Stranded Knitting: Post 10, Weaving Yarns to Add New Colors and Finish Old Colors (Video Episode 11)
Now that you have mastered weaving in long floats, you can use the same techniques to add in new yarns…at a color change or when you have run out of one skein and want to add a new one.
This can seem a little awkward. But if coming back and weaving in all of those ends seems daunting, this little fiddly bit will help. If you find the after-weaving a relaxing way to spend an evening…and some do…then you can skip this part.
Remembering this is the two handed demo…
To add in a new yarn….you actually begin 4-6 stitches before the end of the round (or skein). Place the new yarn between the back of your work and the working yarn….with a 3-4 inch end down and to the right. As you hold it in place with your left hand, go around the new yarn with the working yarn to make your next stitch….trapping the new yarn against the back of the work with the working yarn. Over the next few stitches, this new yarn becomes the left yarn momentarily in the catching the yarn with the dance. You will need to do the dance at least one more time before the end of the round.
I suppose you could use the catching the right yarn with the left scenario, but I just find the left with right less fiddly and therefore easier with new yarn.
But, you say, the last 6-8 stitches is a combination of foreground and background colors, how do I catch the new yarn? My response is…all you need is two stitches together somewhere in the last 6-8 stitches in the round. Odds are pretty good this will happen. Then you can use whatever yarn is working to trap the new yarn.
Now you might have guessed that you can use the same techniques to weave in old yarns…either the end of a skein or an old color which will not be used for a while. After you begin working with the new color/yarn, you can weave in the old color/yarn over a few stitches. Then break the old yarn leaving a 3-4 tail…and off you go.
We will talk more about this in the “Finishing” section, but I know there are those people out there that say to leave a 4-6 inch tail. I think this is because they are using a tapestry needle to weave in the ends and they need enough yarn to thread the needle. I get that…however, you will waste less yarn if you leave a shorter tail and weave your tapestry needle in the back of your work before you thread it. Better yet, weave your ends in with a crochet hook. No threading of needles…which takes time as well.
Even better yet...some people use the above techniques to weave in new colors and weave out old colors...and never worry about weaving in anything at the finishing stage.
What do I do? I'm afraid I do a bit of both. I weave in and out colors leaving a 3-4 inch tail...or sometimes, a 2-3 inch tail...as I go as mentioned above AND then come back at the end give each tail a bit of a gentle tug and weave them in again with a crochet hook and then snip off any remaining length to about 1/4 inch. Overkill...maybe. Just what I do.
Note: If you are working a cardigan, weaving in new and old yarns is not so critical. For a cardigan your round begins at the center front steek section. It is just easier and neater to add and finish yarns in this section. The good news...you don't have to be too obsessive about it because you will be cutting this steek section to open up the cardigan at some point. I usually weaving in for 2 stitches or so just to make the center of the steek section not so “loosey goosey”. Makes cutting the steek a bit easier. So that's weaving in new yarn and weaving "out" finished yarn.
Next time: Using this same technique to put rope on a fence...and you'll just have to join me next time to see what that means. ;)