Adding colors

I am “attempting” to make a headband from the Fall 2005 issue of Knit it (page 76). This is the first time I’ve tried using a chart and I confess, I am bamboozled. I thought a headband would be good to learn on…I thought I was an intermediate knitter, but apparently, I still need some help. :slight_smile:

The headband has a simple 24-stitch snowflake design repeated 5 times along the band. It looks simple…but I don’t know when to add/switch colors. I did sort of okay…until I reached the row where the star points go horizontal. How many bobbins would you use to create this design? Do I need one for the main color and the snowflake? Can you help? Is there a good book that can help me learn how to do something like this?

Here’s a rendition of the chart the pattern provided:

Thanks in advance!

Since the snowflake is all around the headband, I’d probably go with stranded knitting, also known as Fair Isle. Here is a link for the video on stranded.

If the stars are too far apart to work well with stranding the yarn across the back, you can do intarsia, but you should only need one bobbin of color for each snowflake. When the points get narrower, you just knit fewer stitches with the white. You could use a long strand for the darker color within the snowflake if you didn’t want to carry the darker color across the back of the white, but even then, you wouldn’t even need a bobbin–just a strand for each section if you really wanted to avoid any stranding.

Reading this back, it sounds complicated, but I hope I answered at least part of your question. If not, I’ll be around.

I just got the “Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns” and it has written instructions AND a chart for each stitch pattern. For the first time … I UNDERSTAND how to read a chart! [color=indigo] [size=2]not that this will help with your snowflake question …[/size][/color]

Thanks, Ingrid. Sounds good in theory. I was trying a small trial piece with intarsia, but I’ll try the Fair Isle way and see how it goes. Again the glitch for me seems to be when I go from row 5 to row 6 where there’s a larger area of background (these will be 8 purl stitches) under the left star point – it makes for an awfully long strand. I also want to be sure the headband still has stretch too!

If you think of anything else that will help, I’m all ears. :slight_smile:


I was just looking at the video on Fair Isle / stranded knitting. I have a couple questions. First is, do you start from the very cast-on with both colors on the needles? If not, when and how exactly do you add the second color? And… what do you do with it if there’s a space of more than 5 stitches between uses of a color? Finally, how do you “bind off” the secondary color when finished with it?

OK, let’s see if we can get all these. When you have long strands to carry across the back, you can and should trap the yarn every 1/2 inch or so–catch it with your other yarn on the back. There is a technique that I took pictures of on here, somewhere, I’ll have to dig them up if you need them.

As for Joe’s questions–for Fair Isle, you start the new color at the beginning of the round or row you’ll be using it, the way you’d join any new ball at the beginning. Again you trap the yarn when you carry it across the back if there are too many stitches and it creates a big loop.

You don’t cast on with more than one color–you only use the colors that are knit in a particular row. You also don’t bind off with more than one color–when you finish with in on a row and it will be a while before you use it again, you break it off at the end of the row it’s used on.

This is why FairIsle is so often done in the round–less breaking of yarn and the pattern can go all the way around a sweater.

Ok, that makes sense. I’ve got to get some yarn and try it out, then it will be clearer to me. I now seem to have three yarns all of different weight/gauge…

If you can find the pictures that would be great. I’ll take all the help I can get! LOL


I found them! In this

thread. Not the greatest pictures, but the explanations might help. :wink: