Color Changing in Knitting
April 12, 2013
When you change color in knitting the color change can be a beautiful or unsightly, it all depends on your design. Changing color in knitting is all about planning. Planning your color change is also based on your stitch pattern. I will give you some simple guidelines to know when to change color either in stripes or color blocking to ensure your knitted piece looks amazing.
Tips to consider for color change in knitting:
Consider and swatch for the stitch pattern you are using. If your pattern is reversible (like garter stitch or some types of lace) color change in stripes or color blocking doesn't matter but you should be consistent with which side is visible when changing color. Always change color on the same side or else your stripes or blocking will look "off" and sloppy. If you are working in stockingette then change color on the right side so the stripe will look smooth on the right side and the two-tone purl bumps that are created will be on the wrong side.
When working your color change on stockingette, finish working you main color (MC) on a wrong side row. Start your contrast color (CC) on a right side row. Work one more row (wrong side) and then work with your MC. These 2 CC rows will make one stripe. If you are doing a color block with many rows of your CC then always start your CC on the right side and finish it on the wrong side.
If you are working stripes 4 rows or less, carry your yarn up the side of your knitting by looping your working yarn around it before you work the first stitch of each right side row. Carrying your yarn for larger stripes may distort your piece depending on your knitting style or can get sloppy. Carrying your yarn helps avoid weaving in a ton of loose ends.
Speaking of weaving in ends, be sure you weave in ends into the same color in your work. If you weave them in in-between stripes even if it is in the back, you may see that color poking through on the right side when the piece is worn or used.
If you use these tips when incorporating or designing with color change you can avoid heaping of frustration from ripping out rows and redoing design elements. You can be sure that at least one thing will go right J
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