There was a time I shied away from holding two colors of the same yarn and knitting them together, but using Cecelia Campochiaro’s techniques and working on her Color Explosion Throw made me a convert to marling! This project marvelously combines a 18-row geometrical pattern of alternating stockinette and reverse stockinette boxes with a color change—one strand at a time—at each repeat.
The rhythmical combinations of the design are hypnotizing, mesmerizing and captivating. And now I am totally in. Here are my top tips and wee tweaks.
a Color Explosion Throw panel … as a cowl
While working the geometric knit/purl pattern, I wrapped the yarn backward for each of the first purl stitches across the row. Doing so shortens the distance from knit—where the yarn is in the back—and purl, where the yarn is to the front, creating a smoother and more consistent line for the transition between the stitches. If you tend to get uneven columns of knit to purl to knit this might be a great trick to try.
On the following row you will need to knit through the back loop of the adjusted, backward-wrap purl stitch so that it’s mounted correctly. You’ll soon get into the rhythm of this small, but powerful bit of tweaking.
3NBO but make it flat
To join the completed strips, you simply pick up and knit a new stitch in each of the neatly slipped edge stitches—up one strip, then down its neighbor. Choose a single color for each join and unite two strips with a 3NBO, then join the double wides down the center.
For the flat (not ridged) chain stitch of the Color Explosion Throw sample photographed in the Field Guide, Cecelia provided a link to a helpful YouTube video demonstrating the technique we used. (Thanks, P. Ricci, for sharing this with the knitting world!) It’s a wee bit more fiddly than a classic 3NBO, but worth the effort if you’re after the flat chain effect it produces.
Knitting the Field Guide No. 19 sample, I could not wait to swap out each one of the colors to see how it played with its new neighbor. Rowan’s Felted Tweed is ideal for pairing because the colors are rich and complex, with great depth in each strand, which makes combining 2 shades magical. Not to mention the variety of shades will make you dizzy with glee.
I followed the sequence outlined in the pattern while combining the colors in the throw, but in preparation for teaching a marling class at my LYS, I am making these darling and useful micro swatches—choosing my own adventure!
Can you guess which direction my needles and my 20+ year stash of old and new Felted Tweed shades might take me next?