Knitting bunching up, help!

Hi,
I am wondering if there are any easy ways, or ‘tricks’ to keeping the yarn from bunching up when knitting another color in.
Like, for instance, on my Christmas stocking I am knitting it has lots of little figures and letters and everytime I start to use another color to knit another little figure or whatever, it always bunches up when I’m all done. Then I have to cut a bunch of little yarn ends and tie them in little knots to loosen the tension up. GRRRRR!
It seems that no matter how much yarn I leave between colors, its never enough and when the stocking is done it’s all bunchy. Is that the only way to prevent the bunching…by leaving enough yarn between stitches?
So, if anyone knows any way to prevent bunching please let me know!
Thank you,
sue
PS: is this technique called ‘Fair Isle’ knitting? (I’m kinda new, please excuse any/all dumb questions!)

:hug: There are no dumb questions!!

When you are switching colors you are pulling them to tight this is causing the bunching… when you knit with more than one color you have to knit them lose…I always want to give it an extra tug cause it looks to lose when it’s on the needles… but after you take it off it will be fine…Also I used to carry both colors in one hand… after watching thisvideo on two-handed I find it helps a bit with the tightness…:thumbsup:

I keep seeing that great video referenced…but I’m running Firefox on Linux - does anyone know of any way with my set up to see it?

No question is too dumb, and none of us were born knitting:) .

What you’re experiencing is a common problem, so much so that there are a couple of techniques which have been developed to help.

The first is “intarsia”. You actually may be doing it already-- I’m not sure what your pattern looks like, of course, so I’ll explain it anyway. You cut lengths of yarn and if they are more than a couple of yards/meters, wind them on plastic bobbins made for that purpose. (They are sold rather cheaply at most places which have knitting supplies-- like this http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog.jsp?CATID=cat2874&PRODID=prd32018). Then, instead of carrying whichever unused yarn in back of your work all the time, you just use that color when necessary, it stays “local”, if you know what I mean.

The second thing-- and this is probably most helpful in the stocking you’re knitting-- is “stranding”. What you do is cross the different colors of yarn over each other in back of your work every 3 stitches. You can do it every 2 stitches if you want. This keeps it from developing these long loops of unused yarn (or too short loops, which is why you’re getting bunching), and will help keep the tension of that unused color(s). Just be sure to cross them so that it’s really anchoring down that unused color(s), which may mean crossing them twice, and to do it loosely. I don’t mean with loops hanging down, but you want it loose so that you don’t have your fabric bunching up.

True Fair Isle is actually a little different, but people usually mis-use the term-- true Fair Isle is a constant patterning, all over the fabric and you never use more than 2 colors in each row. It is from Fair Isle, an island in the North Sea between Orkney and Shetland and was first made popular when Edward VIII wore Fair Isle jumpers (he was the one who married Wallis Simpson and gave up the thrown to his brother, who was the father of the current Queen). Here’s an example: http://www.fairisle.org.uk/images/jumpers.jpg

As sometimes happens, when writing a post, others are coming up at the same time:) – which is to say, yes, as dustinac says, the stranding in the back will look a little too loose when it’s on the needles, but once you’re through with the project, it’ll be okay.

I keep seeing that great video referenced…but I’m running Firefox on Linux - does anyone know of any way with my set up to see it?

I think it will only run on Internet explorer.
I have Firefox and have to close it and go to IE to view it

Can you watch videos on You Tube? I found thisone on there… I think the other site also sells dvds too…

Yep, youtube is great, it’s only those that require windows media player ONLY that I can’t see, and yes, the site does sell the dvd…but it’s December and I’m certainly not allowed to buy anything for myself right now :wink: I just wish I could watch the one that you rave about, figure it must be something special :cool:

:teehee: I understand that…mom went ahead and gave me my Christmas money so if I had to order anything I’d get it in time… I keep holding on to it… placing things in carts but then taking them out… very rare to buy whatever yarn I want just for me…

that stinks that not everyone can watch it… hrmmm wonder if they got a lot of e-mails if they could/would change it…

THANKS EVERYBODY for the help. I am currently on the third Christmas stocking…I hope this one comes out better.
I was also wondering…is double knitting where you knit on top of the main color at the end, is that better than intarsia? I think it may be easier in that the yarn doesn’t get all tangled, is it easier? Does it look nicer?
What do ya’all think? Intarsia or double knit?

I use Firefox and it runs great but I’m not on linx… But I DO have a linx computer I’ll try to check it there, if I can’t I’ll see if my hubby can.

So I just checked on my linx machine and I couldn’t get it to load, but it’s NOT Firefox… I don’t have flash on my linx box, dh said that might be why… do you have flash?

Double knitting is something else, entirely. That’s where you pretty much use 2 colors and the fabric is reversible. But as for intarsia-- what is the pattern you’re using? If I see it, I would be able to tell if intarsia will work well or not.

thanks for checking mamadawn! Yes, I have flash, but not shockwave. But this particular movie, I don’t even see a movie window, just text, and I assumed it was a windows media/IE only - can you see what player is being used when you watch it?

Suziblues, I think you mean “duplicate stitch” - that’s where, after it is all knitted, you go back and duplicate stitch the pattern onto the solid color. That might work.