Here’s a Knitting Hint: Dare to compare! When you are debating with yourself about the very best way to hold your yarns or knit up stitches, the most suitable decrease or buttonhole, or any of the other myriad of choices we face as engaged knitters, take a little time to play. Try the various methods open to you. Practice them in close proximity so you can directly compare the results.
Making a small swatch, looking at it, ripping it out and then redoing it another way won’t give you the necessary comparison. It is not a truly useful experiment.
The pictures above demonstrate an extreme example of colour or stitch dominance, shown using my Paradoxical Mittens pattern. The samples show identical mittens – but one was worked with the dark yarn as the contrast (held in left hand), while the other was worked with the yarns held the other way. What incredibly different results! Either one would look fine on its own, but they don’t work as a pair. As you see, the difference is not evident unless we compare them side by side. (By the way, there is no need to work a whole experimental mitten, a modest swatch will usually do nicely!)
I love it when at workshops the cry goes up: “My goodness, you are right!” It’s not that I’m on a power trip, wanting everyone to do things my way, but I do like knitters to explore their options and come to their own conclusions. If it happens to be the same one I reached, that’s cool, but it doesn’t have to be. Different techniques work differently for different people. Occasionally, there is no ‘right’ answer — only the one best suited to you, your yarn and your knitting circumstances. Experimenting with the options available to you is fun and educational: that’s why I included the small “Challenge Swatches” at the end of each chapter in my Cool Knitters Finish in Style book, inviting you to try a variety of methods and draw your own conclusions. Be curious: play with your stitches, make them smile!
The Paradoxical Mittens are on sale for half-price this week only! Before you begin your project, try working with the dark yarn as the contrast in one swatch and the light yarn as contrast in another. See the difference?