Yarn Management: Holding Two Strands on One Finger

It's seems like there are as many ways to knit as there are patterns to knit.

My little swatch, knit using the Continental Stranded Knitting technique

Well, that might be overstating it a bit, but every time I think I know what I'm doing, I discover a new technique that looks promising.

The new video tutorial from Biggan Ryd-Dupps, Continental Stranded Colorwork, shows  Biggan knitting stranded colorwork while holding both strands of yarn on one finger.

I actually can't say I haven't heard of this method before, but I gave it about a half a second's worth of attention because I thought it sounded too "worky," a.k.a. awkward.

But watching Biggan demonstrate the technique was so interesting that I had to try it myself. My tiny swatch (30 stitches in the round) is at left.

I really liked the technique. Here's what it looks like:

Holding both yarns in the left hand = Continental stranded colorwork

My usual method of stranded knitting is to hold one color in my right hand and one in my left (a combo of English and Continental styles). It works for me, but I do have trouble with my tension. I tend to get the floats too tight, which makes the finished work pucker, and can really affect the size of the finished garment. I've had hats turn out too tight many a time.

I knitted a swatch using Biggan's technique, and I found that my tension was better. I'm not sure why, but it sure made me happy! I'll have to experiment with a pattern that has longer floats and see what happens, but so far so good. And it was really fast—even faster than my Continental/English combo.

In this style, you have both yarns in the same position;
you simply pick and knit the required color.

I really like this method. It'll take me awhile to become truly proficient, but that's the case with almost all new knitting techniques.

Download Continental Stranded Knitting and change up your color knitting!


P.S. What yarn management technique do you use? Let us know in the comments!

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