Stranded knitting, with 5 colors?

to start off, yes i’m totally insane and i’m trying to knit a fair isle pattern that uses 5 colors :mrgreen:

here’s the custom chart i made up(ignore those weird blocks of color at the top):

I’ve been trying out the pattern and i keep noticing that my tension ends up all out of whack, the first stitch(es) with the new colors are always off, and the switching is a pain. any advice???

i’m used to the whole multi-color thing in crochet, but this is just starting to confuse me.

any tips, tricks, advice, and comments are welcome!

Thanks in advance,
Crafty Boy

Are you working with 5 colors in one row? That makes it more difficult, but it’s doable. Kaffe Fassett sometimes uses many more than that to fantastic result (I’m sure he’s not the only one). I think the main problems will be with tangling. If you have any colors that you don’t use very much of you might find it helps to just use a fairly short length of it and not try to use a whole ball or bobbin.

Tension. Well, first of all with stranded knitting you need to keep the strands that run across the back loose. You need to do a lot of horizontal stretching as you go. Every time you begin a new color after having carried it a ways, (after the first stitch of the new color) grasp the work up right by the last stitch with the left hand and a short distance away grasp with the right hand and then pull your two hands apart.

I like to hold one yarn with the right hand and knit it English and another with the left hand and knit it Continental. Alas, you only have two hands and if you have 5 yarns in one row you have to do a lot of dropping.

Practice is the other thing. You might also consider using duplicate stitch to add in some rarely used color to, after you have finished the knitting. One of Kaffe Fassett’s books might have some helpful ideas. You can often get one through a good public library. I think one is called, “Glorious Knits”.

thank you, i’m starting out with a test swatch of the pattern, since the final piece i’m making will be larger.

i’ll just have to mess around with the stretching and what-not and try to make my tension come out evenly.

i’m using acrylic and one of my friends who knits says that if i used wool it might be a little more forgiving as far as tension.

Oh God yes, stranding with synthetics is generally considered a very bad idea, in fact traditional Fair Isle was done with very hairy wools for a reason! Please please try it with wool?