Learn the basics of stranded colour work in this stranded knitting tutorial. You will learn how to knit with two colours and to follow colour charts. Armholes and V-necks will be easy after you learn how to cut a steek. So, if you want to learn at your own pace, this is the tutorial for you.
In addition, the companion “Introduction to stranded knitting workshop” covers the same material in a series of online meetings. You might want to take that workshop if you would like feedback on your progress, for example.
Contents of this workshop
This tutorial uses a practical project to make a miniature stranded colour work sleeveless cardigan. This tutorial guides you through the skills you will need:
Cast on for knitting stranded colour work in the round.
Hold yarn for knitting in two colours.
Knit stranded rib (also known as cartridge rib).
Read types of chart used for colour work.
Knit stranded colour work in the round using stocking stitch (knit stitches only).
Catch your floats to avoid long loops and give even tension.
Knit colour work “flat” in stocking stitch (using both knit and purl stitches).
Make decreases in a colour work pattern.
Pick up stitches along the edge of a steek.
Prepare and cut a steek.
Skills you will need before starting this tutorial
To understand this tutorial, you need to be able to:
Knit and purl.
Knit in the round using circular needles or double pointed needles.
So that you can knit this small item with circular needles, you need to use the magic loop (or travelling loop) or two circular needles.
Decrease using right-leaning (k2tog) and left-leaning (ssk or sl1 k2tog psso) decreases.
Pick up and knit stitches from the sides and top of knitting.
Let’s get started
Work through these activities to knit your own sleeveless waistcoat for a cuddly toy. You will need to download the handout for this workshop that contains the chart and pattern, as well as useful tips.
This activity may need a bit of retail therapy! Work through this web page to find out what you need to take part in the tutorial.
Start by downloading the handout for the tutorial. In it you will find the pattern for the waistcoat that you will knit, together with hints and tips on how to knit it. To make it easy to follow, it is divided into the same activities as this tutorial.
Instructions for this activity are on page 6 of the handout. You do not need to swatch for this project because its size does not matter. Instead, you can treat the entire project as a swatch to practice. Then make another one if you want to have a “showcase” to show others.
In this activity you will learn how to catch (trap) floats when you are knitting on the public side of stranded colour work. Catching floats helps maintain an even tension. Shorter floats are also less likely to catch in fingers.
The instructions for this activity are on page 9 and 10 of the handout.
Not all stranded colour work projects are knit in the round, and even those that are sometimes have elements that have to be worked “flat” (backwards and forwards).
Knitting on the private site of the fabric differs in how you handle floats and, of course, managing your yarn is subtly different when you are using purl stitches. This activity gives you practice in working on the private site of stranded colour work.
Rather than continuing to knit the motif, we will take a break and learn another new technique – reinforcing a steek. Normally, you would only reinforce the steek when you had finished knitting the garment. But this is a tutorial, so I will concentrate on teaching you new things, and then letting you go off and practice them.
Reinforcing a steek
The instructions for this activity are on pages 12 and 13 of the handout. You need to remember where you have put the crochet hook and the thinner yarn!
You have an even number of stitches in your steeks, so you will be joining the two central stitches of the steek to their neighbours.
Follow the instructions on pages 12 and of the handout to reinforce the steek at the ribbing and first five rows of the motif. This takes you from the cast-on edge to where the steek is split because you knit flat.
When you have finished you should see two neat crochet chains either side of the beginning/end of round.
Go on, give in to temptation
If this was a real project, I would strongly advise that you do not cut the steek until you have picked up the stitches to form the arm and neck bands. But this is a tutorial, and it’s only a small piece, isn’t it? If you want, you can cut the steek now.
You are ready for the next activity
If you resisted temptation, your work should look something like the photograph.
A steek lets you keep knitting in the round, even when there will be an opening in the finished item. You already have one steek at the beginning of each round that will form the opening at the front of the waistcoat. In this activity you will create two more for the armholes.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. These cookies ensure basic functionalities and security features of the website, anonymously.
The cookie is used by cdn services like CloudFare to identify individual clients behind a shared IP address and apply security settings on a per-client basis. It does not correspond to any user ID in the web application and does not store any personally identifiable information.
This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".
The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".
This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.
The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Advertisement".
This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".
This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".
This cookie is used for load balancing purposes to decide which server to send the visitor.
Analytical cookies are used to understand how visitors interact with the website. These cookies help provide information on metrics the number of visitors, bounce rate, traffic source, etc.
This cookie is installed by Google Analytics. The cookie is used to calculate visitor, session, campaign data and keep track of site usage for the site's analytics report. The cookies store information anonymously and assign a randomly generated number to identify unique visitors.
This cookie is installed by Google Analytics. The cookie is used to store information of how visitors use a website and helps in creating an analytics report of how the website is doing. The data collected including the number visitors, the source where they have come from, and the pages visted in an anonymous form.
Advertisement cookies are used to provide visitors with relevant ads and marketing campaigns. These cookies track visitors across websites and collect information to provide customized ads.
1 year 24 days
Used by Google DoubleClick and stores information about how the user uses the website and any other advertisement before visiting the website. This is used to present users with ads that are relevant to them according to the user profile.
This cookie is set by doubleclick.net. The purpose of the cookie is to determine if the user's browser supports cookies.
5 months 27 days
This cookie is set by Youtube. Used to track the information of the embedded YouTube videos on a website.