theraineysisters knitting and so much more

July 10, 2007

From Susan – Over the Rainbow

Filed under: Susan's Kauni Cardigan — lv2knit @ 2:04 am

I have been playing around with the Clowny Kauni Cardigan.  I started it several times as a matter of fact!  I had difficulty getting gauge and even ripped back after completing two full squares.  I started out on a US 5 (3.75mm) needle and finished the garter check with those needles — a little snug, but blockable.  Then I started the body using the same needle, and it looked sloppy.  Plus, I went up one size to a US 6 (4mm) to do the stranding so it would not “cinch in”.  That is the right thing to do, but the wrong needles.  So I ripped back to the garter check, and changed to US 4 (3.5mm) for the straight knitting and 5’s (3.75’s) for the stranding.  B-I-N-G-O!!  Much better looking and much nicer to knit.  Up to that point, I was not enjoying this project at all.  That has happened to me before — going down one needle size and making the project much more fun to knit (?).  It is amazing how that small difference made such a big difference to me. 

I put together a graphic showing the various color combinations of the Kauni Rainbow yarn.  It is not terribly scientific, nor is it 100% accurate for the colors, BUT it does show how the various combos will play out.  There are 5 sets of colored bars.  The left bar in each pair (separated by black) is the same.  The second bar starts in a different place on the color wheel.  You look at the combinations from the bottom up, as they would appear as you are knitting them.


In the above graphic, the colors are transforming from purple to red to orange, etc.  You can also knit the colors in the opposite direction — purple to blue to green — as shown below:


I am essentially doing combo B from the first graphic — why?  No particular reason — it just worked out that way.  As I looked at the other combos, I guess mine is as good as any, though it is a bit shocking to the eye to start a purple and orange sweater.  My daughter said she won’t be seen with me when I wear it!  It does look a bit clownish at the moment and I keep telling myself that I need to let it unfold and it will be beautiful.  I have looked at many other Kaunis on line and they all share the same color combinations, so I need to keep that in mind and appreciate the totality that is Kauni, not parse out every single color combination.

Here is what I have so far — this picture is quite true to color:


I really like the garter check border*.  The pattern calls for 1×1 rib, which I am not fond of.  If I had chosen ribbing, I would have opted for 2×2.  However, I think the garter check is very much in keeping with the “square” theme of the design.  As the knitting progresses, I am liking my Kauni more and more :).  I have done about 10 inches and looking at Color Bar “B” you can tell I’m about 2/3 of the way into the full color cycle.  BTW: My knitting does not look this smooth in person, but blocking may get it there ;).

*For those unfamiliar with this edging, using Colors A and B:
Row 1: k2(A), k2(B)
Row 2: p2(A), p2(B)
Row 3: k2(B), k2(A)
Row 4: p2(B), p2(A)

And I know you want to see the inside — admit it!


It’s funny.  I was hauling this around today and knitting on it, and people were fascinated by it.  Several people asked me about the yarn and the knitting method — both men and women alike.  I’ve been knitting for years, on all kinds of projects, but this one seems to have a quality about it that attracts and interests people. 

I have other projects to work on right now, but I am enjoying the simplicity of this pattern and watching it unfold.


  1. Don’t listen to the daughter. It looks lovely! Definitely, the garter checks looks more in keeping with the rest.

    About using two needles of different sizes, couldn’t you adjust your tension to suit what is being knitted with one needle?

    Comment by Marina — July 10, 2007 @ 7:22 am

  2. From Susan to Marina — stranded knitting has a different gauge than straight knitting (as you already know!). I could try to tighten my knitting on the straight rows, though you can only knit so tight,  or knit more loosely on the stranded, but why? It is much easier just to use the right needle — it takes no effort. For me, it would take more effort to try to fight my gauge for ~half the sweater. When I started the Kauni, I did not switch (I started with a US 5) and the straight rows (which outnumber the stranded 3:2) look “rippley.”

    Comment by lv2knit — July 10, 2007 @ 8:32 am

  3. Susan- I have mine in a bag for travel knitting. Since the farthest I seem to travel is a WW meeting, I haven’t made
    much progress. But you’re right-people are absolutely fascinated by it, and can’t believe all those colors
    are in the sweater.
    I do fear, for some reason, I’m going to end up with the same color together, and I don’t know how that happened.
    Hopefully, I’ll stay out of the frog pond.
    Thanks for the color graph.

    Comment by Lorraine — July 10, 2007 @ 9:00 am

  4. Personally, I love purple and orange. I don’t find it shocking at all! It’s gorgeous. 🙂

    Comment by Romi — July 10, 2007 @ 9:12 am

  5. HMMMM…. Quite colorful, but not in a too busy way….it is going to be lovely, as all your work is… I would love to see a collection of all your knitted pieces in a photo gallery. You truly are ready….for the book, ya know? Come on now… what could make for a better read than the Rainey Sisters? Only a suggestion, but I’m on line for an autographed copy! What I love most about your blog… other than you are both down to earth “real” people (although I only know you through cyber-space ;). And you continue to consistently produce fabulous pieces…. you make me want to knit them….even if its something I normally wouldn’t knit.
    Thanks girls

    Comment by Michelle — July 10, 2007 @ 9:23 am

  6. From Susan to Lorraine: I fear the same thing (i.e., that the same colors will cross). I’m not sure the lengths of color are the same, so they could transition at different rates. I’ll have to cross that bridge when/if I get there!

    Comment by lv2knit — July 10, 2007 @ 10:42 am

  7. Fascinating! Love the garter checks, and I loved seeing the inside — helps “explain” to my eye a little better how it’s knit.

    When I knit in public, I always get more comments and questions from men than from women — isn’t that funny? My theory is that women who don’t knit want no part of it (at least that was how I was, until I decided I wanted to learn).

    Comment by Mary — July 10, 2007 @ 11:53 am

  8. I would love to start my Kauni (the yarn is on the table staring at me), but I have to finish the baby blanket and then there is the guilt about Mermaid. Switching to a new project with half of one sleeve already finished (see post below this one) would be kind of sad, even for me.

    Comment by surly — July 10, 2007 @ 11:53 am

  9. This is one of the coolest things to come along lately, yours is beautifully worked!

    Comment by Carol — July 10, 2007 @ 12:38 pm

  10. I love the check instead of the corrugated ribbing. How will you handle the front bands and neck? I have my yarn wound and I am ready to jump in. I was not at all worried about starting until I started reading the KAL and everyone was having problems. I use the Philosophers method- because that is how I learned and it is really easy for me. Great sweater by the way.

    Comment by Tonia — July 10, 2007 @ 12:44 pm

  11. Wow, it is fascinating to think about the color combinations. Can’t wait to see the final product!

    Comment by AuntieAnn — July 10, 2007 @ 1:44 pm

  12. I love the color bar graphic. You are one clever lady. (Yeah, we all knew that already.) The sweater is beautiful, purple and orange being a nice combination in my book 🙂 I know the uncomfortable feeling, though, when that first little bit of knitting doesn’t have the beauty that is/will be there the totality.

    Comment by kmkat — July 10, 2007 @ 2:25 pm

  13. Tonia: I personally wouldn’t use the Philosophers’ Method if you are talking about how they twist the two yarns as they carry them behind the work. In my opinion (having seen a lot of the sweaters), that method creates a thicker, heavier feeling garment with less drape. It’s also MUCH SLOWER than just keeping Yarn A to one side and Yarn B to the other. The beauty of fair isle is that unlike intarsia color knitting, you don’t have to ever twist or cross the yarns unless you have an especially long strand or float that might catch on something. Now, if it has worked for you then obviously you are happy with it. I’m just talking about my own preference and experience.

    Comment by surly — July 10, 2007 @ 3:30 pm

  14. I sooooo want this yarn. It is the most fascinating thing I have seen in a long time. I like your check better than the ribbing.

    Comment by Marsha — July 10, 2007 @ 9:52 pm

  15. That looks fantastic!!

    Comment by Tamara — July 11, 2007 @ 12:27 pm

  16. When you knit the garter stitch block trim, do you work it in the round and steek that portion of the sweater open, or do you work it back and forth (Flat)? I’m making this sweater also, and I did the corregated ribbing, but I worked K2, P2. The stripe I just finished was purple blocks on an orange background, and the one I’m working on now is red blocks on a yellow background. They *almost* poke your eyes out.

    Comment by Brenda — July 11, 2007 @ 12:58 pm

  17. The color transitions are mesmerizing. Did you consciously select combo B by picking where you started each of the skeins? You probably have to be careful when you join in a new skein? I imagine that your tension has to be pretty consistent to maintain the color combo.

    Comment by Charm — July 11, 2007 @ 2:39 pm

  18. The idea of checked border is great. I wish I had seen this prior to starting mine. I don’t mind the corrugated ribbing, but it never acts like ribbing (so why pretend?).

    What have you decided for the front and neck? Continue the checks or facings?

    At least in my reds and greys, the colour changes are not the same length. Close, but not the same. I suspect that this will be the case for the rainbow as well.

    The colour changes are wonderful to view.


    Comment by Holly — July 11, 2007 @ 2:53 pm

  19. I absolutely love the little checks, and have started my sweater with the same. Thanks for a great innovation in the pattern. I am wondering what you think the effect would be (both visually and in the lay of the fabric) if I continued your idea and did the centers of the squares in the main sweater in the garter stitch. I’d love to hear your comment before I forge ahead.

    Comment by Leslie — July 13, 2007 @ 11:14 am

  20. looove the chart, so interesting! I am really enjoying watching everyone’s Kauni’s knit up.

    Comment by Juls — July 30, 2007 @ 11:07 am

  21. Your blog is the such a wealth of information. Thinking about making Tracy’s Sirkler Cardigan in Kauni and remembered seeing yours years ago. Thanks for leaving such detailed notes especially about how to go about chosing where to start on the colors.

    Comment by AnneBinMaine — January 2, 2013 @ 11:15 am

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