Craft · Knitting

Can you do random?

There are people who need a generator to do random stripes.

I understand the impulse to make the randomness as attractive as possible and a generator is impartial, but that’s not how I do things. My randomness is less uniform.

From here.
From here.

When I want to be random in my knitting I just… go. I pick up my needles (or hook) and my yarn and I see where it takes me. I’m not saying this is a better way to do it – sometimes it turns out looking like the knitted equivalent of the brown sludge from mixing too many colours of paint together – but that’s how I get the most enjoyment out of my yarn.

In all honesty I struggle with following patterns. Not because I can’t do it but because I have the constant impulse to deviate and find out what would happen if I did this, or maybe that.

As a result my random stripes are rather less balanced. Take my linen stitch cowl; I started with a vague idea in mind that would make it quite regular in the stripes which would fade in and out of one another. However, the yarn didn’t agree with me and now I’m knitting whatever combination of rows happens each time I get to my marker.

It works for me. I know there’s a risk it’ll end up looking a little weird but the yarn and the stitch means it’s relatively unlikely. Either way I’ll be wearing it since the yarn is soft and drapes so well the colours are becoming almost secondary.

Can you do random stripes when you’re knitting or do you need some kind of guide for it? I’m interested to see what others do.


17 thoughts on “Can you do random?

  1. I have the same problem with reading patterns. I just love deviating! Doesn’t always come out right, but… Still so much fun! I’ve never tried it with alternating colors, but I probably will. 🙂


  2. I don’t ‘do’ random. Maybe because I’m a maths student, and logic and order are very important to me, but randomness doesn’t sit well. I just about manage with self-patterned yarn, but that’s the end of it


  3. Oh dear…I really cant do random! I’ve spent hours pondering over how I will lay out my squares in my blanket that I am making so that the combination of colours is “just right”.
    It must be quite liberating to just knit and enjoy the colours as they are in a random mixture but I would always be looking back thinking that I might have done it better with more planning – maybe I will never get it exactly how I want it!


    1. I can be very obsessive about getting things right if I’m doing something more ordered, so I understand about laying out the blanket squares. But I would also still end up just putting them together however they fitted as long as the same colours didn’t touch.
      I guess we all have a limit to our randomness.


  4. Nope, not me, can’t do random. I tried once and it’s too much pressure! I love to follow patterns, but I sure admire people who can improvise and come up with cool things on their own.


  5. I have serious trouble following a pattern (or recipe!!) too… I think I just get bored from doing it over and over again, but it makes it more exciting to figure it out myself!!! So sometimes I fail (read: tiny baby blankets) and sometimes I succeed (read: perfect baby hats)! But it makes it less predictable and more fun for me. I’m right there with ya 🙂


    1. I totally get that. I don’t follow recipes much either. Maybe the first time I make it, but then I switch things around a bit and try other combinations. Same with knitting, it’s more fun that way!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I 100% cannot do random! Just thinking about doing random is making me get sweaty and itchy. I can’t even deviate from a pattern without sending myself to the brink of a panic attack, unfortunately. I wish I could do freeform knitting (or crochet) since it turns out so beautifully


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