Tacking Down Long Floats

To prevent long floats that can catch on fingers and distort the stitches, floats should be no longer than 1” (2.5 cm) long. If a float needs to span a wider distance, it’s best to trap or “catch” it with the working yarn to keep it snug against the back of the work.

To trap a long float against the back of the fabric, insert the needle tip into the next stitch on the left-hand needle, place the nonworking yarn over the right needle (Figure 1; nonworking yarn is dark), knit the stitch with the working yarn as usual, then lower the nonworking yarn (Figure 2) and knit the following stitch as usual. Do not catch the floats between the same two stitches on subsequent rows or you may produce an unintended vertical “line.”

Trapping floats

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Kathleen Cubley

About Kathleen Cubley

Hello daily knitters! I'm the editor of Knitting Daily. I've been obsessed with knitting for about ten years now and my favorite projects are sweaters. I like the occasional smaller project, but there's nothing like yards of stockinette with a well-placed cable or a subtle stitch pattern here and there. I crochet a bit now and then—especially when I need to produce a baby blanket in time for the baby shower. I've been in publishing for 20 years and I'm finally exactly where I want to be: at the crossroads of knitting and communication. I live in Spokane, Washington and when I'm not knitting I enjoy gardening, snuggling with my dogs, swimming, reading, and playing in the snow in the winter. But, really, I'm pretty much always knitting!