Circular Knitting and Colors

Hi there,

When I approached my knitting store about knitting a mitten pattern with multiple colors in the round, they made it seem like it was do-able. So I started today, and things were going fine. I was going to knit with three colors, knitting two rows with each color. As I said, things were going fine… until I got back around to the first color and somehow I had a hole. It was almost as if I had knit circularly clockwise, then worked backwards counter clockwise creating quite literally a hole. However, although it appeared funny at the time, I didn’t realize I had such a hole until I got to the second color. Somehow I managed to pick that up in such a way that I did not have a hole when picking up the second color.

Look at the notes on knitting in the round it says:

[INDENT]“You can’t do standard intarsia knitting (a method of knitting with multiple colors) in the round, it requires adaptation to work it in the round. The easiest solution is to just work an object flat and seam it if it’s an intarsia project.”[/INDENT]

The fact is that I am truly horrible at sewing up the sides, and in addition the pattern I have is for knitting in the round. While I am an advanced beginner, I don’t feel comfortable trying to adapt this pattern to be flat, and more importantly I really like the pattern! So may I ask what adaptations I need to make to change the colors and make it so that a hole doesn’t occur? I’m presuming it has something to do with how I drop the threads for each row, but really I’m not sure.


If I understand you correctly you are knitting stripes of each color two rows wide. You can absolutely do this in the round. What may be the problem is that you have not pulled the join tight enough to close off that whole. You want to make sure that you pull the join stitch especially close to the last needle or you could end up with a hole. Intarsia is a method of pattern knitting where yarn is not carried across the back of a work, which does not sound like it is the case in your pattern. So please disregard that piece of advice for now, although possibly important in the future it doesn’t apply to your current situation. Is that at all helpful?

It is and I’ll try it again. I’m not sure that it was necessarily how close I joined it because it seemed like a button-sized hole.

After dropping the two strands I’m not going to knit with, knitting that round and getting to the start of my round, what should I do with the two strands that are left hanging? I guess I’m having a hard time visualizing where I will bring the color that I’m working with in relation to the two I’ve dropped. Do I want to bring the strand I’m knitting with under the two I’ve dropped or do I want to go over those two I’ve dropped and leave them hanging? I think that might be where I failed because I let them hang. It looked like if I tried to go under those strands it wouldn’t work, but maybe that wasn’t right?

You want the strands that you’ve dropped to be hanging on the inside of the circle. Bring the next color up behind the work, on the inside against the wrong side and begin to knit with it, being careful to have a close join with the row that you’ve just finished.

That sounds easy enough. I’ll give it a try later!

You may be able to fix that hole with the tail that is left where you started the second color. A well placed stitch or two with the tail threaded through a tapestry needle may take care of it when finishing.

I think I’d try picking up the new color (that has been hanging) from under the color I have been using, when making changes at the beginning of rounds. This may prevent holes.