Catching floats

The strands of yarn carried on along the back of your knitting are called floats. If your pattern has too many stitches between one color change and the next, your floats will be long and sloppy and easily catch on rings and fingers when you take your sweater on and off. You can carry yarn for stretches longer than 5 or 7 stitches, but pushing the traditional limits requires another step: catching the float.

If you're knitting with one rather than two hands, you secure the float in the nonworking yarn (assume that it's the MC) to the wrong side of the fabric by following these steps:

  1. Work a few stitches with the CC and drop the CC.
  2. Bring the float color (MC) to the left over the CC and hold it loosely in your left hand so that it doesn't fall.
  3. Pick up the CC again and knit a few more stitches.

The MC will be caught against the fabric by the working strand of the CC.

4. Repeat Steps 1 through 3 if necessary every 5 stitches or so until you begin working with the MC again.

Be sure that the nonworking strand remains relaxed across the back of the fabric and doesn't pull up.

Work the same way to catch the float when you're purling. Figure 13-6 shows how to catch the yarn on a knit row and on a purl row.

Strand to catch

Figure 13-6:

Catching a float on knit (a) and purl (b) rows.

Strand to catch

Figure 13-6:

Catching a float on knit (a) and purl (b) rows.

Strand to catch

If you're knitting with two hands, picking up floats is even easier because you're always holding both the working and nonworking yarns, which means you don't have to keep dropping and picking up yarns. To catch the non-working yarn (assume it's the one in your left hand), you simply put it into position to be caught with a slight movement of the finger holding it. After you catch it, another slight movement of your finger will hold it out of the way until you want to catch it again.

Although you can catch a float routinely every other stitch, you don't need to catch floats that frequently for most projects unless you're deliberately making a very dense and inelastic fabric. Catching the float strand too frequently can distort the stitches, and even with the utmost care, the woven yarn color will peek though on the right side. Catch the yarn only every 5 stitches or so when you're traveling a long distance with your carried yarn.

If your design has a lot of long floats and large color areas, you're better off working your colors by using the intarsia method, explained in the following section.

Karma Crash Course

Karma Crash Course

Finally, The Ultimate Guide To Changing Your Life Forever. Get Your Hands On The Ultimate Guide For Improving Karma And Live A Life Of Fortune And Certainty. Discover How Ordinary People Can Live Extraordinary Lives Through Improving Their Karma.

Get My Free Ebook


Responses

  • sven
    How to carry floats purl side?
    16 days ago

Post a comment