This post was suposed to be a celebration of finishing Blue Shimmer (which I have done) and details of how I blocked and stitched but .... today on Knitters Review Forum I noticed a request for details or info on how people purl with two colors. Much earlier in my blog I provided details and images of how I knit with two colors in the left hand. This is a companian piece to that. I don't know if there would be any value in visiting that post as well. Blue shimmer details - update and the next project very soon - we have fast broadband now and it is sooooo much easier.
These are images I took ages ago when I was working on the colour yoke of Blue Shimmer. It is way overdue and time to dig out the images and write the how-to details. I have also got images of using the finish or norwegien purl in a rib - which i find easier so that comming soon to a blog near you. In the process I think I have also got smarter about uploading and preparing images. These images were saved for web as .gif and the size reduced to 300 across, with an upload time of 11 seconds each on dial up - so I hope they load quickly.
Before I start I do need to point out that to get even colour work (I live in NZ which uses the English spelling so for me colour has a u! - I can spell - sort of) I make sure the stitches are spread out flat not scrunched up on the right needle as I knit. That way the floats are made long enough and my finished work is very flat and dosn't pucker - a trick I learned reading Wendy's blog. That woman is amazing, she seemed to knit Bohus Blue shimmer in less than a month - it took me 9 months.
I used to knit a more 'conventional' purl but since finding the finish purl have used only this way for colour work. I find it almost impossible to knit a more 'conventional' contintal where the right forfinger sweeps the yarn into place when I have two colours in the left hand - some people probably can, but I have not mastered that yet. Notice the yet, I have realised that in time nearly all things are possible. I think I do ok for some-one who is self taught from books and the internet.
Step one, Purling with two colors carried in the left hand,I arrange the yarns so both are over my first finger. I find the yarn wound around that finger has the 'evenest' tension, the one wound around the next finger also comes over that finger but gets slightly looser after 10 or 20 cm's of knitting, so I use that for the yarn which has the longest floats. I could wind it around my pinky and have tried but ... that seems to snag and upset the fore-finger wound yarn so i leave it as is.
I lift the yarn you are wanting to make the purl stitch in so it sits over the left hand needle, to do that i scoop the left hand needle tip under it.
Slide the right needle into the next stitch on the left needle purlwise, then I twist the right needle up and over then down under the purl yarn to pick it up. I bring the needle tip down and scoop or hook the yarn thru the stitch on the left needle.
This takes me to a point where I have nearly completed the stitch, I used to have problems keeping my purls stitches as firm as my knits but realise i need to make sure the needle is pushed all the way thru for both the knit and purls. I did have a bad habit of knitting on the tips of the needles so the knit stitches were smaller, and purling on the fullest part of the needle. Now I have worked that out it is much easier to notice when I am making that error and correct myself.
I push the right needle against the left needle and keeping the two in contact swing it around to the back of the work. I make sure the needle is right thru the stitch, that is not just the needle tip, but the widest part of the needle and then I slip the new stitch off and drop the old stitch.
make sure you tug your finger away slighlty to seat the purl stitch in place and remove any slack in the yarns before the next stitch.
To work with the other colour is very simillar, just pick up the yarn colour that i required and lift it over the needle to start.