Colouring-in for Stranded Colourwork: a KNITSONIK online mini-course

colouring pencils in a jar, against a blurry soft focus background of paper on a table

A few days ago I mentioned that I’m sprucing up my flagship online course, The KNITSONIK System, that takes you through the creative process of translating everyday inspirations into stranded colourwork.

closeup of process of developing The KNITSONIK System - squared notepaper, pencilled-on chart, and inspiration source of pinky/lilac pastilles tin
One of the big changes I’m making to the course concerns how feedback will be provided to participants. This edition will have a special Agony Aunt feature, whereby anyone who’s enrolled and grappling with the creative process can send in their problems. Every month, I’ll sit down and go through the problems submitted and film responses; possible solutions; and new things that could be tried next to unstick things. These filmed responses will be uploaded into the course environment, where everyone who is enrolled will be able to watch them. I like this idea so much – it means that the work that goes into supporting creativity benefits everyone on the course and that, over time, the learning resource stored in The KNITSONIK System will grow in depth and richness.

There’s just one snafu: how to keep things manageable and ensure the Agony Aunt uploads do not get out of control and become a full-time job for me to produce? My established method for pre-recording video content for The KNITSONIK School involves a two-camera setup, multiple sound recording steps, and the production of graphics that are used throughout to clarify specific points and to illustrate the PDF downloads that accompany the videos. I am proud of the craftswomanship I put into making my teaching content and it’s work I really enjoy. However, it’s also intensive and time-consuming. In order to be responsive and manageable, the Agony Aunt uploads for the forthcoming edition of The KNITSONIK System will need to be created in a less elaborate way.

While running the online creative sessions for the KNITSONIK & Friends: Colour to Knit club, I’ve been using Zoom and switching between an overhead camera and the one on my laptop to alternately demonstrate ideas and talk to everyone.

A still from an instructional video in which small samples of knitted fabric from a shade card and analogous pencil-colour-swatches side by side in a notepad speak to a colour-matching exercise

The positive experience has made me think that I could use a similar setup for recording the Agony Aunt uploads. Last week, I decided to test how long it takes me to record and edit friendly, responsive videos that demonstrate solutions nice and clearly and to produce high quality subtitles. I wanted to see if I could approach such a task in an off-the-cuff way with just a bit of thoughtful preparation. Getting a method like this down is key to making the Agony Aunt uploads sustainable, responsive and fun – which is what I think they really need to be.

I set myself the challenge of creating a mini-course exploring colouring-in as a support to stranded colourwork design, using the same methods I will use for the Agony Aunt feature of The KNITSONIK System. To prove to myself that this approach will work, the mini-course needed to take less than five working days to research, record, edit, subtitle and upload… and it needed to be FUN!

a film still showing hands over a notepad, a colourwheel, some messy pencils and a drawn and coloured-in knitting chart.

Because of the KNITSONIK & Friends: Colour to Knit club and eBook, I’ve been thinking an awful lot about colouring-in as a support to stranded colourwork design, and so that is what I made the focus for my tester videos. On Friday I sat down with a plan and filmed out a playful and informative video exploring colouring-in for stranded colourwork design. I then broke everything down into individual sections, gave them meaningful titles, and subtitled them. I edited lightly for clarity and to speed up sections of colouring-in so that every stage of the process isn’t shown in excruciating real-time (also who doesn’t love a little sped-up colouring-in joy?)

checking contrast: some colourways laid out on the page with a phone taking a photo that can subsequently be turned to black and white, to erase some of the hue information from the image, enabling light/dark to be more easily seen; the graphic being photographed is a sequence of pink, red and blue in background, and a sequence of white cream blue tawny orange and grass green on the left in pattern; the worksurface is a mess.

You can find the course on Teachable.

I hope this mini course I’ve made will give you as much joy to watch as it gave me to make and that – above all – that you will get ideas from them that will enhance your enjoyment of colouring-in for stranded colourwork design!


4 thoughts on “Colouring-in for Stranded Colourwork: a KNITSONIK online mini-course

  1. Thank you for these videos, Felix! I have a pile of yarn designated to make the Folly skirt, but had not quite worked out how I would begin to use my chosen colors which are quite different from the pattern color charts. Next step: colored pencils for me!

    1. The Folly Skirt looks tremendous! Yes – the coloured pencils can be so helpful for just getting ideas out of your head and onto the page, where you can see and work with them. Especially helpful for sort of blocking out roughly how you want to sequence colours from top to bottom, without having to faff with copying out each and every chart, maybe? I feel THE KEY will be your friend! Good luck with it and let me know how it goes!

  2. Thank you! I’m not really a stranded colour work knitter, but your way of teaching is so inspiring I would look at you explaining how to colour-in the phone book, if that were what you had on offer.

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