Design challenge: black yarn

I’m working on a design right now — another kid’s sweater — that is primarily worked in black yarn. This is, of course, posing something of a challenge since that color sucks in light and hope like a black hole.

I’m givin’ her all I’ve got, Cap’n! The stitches — they just ain visible!

Damn it, Jim, I’m a doctor, not Gaultier.

You may be asking yourself: Elizabeth, when are you going to learn that Star Trek references are just no longer cool? You may also be asking yourself: Elizabeth, why don’t you just change the color of the yarn to something that is — well — actually a color?

Good questions, both, but here’s the thing: black really has to be the color of the sweater. (Why? All in good time, my dears. All in good time.) So, we’re back to square one.

How do you knit an entire sweater in black yarn? You could just do it all in stockinette. There are some virtues to this, including that it’s easy and therefore you wouldn’t have to strain your eyes trying to follow where you were in the pattern. However, an entire sweater in stockinette can be pretty boring, even when it’s a child’s size.

I thought of cables, but they’re not right for this design. No lace — at least, no really lacy lace — because this is primarily a boy’s sweater. I thought maybe a running drop stitch like the one in Clapotis might work, though.

I’m also toying with the idea of a textured rib like a cartridge rib. (You can see a good example here.)

Let me know if you have any ideas…

2 thoughts on “Design challenge: black yarn

  1. Brioche? Not practical; if you drop a stitch it’s impossible to see in black. Flat wide rib? RS – K3, P1. WS – P. Smooth, interesting and fairly easy to keep track of.

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