Vogue Knitting Magazine, Spring/Summer 2015, pp 58-59.

Vertically Stranded Colorwork had its Vogue Knitting magazine debut in the Spring/Summer 2015 issue. I was asked to submit a sock pattern and a short article describing the technique- it’s pattern #17 on pages 58 – 59. I’m really happy with the way it turned out using Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in two colors- one solid and one variegated. It’s an honor.


The pattern is correct, but I am worried about one of the photo illustrations that may throw you off your path to success, and it may make you want to throw your knitting across the room.

Here is the photo from the magazine that I want you to UNSEE:


See how the yarns are twining around each other? Well, that sets the knitter up to drop the contrast yarn off to the left when finished with that contrast purl, then return the the main color. This will interfere with the whole system of yarn management using a yarn butterfly. The main color will get completely tangled in the butterfly. The important step of making a yarn butterfly makes the knitting bearable, and even easy. The minute you start twining things as you may be used to doing in intarsia is the minute things will go bad.

So, following are the steps to take instead.

First, here you see that after the colors are introduced, the short tails are tied into a knot and the long working strands are managed into a center-pull butterfly.


When it’s time to purl a yellow CVS (contrasting vertical strand), the main color yarn (brown) must first be sent leftward. It remains above all the strands dangling to the butterfly.

Then reach with your right hand to pick up the CVS where it lies…


…bring it forward between the needle tips to purl (as one does when purling)…


…purl the CVS…


…finish the purl. Notice the main color (brown) is still leftward…


..drop the CVS strand off to the right and return to main color at the left and proceed.


Warning. See this last photo below? Never catch yourself reaching left of the main color to work a CVS. NEVER.


Continental Knitters: Since you hold the main color in your left hand, all you have to do is keep holding onto it. Never drop or re-tension the main color from your left hand. Pick all your main color stitches, and just throw the CVS with your right hand.

English knitters: (I’m not one, but I’ll tell you how my students who are elegant throwers do this.) Right hand index finger thrusts the main color yarn leftward but does not let go. Middle finger swoops down to get the CVS from the right, throws it, drops it, then middle finger rests until the next CVS.

All knitters: since the CVS is only one stitch, don’t waste time getting it all strung through your fingers fancy, just pinch it with a couple fingers and chuck it around the needle.

Thanks for your time. And sorry for the bright nail polish. It’s March, I need it.