One knitter's battle to conquer the intended gauge . . .

Friday, March 14, 2014

Finished Object: EZ Colorwork Practice Hat and How to Design a Colorwork Chart in Excel





Yarn: Cascade 220 dyed with rabbitbrush

I finished Maeve's hat in time for Valentine's Day but have been slow to post about it. She was able to wear it a few days before it got a bit too warm for a wool hat. She was excited about it so I'll call it a success. I made the mistake of blocking the ribbing a bit stretched so it isn't as elastic as it use to be. I reblocked it to fix it. That helped a bit but next time I probably wouldn't block the ribbing at all. Just steam block the top of the hat. Luckily it is big enough that it will fit her next winter. 

My first colorwork project was really fun and has me charting out other designs. I've found that Excel works great for making colorwork charts. If you are not familiar with charting in excel here are a few quick steps to get you started.
  1. Under format > columns > width -- change the measurement to 0.3 because knit stitches are short and fat.

  2. Highlight the squares you want to use and click for all borders. It just makes it easier to see what you are working on in my opinion.

  3. Click on your first square, remembering that charts start in the lower right hand corner, and then click on the paint bucket icon for color fill in your tool bar and select a color.

  4. Continue selecting squares and colors until your color chart is the way you like it. Here is the one I made for this hat.


I think it is fun to see what you can come up with. Much quicker to experiment this way than with swatches! It makes it easier to make sure you are not carrying your yarn more than 5 stitches or shows you where you are going to deal with floats if you are. I've been taking pictures of colorwork inspiration everywhere I go now. I've started charting some of them. The problem with colorwork is that you need a good stash of colors in the same yarn weight. I need to increase my stash... :)

Joining with Tami, Linda, and Andrea. Go see more projects on their pages.

8 comments:

  1. This is really useful, thank you!

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  2. Great idea for the chart. So far for charts I have made a table in Word, but it is not a very good way to do it. This looks much better.

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  3. Cute hat - we have a Maeve in our family too.

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    1. Thanks! Maeve isn't a very common name but every now and then we hear of another. Love it!

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  4. That's a very useful and practical blog post but the thing I like best is your logical conclusion: "I need to increase my stash"! hahaha

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