Erika Knight @ Tangled Yarn
This week we handover our blog to the wonderful Erika Knight. Erika encourages you to be bold with colour in her book Junior Colour Knits, a colourful collection of 12 hand knit designs for cool kids aged 3 months to 5 years.
With new pattern book ‘Junior Colour Knits’ the concept was to knit the projects in several different colourways and to photograph them on kids of different ages in a very ‘homemade’ or ‘scrapbook’ style. All the photographs were taken by the Mums and Dads of the models and worn with their own clothes. The aim was to achieve an ‘Instagram’ style with the photographs showing kids we knew, from our own extended urban family, enjoying wearing the knits in a very modern way.
I really just want people to have a go and not get too hung up on the colour shown on the pattern, as is so often the case, but to be a bit brave with colour and to experiment. Junior knits are a great place to start with colour – quick to knit and always appreciated by the recipient as a handmade token of affection – the ultimate ‘slow clothes’, recycled and re-loved with each new generation.
Choosing colour is a very personal thing but it can often be a bit daunting when faced with a wall of yarns in a shop or on a website where the choice can be overwhelming. It is so important to remember that there are no wrongs or rights with colour – as a friend and yarn shop owner always reminds her own customers when they are deliberating over the colours for a new project – “just remember its not a tattoo!” - and have a bit of fun! Knitting is the perfect way to be a little bit creative. But from experience, I know that finding the inspiration to begin with is not always easy and it is not something that can be taught – it is ultimately individual and instinctive. Have a look in your stash for inspiration, flick through a picture book of paintings or photographs, look in your own wardrobe or at a favourite printed scarf or dress, or sketch out some colours from your garden or a local park (nature usually gets it right!) to find colours that you love together. I always find it is important to try knitting a small swatch with your selected colours,as often the yarns can look very different once they are knitted together.
Having been designing colour palettes for the fashion industry and most especially for knitwear and printed textiles for most of my life I have learnt which hues work and the tones and shades which look great together. Of course this has informed my own yarn collection and a lot of care and consideration is taken when putting a palette together. I want the knitter to know that all that hard work, not to mention years of experience, has been done for them, so that they can have the confidence in choosing any colours from the collection and know that they will work together. I often say, particularly of the British blue wool palette that “even with your eyes closed” you can pick 2 or 3 or even 4 or 5 colours and know that they are going to create a successful colourway. Equally I am a big fan of monochrome and black and white is a combination that never fails to look bold and modern – and I think it looks very cute for babies too! Just look at the adorable Freddie in his coordinating ‘Scribble Jumper’ and ‘Leggings’ in British blue wool shades ‘sea fret’ and ‘pitch’.
And how different does the same outfit look in bright colours…
Scribble Jumper shown in British blue wool ‘Mysore Red’ and ‘Dance’. Leggings shown in British blue wool ‘Iced Gem’, ‘Dance’, ‘Mr Bhasin’, ‘Boho’ and ‘Leaf’
Using colour is a great, and very simple way to update a faithful old pattern, which you may have already knitted several times before. My favourite project in this collection is the ‘Colour Block Jumper’. Based on the classic ‘Aran’ sweater and using a simple repeating pattern, the jumper has been given a new energy by simply incorporating 3 colours of British blue wool in big bold blocks. And the same colourway (‘Classic’, ‘Iced Gem’ and ‘Mysore Red’) looks fab on both gorgeous George.......
and beautiful Bird....
Be inspired to choose a new colour, pick up some needles, grab some yarn and get knitting…and if you’re feeling really bold, share photos of your knits with us on Instagram using the hashtag #juniorcolourknits @knightkraft
Photograph credit © Erika Knight
Junior Colour Knits is available to preorder now for delivery early June. We also have one copy to giveaway, for your chance to win take a look at the colours available in British blue wool and tell us which three colours you'd use to knit the Colour Block Jumper. The winner will be selected at random and announced here on the blog on Friday 5th June.
Congratulations to Christine Stringer you are the winner of our giveaway! I will be in touch very soon to organise sending your prize to you. A huge thank you to everyone who left a comment and also to random.org for selecting our winner!
The giveaway is now closed.....