Carrying yarn

For day 9 of #blog12daysxmas

scarf

It’s great to see that a couple of people are planning to knit a sky scarf for 2013. I used eight strands of yarn in mine and, because there are so many colour changes, there really isn’t any alternative but to carry the yarn up the side as you go. Sophia asked me about how to do that so here’s what I did.

At the beginning of each right side row I smoothed out the strands of yarn so they weren’t too tangled.

Then, as I was knitting with yarn held double, I chose my two strands of yarn for the next row and separated them from the others.  You need to twist the yarn you’ll be knitting with around the yarns you’re carrying so they stay nice and neat, and the trick is to always twist in the same direction.

I took the two strands to be knitted, pulled them to the right to separate them from the others, then passed them across and to the left and then behind the carried yarns. When you start knitting, that loop of the active yarn will catch the strands of yarn you aren’t knitting with and carry them up so all of the colours will be waiting for you when you come to start the next day’s row.

Knit the first stitch. Don’t worry that it will all look a bit rubbish at this stage.

Insert your needle in the second stitch but don’t knit it yet.

Smooth out the carried yarns and give them a little tug so they’re nice and snug, but not so tight as to pucker the edges of your scarf. If you see a little loop of one colour sticking out just find that strand and give it an extra tug to bring it into line. Then, give the yarn strands you’ll be knitting with a firm tug too. You’ll see that this tightens the first stitch and makes everything neat and tidy. Then knit the second stitch.

Nice neat edges and all the colours will be ready for you to choose from for the next day.

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6 responses to “Carrying yarn

  1. Thanks for this Tony, it’s the one think that makes me a bit apprehensive!

  2. This is so genius! I love it. LOVE.

    • You’re very welcome! The knit the first stitch, put your needle in the second stitch, give the working yarn a tug and then keep knitting is an all purpose way to keep your edges nice and neat. I do it without even thinking now.

  3. Hey, this project looks amazing and I hope you don’t mind me posting a question so long after you posted, but I’m so confused! Maybe I’m being dumb, but how do you get all the colours on to the needles to start with? And then do you have to knit with two strands each time? And do you need to start at the beginning of a right side each time you want to change colour? Thanks!

    • Hey Beth! I just joined in the colours as I started using them so started with 2 strands and then joined in others as I went along. I did one row and then back again with the 2 colours I was using so all the colours are always available at the start of the “right side” row (although being garter stitch both sides look the same) and then wrapped so that the usused colours get carried up the right side. Hope this helps!

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