First time reading a color pattern using stranding


I played the video on how to strand. That looks easy. I am having trouble reading the pattern which is the most basic. The video said that you cannot use stranding if there are more than 5 stitches in between colors. My teacher said in the first class i would be using stranding for this sweater. The beginning of the basic icelandic design has the colored stitches 9 stitches apart.

Any help would be greatly appreciated


Technically, you can strand as far as you want, as long as you ‘catch’ the yarn somewhere in that long strand.

Also, I generally decide whether to catch the yarn in back based on the weight of the yarn and the actual length of the strand. If I’m knitting in a jumper weight yarn, which is very thin, I can let the strand go for more stitches than with a worsted or heavy weight yarn. Make sense? So I usually give it about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch before I think the strand might be too long.

There is an excellent way to catch the yarn that doesn’t show through and doesn’t twist the yarn that I learned from the Philosopher’s Wool book.
Hopefully your teacher will show you how to do this or something similar when you take the class. It’s much easier to learn with illustrations or a demonstration, I think.

If you want to practice in the meantime, though, I’ll try to explain it in words.

Another important thing for stranding is to keep your stitches on the right needle stretched out to reduce the chance of puckering.

That 5 stitch standard is a joke. 5 stitches in laceweight is a far cry from 5 stitches in bulky weight. I’ve stranded across 14 sts before, with no catching, in a sock weight yarn (my celtic spiral socks). No biggie.

My philosophy is that knitting is a combination of technique and instinct. Do what you think works best for you as the knitter and for the garment. Learning to make your own judgement calls will give you soooo much freedom as a knitter! :slight_smile:

The MOST important thing with stranding is to give the strand just enough slack so that it doesn’t pucker the fabric, but also doesn’t sag on the inside. Ideally, the inside of stranded colorwork should be a pretty as the outside.