No matter whether we want to add a few stripes to the project or to work in a more complicated colour pattern, at some point we have to attach the yarn in a new colour to the work. The question is: “What is the best way to do it?” Well, the best way is the one that feels better to you.
In this tutorial, I’ll show you three ways to add a new colour to your knitting. Try them all and choose the one you like best.
Each way described below works for changing colours both at the beginning and in the middle of a row. That means you can use them when you knit back and forth or in the round.
This way is the easiest because it does not require any special actions to attach the yarn. When it’s time to change the colour, we simply start knitting with the new yarn.
Here’s how it happens step by step:
1. Work to the spot where you need to change the colour. It could be the very beginning of a row or at any place inside the row or round (as is the case with the swatch in the photo below).
2. Insert the right needle into the next stitch and place the new yarn on the tip of the right needle, leaving a tail around 10 cm / 4″ long.
3. Pull the wrap through to make a new stitch.
Then use the new yarn as your working yarn to make a segment in the new colour. As to the old yarn, you can cut it leaving a tail around 10 cm / 4″ long, or you can carry the yarn up the work.
The only drawback of this method is that the last stitch worked in the old yarn and the first stitch working in the new yarn are not secured and can get quite loose.
It’s an issue that is easily fixed later on when we weave in the ends. Simply pull the tails to adjust the size of those stitches before you hide the tails inside the project. Or, weave in the tails as you knit.
This way solves the issue with the loose stitches, but it requires making a knot. Many knitters don’t like making knots, and that’s understandable – we all want our knits to be impeccable. In this case, making a small knot could be a sacrifice worth making, especially if you work with a slippery yarn.
Here’s how this way works (you can also watch it in this part of the video tutorial):
1. When it’s time to change the colour, tie the new yarn around the strand of the old yarn with a simple knot. Leave a tail around 10 cm / 4″ to weave in later on.
2. Pull the knot tight and move it as close to the bottom of the stitch as you can.
3. Then continue to knit using the new yarn as your working yarn.
As you see, the knot is not bulky at all even though the yarn I used to make the swatch is quite thick. It seems to be a nice compromise in the “to knot or not to knot” question.
This way adds a bit of bulk to the join, but it will not show if the yarn is not too thick, or if the place of join is not very visible. The good thing about this way of joining yarn – it creates a lovely clean look without any loose stitches or knots.
1. Work to one stitch before the spot where you plan to add a new colour. Then measure around 5 cm / 2″ of working yarn from the bottom of the last worked stitch and fold the yarn creating a loop. This step is shown in this part of the video tutorial.
2. Insert the new yarn into that loop and fold the new yarn leaving a tail around 10 cm / 4″. Now we have two interlocking loops.
3. Use two strands of the folded old yarn to work the next stitch.
4. Pull the old yarn to make the loop smaller so that the place of join (the spot where two loops interlock) is at the bottom of the stitch we’ve just worked.
5. Use two strands of the folded new yarn to work the next stitch.
Continue to work in pattern using the new yarn as your working yarn. Remember to treat the double-stranded stitches as one when you work the next row or round.
Here they are – three ways to add a new colour to a project. Let me know which one of them you like best. Thank you 🙂
If you enjoyed this tutorial,
here’s something else you might find helpful:
“Neat Side Edges” Book
Learn twelve ways to make side edges of a knitted project nice and tidy. Plus, ways to fix side edges, and a way to improve edges of finished projects.
Dealing with Unfinished Projects
Dictionary of Knitting Symbols and Abbreviations – E-Book
Eastern (Russian) Knitting Simplified
Knitting Collection #6
Simple Socks in Any Size with Any Yarn
Top-Down Hat in Any Size with Any Yarn