Published On: June 10, 2017

So you know how sometimes I say something like ‘this project has big stretches of reverse stockinette so you may want to consider a more subdued yarn than you might otherwise use’?  Like with the top of the foot on Cataphyll or the background on Enchase or the heel and background on Greenhorn? Yeah well let’s look at why.

Take a look at this and notice the difference between the stockinette side (that’s the bit that’s all knits…the bottom in this picture) and the reverse stockinette side (that’s the bit that’s all purls…the top in this picture).

Trace one of the rainbow bits on the stockinette side.  See how the colors are nestled up next to each other and you pretty much get a solid line of color?

Ok now look at it on the reverse stockinette side. Because of the way knitting works, the purl side has the colors much more jumbled up.  Instead of seeing one solid line of color, you get a row of little bumps of color, then two rows of little bumps of gray, then another row of bumps of color.

Now there’s nothing wrong with that.  That’s how knit fabric works.  But it does mean that colors that hang out tidily together on the front will be more interspersed with the background color on the reverse.  That can be awesome.  But if you’re not expecting it, it can be jarring especially in a project where you have both kinds of fabric next to each other.

So my approach, if it’s a project with large stretches of reverse stockinette (like a big cable on a reverse stockinette background) is to go with a more mellow yarn.  And while I won’t go so far as to recommend you do the same (we all know I’m more reserved with color than some of you), I do recommend getting in the habit of looking at both sides of your swatch and seeing how the colors stack up on the reverse stockinette side.

Oh, and because someone will ask, the yarn is the Stormy Day colorway from The Lemonade Shop on their DK base.

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