When you think about colorwork — knitting with multiple colors — you might picture yourself sitting in a tangle of yarn, feeling so frustrated you're ready to SCREAM!!! That certainly was the case for me the first time I tried it.
But colorwork doesn't have to be complicated. You can even do it with just two colors.
In fact, two-color knitting techniques are an good way to begin exploring colorwork. Below we recommended patterns for a variety of skill levels (beginner, intermediate and advanced) so you can choose the approach you're most comfortable with.
Take a deep breath and let's start.
While not generally thought of as a colorwork technique, marling deserves a moment in the spotlight. By simply holding two or more strands of different colored yarns together as you knit, you create a fabric that has an interesting allover color pattern.
Stripes are one of the simplest two-color knitting patterns. Once you get the hang of changing yarn colors, you're good to go! Start with a sweater if you're up for a shaping challenge. For something more basic, how about a mug cozy or a hat?
Sometimes called picture knitting, intarsia is a little more complicated than stripes. Larger blocks of color are worked by using separate balls of yarn. The colors are not carried across the back of the work (as with stranded colorwork), making it a great beginner option (though, not all intarsia is created equal: this technique can get quite advanced, too!).
Stranded colorwork involves carrying (or floating) two or more colors along the back of the work. Start with only two colors and, if you're ambitious, work your way up to four.
Brioche knitting is a beautiful technique that uses one or two colors to produce a reversible knitted fabric. There's no wrong side; the colors take turns being dominant in the pattern to produce a unique look.
Like brioche, double knitting creates a reversible knitted fabric. It's like creating two layers of knitted fabric at once.