Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Quick and Dirty Striping

Are you getting tired of untangling your colors and looking at big loopy "seam" stitches when you stripe in the round? It was driving me crazy when developing the Witch Warmers pattern. So I figured out a quick-and-dirty method of striping that saved my sanity.

The standard way of striping is to twist the two colors together at the beginning of each row, so the unused color is carried up the inside of the knitting.

My Quick and Dirty Way

Work the first stitch of each row with both colors held together. This leaves a multi-colored seamline, but it’s much faster and easier... fewer gaps and big stitches, no long threads showing on the front, fewer tangles between the skeins, etc.

This technique will give your in-the-round piece a bit smaller circumference, so you might consider using the next larger size in the pattern instructions.

Follow these steps at the beginning of every row, whether or not you change colors:
1. Before starting the first stitch, pull tightly on each color’s working yarn individually.
2. After knitting the first stich with both colors, again pull tightly on each strand individually.
3. Insert the right needle into the next (second) stitch in the row. Pull the working yarn for the one color to be used in that row tight, and proceed with the stitch.
4. Continue knitting normally in the one color, to the end of the row.

Note: for ribbed stripes as in the neckwarmer, it comes out better if you purl the 1st stitch of the round in the same color as the previous round, then use both colors to knit the 2nd stitch, and proceed with the correct color for the round on the 3rd stitch.

For more knitting tips that will help with Witch Warmers see
Preventing Uneven Ribs
Big Magic Loop
Closing the Bind-Off Gap
Preventing Ladders
Exquisite Striping in the Round
Adding a Color in the Round
Straightening and Joining in the Round
Magic Loop Rocks!
Short Witch Warmers
Black Attack: Working with Dark Yarn
Cast-Ons: Keeping Count
I Love Cable Cast-On
Swatch Wars

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