in progress

color sense

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Boy, this was a long time coming. Finally, finally made a swatch for the Bohus sweater I’ve been wanting for three years now. I collected all the yarns I need and finished the stuff in my queue, so over the weekend I broke out my interchangeable needles and got to knitting. Luckily, the mittens I knit recently served as a refresher course in color knitting, especially because I did a few lines with three colors. I didn’t realize, but this sweater is full of rounds where you knit three and even four colors. I can manage three in one go, but with four I split it up into two passes of the same row. Thanks to TECHKnitter for the tip. It’s pretty slow-going, but it’s not that hard. The hardest part was the purling, but I’m going to have to get used to it, as the colorwork has a lot of purls. I love the effect – it gives so much texture to the knitting.

This swatch was just to see how the colors work together, not so much for measuring gauge (I’ve got a separate non-Instagram-friendly swatch in the round for that). Because many of the yarns in the pattern were discontinued, I had to search for similar ones, which is not great since I have very little color sense. The hardest one to substitute was the yellow-purple-pink variegated yarn. I mean, that’s a very uncommon thing. You’ll see purple and pink, sure, and maybe yellow and pink. But all three together is a rare bird.

Well, wouldn’t you know it? Nanatsumugi, the small shop in town that only sells its own yarns, had a silk-wool yarn in those exact colors. It’s not a perfect choice: There’s more pink and purple than the original (which was mostly yellow), and the yarn is quite fuzzy. The color repeats are a lot longer than the original yarn, so I won’t get as much of a yellow impression of the color. It’s also a very fragile single-ply that looks like really thin roving. A good tug break the yarn.

But hey, it’s the right weight, mostly the right color (and I have enough where I can just cut off the pink and purple repeats and use yellow only), and what’s best is that I’m supporting a local yarn business. Actually, I’m kind of intrigued in the possibility of a gradient of pinks and purples and yellows, because the main color is such a pretty maroon that pink and purple would blend right in. The fuzziness appears to be characteristic of real Bohus sweaters too, which help the colors mix together better. So this might work out better than the original!

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