Carry it up

I am always thankful when I encounter questions or problems during the week that give me an idea for my next post. This time around it was the fact that I got asked if, when knitting stripes, do you cut the yarn after every stripe?

Well now, I said, that depends. (Doesn’t it always?) It really depends on the width of the stripes. Many of you might have knit a “Color Affection” or a similar design in Garter Stitch that requires to switch the colour every two rows. Then you definitely do not cut the yarn but carry it up on the edge of the project. The person who asked the question was actually knitting a striped design in the round and the width of the stripes lent itself to carrying the yarn up instead of cutting each time.

I have just started a “Wurm” hat for my daughter, and following Sam’s inspired idea I am using two colors – blue and green, as requested by the recipient. The blue stripe is 6 rows high, the green one 3. Whenever you work with two colours, the main concept when switching from one to another is: TWIST the yarn. In most cases if you do not twist both strands you are going to end up with holes, large or little, depending on the colourwork.

In the following picture I have just finished knitting the first green stripe and it is time to switch back to blue. See how the two yarns are twisted around each other?

IMG_8838The blue comes from below around the green, thus ‘trapping’ the green so it cannot escape.

From  here you knit as you would – I mean, follow the pattern!

Then, at the point where you switch to the green again, do this:

IMG_8839Take the green from below and wrap around the blue. Make sure you do not pull too much so the fabric won’t scrunch up.

The only tricky part I can think of is neither pulling too tight nor letting too loose. Otherwise this technique is straightforward and can be used for narrower stripes. For wider stripes you want to twist the yarn every four rows or so, that the carried strand does not get too long.

And here is how it looks from the inside:

IMG_8842See how the yarn always is carried up on the same side? It looks neat and, as I have said, prevents holes.

Happy Knitting, as ever!

– Mona

2 thoughts on “Carry it up

  1. Daniel says:

    Thanks very much Mona. I’m a novice knitter and have just learned how to knit socks. I tried adding a few stripes, but found breaking the yarn painstaking, so will try this technique. Any tips for adding the first new colour row? Because the end is not attached the first few stitches get very loose. Should I weave the end in right away?

    • Mona says:

      Hello Daniel,

      indeed, when you start the second colour the stitches will be always a bit loose – until you weave in the end. If you weave in the end right away you are getting rid of that. I hope that helps!

      Best,
      Mona

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