advertisement

Free EBooks

Topics

Tags

Yarn Management: Holding Two Strands on One Finger

May 16, 2014

It's seems like there are as many ways to knit as there are patterns to knit.

    
My little swatch, knit using the Continental Stranded Knitting technique
Well, that might be overstating it a bit, but every time I think I know what I'm doing, I discover a new technique that looks promising.

The new video tutorial from Biggan Ryd-Dupps, Continental Stranded Colorwork, shows  Biggan knitting stranded colorwork while holding both strands of yarn on one finger.

I actually can't say I haven't heard of this method before, but I gave it about a half a second's worth of attention because I thought it sounded too "worky," a.k.a. awkward.

But watching Biggan demonstrate the technique was so interesting that I had to try it myself. My tiny swatch (30 stitches in the round) is at left.

I really liked the technique. Here's what it looks like:
Holding both yarns in the left hand = Continental stranded colorwork
My usual method of stranded knitting is to hold one color in my right hand and one in my left (a combo of English and Continental styles). It works for me, but I do have trouble with my tension. I tend to get the floats too tight, which makes the finished work pucker, and can really affect the size of the finished garment. I've had hats turn out too tight many a time.

I knitted a swatch using Biggan's technique, and I found that my tension was better. I'm not sure why, but it sure made me happy! I'll have to experiment with a pattern that has longer floats and see what happens, but so far so good. And it was really fast—even faster than my Continental/English combo.
In this style, you have both yarns in the same position;
you simply pick and knit the required color.
I really like this method. It'll take me awhile to become truly proficient, but that's the case with almost all new knitting techniques.

Download Continental Stranded Knitting and change up your color knitting!

Cheers,

P.S. What yarn management technique do you use? Let us know in the comments!


Featured Product

Continental Stranded Colorwork

Availability: In Stock
Price: $4.99

High Definition Video Download

Download this 41-minute video on stranded colorwork knitting, in the continental style.

More

Related Posts
+ Add a comment

Comments

amberschiwi wrote
on May 17, 2014 3:23 PM

I use a technique by Vienna's star-knitter Elisabeth Wetsch. She discovered that in stranded colourwork you only work each stitch in a row with one colour at at time and therefore can split up each row into two steps (similar to working bi-colour brioche):

you work stitches of colour A and slip stitches of colour B according to your chart, adding a yarnover every now and again to allow enough yarn/avoid puckering. Then work the same row again with the B-coloured stitches, slipping the A-stitches.

A different method I occasionally use is to wind the yarn around two different fingers of the right hand - you then get a front yarn and a background yarn; front yarn also is wound higher towards the fingertip and the background closer to the middle joint.

PaulBen wrote
on May 16, 2014 8:54 PM

I first learned yarn-in-left, but then discovered yarn-around-neck.  It is a "native" style used in many parts of the world for complex color work, but not common in USA.  This style provides good yarn management, brings the yarn into the work on the knitters side, and makes pearl the easier stitch.  So color work is commonly knitted from the "wrong" side.

PaulBen wrote
on May 16, 2014 8:54 PM

I first learned yarn-in-left, but then discovered yarn-around-neck.  It is a "native" style used in many parts of the world for complex color work, but not common in USA.  This style provides good yarn management, brings the yarn into the work on the knitters side, and makes pearl the easier stitch.  So color work is commonly knitted from the "wrong" side.

PaulBen wrote
on May 16, 2014 8:54 PM

I first learned yarn-in-left, but then discovered yarn-around-neck.  It is a "native" style used in many parts of the world for complex color work, but not common in USA.  This style provides good yarn management, brings the yarn into the work on the knitters side, and makes pearl the easier stitch.  So color work is commonly knitted from the "wrong" side.

PaulBen wrote
on May 16, 2014 8:53 PM

I first learned yarn-in-left, but then discovered yarn-around-neck.  It is a "native" style used in many parts of the world for complex color work, but not common in USA.  This style provides good yarn management, brings the yarn into the work on the knitters side, and makes pearl the easier stitch.  So color work is commonly knitted from the "wrong" side.

PaulBen wrote
on May 16, 2014 8:53 PM

I first learned yarn-in-left, but then discovered yarn-around-neck.  It is a "native" style used in many parts of the world for complex color work, but not common in USA.  This style provides good yarn management, brings the yarn into the work on the knitters side, and makes pearl the easier stitch.  So color work is commonly knitted from the "wrong" side.

wendygoerl wrote
on May 16, 2014 2:53 PM

That's the ONLY way I do colorwork! I never could get used to "English" knitting, I guess because I learned to crochet first and I've never seen a crocheter hold the yarn on their hook hand. Sometimes I'll carry one yarn on either side of my knuckle, but they don't like to stay that way.

Karen E wrote
on May 16, 2014 12:49 PM

I used to use one yarn on each side.  But now I use a small plastic piece that slips on your finger, on either side, and holds both even three colors of yarn.  You place the yarns into the little piece in the order of most used and snap the little lid closed.  The yarns stay perfectly in place and can be either picked or thrown.  The little device is by Clover and costs under $5.00.  They make a metal one also that looks like a metal "spring."  I like the secure feeling of snapping the cover closed on the plastic one.

Karen E wrote
on May 16, 2014 12:49 PM

I used to use one yarn on each side.  But now I use a small plastic piece that slips on your finger, on either side, and holds both even three colors of yarn.  You place the yarns into the little piece in the order of most used and snap the little lid closed.  The yarns stay perfectly in place and can be either picked or thrown.  The little device is by Clover and costs under $5.00.  They make a metal one also that looks like a metal "spring."  I like the secure feeling of snapping the cover closed on the plastic one.

CeecyN wrote
on May 16, 2014 12:21 PM

I use this technique for color stranding, but for doubleknit Continental, I keep the front yarn on my index finger and the back, tensioned extra, on the middle.

Todd Daniel wrote
on May 16, 2014 11:21 AM

I hold both yarns wrapped on my right hand when working English style color work, and then pick the necessary color from my right hand. Sounds similar to Biggan's method. I simply let the point of the needle "grab" the correct color. I think it is a more consistent for me, rather than trying to fight my tension switching between continental and English. Side note: I had the pleasure of meeting Biggan at the Interweave Knit Lab last year. What a remarkably gracious and lovely person she is. Meeting her and her daughter was a highlight of the event!

on May 16, 2014 9:53 AM

In English style,when I two color knit, I hold the two yarns in my right hand, one on my index finger,one on my middle finger and I just alternate fingers depending upon which color is called for...

on May 16, 2014 9:39 AM

This is the technique I used when knitting a Lopi sweater a few years ago.  I don't knit English, only Continental, so it just made complete sense to me.  A lot more than having one yarn on each hand.  And given that I was working with three different colors, I would have still had to have at least one of them running from the same hand as one of the other yarns anyway.  I've seen gadgets that you put on your fingers (like a ring that has hooks) for 2-4 strands of yarn, but I managed just fine without one.

on May 16, 2014 9:39 AM

This is the technique I used when knitting a Lopi sweater a few years ago.  I don't knit English, only Continental, so it just made complete sense to me.  A lot more than having one yarn on each hand.  And given that I was working with three different colors, I would have still had to have at least one of them running from the same hand as one of the other yarns anyway.  I've seen gadgets that you put on your fingers (like a ring that has hooks) for 2-4 strands of yarn, but I managed just fine without one.

on May 16, 2014 8:38 AM

I have both yarns on the left hand finger too. But one colour from back to front and the other one from front to back.