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I noticed that sometimes some stitches didn't seem to show up that well. They were kind of "hidden". I wondered why? Then I got the wonderful book "The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techiniques" by Margaret Radcliffe and found out WHY and what I was doing wrong!!

I knit Continental style and hold the two colors in one hand. I didn't know that it made a difference in what position the yarns were on my finger as I knit. In other words some times the pink yarn would be on the top and the black yarn on the bottom across my finger and visa versa. In her book she says that "It's important to be conistent in how you position the yarns because this affects the size of the stitches in each color!!

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In the book she shows a nice size swatch of what it looks like if you are not consistent in the positioning of the yarn colors.Sure enough the middle swatch is exactly what mine looked like at times.

I just thought I'd pass this "tip" on since I never knew it and maybe others need to know this too. Happy Knitting!

You've just discovered "yarn dominance"! Thanks for bringing it up, as it's very important! Like the book says, you definitely want to be consistent when colorworking. I like to make the motif or foreground color dominant. The way I do stranded colorwork is to hold the dominant color over my left finger, as with continental style and throw English style the background (recessive?) color. If you google "yarn dominance" you'll find a wealth of blogs talking about it.

Wow..thanks I'll have to google it. I sure google everything else. lol I am using the wire yarn holder that goes on my finger. I recently ordered the other kind that KP's sells to see which one I like best. I really HAVE to use something to hold the yarn in place or it keeps moving on me.
Melissa: That's how I do it, too! --P
Thanks for bringing this up! That is super helpful!
OH! Does that only happen if you knit Continental? 'cause I'm a thrower (knit English) and I wonder if it has the same effect. I've only actually done colorwork in crochet and you do have to be kind of consistent with that, but only because the yarn tends to get wound up around each other. But it doesn't seem to affect the stitches.
I haven't crochet in years and I don't remember how my stitches turned out back then. But with the knitting it certainly makes a BIG difference if the yarns are not in the "same" place on the finger while doing the Fair Isle.

I am using the metal coil yarn finger holder and it really is helping a lot. But the yarns seem to still want to tangle or slip out. I'm hoping I'll like the plastic one that I ordered from KPs when I get it even more.
Celine, I throw rather than pick. I've tried to pick but I just can't manage to get the hang of it -- probably because I first learned to throw and I'm too impatient to learn to pick. So when I do colorwork, I actually switch the color I'm working to my right hand. I know this slows the process down but, it's what works for me. I don't think I have that book in my library. I will have to check.

Melissa, does it help with yarn dominance if I am switching colors and always knitting with my dominant hand? I wish I knew why I have such a hard time picking. I'm left handed but I just can't seem to get it.
I learned to knit continental for colorwork, and now I can do both interchangeably. (I'm also left handed.)

As for your question, Cheryl, what do you mean by "always knitting with my dominant hand"? If you throw, aren't both yarns knit with your dominant hand? I did some quick searching and one English style knitter comments, "I hold both strands in my right hand and throw the contrast color with my index finger and the background color with my middle finger."
I know it's weird, but I actually hold the yarn I'm not using in my left hand and when I switch colors I move it to my right hand. Like Ann and Eugene Bourgeois do in their Fair Isle Sweaters Simplified. I feel like it keeps my tension better. It probably doesn't really do any good, but that's the way I do it.
Thank you very much for sharing this! I wasn't very careful in my Sipalu bag, and this explains very much how it looks in some places. I'll be much more careful in the future!
I'm left handed and I knit continental. I use the "knitting yarn guide" by Clover. I ordered four of them at one point from Knit Picks so I could give one to a friend and also keep one with each of my projects. It clamps over the yarns to keep them separate, and the plastic is flexible, so it's comfortable to wear. I keep it on my left forefinger and then use the right needle to pick the strand. Because the thimble clamps over the yarn, they stay in position all the time. I put the strand that I want to be dominant in the second to the right slot, and the other strand in the rightmost slot.


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