Vertical Stripe and Color Block Changes

Knitting in horizontal stripes is part and parcel of the craft. It’s easy to do since that’s the way the stitches are laid down in successive rows. Vertical stripes or color blocking, however, is not as commonly seen and I think that’s a shame! It’s a technique that can produce some simple yet elegant visual interest. One does need to juggle more than one ball of yarn at a time, but that’s not too hard to figure out. What often stymies knitters is how to switch from one yarn to another in the row when you get to the color change location. Here are some photos to show you just how easy it is!

Here I’m on the wrong side and have just completed my natural color section and gotten to my pink section. I’m maintaining a strictly vertical division so I have just stopped. You can see the two yarns hanging down. I’m going to twist them together…

just once! Basically, I’m just catching the pink with the natural. It’s that easy. When one or both of the yarns are hanging down, it may be hard to tell if you have accomplished this. So I always take a moment to fold back the yarn I’m finishing with and see if it has caught a loop of the yarn I’m getting ready to knit.

If the new yarn has not looped with the old yarn in the row you are working, as seen here, you’re in trouble! That will leave an unsightly hole. Go back and catch it.

Like this.

Don’t be tempted to twist the yarn multiple times to make it extra secure as I’ve shown here. That’s not necessary and only leads to a bumpy ugly juncture. Making a single twist or catch each time is strong enough.

And will end up looking like a vertical garter stitch column on the wrong side.

On the right side you will just see the two color blocks coming together.

Try it out, I think you’ll like it! I’m working on a vertical striped scarf here; doesn’t it look striking already?


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