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Beginning the Kites Throw from Painterly

Well, I ordered and received the ‘brights’ colorway and yesterday decided to dive in. What a dive it was!! Several things to keep in mind before starting: make and label a card with snips of each color; line up the colors in the numerical order shown on the page 21 at the bottom; pay careful attention to the chart so you don’t miss the single stitch of what appears to be the 2nd row of colors starting on row 1 (ask why I mention this!). Don’t lose your mind with all the yarn hanging off the needle. Itks a little fear-inspiring, but once you get going it does work. This will be a winter-long project I suspect.


Yes to everything sdgreenbeg said! I am working on this as well and am now on row 4; only had to start over once - pretty good for me.I’m hoping that, like many things, it will get easier as I persevere. The “pull from the tangle” technique goes against every knittterly drive for neatness residing within. I’m considering it a kind of Zen practice - focus on the here and now, aka the next stitch, have faith in the process, and don’t worry about that tangle of yarn that looks like something my cat barfed up. Will keep you posted.


And 1 more thing - COUNT!! It’s too easy to forget to do the necessary color changes. I’ve ripped several times because of this :woozy_face:!


I’m into the second pass through the full diagram, and I’ll add these tips:

  • Begin this project in good light. It’s much easier to learn the difference between Barn Red, Tawny, Treacle, and Bilberry when you can see!

  • Tangle management is easier once you figure out about how much yarn you need to complete a triangle - in my case, it’s about 3.75 times my wingspan. I grabbed too much in the beginning and caused myself more drama than needed.

  • Learning how the triangles develop their shape has been key in helping me avoid missing a change. In my head, they’re either growers (starting at the narrowest point and expanding as rows are added) or shrinkers (starting at the widest point and contracting). The growers steal from the shrinkers, but only on the RS. You also only need to keep count for one team - as long as all growers are on count, shrinkers are too.

  • You will hit points where you have eight different colors coming together in a 4 stitch by 2 row block. I mostly just try not to freak out when that happens.


Thanks - these will help as I progress now that I’ve got the correct stitch counts, finally!!

Here’s what I wish I had known/done before starting: I have never done instarsia, so it would have been a good idea to practice a bit. Also - spit splicing; sounds easy, but I feel like I’m still working on my best technique. Unlike sureshot26, I find a shorter length of yarn easier to work with (3.75 my wingspan becomes too tangled), so I developed something I call, “grab them by the short hairs” rather than pull from the tangle. Shorter lengths of yarn = easier to manage BUT also = more spit splicing. So I’m getting a lot of practice now. Yesterday I felt less like I was knitting and more like a yarn wrangler. Not that that’s a bad thing. This yarn is beautiful - the colors, the texture, the knittability. But the knitting is almost an interlude between keeping all the strands in order, properly joining the color sections and spit splicing all the ends as they come up. My guess is that this is all going to get easier, the further along I get. But if you have a chance, do a little practice first so that the first few rows of your throw are as elegant and well knitted as your last.


I did a test start and need to make a few adjustments to my colors before I start again ‘for real’ What I am wondering is why we don’t knit the 3" of border, then the line of ‘cast on color’ then start the pattern. In my test repeat it was so curly it was hard to see what was going on, especially at first. Seems like if I knit the border first it’d be much easier to work with. Any reason I shouldn’t do this?


Sounds like a fine idea to me. But I usually do the pattern as written at least once before modifying because 1) I’m afraid I’ll screw up and 2) I figure the designer has their reasons . . . That said, your idea sounds pretty good and would solve some problems in the early rows.

I’m going to give it a try - I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Well, I casted on for the kites throw last night, it certainly is not for the faint of heart! I persevered though and was feeling better by row six. I am going to try longer lengths of yarn as I too do not like to stop knitting to join a piece of yarn. I made a chart where I could write in the colors, I also placed stitch markers in between the increasing colors. This gives me a double check with counting. Going to try two more rows before I go to work this morning!


Good luck! I just did a major rip as I thought I knew the design repeat colors - I was greatly mistaken! I had completed the first 2 color block sections, then started the second set with the wrong colors. Got 3/4’s of the way through, checked color guide, and OOOPPPSSS! Let me tell you, ripping intarsia is not for the faint of heart. The silver lining is that I have lots of small balls of the correct length for when I need those colors again. Well, it’s all just knitting and in this day and time heaven knows I have plenty of time. And, apparently, patience. No sobbing or swearing ensued!

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Yours is looking great!

I did one set of triangles with a ton of spit-splicing as I was trying to use up cut ends from a previous set, and it took me a while to figure out a good method. While the good old ends-in-the-mouth style has worked for me on other projects, it’s not exactly compatible with the hygiene requirements of pandemic life so I came up with another approach.

I decided to use a small plastic storage container like these as my splicing helper. I filled it halfway with water and dunk my ends into it as needed, and it now lives in my knitting basket. I tried a few different water vessels but this fit the requirements best - small, doesn’t leak when sealed, and with a large enough surface area to easily get the ends in.

The caveat: don’t wait until you’re at the very bitty end with this method. I learned the hard way that you need at least 6-8" left on your working yarn to have enough slack for its little bath.


Thanks so much for these tips. They really helped a lot as I began this.

I’m using a very small spray bottle for spit splicing. It’s a lot nicer than always pulling little hairs out of my mouth!



I was just going to ask if anyone tried a little squirt bottle - something that can be closed when not in use and carried with one’s knitting. Not that anyone is actually going anywhere with one’s knitting, is one?


How is knitting the border on as you go working out?

I’m doing the afghan and no, it’s not really travel knitting!

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Knitting the border first is super easy - but I’m only about 2" in so haven’t done any of the hard part yet. My plan is 3" border, the 1 row of ‘cast on’ color - then I am going to insert a life line in case it all goes sideways, then start the kites pattern. I’ll still add the side borders at the end since it’s not a 1 for 1 pickup on the sides as it is on the top and bottom. Does that make any sense?


It does! I like that idea - wish I’d decided to do that, but… :smirk: