Weaving those floats!

I am back to the Ellybob Cardigan and I’m to the fun part…the Fair Isle! This is my first time working Fair Isle on a purl side. For this project it is necessary to weave in some of the long stranded floats when you are working the other color. The pattern suggests this, but doesn’t explain exactly how to do it. I thought I would share this process with some pictures. I usually weave in a strand about every 4 stitches or so.

This post shows you how to weave in floats in Fair Isle if you are knitting with one strand in each hand. I knit Continental style most of the time, so I keep my main color (MC), the dark green in this example, in my left hand. The contrast color (CC) stays in my right hand. I tried to write these instructions so that it doesn’t matter which way you normally knit, as long as you know how to do both. This post is not meant to teach you how to knit in either Continental or English style or how to knit Fair Isle. There are great videos on YouTube and KnittingHelp for each of those methods.

This first set shows how to weave your left-hand yarn (dark green here) when you are working Fair Isle on the knit sidek-weaving left color_-2Insert your needle into the stitch as you would normally. Lay the left-hand yarn (dark green here) across the needle inserted into the stitch from right to left as shown above.

k-weaving left color_-3Wrap your right-hand yarn (light green here) around the right needle as you would when knitting English style.

k-weaving left color_-4Finish knitting the stitch. The left-hand yarn float has been woven.

The next set shows how to weave the right-hand yarn (light green) when knitting.

k-weaving right color_-2Insert the right needle into your stitch. Wrap the right-hand yarn (light green here) around the needle in a counter-clockwise fashion.

photo sub

Lay the left-hand (dark green here) yarn from left to right across the needle as you would when knitting Continental style. This might be more like a “picking” action involving a spiral action of the right hand needle around the yarn when knitting Continental style.

k-weaving right color_-4Lift the right-hand yarn (light green here) and

k-weaving right color_-5

swoop it under the right needle, crossing the left-hand (dark green) yarn.

k-weaving right color_-6Finish knitting the stitch.

The next set shows how to weave the left-hand strand while purling in Fair Isle.

p-weaving left color_Insert your needle into the stitch as if to purl.

p-weaving left color_-2Lay the left-hand yarn across the stitches on your right hand needle and place behind the tip of the right needle as shown above.

p-weaving left color_-3Wrap your right-hand yarn (light green here) around the right needle in a counter-clockwise move as you would purl in English style.

p-weaving left color_-4Finish purling the stitch.

The next set shows how to weave the right-hand yarn when purling in Fair Isle.

p-weaving right color_

Insert your right needle into the stitch to purl.

p-weaving right color_-2Wrap the right-hand yarn (light green here) counter-clockwise around the right needle.

p-weaving right color_-3Wrap the left-hand yarn as you normally would when purling Continental style, counterclockwise, closer to the tip of the right needle, above the right-hand yarn.

p-weaving right color_-4Lift the right-hand yarn (light green here) and move it toward the tip of the right needle as shown above.

p-weaving right color_-5

Swing it behind the tip of the right needle as shown above.

p-weaving right color_-6Finish purling the stitch.

I hope this helps with a visual for weaving in floats. I am definitely being careful with my tension since I’m knitting and purling for Fair Isle. It’s not so bad. I just have to stay on my toes, but these little elephants might be kind of addictive.

13 thoughts on “Weaving those floats!

  1. THANKS SO MUCH!!! I was going to learn Fair Isle this year, but the float-weaving has always been some kind of mystery to me – and youtube videos are sometimes not that good … Thanks a ton. Now nothing can hold me back … :D

  2. Thank you so much for this. Your timing is impeccable as I have just cast on some stranded mitts and was trying to work out how to wrap floats now I can knit with both hands! This is very helpful.

  3. Oh my gosh thank you SO MUCH for posting this! I don’t usually hold any yarn in my left hand but I’m going to now — this looks like much less of a hassle than having to put down a project and juggle the skeins to keep them tangle free. Or do you still have to untwist with this method?

  4. Left handed and “continental”, I may need an extra life to learn that … My right hand flatly refuses to do what I want it to do. No wrapping so far. Thanks for posting this though. I’ll keep practicing.

  5. Pingback: March of the elephants | knit the hell out

  6. Thanks so much for posting this! Now I only need to learn to carry yarn in the right hand as well (something I’ve been planning to forever) and I’ll be finally able to work stranded projects without interrupting my knitting every few stitches to twist strands around each other.

  7. Hello! I thank you so much for this. Problem, though: I can’t quite get weqving the left side yarn in on the purl side. After wrapping and completing a purl, the left hand yarn is on top of the right hand yarn, making it impossible to repeat without dropping hands and readjusting. Also, as you supposed to do a plain purl in between, akin to weqving in while knitting?

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