Carrying Yarn Up the Side on Your Truckee Shawlette

I hope you all are having a great week!  Sounds like some of you will have lots of time for knitting this weekend with more winter weather hitting parts of the country.  I'm so pleased so many of you have chosen to participate in the Truckee Shawlette KAL!  I've been helping many of you pick out colors this week.  I can't wait to see all the beautiful shawlettes!

If you're just hearing about this KAL for the first time, check the last two Friday blogs and the Truckee Shawlette KAL thread in our ravelry group.  We love hearing from those who are participating so chime in and let us know your out there!

To help with all the questions for the Truckee Shawlette KAL and any other projects,  I'm going to talk about how to carry yarn up the side of your work.  It is a very simple technique for striping colors or alternating skeins.  While it is simple, it seems to cause a lot of angst among knitters.

Here's how you do it! These instructions are for flat knitting.
  • Cast on and knit an even number of rows in your first color.
  • Then join and work two rows of your contrasting color.
  • To return to knitting with your first color, hold your work so that the right side of the work is facing you. Then pick up the working end of your first color by reaching underneath the second color and bring the yarn to the front and knit the first stitch.  Give a little tug to the fabric to lengthen the yarn carried up the side.
  • Work normally for two rows.
  • When you return to "home position" (Right side of your work facing your, working yarn on the right) do one of two things.  If you want to change colors repeat the instruction above.  If you want to continue knitting with the same color for two more rows, drop the yarn, reach under the idle color and draw the color you wish to work with under and back into knitting position.  You've just created a half wrap, that will carry the idle yarn up the side.
  • Repeating this partial wrap every other row to lock the unused yarn in place

Note: Be sure to always stretch your fabric after the first stitch or two after a wrap to make sure you're leaving enough slack in the carried yarn so that it doesn't pull that edge tighter than the opposite edge.

For knitting in the round you will do the half wrap every round when you return to the beginning of each round.  Although you could choose to space the wraps farther apart but I don't think I would try more the say four rounds.

If you pull your carried yarns too tightly up the side they will pull that side up shorter and have less elasticity. As you can see in this photo, I pulled the last few rows too tightly and the edge is puckering.
See how short the carried strands are as you go up toward the needle?  Those strands should have looked more like the strands toward the left side of the photo.

Laura did a great video demonstrating How to Carry a Contrasting Color Up the Edge.

I hope this explains the process well.  As always, if you have questions I'll be happy to help.  Ask in the Ravelry group or send an email to askTerry (at) (be sure to remove the spaces, parenthesis and the word "at" and replace with @).

Happy Knitting!

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