Stranded Knitting Tutorial

I have another pattern ready for you, but it occurred to me that it’s a stranded pattern and some folks may not be comfortable with that technique. So I’ve decided to post this tutorial first.

You don’t want a bunch of long strands of yarn running along the back of the fabric. You want to have a nice neat appearance like you see here.


To do this you will start with one color in each hand, keeping the balls to each side, respectively. Anytime there are more than 2 stitches in a row of the same color, they will need to be treated in the following manor. In some of the following photos it looks as though I am doing this every stitch. Sorry – I was more concerned with showing the technique than following my pattern… Just look only at the stitch being worked in the photo. If you do try to do this method on every stitch it will not work. They will cancel each other out.


Let’s say the pattern call for a Blue stitch.


Insert the needle as if to knit, allowing the tip to go under the Pink yarn.


Take the blue yarn and wrap it around the needle as if to knit.


Pull the needle out from under the Pink, essentially unwrapping it.


Keep the Pink out of the way.


Pull the Blue through the stitch on the left needle.


The Blue is knit and the Pink is tucked neatly underneath.

Knit the next stitch normally.

Now let’s say the pattern calls for a Pink stitch.


Insert your needle as if to knit.


Wrap the Blue yarn around the right needle as if to knit.


Grab the Pink yarn with the right needle from back to front.


Unwrap the Blue yarn by going around the Pink yarn that is resting on the needle and bringing the Blue to the back.


Keep the Blue out of the way.


Bring the Pink yarn through the stitch on the left needle.


Pull through as you normally would. You have now tucked the Blue yarn under the Pink.

Once you get a rhythm I think you will be pleasantly surprised about how smooth and unconscious this becomes. This will help eliminate puckering on the finished project as well.

I hope this will help alleviate any fears you have about Stranded Knitting and Fair Isle. It’s fun!

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6 Responses to Stranded Knitting Tutorial

  1. Dona says:

    This is an adult size hat, but you could easily adjust the size by changing the yarn and needle size.
    I have adjusted the PDF of the Hat to include a stitch key. That should clear up the diagonal slash question – sorry.

  2. Kate North says:

    also…what age child is this hat meant to fit?

  3. Kate North says:

    I love the looks of the Encircling Ewe pattern and want to try it. I am not familiar with the diagonal dash through the pattern as seen on the 3rd page. I assume it means a decrease, but I don’t know exactly what to do to decrease… Thanks!

  4. Dona says:

    Thanks! You can try it on the Hat!

  5. Pingback: “Encircling Ewe” Hat Pattern | Creative Country Life

  6. Cat says:

    I haven’t attempted this yet, but you made it look very easy! Thanks!