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How to Change Colors in Knitting with Slip 1 at Beginning of Row

Changing colors in knitting is a simple and fun way to create personalized projects whether you knit for yourself or to gift to fiends and charity.

This easy knit blanket pattern looks modern in stylish with large stripes of color, but how do you change colors in garter stitch?

Neat slip one and garter stitch edge in purple and grey.
Slip 1 to start the row pull up that first stitch longer cover two rows and makes a little “pattern” on the edge.

Here in this blanket I use the slip one technique to start every row. This creates a neat little pattern on the edge.

But when it comes time to change colors, you can’t slip the first stitch and then start the second stitch in the new color. How do you change colors with a slip one at the beginning?

Option 1

To fix this I drop the old color yarn and knit the first stitch in the new color. This creates a slightly different look to start the row.

But it’s easy to “fix” when you weave in the end, by bringing the old color around the edge to the other side. Then weave in the old color following the garter stitch pattern.

Striped knit blanket color change complete.
Bringing the old color around the side before weave in can mimic the slip one edge.

Option 2

Another way to change colors in garter stitch is on the last stitch of the row. To do this you pull in the new color on the last yarn over of the last stitch.

Now you have the new color to knit with on the next row.

I played with both these techniques and prefer to knit the first stitch in the new color. I’ve detailed how to do this in the tutorial below with pictures.


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Changing Colors

When you work garter stitch both sides are knit. This means your knit fabric looks the same on both sides.

You’ll see the purl bumps on both sides. While garter stitch knits up with a flat edge, it can be a bit messy.

Mustard yellow garter stitch shawl on knitting needles.
Here is garter stitch worked without slip 1, just knit every stitch.

Those first stitches need to be pulled tight so they don’t stay too loose.

To combat the garter stitch edges, you can slip one (sl 1) on the first stitch of every row.

This will create one long stitch that’s pulled up to the next row. When you knit the last stitch of the row it forms the edges you see here.

Slip 1 edge in garter stitch purple and grey blanket.
Here the first stitch is slipped (sl 1) and you can see it makes the edge it makes.

When I first learned to slip 1, I thought, but wait aren’t I decreasing? I’m losing a stitch?

Really, you’re just using the first stitch for one row and the next row. It’s doesn’t disappear, just gets pulled up longer.

Either way of starting your knitting can work really well. If you start by knitting every row just remember to pull those first two stitches to tighten up the loose yarn.

Beginner Knitting Patterns to Try

The Giana is a totally beginner pocket shawl knitting pattern in garter stitch goodness.

For a small and quick project try knitting a cotton scrubby square.

This knit dishcloth pattern from VeryPink is easy and free!

Scroll down for the step by step tutorial on changing colors

Slip 1 edge in garter stitch purple and grey blanket.

How to Change Colors in a Knit Blanket with Slip 1 at Beginning of Row

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 1 minute
Active Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 7 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $1

Learn how to change colors in knitting garter stitch with a slip 1 along the edges.

Materials

  • I'm using a worsted weight knit blanket in garter stitch.

Tools

  • yarn needle
  • scissors

Instructions

  1. Insert needle to knit in first stitch.Needle inserted knit wise in first stitch to change colors.
  2. Hold the old color securely and yarn over in the new color. I trap the old color between my middle finger and the needle here.
  3. Pull the new color through the stitch.Purple new color pulled through and old color dropped. When you pull through both colors will be loose. You can tighten them by pulling the tail, as you knit the next stitches.
  4. Continue knitting in the new color.Knit next stitches in new purple color.
  5. When you knit the row and turn this is what you'll see. Striped knit blanket color change complete.Bring the old color around the edge to the other side. This will mimic the slip 1 edge we've been knitting.
  6. We'll start with the yarn here to weave in ends, which I doing now to show you , but you'll likely wait until you're done or at least further way from it.
  7. Use your yarn needle to weave in the old color end.
  8. You want to follow the stitches, going up and down.
  9. Continue going along the stitches. Keep weaving away ends.
  10. Following the stitches allows the end to "disappear."
  11. Then keep weaving away-go down and back the other way, making a square. This will lock the end so it doesn't unravel in the wash.Slip 1 edge in garter stitch purple and grey blanket.

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