Knitche, the local yarn shop and espresso cafe in Downers Grove, is hosting a two-month event for knitters and crocheters to inject a bit of color into the late summer and early fall season. The event, called the Color Yarnivale, is a fun choose-your-own Knit-Along or Crochet-Along to not only encourage customers to try colorwork, but to also entice them with end-of-season prizes as well.
The requirements for the event are the customers purchase their yarn at Knitche, and that they complete their project by October 23 to be eligible for prizes. There is a raffle prize of a $30 gift certificate to the store, plus an end-of-event party on the deadline day with other prizes being given away as well.
Colorwork, or using more than one color yarn in a single project, is considered intimidating by many knitters and crocheters who have never tried any of the techniques associated with it. For knitting, specifically, many different techniques are available to incorporate more than one color into a project. Mosaic or slip-stitch knitting involves slipping stitches, so that colors from current rows will appear to originate in rows below and “pull” to the current row. Intarsia involves using blocks of colors on mini-skeins or bobbins, to incorporate pictures into knitting panels, simlar to a paint-by-number project. Fair-Isle knitting is a technique involving two colors per row, and the inactive yarn “floating” behind the active yarn between stitches. Finally, striping involves using one color straight for a row, and a different color straight for the next row or rows.
The Color Yarnivale is open to all colorwork techniques outlined above, so knitters of all skill levels can participate in the event. Further leveling the playing field is that entries are one per project, meaning knitters and crocheters can receive one entry into the raffle for every project they finish using a colorwork technique between now and October 23.
Participants and craft-enthusiasts alike can follow along on social media, using the hashtag #coloryarnivale. Participants are encouraged to use that hashtag on instagram and facebook so the projects are easier to find. Knitche also has a discussion forum on the yarn-centered website Ravelry.com, where they can post their progress photos as well.
Are you excited to start, but don’t know what project suits you best? The Knitche staff has chosen several projects to suggest to their customers, so participants can ask for help when they go to the store to purchase their yarn. Otherwise, here are some of the most popular colorwork patterns on Ravelry.com:
Color Affection: Veera Välimäki’s wildly popular shawl pattern uses short rows and simple stripes to create an easy shawl in colors of the knitter’s choice.
Afmæli – 20-Year Anniversary Sweater: For Fair-Isle lovers, this traditional two-color yoke sweater is a challenge, but not too much of a challenge where it cannot be completed by the deadline. Plus, it will be finished just in time for the weather to allow for wearing it.
Ballband Dish Cloth: Quick mosaic knitting is more suited to the schedules of busy knitters. The Peaches n Creme design team created this dish cloth pattern for just that purpose, where the colors can coordinate to a kitchen, bathroom, or someone’s favorite colors as a gift.
Baby Lamb Cuffs: This pattern, by Tiny Owl Knits, is a great introduction to intarsia, and they are a small enough project to have zero guilt if they need to be ripped out and re-knitted.
No matter what, there are many options to join Knitche’s DIY Knit- and Crochet-Along to celebrate color. Stop into Knitche in downtown Downers Grove for more details; they are conveniently located two blocks south of the Metra Downers Grove Main Street stop, and there is plenty of street and covered parking near the store.