One of my first finished projects during last Spring’s Covid lock-down was a long cardigan that I knitted in my Rows of Many Colors (ROMC) technique. Started in September 2019, I finally finished it sometime in mid April. This had been a long anticipated design. After coming up with the this technique about eleven years ago, I had mainly used it for shawls and scarfs (outside one caplet knitted early on). But knitting a more substantial garment in ROMC was always in the back of my mind.
The ROMC technique is very simple. I use a different yarn for each row. This technique can be knitted in the stockinette (knit the front, purl the back) stitch as I have done for my cardigan or simple garter which is knitting every row. The knitting is secured by tying two sequential rows together as you knit along. This creates a fringed edge. There are times when the ends need to be sewn in (edges of armholes as an example).
I used the fringe edges as a focal point down the front of the cardigan. Although, I could of sewn all those ends in and added a knitted band, I wanted a boho effect and nothing says boho like fringe.
There are approximately seventy different yarns or combinations of yarns used in this sweater. When I say “combination”, I mean that I am holding and knitting two different yarns together to create a new unique yarn. I have equal amounts of my hand spun yarns (I’ve been hand spinning yarn since 1997) and commercial yarns that I have collected over the years.
This is a knitting technique that emphasizes color and texture. As I mentioned earlier, it only uses the knit and purl stitches, the easiest of the knitting stitches.
The sweater is knitted in one piece using very long circular needles (needles which are connected by a long cord for larger work-usually used to make afghans).
I carried out the fringe vibe with three rows of fringe around the neck. It was another way to show off all that gorgeous yarn!
Although the cardigan has a general gold brown overall color tone, you can see in this close up, I also used blues and greens in my design.
This was an original design. I did research and found a few cardigans knitted in one piece to get a general idea where I wanted to go with my design. After I settled on an idea, I knitted swatches to figure out how many stitches and rows I had per inch. After that, it was just working up some simple schematics so I would know how many stitches I would have for the front and back.
In the early 2000’s, I wrote and published a few original hand knitting designs and it was a good feel to put my designer and math skills back into play. I will admit drafting fitted cap sleeves were very hard and I feel that I didn’t get it right. I followed a formula that I had in a sweater design book by Deborah Newton, but had to fiddle somewhat when I was sewing them in. Getting those caps right is a pain!
This project went on for a few months and my living room looked like a yarn shop with balls of yarn lined up on every available surface.
And Now for Something a Bit Easier
This technique is so great for a beginner knitter! I knit my ROMC scarfs and shawls by knitting every row (Garter Stitch) on very big needles. That’s just one stitch to learn.
I have already worn my newly knitted Double Loop ROMC scarf that I just finished last month. Using only seven different yarns, it was a quick knit.
Wearing the Double Loop is easy. Being long and skinny, fold the Double Loop in half, put the free ends through the loop and you have a cozy scarf to wear. If you live in a warm climate during the winter, make it from linen, cotton and silk. Honestly, only two of my yarns in this one are wool.
I spent this Fall knitting the socks below and had to have some quick project between knitting the first and second sock. Knitting up one of my Double-Loop Skinny scarfs was a nice vacation from the socks. Note: I immediately started a new pair of socks when I finished these and the new project is going much faster.
As mentioned earlier, I didn’t use very many yarns in my scarf. I was in love with the highly textured blue and tan fring yarn that I first used in my cardigan. I didn’t use much because it is the kind of yarn that could overwhelm a design. However, in a scarf, it could dominate. I chose three dark blues and three tans to coordinate. I have varying types of textures, widths and fiber contents with different light reflection abilities.
Pattern For The Double Loop Scarf
This is a very easy project to knit. However, I recommend that before you start , you read my basic article on the Rows of Many Colors technique that I have linked to in the Knitting It All Up Section below.
Needles used: I used 60″ Circular Addi Turbo needles in size 9. Larger needles such as a 10.5 would also work. You can use straight needles for the scarf, but it does get crowded-that’s a lot of stitches.
CO 135 stitches
Knit 36 rows using the garter stitch
After knitting two rows, knot the beginning and ends of the rows together. This will be done eighteen times.
Knit one more row.
Tie the cast of row together with the last knitted row.
That’s the easiest pattern I’ve ever written!
Knitting It All UP
I’ve published an article previously about The Rows of Many Colors technique. In the article published March 3rd, 2014, I have detailed, step by step, the ROMC technique.
Again, I would highly recommend you read this article before knitting a scarf or shawl. This article also has more samples of projects knitted in this technique, including the caplet that I mentioned at the beginning of this post.
And that is about all, I believe. I hope you enjoyed this knitting story of mine. You know, I did just read in the New York Times that knitting has made a huge comeback with all the lock-down going on. Let me know it you knit and if you try my double loop, please send me a photo. I will feature it on my blog.
Take care and stay safe everyone,