Knitting lace with two colors?

Hi everyone!

I want to knit the Lace Leaf Shawl (shown here), but it’s a present for my mother-in-law, and she wants a shawl that’s red and blue.

So how do you think it would work, trying to incorporate two colors into this pattern? And would it be hard to do it well? The only lace I’ve knitted so far is on a couple of baby cardigans, nothing very complicated. And I know basic intarisa and fair isle, but again I don’t have all that much experience with color work. What do you think? Should I pick a different pattern? (She didn’t say she wants a lace shawl - that part was my idea :)) How would you add colors to this pattern? Every-other-leaf? Do the leaves one color and the bits in between them in the other? Alternating rows of leaves? Which of all these options would be easiest to do?

Thank you soooooooooooo much for your help and advice!

find a hand painted yarn that has red and blue, or buy white yarn and paint/dye it your self!

in some places you’ll end up with purple, or blue violet, or red violet… and some places pink, lavender sky blue… but hey why not have some fun.

KnitPicks has beautiful lace weight yarn for dying… and its cheap enough that you could try out a few skeins to get the effect you want.

Painted/pattern dyed yarn would be much prettier than stripes or intarsia for a shawl/scarf.

Now there’s a creative answer I would never have thought of! And you’re right, a variegated yarn would be much prettier than solids. Hmmmmm.

The only thing is, my MIL has picked out the yarn she wants - Caron Simply Soft, Autumn Red and Iris. (They’re so not colors I would choose to combine or to wear, but I love her to death, so I want to make her happy :slight_smile: And how often do you get a specific request for a knitted gift, right? Usually I’m struggling to persuade my husband to let me knit him some more socks, and desperately looking for people with new babies to knit for!) That’s one of the reasons I picked this pattern - it’s one of the few i could find that that can be knit in heavier-weight yarn. Also I was hoping that doing lace would (a) make it less boring to knit, and (b) avoid ending up with a giant red-and-blue stripey triangle.

So I’ll definitely consider the yarn-dying option, but if anyone has two-color-lace-knitting tips I’m still very interested to hear them!

What if you use a thinner yarn and carry two strands (one of each color) together? That way you won’t have to deal with the stripe issue.

It looks to me like that pattern is worked from the top down, fanning out. If that is the case then if you use alternate colors, you won’t get horizontal stripes, you will get chevron stripes that radiate from the spine at a 45 degree angle.

If I were doing this I would use one color for 2/3rds of the shawl and then use the other color for the rest. It will come out looking like one color is the main part of the shawl and the other will be the “border.”

I have been knitting lace for many years and although you could do a sort of intarsia lace I know it would put me on the fast track to the funny farm. You may be made of sterner stuff however.

Be advised that acrylic does not really block so you won’t get the full effect of the lace patterning. One old standby pattern that looks good in acrylic and also in alternating colors is Feather and Fan. It makes nice wavy ripples:

The colors used are a bit loud but there is a more subdue version here:

Thank you so much for the awesome advice, Calamintha! I didn’t know that acrylic doesn’t block, and had had a suspicion that it would be hard to make intarsia lace work. So, feather-and-fan it is, and I think my mother-in-law will love it :slight_smile: Thanks!

I would definately use a 2-color or painted wool rather than doing stripes, fair isle, or intarsia.