Changing Colors

I promised a mini-tutorial on how I'm doing the color changes for my crazy many-stripes Toboggan hat. I'm changing colors every four rows, and the thought of weaving in all those ends was enough to make ME crazy.

Here's how I did it.

Knit to the spot where you want your color to change. My new color will be the first stitch on the needle to the left.

Put a safety pin in the yarn coming from the last stitch you just knit. Snug it right up to the finished stitch.

Now unknit the last three stitches. Your safety pin will be in the working yarn right at the point of the third stitch (now unknit).

Take your new color, and crossing the two yarns, make interlocking loops as in the photo below. Make sure your “tail” end of the new yarn will be enough to knit three stitches and a little bit. You want the point of crossing right where the safety pin is in the first yarn.

Now, get your fingers tight right where the two yarns meet, take the safety pin out, and arrange your yarn so you can reknit those three stitches, this time with both strands of the first yarn color. Keep a good grip on the point where the yarns cross until you have at least one stitch knit to lock it in place.

Ready to knit the first stitch. Once you've knit the first stitch, you can let go of the death grip on the point where the yarns cross.
Two stitches knit, ready to knit the last white stitch.
Now knit the first stitch with the new color (mine happens to be on the next double point needle).

Three stitches knit with the new color. If you put your safety pin in the right spot, and didn't let the yarns slip, the color should change with the first stitch.

And there you go. Color change right where you want it.

The yarns should be overlapped enough that you won't need to weave them in further, especially if it's a nice wooly yarn. I suppose if I were doing this with something very slippery, I'd leave a longer tail and weave it, but with the Peace Fleece, I'm just trimming it to about 3/4 inch. It's on the inside of a hat, so it won't show.

Of course, on your next row/round, you'll need to remember to knit those two-strand stitches as one stitch.

Here's my project bag for the hat. The shawl I bought in Ecuador came with this bag.


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About Lorette

My name is Lorette. I learned to knit in 1999, and took up spinning in 2009. I'm a physician specializing in internal medicine, and live in the Pacific Northwest. Enjoy my blog!


Changing Colors — 4 Comments

  1. I really like the hat. And my new goal is to master stripes, especially in the round. My only question is how this technique is an improvement over the “jogless stripe,” which seems a bit easier to me.

  2. Oh my, I have always thought that there was a way like this, but never trusted myself enough to try it. Thanks for the easy to follow tutorial. I will be implementing this in my next striped project.

  3. Thank you for doing this is in a series of photos. Videos are, pretty often, too quick for me to follow — I wind up have to pause them and then try to remember what I just saw. This is so much better.