Monday, November 08, 2010

No loose ends

I've been working on the surprise jacket and decided it was a good opportunity to show off a technique I've been meaning to blog about. I hear all the time people avoid doing stripes because they hate weaving in all the ends. But stripes don't have to mean more work at the end if you weave them in as you go.

When you are ready to change colors knit the first stitch in the new yarn to anchor it. You want to carry the old yarn and the new yarn along together. Here I am changing colors but it works just as well for starting a new ball of yarn that won't splice. I am a continental knitter primarily, so the first method is how I normally do it.

Here is how I run them through my fingers, but you can do whatever is comfortable for you. The new yarn (green) is on the right and the old yarn (brown) is on the left.

Now you want to duck under the old strand to pick the new yarn. Knit this stitch as you normally would.

On the next stitch, work above the old yarn.

You just keep doing these 2 stitches, working alternately under the old yarn and then above it, working 4-6 stitches depending on how slippery your yarn is.

Here I'm showing how it works if you are a thrower. Hold the old yarn in your left hand and the new yarn in your right hand as you normally would. It doesn't matter how you hold the old yarn, just keep some tension on it.

Insert the right needle in the next stitch.

Now pull the old yarn forward, between the new working yarn and the new stitch.

Wrap the stitch as normal with the new yarn.

Then put the old yarn back behind the needles. This series of maneuvers
works 1 stitch behind the old yarn.

Now work the next stitch with the old yarn in back.

These are the exact same 2 steps as shown above for continental knitting. Alternate working in front of and behind the old yarn for 4-6 stitches.

Here is the back of the work, with the brown yarn woven in. I can now just snip it off and move on. On the next row I will weave in the tail of the green yarn, leaving no extra work. This is the same method you can use for trapping long floats when doing colorwork.


  1. feathersong (Benne)Mon Nov 08, 07:23:00 PM

    This is great! Your directions and photos are very clear. I remember when I learned to do this, it was a "lightbulb" moment. I'll be sure to recommend this blog entry to others.

  2. Ooh...starred this post in my reader so I'll be able to find it the next time I need it. Thank you!

  3. I love this technique, and I even start before the stripe, using the to-be-used yarn as the "carry" yarn, then switch them at the start of the stripe.

  4. Thanks for the clear photos and explanation - it's really helpful.

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I just finished a pair of longies for my little boy, and did them in stripes and was completely bugged with all the ends. The next pair is going to go much better. Thank you!

  6. thanks so much! I use this all the time now! ;-)

  7. doh! this is just genius, a complete and utter lightbulb moment there! thank you!

  8. This will be shared again and again and again...

  9. Your tip works also in the Netherlands. Thank jou so much! Marga.

  10. Very helpful page, thank you so much!

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