How to Change Colors While Knitting

Baby blanket

Things You'll Need

  • Two or more balls of different-colored yarn
  • Knitting needles
  • Tapestry needle
  • Scissors

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.
Knit with your first color

Begin knitting the pattern with your first color.

Cut yarn when you're ready to switch colors.
Cut yarn

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.
Begin as if to knit

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.
Add new color

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.
Knit with the new color

Begin knitting with the second color.

Weave in loose ends.
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.


  • 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.


  • 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.