Colorwork: Spin-Along 2024 Gallery

The 2024 spin-along prompted participants to incorporate colorwork in all its magnificent forms. See the resulting socks and mittens, sweaters and slippers—even a lovable sheep!

Spin Off Contributors Jul 10, 2024 - 8 min read

Colorwork: Spin-Along 2024 Gallery Primary Image

Jennifer Miller Comstock used a colorwork pattern to highlight the wide sleeves that are worked in the round. Photos by Jennifer Miller Comstock

In January 2024 we invited handspinners to join us for a colorwork-themed spin-along and to make a garment or accessory using their choice of technique. From February to May, this cheerful group of makers dyed, blended, spun, knitted, wove, and crocheted while providing support for each other along the way. We acknowledge the creativity and hard work that went into the finished pieces and asked the spinners to share a photo and a few words about their creations. Thank you to all of the participants! —Spin Off editorial staff.

Jennifer Miller Comstock, Edmonds, Washington

(Jennifer’s finished sweater is shown at top.)

This year’s spin-along theme was a challenge for me, so I kept my design simple. The colorwork is only on the sweater’s wide sleeves, worked in the round and without shaping; the remainder is done in stockinette and corrugated ribbing. The main yarn is a two-ply Shetland Moorit, and the multi-color yarn is a two-ply that I spun from wool, silk, and angora-blend rolags (from AJemFiberArts on Etsy).

Photo by Martha Driscoll

Martha Driscoll, Danvers, Massachusetts

For the colorwork-themed spin-along, I decided to spin some Black Welsh Mountain and Whitefaced Woodland top to achieve high contrast. I knew I wanted to make the Pressed Flowers Hat, a popular mosaic knitting pattern by Amy Christoffers. The fiber was spun on my favorite cross-arm spindle at 22 wraps per inch (wpi) and plied to a sport weight at 12 wpi.


Photo by Denise Duda

Denise E. Duda, Tecumseh, Michigan

I spun various wools on my Lendrum and Ashford spinning wheels using short-forward draw, making rather bulky-weight yarns. The green is hand-dyed Merino/Corriedale top purchased some years ago. The dark brown is natural-colored Shetland fleece, purchased raw, washed, and combed. The white is Corriedale top.

After spinning, I dyed some of the white yarn for the sky blue and purple in the design. I tend to spin by the seat of my pants, despite having access to plenty of technical info about weighing, measuring, etc. for consistency. So the big challenge was to spin the various wools to a similar size so they would work together for the Intarsia knitting technique in this pattern, which is modified from Block 27 of the Knitterati Afghan, by Cascade Yarns. I used the loop stitch for the sheep’s fleece, and the ear and edging are crocheted. A vintage 14" knitting needle serves as a rod for use as a wall hanging.

Photos by Elaine Fuller

Elaine Fuller, McKinleyville, California

I improvised the patterns on this little tablet-woven sampler as I went along. The yarns are fine laceweight, spindle spun from Jacob and blends of mystery wool/Merino/silk prepared on minicombs. Thanks again for the challenge; I had a wonderful time.

Photo by Gina Geaudry

Gina Geaudry, Greenleaf, Wisconsin

I used Merino top that I dyed with low immersion, spun, and then plied fingering weight yarn on my Electric Eel Wheel 6. I used the Ixchel top-down colorwork yoke sweater pattern by Catherine Clark on Ravelry. My sheep, Laverne and Lorelei, are in the background. Once again, thanks for a great spin-along.

Photos by Barb Rusnacko

Barb Rusnacko, Minneapolis, Minnesota

During the 2024 spin-along this spring that was focused on colorwork, I decided to finally make the Ingeborg Slippers pattern by Kristin Drysdale that had been in my queue for too long. I wanted sturdy fiber in natural colors to create something that was long wearing and colorfast.

Some of the first fibers I purchased when I began spinning fit the bill nicely, though they created a low contrast colorwork—I had a gray Shetland that hadn’t been thoroughly sorted during processing and a white Leicester longwool that spins well but is best suited for outerwear.

I spun both fibers on my Kromski Sonata into two-ply yarns that were approximately DK weight. They knitted into a dense fabric that didn’t even need to be felted—they fit perfectly, and I couldn’t be happier.

Many thanks to the Spin Off community for the encouragement to spin and use my fiber stash!

Photo by Marina Ma

Marina Ma, Rochester, New York

For this year’s spin-along, I spindle spun and knitted the Sheep Camp Sweater to celebrate both natural-colored and dyed wool. The main yarn is fleece I hand-processed from Minnie (Cotswold/Border Leicester/CVM/Rambouillet cross), who is pampered at Nistock Farms. The colorful yoke is Polwarth from Three Waters Farm in the colorway “partly cloudy.” Both were spun and plied on my Jenkins spindles.

Photo by Sandra Van Liew

Sandra Van Liew, Heppner, Oregon

I used two braids of dyed wool for my Monet Hat. I separated each braid into two halves lengthwise. One was more white with some blues and pinks; the other was mostly greens. I spun each half of the braids and then plied them together into a two-ply yarn. I used a couple of patterns from Alice Starmore’s Charts for Color Knitting. The colors ended up being so similar that the design is not clearly visible. Hence why I named it the Monet Hat.

Photos by Stefanie Johnson

Stefanie Johnson, Blandinsville, Illinois

For the colorwork-themed spin-along, I created four projects: the Zigzag Hat (Spin Off Summer 1998) and my own mitten design (inspired by The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner and the poem “Goblin Market” by Christina Rossetti); the Striated Handspun Hat (Spin Off Spring 2023); and the Turkish Stockings (from Socks: A Spin Off Special Publication for Knitters and Spinners).

My Zigzag Hat and mittens used pink Cheviot and green Merino combed rovings, spun semi-woolen style into a sportweight two-ply yarn on my Schacht Ladybug spinning wheel. The Striated Handspun Hat used carded dizzed roving from natural Jacob paired with a wool/Angelina/Firestar blend in the Winter Forest colorway, spun into a two-ply semi-woolen style yarn. And the Turkish Stockings are a blend of Cheviot (natural) with Corriedale (blue) and Leicester longwool (green), spun semi-worsted style from a carded roving, plus purple and blue sections of 70% BFL/30% silk from Frabjous Fibers, spun worsted style from combed roving into fingering weight three-ply yarns.

See the upcoming Winter 2025 issue of Spin Off for a spin-along project gallery. And then join us in January 2025 for a brand new spin-along!