When I got the email asking if I’d be interesting in reviewing the new Cooperative Press book Bargello Knits by Patty Nance, I said yes of course! And then felt a little silly, because I had never heard of bargello knitting before. I got excited about learning a new knitting technique, even if I was immediately ashamed for never having heard of it before.

Bargello, Step by Step

Bargello, Step by Step

Turns out, author and knitwear designer Patty Nance came up with this knitting technique herself, and that it’s not so weird that I hadn’t heard of it before, since she started working on it in 2005. Patty says, ‘by trial and error, fueled by dissatisfaction with a knitting project, I found that using short-repeating multi-colored yarns in an unintended manner results in a technique that, to my knowledge, has not been done before.’ And I just love that! She took yarn she loved but didn’t like the look of the knitted fabric, and found a way to make it work for her. And POOF! Created a new knitting technique.

Bargello

Bargello

So what is bargello knitting? It’s the process of dividing variegated yarns up into sections to control the color pooling. If you look at the picture above you can see how Patty divided up her yarn into small bobbins, and then knit back and forth, knitting just a few stitches from each bobbin, to alternate the colors in interesting and super visually appealing ways. Cool right?

Hope and Joy Scarf

Hope and Joy Scarf

There are 28 designs included in this book—14 with short color changes, 14 with long color changes, and representing 17 different yarn brands. Patty has divided the book into varying degrees of bargello difficulty, ranging from the above (and simple!) Hope and Joy Scarf, to much more difficult bargello knit garments.

Mountain Majesty

Mountain Majesty

Like the above Mountain Majesty, my favorite pattern in the collection.

Bargello Basics Socks 2

Bargello Basics Socks 2

And there are plenty of socks, like these Bargello Basics Socks 2. Patty started experimenting with variegated sock yarns for bargello knitting while trying to make socks, so it is natural that socks would be a great place for you to start your bargello knitting. With these socks you can see the yarn knit up like the yarn pooling was meant to be in the feet of the socks, and then throughout the tube sock portion you can see how the pooling can be manipulated to create almost Mark Rothko like patches of color.

Find more information about Bargello Knits by Patty Nance at Cooperative Press. You can download the book for $16.95, or get a digital download and a print copy for $29.95. And check out all 28 patterns on ravelry!

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