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Learn to Knit Stripes

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Knitted stripes.

Knitted stripes.

Sarah White

Introduction to Knitting with Color:

Using a single kind of color of yarn is fine for your first projects, but after a while you'll want to try something a little more interesting. A fun and easy technique for adding interest to your knitted items is adding stripes.

Stripes are simple, but you need to know a few things before you get started.

Where to Start Your Knitted Stripe:

The main thing you need to know when contemplating knitting in stripes is where to change colors. Remember to always change colors at the end of a row so that your stripes will be crisp and even.

Changing Yarn:

When you get to the end of one stripe and are ready to start the next color, cut the yarn of the original color, leaving a few inches of tail. This will be woven into the work later.

To add the new color, leave a few inches of tail, hold it tight as you would hold the yarn to begin a regular row, and begin knitting. If you find this very awkward, try holding the tail of the other yarn along with the new yarn as you make the first stitch, being careful to only make the loop with the new color.

Finishing Your Knitted Stripe Project:

When you've finished knitting, you will be left with a bunch of tails on one side of your work from all the times you broke the yarn to change colors. All of these will need to be woven into the work before it is finished.

Make sure you weave the tail into the stripe of the same color, so the stripes will stay distinct.

Tying up Loose Ends:

If you're worried about having loose tails on the side of your work as you knit, you can loosely tie the two tails to each other as you work. This might make it easier for you to make the first stitch in the new color. Just remember to untie the tails before you weave in the strands, or your colors will get mixed up.

Also make sure you leave generous lengths of yarn each time you change colors, which will make it a lot easier to weave them in later.

Weaving as You Go:

One alternative to having all those tails if you're working narrow stripes is to carry the color you're not working with up the side of the project as you go.

When you end one stripe, leave the ball attached and just start knitting with the next color. The next time you get to that side, pick up the old color, wrap the yarn you're working with around it and go on knitting. This will secure the yarn to the side of the project and move it up to where you'll need it next.

If you look closely you'll be able to see the yarn moving up the side of the work, but it sure beats weaving in a million ends.

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