Colour Ideas for Byatt

I'm already seeing a lot of Byatts in the KAL thread on Ravelry, but I also get quite a few questions about yarn and colour combinations. If you are planning on casting on Byatt, this post is for you. First, let's grab that ghastly photo I took of Byatt flat, crank up the contrast and look at the anatomy of the shawl.

January 2015 183

So, as you can see, there are a few key things to think about when choosing a colour combination:

  • The majority of the shawl focuses on the MC (only the edge really lets CC shine).
  • MC and CC needs to work together but have a good amount of contrast.
  • CC needs to work in semi-solid lace.

Add to that, the fact that the shawl is designed to use as much of that gorgeous hand-dyed yarn as possible, and you will want to weigh your skeins to make sure you have enough yardage. I've included suggestions on how to include a third colour (CC2) in the pattern notes too.

My original colour combination was OMA 100% merino in Crazy Ivan and Afraid of the Woods. The colours look very different in the picture above, but that is due to a) the shawl being photographed on snow and b) me cranking up the contrast, so you can see the details.


Lilith of Old Maiden Aunt is currently knitting Byatt in a combination of Lon-Dubh and Grellow.


And her studio assistant, the incredibly lovely Helen is using a heady combination of Army+Navy and Cherry Lips. I love this combination so much that I might just steal it off Helen once it's done.


If I were to knit a second Byatt, I'd be tempted to use Famous Blue Raincoat and Moody. I really like the idea of Moody as the lace edging.


At the moment I am all about teal, it seems. Different versions of teal, but definitely teal. I am working on a colourwork project that uses a great deal of teal and I just cannot seem to get enough. Is teal my new moss green, I wonder? For a while I just bought and knitted moss-green yarn. We shall see.

If you are knitting Byatt, please post in the KAL thread. We have a great discussion going and I'm loving seeing all the colour combinations. I especially loved the knitter who said she was off to look at her book shelves to see which colour combination appealed!

PS. Thanks to the wonder of Photoshop, I just came up with another colour combination for Byatt. Going back to the moss-green yarn again..

January 2015 183a