How to Change Colors in Knitting

How To Change Colors in Knitting

Learning how to change colors in knitting allows you to infuse your personality into any knitting project. The good thing is that the same technique used to add yarn when the ball runs out applies in adding a different colored yarn; you learn one skill and achieve two goals. 

How to attach new color in knitting
Image Source: 10 Rows a Day

You can check this guide on how to start knitting then change colors to enhance your knitting projects. To learn how to change yarn colors when knitting, read on and check out this video.

How To Change Yarn Colors When Making Stripes

How to change colors in knitting
Image source: Spruce crafts

Colors bring endless possibilities to your projects by increasing the variety that you produce. With straightforward instructions, you can learn how to change colors in knitting like a pro. 

Before you start your knitting project, check this guide on how to cast on knitting and learn to make basic knitting stitches like the Stocking or Garter stitches

Some of the basic supplies you will require to learn how to switch colors knitting include:

How to knit
Image Source: Wikihow

Tools Needed

    • Two knitting needles
    • One darning needle
    • A pair of scissors
    • Two balls of yarn

Once you have all the tools ready and work through the desired number of rows with your first yarn color, follow these steps.

Step 1. Drop the First Color and Pick the Second

    • Finish the row you are on, as it is advisable to change colors at the beginning of the row. 
    • Place your work on the right side to create a seamless color change and to avoid a dotted look on your project. 
    • Drop the first color, pick up the second one and ensure you leave a tail of about 6 inches or more.

Check out this video on how to add a new color in knitting.

Step 2. Knit the First Stitch In the New Color

    • Using the new yarn, make the first stitch. 
    • Pick your working needle and insert the tip in the first stitch on the left-hand needle. 
    • For the next two or three stitches, attach the tail to your working yarn and knit using the two yarns to secure the tail.
    • Drop the tail and continue knitting with the second color until the end of the row. 
    • Continue knitting until you need to change color again. 

To avoid having too many tails when using this method, do not cut the strands when you come to the end of each color section. Instead, carry the strands up in your knitting.

Wondering how to switch yarn when knitting and work with two yarns simultaneously? Videos help portray this step-two instruction in detail. You can check out this video.

How to Knit with Two Colors in One Row

How to change yarn in knitting
Image source: 10 Rows a Day

Check out this video.

Before we proceed, if you’re not familiar with how to knit in a new color, this video will help.

Knowing how to knit with two colors of yarn in one row helps knitters create stunning projects. Combining such garments with woven labels or care labels enhances your brand and boosts your brand and boosts you made in step 2 to make a knot and pull the tail to fasten it. Ensure the knot is close to the needle for easy knitting.

Step 4. Slide the working needle into the next stitch and wrap the new yarn onto its tip, then pull it through to make a new stitch with the second yarn.

Continue working with the second yarn until you get to a point where you want to change color again, then repeat steps one to four. Since the knot does not show, it can be a great option for beginners if you don’t want to leave loose stitches in your garment.

Method 3

This method adds bulk to your project, but it’s not visible when using thin yarn. The good thing about it is that it leaves no loose ends or knots. So if you don’t like making knots in your knitting projects, here is how to join new color yarn in knitting.

Step 1. Leave one stitch to the point you want to add a new color.

Step 2. Measure 5 cm yarn from the last stitch you’ve worked on and use it to make a loop. 

Step 3. Insert the new yarn into the loop and fold it to leave a dangling end of around 10 cm.

At this point, you have two interlocking yarns.

Step 4. Using the folded old yarn, work the next stitch.

Step 5. Pull the old yarn to draw the joining point besides the stitch you’ve worked.

Step 6. Knit the next stitch using the new yarn, then continue knitting with the new yarn.

Remember to treat the two strands from the folded yarns as one stitch when working up your project. You can also check this video part on adding a new color in knitting to grasp this method. 

These methods help you make beautiful patterns on garments. You can also learn how to increase a stitch in knitting to complement them and make your projects more stunning!

Searching for how to change yarn while knitting? These three methods will do great when switching yarn amid rows. You can also use method two to join another yarn at the end or beginning of a row. Here is a simple guide on how to change yarn in knitting. You can also watch this video on how to switch yarn knitting.


Pros Cons

Method 1

    • It is easy to follow.
    • It leaves no knots.
    • It leaves a loose stitch.

Method 2

    • It leaves a tight stitch
    • It leaves knots in your garment.

Method 3

    • It does not leave knots.
    • It makes a tight stitch.
    • It can be bulky when using chunky yarn.

How To Change Colors in Knitting Frequently

How to switch yarn knitting
Image source: Dummies

Tools and Materials

    • Circular needles/double pointed needles
    • A pair of scissors
    • Two or more balls of yarn

Sometimes, you may be working on a project that often calls for alternating the yarn colors frequently in a row. The most suitable method for such a scenario is the stranded knitting.

Instead of leaving the strand at the edge in stranded knitting, they float at the back of the project. It helps you alternate between colors as needed.

How To Alternate Colors in Knitting Using Stranded Knitting In Flat

How to switch colors knitting
Image source: The Spruce Crafts

Step 1. Cast on the number of stitches you require and add two more stitches for the hem. Though it is not necessary, they enhance the finished project. 

Step 2. Continue knitting in your main color until it’s time to introduce the contrasting color.

Step 3. Attach the CC as shown above at the beginning of the row. The selvage stitch at both ends should be knit using the MC.

Step 4. Depending on your pattern, you are going to be working on only one color at a time. You will need to slip the stitches we are not working on until we get to the end of the row. 

Step 5. Assuming you start with knitting the MC. You will knit all the stitches with the MC and slip those with the CC until the end of the row.

Step 6. Slide all the stitches to the other tip of the circular or double-pointed needle to get back to the beginning of the color row you just worked on. Twist the strands at the end of the row and knit the hem with the main color.

Step 7. It is now time to knit the stitches with the CC and slip the MC’s stitches. Do this until the end of the row. You can now turn in the project and work on the purl. 

Step 8. Remember to twist the strands at the end of each row when you finish both colors. You can use this method to work on projects with more than two colors.

One of the significant drawbacks of this method is that you cannot catch the floats. It limits the number of stitches you can knit in one color to avoid long floats. 




Main color


Contrasting color

How To Hold The Yarn In Strand Knitting

How to add a new color in knitting
Image source: Ysolda

Similar to learning how to finger knit, holding the yarn with your fingers helps you exercise and create multicolor projects. Below are different ways of holding yarn when learning how to knit with several yarn colors.

Method 1. Loop the strands over the non-dominant fingers

This method makes it easy to choose the strand you want to use. The only problem is that the strand keeps falling off, and the probability of your strands getting tangled is very high.

Method 2. Hold one or more strands in each hand

How to change yarn when knitting
Image source: The Knit Stitch

In this method, you hold the working strand with the non-dominant hand, and the remaining strands you hold with the other hand. When you hold the strands this way, you avoid picking the wrong one.

Method 3. Using multiple fingers

This method is suitable when you are working with two colors. For example, you can loop one strand over the index finger and the other strand over the middle finger. 

Method 4. Letting the strands hang

How to knit in a new color
Image Source: Blog Yarn

If you are a beginner in strand knitting, you can let the strands you are not using hang behind your work. This method is also appropriate when you are not changing colors frequently. While it allows you to change colors right, it may slow you down as you have to stop to pick up the strands.

If you are interested in sewing projects, you can learn how to sew and check these sewing room ideas to provide various outfits besides knitted garments for your clients.

How To Change Colors in Knitting; In The Round

Changing colors in knitting
Image Source: Rock n Wool

To perform the stranded method in circular knitting, learn how to join knitting in the round, then work your project like in the flat needles. The only difference is that knitting in the round is more of a spiral, unlike the knit and purl of flat knitting. 

When you change colors, a visible jog or a half step happens to show the color change. To make the change more seamless without leaving a hole in your garment, follow these steps:

Step 1. Insert your needle tip at this point through the right strand of the stitch below the loop that comes next. 

Step 2. Lift the stitch and place it in the left needle. 

Step 3. Knit the next stitch taking the two strands as one. You end up with a seamless transition without a hole.

Armed with the knowledge of switching colors in knitting, whether flat or round knitting, you can now produce beautiful knitting projects with various combinations of colors. You can further customize your projects by learning how to cast off knitting.


Alternating colors in knitting projects create elegant garments for gifts or clothing businesses. You can use different methods to enhance certain knitting outfits like sweaters or hats. 

This video will add to what you have learnt on how to add a color in knitting.

You can also learn to sew and consider private label clothing fashion to expand your business. While you may need sewing kit essentials to make woven clothes, it will pay off in the long term. Which of the above methods do you think is easy to execute?