Hold on to your yarn!

    
The Meltwater Pullover by Kate Gagnon Osborn is a beautiful example of colorwork knitting.

Colorwork is one of the most beautiful knitting techniques, as you can see from the beautiful Meltwater Pullover, pictured at left. However, a big challenge to color knitting is how to hold your yarn. Daniella Nii's article, Holding Yarns for Stranded Colorwork by Daniella Nii, found in the Spring 2014 issue of Interweave Knits, is really helpful.

I use what Daniella calls the Combination method, where I hold one strand in each hand. Here's an excerpt from Daniella's article, showing how to hold your yarn in your right hand and how to work the Combination method.

Yarns Held in Right Hand
Yarns Over Middle Finger Yarns Split Between Index and Middle Fingers
The foreground color comes first and sits toward the tip of the finger, followed by the background color to the right. The foreground color runs over middle finger and the background color runs
over index finger.
To knit a foreground stitch, insert right needle through next stitch, wrap foreground color (left yarn) around needle. The yarn will come from below the background color (right yarn). Knit stitch with foreground color.  To knit a foreground stitch, insert right needle through next stitch, wrap foreground color from middle finger around needle. The yarn will come from below the background color on index finger. Knit stitch with foreground color.
To knit a background stitch, insert right needle through next stitch, bring needle over foreground yarn, wrap background yarn around needle. Background color will come over foreground color. Knit stitch with background color. To knit a background stitch, insert right needle through next stitch, wrap background yarn around needle. Background color will come over foreground color. Knit stitch with background color.

If holding yarns in both hands is awkward for you, try the Combination Method.

Set-Up

The foreground color is in the left hand for picking; the background color is in the right hand for throwing.

Foreground Stitch Background Stitch
To knit a foreground stitch. Insert right needle through next stitch, pick up foreground color (left yarn). The yarn will come from below the background color (right yarn). To knit a background stitch. Insert right needle through next stitch, wrap background color from right hand around needle. The yarn comes over the foreground color.

To learn more about the background and foreground colors, otherwise known as "yarn dominance," and to see how to hold two yarns in your left hand, check out the article in Interweave Knits Spring 2014.

Did you know you can get a digital subscription to Interweave Knits? Check it out!

Cheers,

P.S. How do you hold your yarn when working stranded color knitting? Leave a comment and tell us!

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