The 2024 Spin Off Spin-Along: Colorwork

Join your fellow spinners and fiber enthusiasts for a new Spin-Along that’s all about colorwork.

Debbie Blair Jan 26, 2024 - 6 min read

The 2024 Spin Off Spin-Along: Colorwork Primary Image

Spin Off contributor Stefanie Johnson blended Gulf Coast Native and Wensleydale wool to create a nylon-free hard-wearing yarn, perfect for her durable and colorful Alloy Socks. Photo by Matt Graves

The new year is the perfect time to commit to a new project, especially when you’re a crafter. Sometimes I need a little motivation though—and a means of being held accountable. Case in point: It’s easier for me to stick to exercising when I’m obligated to a group of others. They hold me accountable to show up every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And I can say the same thing about sticking to a knitting project. If this sounds familiar, why not commit to participating in this year’s spin-along? We’ve heard from many of you that colorwork happens to be a favorite technique, so why not join the fun? We welcome anyone that wants to work with color, and we’ve even included a few pattern ideas to get your started!

Ideas for Color Stranding

These delightful Helianthus Mitts are a great example of color stranding. Photo by George Boe

Helianthus Mitts by Stefanie Johnson

Grab your needles and get ready to display your sunny disposition with these cheerful knitted mitts, featuring colorwork in two colors of handspun sportweight yarn.

Anne Podlesak was able to knit up this cowl with only a few hundred yards of colorful sportweight yarn. Photo by Joe Coca

Damask Cowl by Anne Podlesak

This colorful cowl is an easy stranding project that includes a cozy stockinette lining, for which the author spun a blend of silk and the fiber from her bunny, Newman.
This pattern is available in the Fall 2013 issue in the Spin Off Library.

Slip-Stitch Color Ideas

Sivia’s mittens can be knitted with any configuration of colors. Work them up in only two solid colors or in a combo of solids and handspun gradients, or change the MC and CC with every pattern repeat. Photo courtesy of Sivia Harding

Ilisha’s Mittens by Sivia Harding

Sivia used a stash of beautiful cashmere scraps to create Ilisha’s warm kitted mittens. The cashmere was plied from raveled sweaters that were re-plied and overdyed in vibrant, cheerful colors.
This pattern is available in the Winter 2023 issue in the Spin Off Library.


Swatching is a great way to sample color combinations and needle size, especially when working with handspun leftovers like Susan used in her scarf. Photo by Matt Graves

Small Change Scarf by Susan Z. Douglas

Susan Z. Douglas created this scarf after writing “The Curious Colorist: Small-Batch Dyeing for the Dabbler” in Spin Off Spring 2023. The article was accompanied by a group of brilliantly colored swatches worked in a slipped-stitch technique. Susan developed those design seeds into this two-sided, self-fringed scarf.

Stefanie’s design grew out of her love for trying out new fiber blends and color combinations. The stitch pattern allows for use of small amounts of handspun yarn in a variety of colors in a cohesive way. Photo by Matt Graves

Alloy Socks by Stefanie Johnson

Stefanie blended Gulf Coast Native and Wensleydale wool to create a knitted pair of nylon-free, hard-wearing socks.
This pattern is available in the Winter 2022 issue in the Spin Off Library.

Other Ideas

The incised chevron columns at Durham Cathedral inspired Kate to design a textile that translated stone into fiber. Photo by Joe Coca

Durham Chevrons Cowl by Kate Larson

Here’s an easy pattern if you just want to play with color. For this project, Kate designed a cowl with undulating stripes made with two yarns, one airy and sheer and one a bit denser to give the piece shape.

We can’t wait to see what you spin up, and what colorful things you make using your handspun. Share on any social platform using #spinoffmagazine. And if you would like to join the conversation with other spinners about their spin-along projects, check out the Ravelry forum where you’ll find the spin-along thread.

Get your supplies and tools ready to spin because our 2024 spin-along kicks off Thursday, February 1st. If you would like to share photos of your completed projects with us, please have them finished by May 1st and send them over to us via our email address.

And remember that if you are an active subscriber to Spin Off magazine, you have unlimited access to previous issues, including those mentioned here. See our help center for the step-by-step process on how to access them.

Happy Spinning!

Debbie Blair is the associate editor of Spin Off magazine. A lifelong crafter and avid reader, she finds her happy place reading and relaxing next to a mountain stream.