Last week I published my latest pattern, Flecktone: a free fingerless mitts pattern in three sizes. I designed this pattern to highlight the colors in a variegated or handpainted yarn—the crazier, the better.
I’ve worked with these elongated slipped stitches once before (in my Karo Socken sock pattern), and recently I’d been trying to come up with another pattern using self-striping yarn and elongated stitches. But at the Madrona Fiber Arts Festival last month I met Ilisha Helfman and heard her talk about Jazzknitting, which is a sort of free-form knitting technique where you let the colors and characteristics of your yarn guide what you knit with it. She was wearing this beautiful necklace she’d made by knitting tiny i-cords, tying them into Celtic-looking knots, and stringing them together with some beads. She talked about how i-cord is great for drawing out the colors in a variegated yarn because the small stitch-count-per-row lets you get several rows out of each color, so you get more of a slowly-changing color effect than the usual noisy randomness you see in, say, socks or larger pieces knit with highly variegated yarn.
This made me realize that layering elongated stitches on top of a stockinette background would be another great way to draw out the colors in a handpainted yarn. Each loop/elongated stitch is just long enough to draw out one color at a time and display them against the variegated background. From there it only took me a couple days to knit up both gloves—they go really quickly since they’re mostly stockinette stitch. If you make a pair I’d love to see pictures! I’m looking forward to seeing how they turn out in many different colorways.
For a nice finished edge on your gloves, you should also check out the video I posted last week showing how to make a beautiful seamless bind-off around the hand. I used one of my Flecktone gloves as the example.