Knitting fabric in horizontal stripes of colour is one of the easiest types of colour work as you do not have to weave or strand the colours along the back of the work – all you have to do is carry the yarn up the side of the fabric.
If you are working a stripe pattern backwards and forwards it should have an even number of rows, then the yarn will always be at the same side when you need to commence the next stripe. If you work odd-number rows you will have to cut and re-join the yarn.
Carrying yarn up the side:
Narrow stripes — A simple change that twists the yarns of the two colours makes a neat way of carrying the yarns up the side of the work. When you are ready to start the new colour simply drop the old yarn and bring the new colour under the old colour.
Start the row with the new colour, being careful not to pull the yarn too tight, and knit the new stripe. Continue in this way and the yarns will be neatly caught in up one side of the fabric.
Wide stripes — For stripes of four or more rows you will need to catch the old yarn in at regular intervals up the side of the new colour stripe by twisting the old yarn around the working yarn every couple of rows.
Types of stripe:
Working stripes in a knit one, purl one rib gives solid blocks of colour because the tight rib compresses the vertical columns of knit and purl stitches.
A wider rib gives a completely different look to the stripes. Again the stripes are two rows deep, but the knit four, purl four rib is much looser.