A Lesson in Holding Two Strands For Yarn Dominance

Colorwork socks hand-knit wild angelica pattern

This lesson is mainly for me. When I began knitting the Wild Angelica Socks pattern by Runningyarn, for some reason I got confused after the cuff.

This is not really shocking since I have not knit many socks. But I have knit colorwork hats and mittens. I began to do the color work with the dominant color being dark blue – held in my left hand. This was wrong! The dark color should be the background of this design.

As you should be able to see quite clearly in my photo here, once I changed to holding the tan color as dominant, the pattern begins to pop. This mistake is entirely my own, as the pattern is very clear. I have no explanation for my dimwittedness.

It’s all the same pattern, but just after I finished knitting the cuff, I knit with the dark blue yarn in my left hand – as the dominant color. As the floral pattern began to show, I didn’t like the looks of it. That is when I switched the blue yarn to my right hand. Wow, those tan flowers really began to show nicely. DUH! The difference is striking, so I wanted to share this info. It does matter how you hold your yarn to knit colorwork patterns. Not that I doubted it, because experienced knitters always preach it.

Colorwork knitting and yarn dominance depending on which hand holds the yarn.
Tan yarn near cuff is not prominent, but becomes so when I changed hands.

I also messed up while knitting the cuff of this sock, but I’m not going back to start over. They are socks. No one will be closely inspecting my knitting abilities at my ankles. I want to get on with it and see if I can manage the rest of the project (yes, I did!). The lessons I learn from this pair will help when I go on to knit more socks. Runningyarn has more pretty patterns like this one, as her specialty seems to be colorwork knitting.

If you haven’t yet learned to knit using two hands, the basic way to hold the yarn is with the Main Color (dark blue here) coming OVER the Contrast Color behind the work. As you pick up the strand to knit, keep this in mind. If you use two hands, CC in left and MC in right, it will happen naturally. I wrote a previous post on colorwork knitting.

The Wild Angelica Socks pattern designer explains this clearly in her pattern.

Wild Angelica Socks Pattern Review

Knitting this pattern was fun. I love all kinds of 2-stranded colorwork knitting and I needed practice knitting socks. For the colorwork chart, I used the Knit Companion app on my iPad where I could see it much more clearly.

All directions were very well written, and for the most part, easy to follow. I am not an experienced sock knitter and the heel / heel flap area gave me pause. I had not saved out any extra blue yarn for the heel. I was knitting from a ball and not a cake, so I couldn’t knit from the inside. Fortunately, I did have two balls of the tan yarn. I made up for it by using blue at the toe.

Colorwork Socks Photos

The floral design is pretty and I love the little design on the bottom. I would not attempt this as a beginner sock knitter, but I have enough experience to understand the pattern and do the colorwork. I’m inspired to knit more stranded colorwork socks.

As far as this sock pair goes, I will always know which sock was knit first because of the color dominance mistake.

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4 thoughts on “A Lesson in Holding Two Strands For Yarn Dominance

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