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A to Z: Beyond the Basics

Horizontal Stripes


Horizontal stripes are one of the easiest types of color knitting, since you do not have to carry yarns across the row as you work. You can cut the yarn as you finish each stripe, but this means weaving in many ends after the pieces are complete. To avoid this, carry the yarns you are not using along the side of the work.

If working a stripe pattern back and forth, you should have an even number of rows in each stripe, so that the yarn will be at the correct side of the work when you need it. If the pattern calls for odd-numbered stripes, you will have to cut the yarn and rejoin it on the opposite side. To avoid this, you can change the pattern to make an even number of rows in each stripe. You can also work the piece back and forth on a circular needle. If you complete a stripe and need to change to the new color, but the yarn is at the opposite side, go back to the beginning of the row you just finished, without turning the work, and pick up the color you need. If you are knitting the garment circularly, it does not matter how many rows are in the stripes, as you are always working right-side rows.

When you change colors on the right side of the work, and you purl with the new color on top of knit stitches in the old color, you will get a broken line. To avoid this, knit one row with the new color.

carrying colors along the side
horizontal stripes horizontal stripes  

1. When changing colors with narrow, even-numbered stripes, drop the old color. Bring the new color under the old color, being sure not to pull the yarn too tightly, and knit the next stripe.

2. When working thicker stripes (generally more than four rows), carry the old yarn up the side until it is needed again by twisting the working yarn around the old yarn every couple of rows, as shown.