Fun with Stripes by Emma Barnaby
Striped knitting is very satisfying. It’s not complicated and doesn’t require very much attention, but it’s more motivating than plain stockinette (‘just one more stripe!’) and is a gorgeous way to showcase a special yarn. I’ve been on a huge stripes kick lately and thought I’d share some project ideas with you:
Striped Vanilla Sweater! This piece is knit using the TWT Vanilla Sweater pattern (20 sts/4”), but I’m using a local Vermont yarn that’s somewhere between a heavy DK and light worsted. The lighter brown is from Heart and Hands Farm, and the darker is from Two Grammas Farm – this one is extra-special because I know the farmers! But it can be expensive to buy a whole sweater quantity. You can showcase a gorgeous special yarn here because only one skein is needed – my stripe sequence is 8 light and 2 dark.
Striped Socks! In my TWT 2021 Sock Bag, I got some beautiful Garthenor Snowdonia yarn in a marled dark brown and medium brown. I didn’t want to just make Vanilla socks, but I didn’t want a lace pattern to get lost in the lovely depth of color of the marled yarn. So I dug into my (mom’s) sock leftover stash and found some Shibui sock from many years ago in a beige that went perfectly with this yarn and made some striped socks! This pattern is the Broken Rope Socks from the Hello, Sailor! Sock Set by Summer Lee Knits.
It’s a great way to show off a darker, variegated, or marled yarn, since there’s a lot of textural interest in the pattern but it’s still very simple. Or choose a self-striping yarn, like West Yorkshire Spinners Country Birds or Holiday colorways…see the photo of Maggie’s elf socks below!
Sock scraps? Scrappy socks! I always find myself with small leftover balls between 10 and 40 grams. Scrappy socks are a great way to use up those leftovers and they can be as subdued or crazy as you want! These purple ones are a plain vanilla (all knitting, except for the cuff and heel) sock with a heel flap and gusset.
You can also make fun DK socks by holding the sock scraps double – I knit mine here with one strand of white sock yarn and then used leftovers to create a fun marled palette. The pattern is Thicksgiving Socks by Summer Lee – I chose the ribbed version for a nice snug fit.
Make sure to check out Denise of @earthtonesgirl on YouTube for great tutorials on how to knit in your ends and create jogless stripes. (Denise has a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJfR92jgiqY&t=1202s&ab_channel=EarthtonesGirl)
Emma Barnaby is a fair isle knitter based in Vermont. You can find her on Instagram as @barnaby_knits, YouTube as Barnaby Knits, and Ravelry as ebarnaby93. You can find her previous post on the Porty Pullover as an introduction to Fair Isle knitting for The Woolly Thistle here.
Looking for a book all about knitting with Stripes? Veera Välimäki has a new book about Stripes releasing October 29th.