Learning to Do Colorwork Knitting the Correct Way

Floral cuff mitten knitting

For the mitten knit-along I am doing, colorwork knitting is a requirement. The pattern must include more than one color for this KAL, and the mittens I am knitting have three. Once you know the basics of doing colorwork, also called stranded knitting, the project will end up looking good instead of a mess (like mine used to be).

Colorwork Basics

I have a little experience in knitting colorwork. Basically you are knitting with two or more colors and using them to create an image or pattern. Yarn is held in both hands, with left hand using the prominent yarn, and right hand holding the “background” yarn color.

However, if there is a long bunch of stitches in one color only, it means the other yarn must be carried along until ready to use. Because you can’t just let it droop and create a long “float”, or unattached length of yarn, you have to know how to “carry a float” for both the left and right hand yarns. This is knitting talk for catching the unused yarn with the used yarn to bring it along correctly. And it is done differently for each hand (color).

Moose colorwork knitting
Moose motif

For instance, when I knit this moose motif I had to carry yarn colors over numerous stitches. When knitting the rows of brown for his body, I had to carry the blue yarn and catch it up while I knit the brown so as not to leave a long strand drooping along the back of the hat.

Carrying floats when knitting
Catching the floats for the moose motif

Catching floats is not difficult and once you know how to do it, it becomes simple. I suggest you knit something where you can practice this over and over until it becomes second nature. I’m getting more practice now while I knit the Milet mittens.

Beginning to knit the Milet pattern
Casting on

YouTube Tutorial for Catching Floats

5 thoughts on “Learning to Do Colorwork Knitting the Correct Way

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  5. Pingback: Finding a KAL Mitten Pattern – New England's Narrow Road

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