When I began my Swatch Scarf, I was limited to the assortment of colors that were going to be featured in MDK Field Guide 17: Lopi.
You, dear knitter, have a smorgasbord of 38 shades to choose from.
Setting the tone
I began by sorting the colors into a range of values, and then I began to knit—starting with shades of green for the Mountains, then proceeding right into the Lantern motif. The pattern was bold and sharp with these deeper contrasting shades.
As I continued knitting motif by motif, I transitioned from bold contrast toward a calm and gentle flow. Pairing several neutrals with some blues, a light mossy green, and that golden heather, with flits of fuchsia was the winning palette that I wanted to continue with.
I lopped off the original beginning, letting go of more than 12 inches of knitting thereby gaining the cohesion I desired.
Chart your path
The charts with their variants on pages 36 and 37 of Field Guide 17 offer many options to combine color and motif, to go bold or muted. The stitch multiple, angles, and central line-up make lovely transitions simple and natural.
One mistake that I made (and then cut away) was to create a harsh and straight line between the charts. Organic transitions were what I desired.
The Mountain chart flows in value from dark to light, and the last mountain color can shift to the Sparkle, like stars.
The Lanterns and Fleur de Lis are very similar and flow well together, with so many options for color pairings.
The Beads were my favorite motif to play with. Each “strand” appears on the same light background, and I just went up the chart knitting 3 of the 4 strands using the same CC, with a bold pop for the center. For the fourth strand I opted for the half and half background colors that allow a transition to a new background color merging into the next motif.
This is a great time to revisit the “By the Bujo” article if you are inclined to plan it all out beforehand!
Pro tip for perfect tension
Whether you are knitting using a magic loop method, small circumference circs, or on DPNs, one highly recommended tip is to knit “inside-out” —with your RS facing inward.
This technique causes the yarns to wrap around the outer circumference of the tube, and is especially helpful when going from one needle to the other in either technique as the yarn is more liable to pull in at those folds in the fabric if it’s stranded right-side-out.
Started with a provisional cast on, the scarf can easily become a cowl. I’m already looking forward to my next sampler …