How to Loom knit using stranded knitting technique

Stranded knitting technique on a loom 

The first color work technique I wanted to share is Stranded knitting. Of course, immediately we think of Fair Aisle, however there are several different  styles from many different countries. So I wanted to share a little bit of each, always fun to explore. 

  1. Fair Isle- goes back to the 1850’s initially for scarves and hats; today we see it on everything from socks to sweaters. As it looks complicated but only works 2 colors at a time in pattern.
  2. Norwegian - usually knit with two contrasting colors the traditional patterns are flowers, geometric shapes and stars first used on mittens then sweaters. The most recognizable was the 1930’s Olympics ski sweater. It had a checkerboard band with stars and stripes.
  3. Swedish - similar to the Norwegian in the 1800’s the Delsbo jacket(short men's jacket) and Ullared jersey is where it got its start.
  4. Faroese - In the mid 18th century Denmark its small geometric shapes are similar to the Icelandic or Scandinavian.  
  5. Icelandic - Created in the 1500’s. It’s popularity grew in the 1930’s with the yoke sweaters and roving yarn used
  6. Cowichan- Using thick single ply wool strands in natural colors creating cardigans which each motif has a specific meaning.
  7. Andean - This technique uses four or more colors; the most well known is the Chullos hat commonly found on these hats that have ear flaps.
  8. In stranded knitting, it is all about color dominance. If you simply change the dominant color you give the pattern a new dimension. What is color dominance? Well, in stranding you will work with two colors one will fall behind the other color and ends up with more yarn called dominant. Which one you make dominant can be subjective generally which color creates the pattern is the one that should be dominant. The non- dominant color will create the background.
  9. Always swatch your pattern with the colors you chose the same way you will knit it (in the round/flat panel) to have an accurate result and know if these are the colors you want. 

    The unused colors carried along the back of your work are called “floats”. Floats length is determined by the number of stitches of the working color. Typically, you “catch” the floats every 5th stitch or every other row by attaching the strands to the back of the project. 

    How to read a Stranded knitting Chart? 

    Each box equals 1 stitch 

    Each row equals 1 row when loom knitting I have found that if you repeat every row twice you will get a better design. 

    Reading the chart starting at the lower right corner going from right to left. 

    The bold/red box lets you know to repeat after the last row has been loom knitted. 

    There is one extra stitch that is worked after each row which creates symmetry when working the entire pattern. 

  10. Stranded knitting is typically worked in the round; can be worked as a flat panel, as well. 

  11. It is important to block your piece when done to set the stitches and design in place. Typically, wet blocking is the preferred method. Always follow the yarn band directions for blocking as every fiber is different. 


    Ways to keep your place while working on the chart:

    • Highlighter tape 
    • Clear ruler 
    • Chart keeper 
    • Sticky note 
    • Row counter 
    • E reader 
    • Or just getting into a rhythm 

    Everyone is different. I am sure you will find which works best for you. Me, I always go to my row counter by them in bulk:)

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