Knitting Stripes

Now that I’m almost done with the sweater I just realized that I handled the stripes the wrong way. Last night I was flipping through The Principles of Knitting and noticed that the section on color techniques (page 252) talks about how to knit stripes*. The author mentions that yarn not being used for the current stripe can be carried vertically along the selvedge edge. I remember thinking about this at one point and checked some of the other reference books but didn’t find one that mentioned how to knit stripes. At this point I’m not sure what to do. I can weave in the ends but I’m also thinking about trying to bind the selvedge edges with machine stitching, almost as if I was working on a steek. I wonder if steeks are done on cotton sweaters.

* Knitting Stripes on Flat Stockinette Fabric
Carrying yarn up along the selvedge is easy when the stripes have an even number of rows but what about stripes that an uneven number of rows? Suppose I’m knitting fabric that has one row per color, won’t the working yarn end up on the opposite end of the work?

Just use the Slide technique as described in June Hemmons Hiatt’s book. Suppose, I knit the first row in one color (red) and then purl the next row with another color (white). Turn the work so the the right (knit) side is facing. At this point the red yarn is on the left side of the fabric and the white yarn on the right side. I now want to work a red row but the red yarn end is on the “wrong edge” so I can’t pick up and knit it as usual. What do I do now ? Well, since I’m using a circular needle I’ll just slide the stitches onto the left needle tip, turn the work to the wrong (purl) side and work a row of purl stitches with the red yarn. Now both the red and white yarn ends will be on the same side. The next time the working yarn is on the “wrong edge”, I can just slide the stitches along the circular needle toward the needle tip that has the desired working yarn and either purl or knit depending on which side of the fabric is facing.

2 thoughts on “Knitting Stripes

  1. I’ve done steeks on cotton, and it works just fine. I usually use a narrow zigzag. I like your idea of doing this on a selvedge, as I’ve often had trouble with cotton working free, especially in intarsia.


  2. Alicia,
    It’s good to hear that steeks can be done on cotton. I was wondering since I wasn’t able to find a good reference to this via a google search.
    I actually weaved in all the ends on the selvedge, which worked out ok. However, next time I’ll try carry some of the yarn up the selvedge.
    I’ll be using the sewing machine for the front of my cardigan since I need take an inch off each side but I’ll test it on a swatch first.


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