I’ve been fascinated by color since I was a little kid.
Green has been my favorite color for as long as I can remember, but, honestly, I love every color of the rainbow. I was the kid who savored the big box of Crayola crayons, not wanting to use them and hoping to preserve them as they were just to look at them and memorize each color and their name. My husband, who is midrange colorblind, tells me, “Your world must be extremely vivid,” whenever I talk about the colors I see.
So, of course, this love of color I have has to translate into my knitting. The beauty of knitting is that we all get to choose how we interpret a pattern. I like to think of patterns as a recipe where improvisation is encouraged. We can all knit the same pattern, but 0ur color choices can make each one unique.
My favorite color combinations include as many colors as possible. To knit a rainbow makes me insanely happy. It’s an exciting thing to knit as each color changes and you see the pattern emerge, and I feel this joy and excitement with knitting something so happy.
Let’s be honest, with the craziness of the world today, don’t you just want to knit something full of joy? It’s always great to wear something so happy—color is definitely my mood booster. I realize that every year I knit a rainbow sweater, so I want to encourage you to push yourself out of your color comfort zone and try something with all the colors.
Ferda Sweater by Anna and Heidi Pickles
My most recent rainbow knit has been the Ferda sweater (it also comes in fingering weight), or as I lovingly call it, my clown sweater. It’s the diamond pattern and the superbright color palette that makes me think of clowns. I tend to ground my superbright color palettes with a neutral like navy blue to make the colors really pop.
For this one, I used a bunch of mini skeins as my pops of color and just came up with a rainbow order and kept mixing and matching from there.
Phases Sweater by Jennifer Berg
For a light summer knit, I decided to knit the Phases sweater by Jennifer Berg in leftover cotton and linen yarns I had in my stash. I enjoyed knitting Jennifer’s Sheep Camp Sweater, so when she released Phases, I grabbed it up as a quick summer knit. I think I’ve worn this a billion times already because the cotton body is so light and airy and the colors just make me happy.
Painting Bricks Sweater by Stephen West
This is one of my favorite rainbow knits. I made my first one as a test knit and then knit Jellybean a matching version. I liked this sweater pattern because it is so simple to follow, and you get lost in the repetition of the pattern. Choosing to make it a rainbow makes it fun as you watch your massive rainbow evolve over the body of the sweater.
Again, almost all the colors were leftover skeins I had in my stash from other projects. It always makes me happy to use up every last drop of my yarn.
Linus by Renée Callahan
And if you are on a brioche knitting kick after Nancy Marchant’s latest Field Guide, might I suggest you try knitting a rainbow like I did for the Linus sweater by Renée Callahan? It can be a cardigan or a pullover. I used a variegated skein of rainbow yarn as the contrast against a gray main color, and I wear this sweater with anything and everything in my closet.
So if you’re feeling a little off or frustrated, or maybe you’re in a knitting rut, might I suggest knitting a rainbow? It’ll infuse a lot of joy into your day.