A Voyage Into Color Territory

Posted on Posted in book reviews/events, projects


Understanding how yarns perform is an essential knitting skill. To gain this knowledge, it’s important to know about the fiber


from sheep to yarn


to knitted fabric.


Or to learn fibers have long or short staple lengths and are good for particular types of knits. Plus, the construction of the yarn – plies, blends, weight –


is an essential part that should be taken into account when planning a project.

I learned so many vital pieces of information when I took a Yarn Voyage class from Anne. I had notes scribbled everywhere and my head was swimming with new information. I can’t tell you how many times I blurted out “aha!” in class (and possibly a few more in my head). Several us chatted after class and unanimously said, “if only I had taken a class like this when I started knitting!”


Everyone, even very experienced knitters and spinners, left the class with lots more knowledge about yarn and its properties. I must say that every knitting project since class has been more successful. The necessity of swatching was really driven home,


plus I looked at my stash completely different. I feel I have more of an educated eye when discerning between yarns in the planning process of a project. Even when I get to the swatching phase and a yarn doesn’t necessarily work out, I no longer get frustrated or think time has been wasted. I just log that swatch and information away for a future project. And my finished Knitspot objects – well, they’re just that much more beautiful.

Woodcutter web

This year at Rhinebeck After Party Anne is teaching Yarn Voyage II: Color Territory. In Anne’s words,

Yarn voyage for color knitting and design: Are your attempts at color knitting foiled by sloppy looking results, fabrics that appear lifeless, and/or stitches that gape and won’t lie straight? Do you find your attempts at substituting colors or creating your own combinations disappointing? It might not be you—it could be your yarn. Learn how choosing the right yarn will help you achieve a smooth and cohesive surface as well as a beautifully orchestrated palette in your color knitting projects. Our voyage into color knitting territory is much more than a discussion about yarn weight. It’s an explorative class for knitters and handspinners of all levels, covering the specific characteristics of yarn that influence the outcome of color knitted fabric. Included will be a short history of color work in knitting, how it was disseminated around the world, how various cultures influenced its development, and the evolution in turn of its separate ethnic identities. Participants will learn how yarn type relates to the fabric surface, texture, weight, and elasticity, and how to use that information to make better choices and/or substitutions in their projects. Students will test Bare Naked Wools of various fibers and twist ratios to make comparisons and learn to assess final fabrics. Even the most experienced knitters and spinners will go away with new insight on the fibers and yarns they thought they knew. 
This is a class I am super excited about. Colorwork is my absolute favorite, but I’m not very good at it. I’ve knit a few color projects (mostly striped or slipped stitch) and a couple successful fair isle items like this Peruvian Purl Earflap Hat,
but I’m desperate to learn more about the process. As I learned in the first Yarn Voyage, a lot of unsuccessful knits are due to choosing the wrong yarn. I definitely believe that was the culprit in my past experiences. I’m excited Anne’s new class takes Yarn Voyage to another level and focuses on color, with emphasis on naturals. I drool over fair isle sweaters and vests, but I have a little fear. I know Anne will help me nip that in the bud. She always does. I want to knit Apples in Clover


and Sheltie Triangle, but I can never seem to get past the planning stage. Which yarn? Where should my color placement be? How can I add a pop of hand dyed color into my neutral palette? Can I mix fibers? There’s just so many questions!

For those that have taken Yarn Voyage I, you will definitely learn new things. For knitters that haven’t, have no fear! The first class is not a prerequisite. We will all leave this class with our eyes wide open and itching to cast on a project. Speaking of that, Yarn Voyage II is just the kickoff to the After Party. Following the afternoon break, Anne will teach A Survey of Color Knitting – an exploration of techniques including mosaic, intarsia, stranded colorwork, and slip stitch. Both two-handed and one-handed stranded color knitting will be covered! The following day, jump head first into mosaic or stranded knitting with Color Project Immersion. This class includes a brand spankin’ new kit with an unreleased pattern. You will spend the day (with an afternoon break) in a relaxed, semi-social setting planning your color palette, swatching and knitting the beginnings of the project. Not only will students be the first ones to buy this Knitspot kit, Anne Hanson will be walking you through the process! How cool is that!?


On the last day, you can tackle knitting successful sweaters with Sweater Fitness. In Anne’s words, 

An intermediate workshop in the important basics of sweater fit and construction. Get into your best shape EVER! Participants will complete a thorough set of body measurements and discuss how to use them to choose and use a sweater pattern in an appropriate size. Students may knit gauge swatches during the workshop. Other topics of discussion will include swatching, yarn choices, pattern reading and terminology, types and uses of shaping techniques (increasing and decreasing), tips and tricks for successful navigation through a sweater project. 

During part of the afternoon break of Sweater Fitness, Anne added Color Project KnitALong. Have you ever wanted just a little more time with an instructor (yes, that’s me!) after you took a class? This is your chance! Project Immersion students can add this KAL to advance a little on their project, ask additional questions, or get another Knitspot color project on the needles while Anne is sitting next to them. As an added bonus if you sign up for the entire Rhinebeck After Party (kit and caboodle), the KAL session is FREE!

There are openings left in all classes, but they are going fast! Sign up here to snag a spot. I can’t believe New York Sheep and Wool is right around the corner! See you soon!

4 thoughts on “A Voyage Into Color Territory

  1. Of course, before anything else, I need to comment on how absolutely adorable Padraig looks in his Woodcutte’s Touque (sp?). These classes sound so wonderful. I keep hearing about Rhinebeck,and it sounds wonderful. We need a western Rhinebeck.

  2. I keep wishing I could make it to Rhinebeck this year even if only for Anne’s classes, but our fall book fair schedule is just too crowded. Maybe next year…or if I’m lucky, there will be a chance to take a class on the west coast next year?

  3. oh i am so sad to be missing Rhinebeck this year! especially the yarn voyage…
    thanks for posting!

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