The Best Colorwork Knitting Patterns for Beginners

The Best Colorwork Knitting Patterns for Beginners

The Best Colorwork Knitting Patterns for Beginners


Time to tackle another common knitting fear:  COLORWORK.  Specifically, stranded colorwork.  

I love love love love colorwork.  And yes, it can be intimidating, but with practice it becomes second nature.  And it's so much fun!

The key to good colorwork is the tension of your strands or floats (the yarn that runs on the backside of your work connecting two stitches of the same color).  Too tight, and you wind up with uneven stitches or stitches that get swallowed by your main color.  When doing stranded colorwork, I try to knit with a slightly looser tension than I normally would so that everything stays nice and even.

If you're new to colorwork and ready to give it a try, here are a few patterns that would be good places to start!


colorwork knit hat

Golden Pear by Melissa Thomson

This baby hat is a great place to start with colorwork.  First off, it's small, so you can practice these on repeat and it's no big deal if you need to frog the whole thing and start over.  You'll only be working two colors at once even though the pattern has three colors total, and the checkerboard pattern in the color transitions will give you lots of practice switching from one color to the other.


Colorwork knitting patterns for beginners

Seeds by Jared Flood

Yes, another hat, but this one is for grown ups with a slightly more complex stripe pattern, but still only two colors being worked at a time.  This pattern also has rows of stitches in alternating colors to give you that practice of switching from one to the next.


Colorwork Knitting Patterns for Beginners

Driftless Mitts by Black Cat Knitting Company

Only two colors to juggle on this one.  It's got some back and forth color switching at the top of the mitts as well as some longer floats a bit further down that can give you that tension practice.


Colorwork Knitting Patterns for Beginners

Charlie Socks by Bethany Richards

Just a little colorwork on the toes!  Again, just two colors, but a slightly more complex chart than the simple alternations we've looked at so far.


The Best Colorwork Knitting Patterns for Beginners

Beat Sweater by Katrin Schneider 

If you're feeling ready to tackle a sweater, this one has a fairly straight forward chart pattern and only uses two colors at a time. The straight lines of the colorwork make it easy to focus on your technique and not get lost in a more complicated design.

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