit.. but good striping patterns can be difficult!.

The Red Hot Mama socks were mostly red.. (8 rows of red, 2 rows of white) –a combination that works for several reasons--
1—Fibonacci numbers
2—ratios (4:1)
3---Pairs of even numbers
These elements are general make for a good stripe pattern.

The Rag Doll socks use one element –Ratio's (the stripes are a 2:1 ratio)

The different ratio make the stripe “feel” very different—more fun
—Stripes of equal values, (1:1) ratio can look junivenial and/or cartoon-ish and the bigger the ratio between the stripes, the more adult the stripes can seem (pin stripes and chalk stripes are very clearly grown up stripe patterns!)

There is another element of stripe.. In times past, striped clothing was a sign of criminal behavior.. Convicts were required to wear stripes.. (and they still do in cartoons of all sorts!)--Stripes do have an element of outlandishness.

Finally, another pair of summer (croc socks) --will they be finished before the season is over? Well there is a hope... Goodness knows its nice to have some cottony socks to wear inside my croc's--(my standard pool side footware).

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