Explore Colorwork with a Twist

Amy Palmer (Editor, Knitscene)

Amy Palmer (Editor, Knitscene)

We asked Amy Palmer, editor of PieceWork’s sister magazine Knitscene, to tell you about a special pair of arm warmers.

I’m a sucker for stranded colorwork. While my fellow knitters in the office go gaga for cables and texture (and I do love those things, too), I find myself, again and again, lured by the siren call of choosing different colors to create stunning works of knitted art in traditional or nontraditional colorwork knitting patterns.

A sweater in a museum in Finland was Carol Huebscher Rhoades’s inspiration for her sweet arm warmers. Photographs by Joe Coca.

A sweater in a museum in Finland was Carol Huebscher Rhoades’s inspiration for her sweet arm warmers.
Photographs by Joe Coca.

The Vörå-Inspired Arm Warmers from the January/February 2015 issue of PieceWork are just the type of project for which I would drop everything to start knitting. Worked in a fingering weight cotton-wool blend, these classic blue-and-white fingerless mitts would be perfect for chilly days or chilly offices (I’m wishing I had some fingerless mitts handy as I’m writing this).

Designer Carol Huebscher Rhoades was inspired by a man’s sweater she spotted in a textile museum in Vörå, Finland. No knitter is surprised to find inspiration for colorwork coming out of northern Europe–just look at almost any popular colorwork item, be it a knitting pattern or commercially available sweater, and you’ll likely see the influence of Fair Isle, Scandinavian, or Baltic knitting design–but what is surprising about this sweater is the fibers that were used. This sweater, dating from the nineteenth century, was knit in a newly available luxury fiber for the time–cotton.

1-19-16 b2Typically we associate colorwork with sturdy wool yarns and especially with colorwork projects coming out of the Nordic countries, but you can also understand the knitter’s desire to work with a new fiber. Certainly the inspiration sweater was not as warm or insulating as a wool version would have been, but it probably made a great sweater for warmer summer days. By using a cotton and wool blend yarn, Carol is able to marry the inspiration from the sweater with the familiarity of wool.

We’ve created a kit for the Vörå-Inspired Arm Warmers, using one ball each of Geilsk Cotton/Wool in blue and natural white, just like Carol used for her project. You can get the print issue of PieceWork January/February 2015 and the yarn to knit these arm warmers in one convenient package. Order yours today!


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