How to Change Yarn Color When Knitting

How to Change Yarn Color When Knitting

Changing yarn color when knitting can add a whole new dimension to your projects and allow you to create stunning patterns and designs. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced knitter, learning how to change yarn color properly is an essential skill to have.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when changing yarn color is to plan ahead. Before you start your project, decide where you want to change colors and how many rows or stitches you want to work in each color. This will help you create a clean and seamless color transition.

When you reach the point where you want to change colors, follow these steps:

  1. Finish the last stitch of the old color, leaving a long tail.
  2. Take the new color and make a slipknot on the right-hand needle.
  3. With the new color, knit the first stitch of the next row.
  4. Continue knitting with the new color for the desired number of rows or stitches.

Remember to leave a long tail of the new color as well, as you will need to weave it in later to secure it.

If you prefer a neater color transition, you can use the stranding technique instead. This involves carrying both colors of yarn along the back of your work and twisting them together on the wrong side to prevent gaps or loose stitches. This technique works best for small color changes or when creating intricate color patterns.

By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to change yarn color with ease and create beautiful, colorful projects that are sure to impress.

Choosing the Right Yarn Color

When it comes to knitting projects, choosing the right yarn color can make a big difference in the final outcome. The color you choose can complement your project, highlight certain stitch patterns, or create a specific mood or aesthetic. Here are some tips to help you choose the right yarn color for your knitting project:

  • Consider the project: Think about the purpose and theme of your project. Is it a baby blanket, a cozy sweater, or a decorative accessory? The intended use of the project can help guide your color choices.
  • Think about the recipient: If you’re making the project as a gift, consider the recipient’s preferences and personality. Choose colors that they would enjoy and that suit their style.
  • Look for inspiration: Browse through knitting magazines, blogs, or social media platforms to gather inspiration. Pay attention to color combinations used in similar projects and see if any catch your eye.
  • Consider the season: The time of year can influence your color choices. Bright and vibrant colors are often associated with spring and summer, while darker and warmer colors are commonly used in fall and winter projects.
  • Look at your wardrobe: Consider the colors that you usually wear and enjoy. Choosing a yarn color that matches your personal style can make the finished project more versatile and wearable.

Remember, there are no strict rules when it comes to choosing yarn colors for your knitting projects. It’s ultimately a matter of personal preference and creativity. Don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with different color combinations to create a unique and eye-catching finished piece!

Gathering the Necessary Materials

Before you begin changing yarn colors in your knitting project, it’s important to gather all the necessary materials. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • Knitting needles: Choose the appropriate needle size for your project. The size will depend on the weight of the yarn you’re using.
  • Yarn: Select the colors of yarn you’ll be working with. Make sure the yarn is compatible with the needle size you’ve chosen.
  • Tapestry needle: This needle will be used to weave in the loose ends of the yarn as you change colors.
  • Scissors: You’ll need scissors to snip the yarn when changing colors.
  • Stitch markers (optional): If you’re working on a complex pattern that requires tracking your stitches, stitch markers can be helpful.
  • Pattern: If you’re following a specific knitting pattern, make sure to have it on hand.

Once you have all the necessary materials gathered, you’ll be ready to start changing yarn colors in your knitting project!

Preparing the Yarn for Color Change

Before changing to a new color of yarn, it’s important to prepare the yarn properly to ensure a smooth transition and avoid any knots or tangles. Follow these steps to prepare your yarn for a color change:

  1. First, cut the yarn of the current color, leaving a tail of about 6 inches.
  2. Secure the end of the yarn by tying a simple knot or using a yarn needle to weave the end back into the work.
  3. Take the new color of yarn and make a slipknot, leaving a tail of about 6 inches as well.
  4. Insert the needle or hook into the stitch where you want to change the color.
  5. With the new color yarn, wrap it around the needle or hook, just like you would for a regular stitch.
  6. Pull the wrapped yarn through the stitch, completing the stitch in the new color.
  7. Make sure to leave the tails of both colors hanging at the back of your work as you continue knitting.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to smoothly transition to a new color of yarn in your knitting project without any interruptions or messy knots. This will result in a polished and professional-looking finished product.

Starting a New Color

When you come to the end of a row and want to start knitting with a new color, follow these steps:

  1. Finish the last stitch of the row with the old color yarn.
  2. Drop the old color yarn and leave a tail that is long enough to weave in later.
  3. Take the new color yarn and make a slipknot at the end, leaving a tail that is long enough to weave in later.
  4. Insert the right needle into the first stitch of the row.
  5. With the new color yarn, wrap it around the right needle and bring it through the stitch as if to knit.
  6. Drop the old color yarn and leave it hanging at the back of your work.
  7. Continue knitting with the new color yarn.

Remember to carry the old color yarn along the edge of your work so that it is out of the way, and you can weave in the ends later.

If you are knitting with multiple colors in a pattern, follow the pattern instructions for switching colors and carry the yarn not in use along the back of the work. Make sure to twist the yarns together at the color change to avoid any gaps or holes in your knitting.

Now you are ready to continue knitting with your new color and create beautiful colorwork designs in your knitting projects!

Working with Multiple Colors

When working with multiple colors in knitting, there are several techniques you can use to achieve the desired color patterns. Here are a few common methods:

  • Striping: One of the simplest ways to introduce multiple colors into your knitting is through striping. This involves alternating between two or more colors in a regular pattern. You can create stripes of equal width or experiment with different stripe widths to add visual interest to your project.
  • Intarsia: Intarsia is a technique used to create color blocks or motifs within a larger piece of knitting. To work intarsia, you will use separate balls or bobbins of yarn for each color block. When changing colors, you will twist the strands of yarn at the back to prevent holes. It’s important to note that intarsia creates a non-reversible fabric, as the stranded yarn floats on the wrong side of the work.
  • Fair Isle: Fair Isle, also known as stranded knitting, is a technique where two or more colors are carried along the row, creating a pattern on the right side of the fabric. The unused colors are stranded across the back of the work, creating floats that are picked up when needed. Fair Isle knitting requires careful tension control to avoid puckering or pulling.
  • Slip Stitch Colorwork: Slip stitch colorwork is a fun and easy way to introduce multiple colors into your knitting without the complexities of stranded knitting. This technique involves slipping stitches to create a pattern using contrasting colors. Each row is worked in only one color, with the other colors being slipped without being worked.

Before starting a project with multiple colors, it’s helpful to plan out your color scheme and ensure you have enough yarn in each color. Additionally, it’s important to keep your tension consistent throughout the project to achieve an even fabric. With practice and patience, you’ll be able to confidently work with multiple colors in your knitting projects!

Hiding Color Change Ends

When changing colors in your knitting projects, it’s important to hide the ends of the color changes so that they are not visible on the finished piece. There are a few different methods you can use to hide the color change ends, depending on your preference and the type of project you are working on. Here are some common techniques:

  • Weaving in the ends: This is the most common method used to hide color change ends. After you have finished knitting with one color, you can weave the end of the yarn through the stitches for a few inches, making sure to go in different directions to secure the end. This will help to prevent the end from unraveling or becoming loose.
  • Using the Russian join: The Russian join is a method of joining two yarns together without having to weave in ends. To use this method, you will need to cut both the old and new yarn, leaving about 6 inches of each. Then, you will thread the end of the new yarn through the needle and thread it through the end of the old yarn, creating a loop. Then, you can pull the loop through the end of the new yarn, tightening it to create a secure join. Finally, you can trim any excess yarn.
  • Integrating the ends into the stitches: For some projects, you can integrate the color change ends into the stitches themselves, making them less visible. To do this, you can start knitting with the new color, leaving a long enough tail of the old color to weave in later. Then, when you come back to the stitches with the old color, you can knit them together with the new color, trapping the old color end between the stitches. This will help to hide the end and create a seamless color change.

It’s important to note that the method you choose to hide the color change ends may vary depending on the type of project and the specific yarn you are using. Some yarns may require a different technique to hide the color change ends effectively. It’s always a good idea to experiment and see what works best for your specific project.

Creating Color Patterns

Changing yarn color while knitting can add beautiful and intricate patterns to your project. Here are a few ways you can create color patterns:

  1. Stripes: One of the simplest ways to incorporate color patterns is by knitting stripes. You can choose to alternate between two or more colors, creating a classic and straightforward design.
  2. Fair Isle: Fair Isle knitting involves using two or more colors in each row to create intricate patterns and motifs. This technique is popular for creating traditional and geometric designs.
  3. Intarsia: Intarsia allows you to knit areas of color within a larger fabric. This technique is commonly used for creating images or patterns with distinct color blocks.
  4. Gradient: Creating a gradient effect involves gradually changing one color to another. This can be achieved by using different shades of the same color or blending two contrasting colors together.

When working with color patterns, it’s important to plan ahead and consider various factors such as yarn weight, stitch patterns, and color combinations. Swatching and experimenting with different techniques will help you achieve the desired color pattern in your knitting project.

Examples of Color Patterns
Pattern Name Description
Vertical Stripes Alternating two or more colors vertically to create a striped pattern.
Checkerboard Using two contrasting colors to create a checkered design.
Fair Isle Snowflakes Knitting snowflake motifs using the Fair Isle technique.
Intarsia Heart Creating a heart shape using different colors of yarn.

Experimenting with different color patterns can add excitement and creativity to your knitting projects. Don’t be afraid to try new techniques and combinations to achieve unique and beautiful designs.

Finishing and Securing the Color Change

Once you have completed the color change in your knitting project, it is important to properly finish and secure the new yarn color. This will ensure that your work stays intact and the color change remains secure.

Here are the steps to finish and secure the color change:

  1. Weave in the loose ends: Take the loose ends of both the old and new yarn colors and weave them into the back of your work using a yarn needle. This will prevent the ends from unraveling and create a neat finish.
  2. Tighten the stitches: Gently tug on the newly knitted stitches to tighten them. This will help to close any gaps or looseness that may have occurred during the color change.
  3. Continue knitting: Once the color change is secured, continue knitting with the new yarn color following your knitting pattern. Make sure to maintain the correct tension and keep an eye on your stitch count to ensure that your project turns out as desired.
  4. Repeat if necessary: If your pattern requires multiple color changes, follow the same steps for each change. Remember to weave in the loose ends and tighten the stitches to maintain a consistent and secure color change throughout your project.

By properly finishing and securing the color change, you can create a polished and professional-looking knitting project. Take your time and pay attention to detail to achieve the best results.


What is the best way to change yarn color when knitting?

The best way to change yarn color when knitting is to start by knitting to the point where you want to change colors. Then, hold both the old and new yarn together and knit a few stitches with both yarns to secure the new color. After that, you can drop the old yarn and continue knitting with the new color.

Can I tie the new yarn to the old yarn instead of holding them together?

While it is possible to tie the new yarn to the old yarn to secure the color change, it is not recommended. This method can create bulky knots and unsightly bumps in your knitting. It is better to hold both yarns together and knit a few stitches with both to seamlessly transition to the new color.

Do I always have to start a new row when changing yarn color?

No, you do not always have to start a new row when changing yarn color. If you want to change colors in the middle of a row, you can follow the same steps mentioned earlier. Simply hold both yarns together, knit a few stitches with both, and then continue knitting with the new color.

What should I do with the loose ends of yarn after changing colors?

After changing colors, you will have loose ends of yarn that need to be secured. The best way to do this is to weave in the loose ends using a tapestry needle. Thread the loose end through the needle, then weave it in and out of the stitches on the wrong side of the fabric. This will ensure that your color changes are secure and tidy.


How to change colors in knitting – 10 easy methods [mid row or at the beginning]

How to change color knitting

work.knits | Knitting podcast | Episode 17

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