Keeping Track of Your Markers

    
Sweetness Pullover by Alexis Winslow

Playing with color is one of my favorite things to do. Even though I often choose muted colors for my garment projects, I love pops of color, and even an occasional bright-colored sweater! I knitted a pink cardigan a few years ago, and it remains one of my favorites.

Adding swaths of color and graphic interest to projects can bring so much visual interest to a piece, and it's fun for the knitter to make, too. Stripes, polka dots, geometric patterns, colorwork motifs, and lace and cable work are all options to bring graphic style to your knitting.

There are lots of techniques you need to work these designs, including using markers to help you keep track of where you need to change colors.

Alexis Winslow's new book, Graphic Knits, is full of fresh, high-impact knits inspired by geometric motifs. Here's Alexis' advice for using markers to make your knitting experience easier.

Keeping Your Markers Straight

Designers use markers because they really simplify pattern directions. They save knitters from a lot of counting. Sometimes a pattern tells you to use what seems to be an excessive number of markers. It can be confusing to keep all the instructions straight for each marker, especially if you're working in rounds. I have a few tricks that can help you keep it all straight.

For example, I might use 2 markers right next to each other to indicate the beginning of rounds, so I don't get that marker confused with any other marker.

    
Germander Shrug by Alexis Winslow

I also like to take advantage of the different colors and sizes of markers that usually come in a package. If I'm always supposed to M1 before the next marker, I might make that one red to indicate "stop, M1 before passing." Then if I'm always supposed to K2tog after the next marker, I might make that one green to indicate "pass m, then K2tog."

In the waist and hip shaping section of my Barbet pattern, there are 5 markers in use: one to indicate the beginning of the round, 2 on the front, and 2 on the back. If you read ahead in the pattern, which I recommend you always do, you'll see that the increases and decreases are worked on the outside of each pair of markers.

To make it easier to quickly see where I am in my round, I used large purple markers for the front and small green markers for the back. That way, I always know to leave the stitches between the pairs of markers alone.

    
Barbet Turtleneck by Alexis Winslow

Barbet Turtleneck

This easy raglan pullover is not only stylish, but also a great first sweater project for an inexperienced knitter. The sweater is entirely reversible, knitted from the top down, and totally seamless.

Strategically placed colorblock sections have a slimming effect that flatters all body types. The top-down construction allows for easy length adjustment, and it makes for a more successful sweater, especially for a first-time sweater knitter.

—Alexis Winslow, from Graphic Knits

There are so many cool projects in Graphic Knits. Get your copy today!

Cheers,

[View:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygJ9FHNLm3A]

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