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Mischief Managed!: Stranded Colorwork and Yarn Management

I am so excited, people, to be able to write this post today. It was going to happen eventually, but today is earlier than expected.

By the time I go to bed tonight, I will be halfway finished with my Loki scarf!


Yeah I’ve knit a lot of things before, and a lot of scarves before, so what’s the big deal? The big deal is that I’m ahead of schedule. Last week when I reviewed the Stitch app, the scarf was only about 45″ long. I need it to be at least 66″ long before I turn it, and when I finish the three pattern repeats tonight, that’s pretty much exactly where I’ll be.


I don’t know what blocking will do to this fabric. Normally I would say that, since this is a plied cotton yarn, it probably won’t change much. It will certainly smooth out the stranded colorwork, though I’m doing a good job of keeping the floats loose. It may grow a bit. But since I’m planning to seam the sides as I go (by knitting the edge stitches together—we’ll see how that goes), that may keep it from lengthening. But it will be a full 66″ long scarf when it’s finished, complete with a little bit of trim, and it should be done well before the date I need to get it in the mail.


I’m also excited because I feel incredibly clever about the way in which I am managing working with four bobs of yarn at a time. Since this is a combination of intarsia and stranded colorwork, I’ve got four bits of yarn working each row, even though I’m only using three colors of yarn. I had started out using plastic Ziploc bags with a corner snipped off, so I could twist or untwist the yarns as needed.


And that would have worked perfectly except for two quirks: 1, I’m trying to knit this while living in a house with no air-conditioning, only electric fans blowing on me, and those fans blow yarn around like nobody’s business; 2, this plan is not good for taking the project on the go. I kept losing time untangling yarns after pulling them out of a bag, or they’d stick together as they were blown into each other, so I was getting frustrated.

As I was clearing out my recycling one afternoon, I came across these empty strawberry boxes and got an idea. I washed out one of the boxes, and then, once I’d gotten to the point where I needed to add a new length of yarn, threaded one end of my mini yarn ball through the slots in the bottom of the boxes. BECAUSE I’M A GENIUS, THAT’S WHY.


This is working so well. Sometimes the yarn catches on the plastic just a smidgen, or they get super friendly with one another, but it’s easily fixable, easy to knit with, and pretty much the perfect solution for this sort of stranded colorwork knitting. As an added bonus, I can roll up the scarf when I’m finished knitting at the time, and it totally its inside the box, making this the most easily portable project ever.


People, everything I just mentioned in this post makes me extremely happy! I’m plugging away, making progress, and I’m loving the way the scarf is turning out so far. Hopefully next week I’ll have figured out the “seaming as I go” question and can report back on that.

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Categories: Colorwork Works in Progress


10 replies

    1. Colorwork is soooo much fun. Two of my goals for this year, steeking and double knitting, involve colorwork because I think it’s crazy fun. 😀

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