How to Color Change on Stockinette

I have recently started making horizontally striped hats, and I started to wonder how to go about different types of color changes. All of my original information came from here, but I found that not all of the information was necessarily correct. Below are pictures and instructions for right slanting, vertical, left slanting, and horizontal color changes.

Now the first thing I had to figure out when adding a color to my project was how exactly to do it. It took somewhere between an hour and two hours to find the answer, and in the end I had to figure it out for myself. To save you from the same frustration. Here is how it is done:

Slip the working needle into the next stitch, in this case the first stitch in the row, and wrap a loop of the new color yarn, the darker one here, and pull it through just like a normal knit stitch.

Adding a new color


Now what I do is use both strands of the new color as one piece of yarn for the next few stitches in order to lock it in to the project. This is what it looks like, it took a couple of rows as this is a right slanting color change and I was not just knitting straight across with the new color.

Color changing

The first few stitches of a new color

Now that theĀ  second color is attached to the work here is how you keep working with it. In all these changes I have noticed that in order to keep the stitches tight where the color change is done you need to twist the stitches counter-clockwise new color over old color, and then tighten the dropped color after a few stitches. This is also called bringing the new color up from under the old color, but I think “twisting counter-clockwise” is a lot simpler to remember.

Right Slanting:

Right Slanting Color Change

purl side


Vertical Color Change

Vertical color change for the knit side.

Vertical Color Change

Vertical color change on the purl side.

Vertical Color Change

What the back should look like


Left Slanting Color Change:

Left Slanting Color Change

purl side

Now, this one looks messier than it should because I messed it up. This is how I found out that every twist should be counter clockwise. The site I linked to before said to just drop the old color and start the new color, but as you can see that makes a mess of the back, and actually causes a hole in the work. I didn’t bother frogging this and restarting because I think that you can always learn from my mistakes even as I do.


Horizontal color change

Showing both knit across for the color change and purl across

Whenever you do a horizontal color change no matter what the stitches are in the pattern you should knit them across. This keeps those dotted lines you see above from happening. This is even true for ribbing and you cant even tell its there after a few rows, believe it or not.

Here is what the finished project looks like front and back. (This project isn’t meant to be anything but a example of color changes so it wont look like anything other than a swatch of fabric.

Project Back

Back of the project

Project Front

Finished project front

I hope you found this as helpful as I do. Happy Knitting!



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