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?
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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?
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.
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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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.
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.
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
- I'm using a worsted weight knit blanket in garter stitch.
- yarn needle
- Insert needle to knit in first stitch.
- 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.
- Pull the new color through the stitch. When you pull through both colors will be loose. You can tighten them by pulling the tail, as you knit the next stitches.
- Continue knitting in the new color.
- When you knit the row and turn this is what you'll see. Bring the old color around the edge to the other side. This will mimic the slip 1 edge we've been knitting.
- 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.
- Use your yarn needle to weave in the old color end.
- You want to follow the stitches, going up and down.
- Continue going along the stitches.
- Following the stitches allows the end to "disappear."
- 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.
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