Managing Color

The art of successfully working with more than one color, is to keep all those balls and bobbins under control.Take a firm hand with your yarn, otherwise you will end up in a mess, or worse, holes where the different yarns meet.

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Placing a stitch marker

Sometimes it is necessary to mark your work, so that you can keep track of shaping, color changes or row counts. To place a stitch marker; wrap a contrast-colored piece of yarn around the stitch you wish to mark and tie it in a double knot.

Alternatively, use plastic markers sold in the notions section of department or haberdashery stores.

Joining in a new color

When joining in a new color, or fresh ball of yarn, tie the ends together to prevent unraveling and a hole being produced. Leave long ends so that they are useful for sewing up seams during finshing

Joining in a new color

When joining in a new color, or fresh ball of yarn, tie the ends together to prevent unraveling and a hole being produced. Leave long ends so that they are useful for sewing up seams during finshing

Intarsia knitting

There are two ways of using more than two colors in a row The most popular is Fair Isle, which is where the yarn not being worked is woven or stranded across the back of the work and picked up where it is needed.

However, some patterns, and particularly one-off images, use color in large blocks, and to work these you need a method that keeps the gauge even and your work flat.This method is known as intarsia, or color blocking. Without the use of intarsia, you would have to weave yarn across the back of large areas of single colors, which would not only look very untidy but would also badly distort the image and make the work too thick Also, it is very difficult to keep an even gauge if a single thread is constantly weaving across the back of your work

You can work intarsia in both knit and purl. At the appropriate point, add a second color by twisting the two yarns around each other on the wrong side where they meet so avoiding gaps in the work (see below). Repeat this process on each row where colors meet. See above for the reverse, and left for the neat front of the work

When the work is finished, you will need to weave the ends vertically down the loops where the colors meet. Never weave the ends horizontally into the work as this will show on the right side and may also unravel, appearing on the right side.

Fair Isle

Fair Isle is usually worked from a chart. Each square represents a stitch and each row of squares, a knitted row. Either colors or symbols will correspond with the different colors being knitted. Work the chart from bottom to top in stockinette stitch, usually reading each odd-numbered (knit; RS) row from right to left and each even-numbered (purl; WS) row from left to right.

When knitting Fair Isle, you will have two colors on each row, and the colors not being used must be woven or stranded across the back of the work. There are two main techniques used for this; stranding and weaving in. Stranding This where the yarn is left loose across the back of the work, but will never pass more than four or five stitches before being picked up and used again.

Weaving in Here the yarn not being knitted is woven over and under the color in use.The color not in use is passed over the color in use when knitting one stitch and under the color in use on the following stitch. Stranding (see below) is the traditional method used in the Shetland Islands, and keeps a softer, more pliable feel to the work. However these strands must not be pulled too tightly since they can greatly distort the garment if not even.

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