Changing Colors in Knitting

Handknit scarf
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  • 01 of 03

    Knit the First Stripe

    The first stripe of a knit stripe project.
    Sarah E. White

    Knitting stripes is the easiest way for knitters to add their own touch to a project and to add a bit of color to what would otherwise be a plain knit fabric.

    Some new knitters are mystified by how to join a new ball of yarn and begin knitting in a new color to knit stripes, but it's really quite easy to do so.

    To begin, cast on and knit (or work whatever pattern stitch you like) as many rows as you would like for the first color of yarn you're using.

    It's a good idea to change colors on...MORE right-side rows, particularly in stitch patterns like Garter and Stockinette. This will make the color change crisp and straight rather than dotted.

    Continue to 2 of 3 below.
  • 02 of 03

    Changing Colors to Knit Stripes

    To change colors, simply drop the old yarn and start knitting with the next color.
    Sarah E. White

    When you're ready to start working the second color, simply drop the first color and pick up the yarn for the second color. Knit the first stitch.

    This stitch will look really loopy, loose and awful when you first knit it, but persist. When you're further along in the row you can tighten up the last stitch of the previous row and the first stitch on this row by pulling gently on the yarn tails.

    Speaking of yarn tails, make sure you leave a tail of at least six inches at each end of each stripe....MORE This will make it easy to weave your ends in securely later. Alternatively, if your stripes are short and you're going to use the same color again, you can carry the unused yarn up the side so it's where you need it when you need it again.

    Continue to 3 of 3 below.
  • 03 of 03

    Continuing to Knit

    Sarah E. White
    The first row of the second stripe is complete.

    Once you've successfully changed colors, keep knitting in the new color until you want to change colors again. You can add a third color or go back to the first, whichever you like.

    The method is the same regardless of how many colors you use.

    If you want to add a little extra stability to the joins while you're knitting, you can tie the yarn tails of the two different colors together, just make sure you untie them before you weave in the ends.