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As a textile designer, I need to know a lot about techniques, styles and also some math. Traditionally much of my work has been weaving. Nowadays with SKEINO, this has changed and now I’m almost always knitting. However, sometimes my weaving experience inspires me to make my knitting richer by crossing techniques. Today I will talk about carrying the yarn on the side up when using more than one yarn type or color.

If you are knitting a project with more than one yarn you have to make a decision on how to carry the yarn. You can either carry it on the side or you cut the yarn off until it is being used again.

Today I will show you not only how to decide on that but also how to combine the 2 techniques in one and the same project.

Say I am working on a striped project using 5 different colored yarns as shown in the graphic:

SKEINO carrying the yarn on the side up graphic

Look at the left and right-hand side of the graphic to see the 2 techniques.


The colors for the stripes are being used in a bigger distance apart from each other and in this case, I recommend cutting the yarn after you complete the stripe (left side). Remember that you have to stitch the ends in after you have finished your project.


The base yarn (blue) on the other hand is being used after each of the colors. The distance from using this color to the next time is much shorter. Therefore I recommend carrying the yarn on the side.

SKEINO Closeup SKEINO carrying the yarn on the side up

Note the yarn being carried up the side.

So how do you do that, carrying the yarn on the side? It is a technique that I am using and it sort of combines knitting with weaving. Here is how it works:

After changing the yarn work two more rows. When you start the third row, slip the first stitch and place the yarn you want to carry between this and the second stitch from the front to the back. Work the next two rows. Slip the first stitch and place the yarn you are carrying from the back to the front between the first and the second stitch. Keep doing so until you need to use the carried yarn again. This way you are “weaving” the unused yarn in on the edge of your project.

Here is another method I like to carry the yarn on the side:

After changing the yarn work the front row, turn and work the back row. Then knit or purl the last stitch with both yarns. Drop the unused yarn again and repeat this procedure. Your edge stitch will be stronger by doing so.


When do is it best to cut the yarn off?

Whenever the distances between the colors are bigger it is easier and more comfortable to use this traditional technique.

When is my “Carry the yarn on the side” technique a good option?

Whenever the color changes are shorter or you have a base yarn throughout your project it’s a great option that will save time. Nobody likes: “Weave in ends.” So let’s avoid this part if possible. a large waterfall

SKEINO Co-Founder and knitting designer Bjorn holding some skeins

I love experimenting when knitting.

Don’t be afraid to combine these 2 techniques in the same project. The idea behind all this is to make your work easier for you. The techniques will do the job and save you time and effort. As always my recommendation is to explore knitting and trying new things. This is one of them.




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