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Old 12-05-2012, 02:33 PM   #1
Little Audrey
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Carrying Alt.Color While Knitting with Both Hands
ˇBuenos dias! I am knitting the (six pairs of) mittens in the KnitPicks Woodland Winter Mittens kit. I just naturally knit the main color German style (yarn in left hand) and the alternate color English style (yarn in right hand). Carrying the main color behind the alternate is pretty easy; but carrying the alternate color is ... ... I bring the yarn from right to left behind the needles, hold it down and make the stitch with the main color & take the alt.color back, every other stitch. Of course, the alt.color yarn likes to fall off my right index finger when I do this. Am I being stupid? Is there any other way to carry the right hand yarn? I have tried knitting both yarns German-wise, but with such small, fuzzy yarn it just makes tangles, and frustration. sniffle, sob, weep! muchas gracias por all suggestions!
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:37 PM   #2
Jan in CA
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I normally knit English method, but use two hands for fair isle, too. In my early years I crocheted so I'm good tensioning the yarn in both hands, but it's hard when you don't do it all the time. I wrap both yarns the same way. It just takes practice. Keep at it and you'll get it.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:46 PM   #3
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Jan, I really like this video that you posted awhile back. It may be helpful here too.
http://www.philosopherswool.com/Page...andedvideo.htm
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Little Audrey View Post
Is there any other way to carry the right hand yarn? I have tried knitting both yarns German-wise, but with such small, fuzzy yarn it just makes tangles, and frustration.
I struggle with this as well. I knit with both in my left hand. The main color is tensioned around my pinky and the alternate is tensioned around my ring finger. I bet it's easier with both hands but I can't hold any yarn in my right hand unfortunately.

I think you should get Eunny Jang's Ivy League Vest dvd if you don't already have it. Watching her knit is really helping me. She seems to be most comfortable knitting with yarn in each hand but also shows other ways. I highly recommend it if you can afford it. I'm finishing her Anemoi Mittens pattern right now and already it feels easier to me. I think I'm picking up some of her knitting rhythm through osmosis or something.

I really like this knitting dvd thing! Especially if the camera spends a lot of time just focused on the hands while the knitter is instructing. It's the only way I can get any access to fair isle knitters anyway as my lys stopped selling shetland yarns. No one in my area knits this way I guess. I want to get the Meg Swanson dvd next. Also the Lucy Neatby dvds. Gah! I need to pick up some work over Christmas break!
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:08 AM   #5
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Here is a link to the mittens from Ravelry. LINK

They are gorgeous!!

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Carrying the main color behind the alternate is pretty easy; but carrying the alternate color is ... ... I bring the yarn from right to left behind the needles, hold it down and make the stitch with the main color & take the alt.color back, every other stitch. Of course, the alt.color yarn likes to fall off my right index finger when I do this.
Since you are working in the round this is pretty easy. I'm not sure what you are doing. I work this way, one color in each hand a lot and I just keep both colors behind the needles all the time knitting with one and then the other as needed. Are you trying to catch things down with every stitch? I guess some people like this idea but I don't. I would just carry the unused yarn loosely across the back accomplished by spacing the stitches out across the right hand needle when you change colors and take the first stitch with a new color. You don't even have to do that if you are only doing k1MC, k1CC or even k2MC, K2 CC doesn't take much attention. If you have to go more that 5 stitches between color changes, which it doesn't look like you will have to do very often, that is the only place I would catch in the colors to keep the floats from getting too long. Stagger them so that the places you catch in are not right above each other round to round and they will not show up much.

I notice I'm keeping the right hand yarn above the left hand yarn, but no extra hands or fingers needed to hold anything down or anything.

Catching things in every other stitch is not necessary and IMO not even a good idea. It makes the mitts less stretchy and not really any warmer and you are not going to be catching your fingers on strands that are only 5 stitches long with Palette yarn. Good luck with your beautiful mitts.
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:00 PM   #6
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Wonderul! I watched while she showed everyone how to knit just as I do through "the third stitch", and then I saw how she does the "fourth stitch" (carrying the color in the right hand behind the color in the left). I have been trying various ways to do this, but here is the answer! ˇMuchas gracias!
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:03 PM   #7
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These mitts have lots of large color blocks, so it is purely necessary to do lots of "tack-ups", otherwise the mitts will have really big loops of yarn on the inside which will catch around the fingers when one puts them on. But the video salmonac mentions is wonderful!
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:35 PM   #8
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What I do is drape both colors over my finger on the left hand like you normally would do for Continental knitting. I rotate my hand when I change colors, finger pointing toward me, finger pointing away from me. This effectively twists the two yarns around themselves as you change colors. You won't get long runs of yarn in the back.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by fatoldladyinpjs View Post
What I do is drape both colors over my finger on the left hand like you normally would do for Continental knitting. I rotate my hand when I change colors, finger pointing toward me, finger pointing away from me. This effectively twists the two yarns around themselves as you change colors. You won't get long runs of yarn in the back.
You should make a YouTube video! I've seen people doing this but I've never been able to figure it out in my own knitting. I can move my fingers that way but it doesn't actually affect the float or yarn dominance.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:05 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Rie View Post
You should make a YouTube video! I've seen people doing this but I've never been able to figure it out in my own knitting. I can move my fingers that way but it doesn't actually affect the float or yarn dominance.
Yeah, you should do a video! And then one for your mittens w/o a pattern!
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