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Colorwork Knitting Patterns: 21 Dazzling Designs

These amazing colorwork knitting patterns are perfect for knitters of any skill level!

By: Julie DaMario, Editor, AllFreeKnitting.com
Colorwork Knitting Patterns 21 Dazzling Designs

When you’re first learning how to knit, the thought of introducing another color into the mix may seem like a pipe dream. Beginning knitters tend to be focused on mastering basic stitches and honing fundamental skills—all while trying to keep the finished piece from unraveling. 

However, the fact of the matter is that colorwork knitting is not as daunting as it may appear. Incorporating multiple colors into your knitwear opens the door to myriad design possibilities. Stranded color knitting infuses texture, interest, and dimensionality to basic patterns and pieces.

Beginning Colorwork Knitting

For those of you who are looking to dip your feet into the colorwork knitting pond, come on in. The secret to becoming an expert at colorwork knitting is simple: find easy knitting patterns for your first couple attempts. Learning how to knit with multiple colors can seem intimidating, but the right pattern will make the process less painful.

  • Easy Knit Rose Petal Purse Pattern

    The gorgeous colorwork roses in this purse design are so ridiculously easy and give an outfit an elegant twist.

  • 4 Simple Colorwork Hats

    This useful pattern presents four different variations of a basic design, offering more than enough opportunity to practice your colorwork knitting skills.

  • Ice Cream Sundae Hat

    Colorwork doesn't get much simpler than this knit hat pattern. With only three colors to worry about, knit in large chunks, you're not likely to be overwhelmed.

  • Tiny Truck Baby Sweater

    Colorwork knitting patterns like this adorable sweater are just too cute to pass up! This pattern is especially great for a mother expecting a baby boy.

  • Baby Moccasins

    If you're bored by traditional colorwork knitting patterns, this might catch your eye! It's unlike any baby booties you'll see anywhere else, and the colorwork is easy and subtle.

  • Raspberry Mocha Swirl

    This hat might just be good enough to eat. Not only are the colors delicious, but it's so simple and quick to work up.

  • Girl's Stockinette Argyle Dress

    The little lady will be school-ready with this traditional colorwork pattern! The argyle detail at the hem of the dress is just like the one you used to wear, and it's surprisingly easy to knit.

Intermediate Colorwork Knitting

After you’ve mastered the basic techniques for stranded color knitting, the real fun can begin. The world of colorwork knitting is filled with gorgeous displays of geometric designs, dazzling patterns, and impressive gradations. Add style and flare to your wardrobe or create gifts your friends and family will cherish for years with these creative colorwork knitting patterns below. Although they may take a little patience, the results are well worth it.

  • Bright Diamonds Cowl

    If you're ready to start working with more than two or three colors, this cowl pattern is for you. Once you've got it down, you'll be left with a gorgeous accessory!

  • Checkered Hat

    The neon accent on this colorwork knitting pattern is what makes it so dreamy! The pom pom incorporates all of the colors from the colorwork section, which gives this pattern a special flair.

  • Polka Dot Hat and Mittens

    If you're a retro lover, this hat and mittens set is right up your alley. The colorwork spans the entirety of this project, so you'll never find yourself bored with too-long sections of the same color.

  • Sunset Stripes Mittens

    Colorwork knitting patterns like these mittens offer a subtle gradient of color that will make bystanders think that your yarn was dyed that way. This pattern is easier than it looks, and reminds us of a gorgeous sunset!

  • Snowmass Intarsia Tee

    Intarsia is a colorwork technique that takes some getting used to, but produces amazing results. This tee, for example, offers large geometric shapes of colors that are just so striking against the simplicity of the shirt's structure.

  • Dragon Tail Knit Shawl

    Knitting stripes on a bias is a whole new beast if you've never tried it before, but once you get past the construction of the shawl, you'll find it to be a breeze. We love the color scheme here!

  • Colorful Chevron Cowl

    When you're an intermediate at colorwork, you can create some pretty hypnotizing designs, like in this cowl. While time-consuming, it's totally worth it when you're left with a statement piece like this one.

Fair Isle Knitting

Full of tradition and rustic charm, fair Isle knitting offers knitting garments a timeless appearance and festive feel. Fair Isle knitting is known for its colorful geometric repeats, bold color contrasts, and intricate stitch work. Often seen during the holiday season, this classic style of knitting is incorporated into sweaters and afghans for a spirited look.

  • Chrysanthemum Mittens

    This fair isle design looks extremely complicated, but since you're never working with more than two colors at a time, it's easier than it looks! Knit yourself up a pair for the winter.

  • Northern Motifs Afghan and Pillows Set

    The best part about this afghan and pillow set is that it's perfect for the winter time, Christmas celebrations, or even just a log cabin! We love that you can make a quilt-like design out of fair isle.

  • Fashionable Fair Isle Sweater

    This traditional sweater has a yoke with a fair isle design that is equal parts classy and traditional. While we love the colors chosen here, it will look equally as beautiful in any color scheme.

  • Fall Feast Wine Cozy

    If you're looking for a quicker fair isle project to work on, this wine cozy is great for Thanksgiving... or any other holiday! Hosts especially will love this gift.

  • Fox in the Snow Mittens

    This just in: fair isle can be adorable, too! These mittens are sprinkled with adorable little foxes and will pump your winter wardrobe up with just the right amount of "aww."

  • Classic Winter Ear Warmer

    For something a little more simple and methodical, this ear warmer is a great place to start. Men and women alike will appreciate its simple design.

  • Falling Snowflakes Sweater

    For a real show-stopper, try knitting this sweater! The traditional wintry design is sure to impress, but don't be surprised if people don't believe you actually made this.

Which of these colorwork knitting patterns is your favorite?

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