Knitting in two colors and casting on?

Hello everyone. I am new to this forum so I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Heather and I’m a novice knitter. I stopped for a long time and have recently got back into it with gusto. :XX:

I was hoping one of you would be able to help me move on to my next skill – knitting with two colors. I’m just not sure where to start and I’ve watched the how to videos but I can’t seem to get past casting on… Do I cast on both colors of yarn (for example, 6 stitches in one color and 6 in the other)?

I’m sure that once I figure out how to start the project, I’ll be able to get through it. Thanks in advance for any help. :thumbsup:

I was going to post the same question! I plan to play around and try to figure that out, so if I come up with the answer I will let you know. But I still would like to hear from the knitting experts.

It depends on when the colors come into play in the pattern. If you’re doing Fair Isle (stranded), you usually cast on with only one color and introduce the other colors as needed. If you’re doing intarsia, again, you introduce the color as needed.

I supposed if you were making stripes that started at the cast on, you could cast on both colors, but I’m not sure what method would be best since I haven’t done that.

Ingrid, I was planning on a scarf with two colors to start at the cast on, so I will try that today. However for some reason I am visualizing three scarfs on one needle instead of one… so we’ll see.[color=indigo][/color]

I think if you do a cable cast on, the colors will join on the needle initially, and you’ll have to use a separate strand for each one and have ends to weave in from each. It you do long-tail, you probably will have a gap on the cast on row.

Or you could knit it horizontally. :wink:

Jamie, I got the same idea. When I was casting on (using cable cast) I kept seeing what looked like was going to turn out to be 2 seperate scarves on one needle as opposed to one single one (if that makes sense). I’ve played around with it a little bit, but I think I might have the idea now. I’ll give it another go.


Heather, so how exactly did that turn out? I never got around to playing with it because I learned how to pick up stitches yesterday and was picking up stitches all over the place!!!

Anyhow, when you did the cable cast on with your two colors, did they join or did it stay like two seperate pieces?

Again I am going to try and get to that today. :wink:

It joined, but it’s not the effect I wanted. What I wanted to do was to have 6 stitches of one color and then 6 of another. (if that makes sense)

So now I’ve turned it and started knitting it sideways, which works.


What I wanted to do was a scarf with a center stripe (color B) and the outsides the same color (color A). For stitch detail, knitting it sideways just wouldn’t look right to me.

So I tried what I thought was going to work and it didn’t. I cast on color A for 10 stitches, the color B for 6, then color A with the other end of the skein. They didn’t join… until I knit stitch color A with color B, etc, and that did not produce the effect I was looking for. But come to think of it, I didn’t do a cable cast on. I did a long tail cast on. Would that have made the difference?

I guess I am not grasping this whole instarsia stuff…

:figureditout: How about doing an edge in color A–some rows of garter so your ends won’t curl? Then you can start your stripes, keeping a garter edge to avoid curling on the sides.

To switch colors, hold the color you’re dropping over to the left and bring the new color up from under it. They’ll twist automatically and avoid any holes.

Just an idea.

I was just watching the instarsia clip here on, and my problem was the twist! I wasn’t doing it, so nothing was joining! I think I got it, I will try it sometime over the weekend.

I just watched it again, too. I can’t believe I forgot that part!!! Silly me!!

Thanks, Ingrid. :slight_smile:

For my first incarnation of my Booger bag, I did a provisional cast-on, and then began the knitting with the stripes. You could do that as well, then “cast off” your cast on edge to make it a striped cast on… Clear as mud?

Well, here is my quasi successful attempt at instarsia. I used my “play” yarn and cast on 10 stitches of cream, 7 of blue, then 10 of cream again. Each had their own yarn and ball.

As you can see with the cast on b/t the cream and blue, the join is loose. Also, the cream just hangs in the loop with no purpose. Something doesn’t seem right here. Do I just weave that in?? And the same with the blue. It just seems like something might just unravel. The second section of cream didn’t get this hanging yarn that seemed to not make sense. So that one got weaved in.

I successfully increased and decreased the with of the blue yarn, and once I got past the first row the colors joined nicely. The bind off was ok until I got to that last blue one, where I think I should have knit with the cream to bind off. Hmmm… does any of this make sense?

I also found that the “twist” of the yarn with intarsia needed to be tight, or I’d get gaps. So my bind off is clearly too tight because I was pulling too tight.

Feedback would be great. I feel like I MUST conquer this intarsia and then peace will come to Earth!

ok, that picture doesn’t illustrate it as well as I thought it would. Maybe I’ll try again, so you can see the gap b/t colors with the cast on.

That looks pretty good! You’ll have to weave in that end carefully, since it’s not really joined to the blue. You can probably tighten it up enough to hold and not be noticeable.

Well done. :slight_smile:

A friend of mine and I were chatting over knitting today. She’s much better at it than I am and was showing me one of her projects for her unborn baby. It’s a yellow sweater with white cuffs and it looks really good. I think I will try her method and see how I go. :slight_smile:

Hi everyone,

I’m new to this forum and new to knitting and could really do with a helping hand!!
My pattern tells me to cast on in one colour ©, then join in new colour (MS) and knit to the last few stitches, then knit in the original colour ©. The next row is then a purl row, working the first few stitches in C, the remainder in MS.

My question is after casting on, when I begin knitting in MS, what do I do with the yarn C? How do I ensure it ‘follows me’ to the other end so that when I need to pick up and knit with it it’s in the right place?!

Maybe I’ve bitten off more than I can chew… but I’ve finished the front and back and I don’t want to give up now!

Please Help!!!


Your yarn can’t follow you across the row without a long strand. What I’m picturing is that the bottom and one side edge is in C and the rest is in MS?

If this is the case, I think I’d attach the MS after the edge of C. Then your C yarn would be in the right place with you come back with the MS. So on the purl row back, I work the C stitches, then finish with the MS.

Make sure you twist your stitches when you change colors–hold the one you’re stopping over to the left and bring the new one up from under it and start knitting/purling.

Welcome, by the way!