Tips for Carrying Yarn Up the Side of Your Work

A few weeks ago I told you I was starting a Nymphalidea shawl. I have been plugging away on it and have made some good progress.

I wanted to share a little tip that I figured out along the way about carrying yarn up the side of your work.

When you are working stripes you don’t have to worry about catching the yarn that you are carrying every row. But if you are working more than 2 rows before changing colors, it’s a good idea to catch the yarn in the side of your work, so you don’t get an ugly pull.

In this pattern you work 2 rows of the contrast color (in my case the multi-color pink Alpaca Sox) and 4 rows of the main color (the kettle dyed purple Alpaca Sox). So I will want to catch the multi-colored yarn on the side between rows 2 and 3 of working with the purple.

It’s so simple and only takes a few seconds. I promise. And so worth it!

I work rows 1 and 2 of the purple just like I normally would. When starting row 3 I will insert my needle into the first stitch, just like always

BUT…I will pick up my multi-colored yarn and wrap it (DON”T TAKE IT OFF THE NEEDLE YET!)

Then I pick up the purple yarn and wrap it clockwise (from front to back) while still leaving the stitch on the needle. I now have 2 yarns wrapped around the needle

Now, I don’t want my stitch to be knit with both yarns, so I unwrap my multi-colored yarn

And then I finish the stitch like I normally do.

This will case your first stitch of that row to be twisted, but it makes such a nice wrap, that it is worth it.

Wrong side

Right side

It’s a simple trick that only takes a few seconds, but can take your FO from being homemade to HANDMADE.

This is also a great tip when you are working a Fair Isle pattern that have more than 6 or 7 stitches between color changes.

Backside of Fair Isle with floats "caught"

Now I only need to decide how much bigger to make my shawl…

Knit on!


  1. oh a video of this would be great! Love the technique but I think I need a bit clearer visual. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Me three. I just can't picture it in my head and I read it through several times.