Design · Knitting

Apps for Knit Design

Kaleidomatic image of a Swedish tapestry with colour palette When I’m teaching Fair Isle knitting, I get asked a lot about the best way to choose colours. I have a lot to say on this subject. But, first and foremost I believe

Play is essential!

For this post, I’m focusing on the kind of play that is becoming seamless with our modern lives. Playing on our phones. Got a few minutes to kill? Play with some colourful Apps on your phone and then later, take that fun and apply it to your stash. Two of my favourite apps for playing with Fair Isle colour ideas are Kaleidomatic and Adobe Kuler  (or Adobe Kuler for your desktop).

I will demonstrate how I use Kuler in my next post; today I’ll show you some of my fun in Kaleidomatic. Here’s how Kaleidomatic works. I took a picture of this 1970’s Swedish embroidery. (My house is filled with textile inspiration. If someone hand-made a thing, I find it hard to resist buying in a market.) 1960's Swedish tapestry Pop it into the app. The app has a number of different filters which put the pattern into kaleidoscopic repeat, like the one at the top of the post.

This is a pretty cool video showing it in action: (I wish I had an iPad to use it on instead of just my phone.)

Some of the kaleidoscopic repeats look so much like fair isle tam tops. Tam top patterns made with Kaleidomatic app and 70's Swedish tapestry Even more so, when you feed segments of fair isle examples in.

A bit of knit, disguised as a tam top in Kaleidomatic.
This is a chevron edging sample, disguised as a tam top in Kaleidomatic.
A bit of a knit mitt, dressed up to be a tam top in Kaleidomatic.
A bit of a knit mitten, dressed up to be a tam top in Kaleidomatic. (Mitten dressed as Tam – love me a pun!)

It is brilliant for looking at the natural world with a Fair Isle eye. (Could that be – Fair Isle Eye for the Knit Guy? – I want my own knitting show)

picture of vibrantly coloured lichen and peeling paint
This a a lichen encrusted concrete trash container on an estate near my home. Can you believe how vibrant it is?
Kaleidomatic repeat of lichen photo.
This is a kaleidomatic repeat of the colourful lichen. It gets me very excited about the colour possibilities in a lovely shetland wool.

I could go on showing you examples from my photo library, but I think you’ll have more fun playing with it yourself. Let me know what you discover.

Next post, I’ll show you how I choose a colour palette based on my Kaleidomatic pictures.