How to change Color in Ribbing

It’s been a while since I posted something (again a combination of having lots of things to do and little to write about). So I decided, I should at least start with something useful to make up for it.

My last post was about this cute little vest I knitted for my newly arrived cousin Simon (no, I still haven’t got any pictures of him wearing any of the knitted stuff). Since I was using up all sorts of odds and ends of cotton yarn, I had to play around with colors a bit and really liked the result, reminding me of spring and snowdrops, which we really yearn for here in central Europe. It’s officially been the dreariest winter with the fewest hours of sunshine since the beginning of weather recording. Blegh.

But I digress. For the ribbing around the armholes I wanted to use two colors as well – and while I was knitting, I remembered the difficulties I used to have with this a few years ago before I discovered this neat little trick.

Ribbing color change

How I used to do it – notice the transition in the purl bits?

When you change colors in purl stitch sections, you get a very noticeable transition, because of the way the purl bumps of the different colors are crossing each other. In a reverse stockinette project this can’t be helped (at least to my knowledge – if you know a way, please educate us!) and probably can only be emphasized as a design feature, but in ribbing it tends to look simply untidy.

Now, what to do about it?

It’s so simple I could have kicked myself once I tried it out: DON’T PURL.

Yup, that’s it. Just skip ribbing for one round and knit all stitches.

Neat color change - no untidy yellow purl bumps in the blue purl sections.

Neat color change – no untidy yellow purl bumps in the blue purl sections.

„But what about the ribbing?“ you’ll say. „Won’t it cause all sorts of trouble, doing one round without ribbing?“

No, it won’t. In fact, it won’t be visible AT ALL. It will not change the gauge or the elasticity.

What it will do is get rid of those wrong-colored purl bumps marring the perfect beauty of your multi-colored ribbed edging.

And here are both changes in one piece of knitting - no difference in gauge or elasticity, just in the looks.

And here are both changes in one piece of knitting – no difference in gauge or elasticity, just in the looks.

Well, that’s it. Hopefully it’ll be useful to a few knitters out there who, just like me, just never thought of a solution that simple and spare them some frustration…

On a different note: At the start of this post I was complaining about the weather, but today has turned out to be gloriously sunny (not a cloud in sight) and while I’m typing these lines the first flocks of wild geese returning from their winter quarters are calling outside. Spring is returning, it seems, and I can’t help but smile…

I’ll be outside now, enjoying some sunshine! Have a good day!

3 thoughts on “How to change Color in Ribbing

  1. Oh man, lack of sunshine destroys my mood and productivity so quickly. A “darkest winter on record” might actually drive me over the edge. Got to love the color combo in your tip though!

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