I’m working on my next Knit’nStyle project. I have Berrroco Linsey, a ‘self-stripping’ DK yarn, a cotton/linen blend that looks real pretty in the skein - it’s a new colorway and there was nothing on their website to show me what it looked like knit up and there are no instructions as to how to use it or anything… It’s for the June/summer issue and I’m doing a summer cardigan with the body portion sideways knit and the yoke knit up and down, in an attempt to use the yarn to its best advantage and control the color placement. First thing I did was to wind the skeins into balls that are useable on the machine – I have an old cone winder that puts the yarn onto a small plastic cone so you can knit some and then take it off the machine without breaking the yarn and rewind it onto the same cone without having to go to the end of the ball…Looking at the skein itself, there is no way to tell which end you should begin with, but once it’s on the cone you can tell by the outside colour – you have a 50/50 chance of getting the same colour to start…and of course, you can rewind from the outside to change it...notice that random blue one...
I started off knitting one entire ball, experimenting with stitch size to know what tension works best. Then I knit another full ball with my stitch pattern and actual tension swatch and felt like I knew what to expect from this yarn. There seems to be no repeat through the ball. So I made the body back (sideways), beginning with a ball that had red/pink on the outside and miraculously, one ball took me to the centre of the back, ending with yellow. So, for the other side to match, I used the next ball beginning with yellow. I got lucky and it looked good.
Now, for the fronts to match, I thought I should plan a little more. I figured it would be reasonable to make each front from the centre to the side to get them to match. First side done, took about 1.5 hours with the patterning. Second side, reversing direction and flipping patterning, so they would match, another hour and a half – the pattern matches but the colours don’t… Pick another cone that I’m sure will match the side I want to keep…it’s looking good – an hour and half later I have 2 matching left fronts…arrgghhh!!!
The light bulb goes on! Oh, gosh, golly, why didn’t I think of this before? It only takes 10 minutes to knit the ball in stockinette same width as the piece I’m going to knit and I could tell if the colours are working out before having to put all the work into the patterning. Bang my head on the wall, knit each ball in stockinette and pick the correct one for the next piece – get them all made and life’s good, I'll make that deadline – somehow I don’t feel like Einstein though! Hope this saves you some time!