How to Change Colors While Knitting

By Lisa White ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Two or more balls of different-colored yarn
  • Knitting needles
  • Tapestry needle
  • Scissors
A striped baby blanket.

Changing colors while knitting is a necessary skill if you want to create color blocking or stripes in a knitted project. Because it's so simple to do, it's a perfect way for beginning knitters to add dimension to their projects. Stripes can be added to scarves and hats, or a sweater can be knit in a solid color with a contrasting hem. Stripes can be as thick or thin as you please, or you can accent your project with a single bold change of color. Experiment with contrasting and subtle color schemes -- the possibilities are boundless.

How to change colors while knitting

Things You'll Need

These are basic tools that every beginning knitter should have in supply. Please see the last slide for an itemized list of tools and materials.

Knit with your first color.

Begin knitting the pattern with your first color.

Cut yarn when you're ready to switch colors.

When you are ready to change colors, finish knitting a wrong side row with your first color. Then cut the yarn, leaving a 6-inch tail.

Prepare to begin the next row.

When you are ready to switch colors, place the right needle into the first stitch at the beginning of a right side row. Do this as if you were about to continue knitting.

Add the new color of yarn.

Bring the tail of the second color of yarn over the right needle, from front to back. Leave a 6-inch tail of yarn.

Knit with the new color.

Begin knitting with the second color.

Weave in loose ends.

Once you have completed your knitted project and bound off, take your tapestry needle and weave in the loose ends of yarn at the edges.

Tip

The first stitch on a color change row may be rather loose, but it will tighten up when you weave in the loose ends during the finishing stage.

Warning

Changing colors will leave a break in the stripe on the wrong side of the work. That's why you should always introduce a new color of yarn when working on the right side of the work.

About the Author

Lisa White has been an avid knitter since she taught herself the craft a decade ago. In addition to knitting, she is adept at needlework and holds a degree in writing from Missouri State University. She can often be found sitting at her favorite local hangout spot with a bag full of yarn.