Black Yarn: 8 Tips for Working with Dark-Colored and Black Yarn

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Who does not love a black or dark-colored sweater or accessory? Let’s face it – dark colors go with virtually everything! However, as you probably already know, black yarn can be difficult to knit with as the stitches can be very hard to see.

As a result, many knitters avoid knitting with black or dark-colored yarns. But what if you get a special request from someone special? Do you turn down the request or do you just soldier on?

So, if you love the idea of knitting with black yarn or other dark-colored yarns, why not try out one or more of our tips below?

Tip #1: Use Daylight to Ensure Good and Proper Lighting

Knitting with darker colors is best done during the day when you have access to natural light. Move your favorite chair next to a window and the daylight should help you see your stitches more clearly.

However, you should consider how you place your chair – daylight coming in from behind or the side is best.

Tip #2: Use Artificial Light to Light Up Your Project

We do not always have the option to knit during the day, especially during long, dark winter days. So, if you cannot make use of natural daylight, artificial light is the answer.

There are many different ways you can make use of artificial light when knitting. The simplest is to sit next to a bright lamp. Make sure that the lamp is positioned properly so to avoid straining your eyes.

However, if you are not able to sit next to a floor or table lamp when knitting, here are a couple of other suggestions:

Using a Headlamp

Buying a camping or hiking headlamp can be an inexpensive solution to your lighting problem.

The lamp is situated on your forehead so it will light up whatever you are looking at. A strap around your head will hold the lamp in place.

Using a Neck Light

Wearing a headlamp might not be for you. If that is the case, wearing a neck light might suit you better.

Most neck lights have flexible ends which will allow you to direct the light directly to your work. In addition, some will also have different light settings.

Furthermore, come in an array of colors and styles with most of them being rechargeable.

Tip #3: Use a White Background

Having a white background behind your knitting project can help you see those dark stitches better. There are many ways you can achieve this contrast.

For instance, you can put a white pillowcase in your lap. If you are sitting by a table, why not put a white tablecloth or sheet on the table?

However, if you do not like sitting at a table while knitting, but prefer a comfortable armchair instead, a moveable table such as a white laptop table or over the bed table might just be the ticket.

Using a moveable table will also allow you to have your pattern in front of you for reference.

Tip #4: Using Stitch Markers

Stitch markers are essential for a lot of different knitting projects. As a matter of fact, they are especially useful when working with dark yarns.

Make sure to use them for pattern repeats, as they will really help keeping you on track with your pattern.

It can be hard to count rows when knitting with black or dark-colored yarns. Placing a stitch marker every few rows, e.g., every 5 or 10 rows, will help you keeping track of your progress.

Tip #5: Count Often

Working with darker yarns, it can at times be difficult to see if you either drop a stitch or accidentally add a stitch. This can be especially true when knitting a lace pattern.

Therefore, it is important to count your stitches every few rows. This will ensure that your project is progressing as it should.

Using stitch markers, like mentioned above, will also help you keeping track of your stitch count.

Tip #6: Use a Lifeline

Unfortunately, it is inevitable that you will make mistakes sometimes when knitting with dark colors.

To make it easier to tink (knit backwards) or frog (rip it), consider using a lifeline. You can, for instance, put in a lifeline after each pattern repeat. That way, it is easy to know where you are in the pattern.

If you cannot use pattern repeats to keep track, put in a lifeline every ten rows or so.  Just make sure your lifeline is in a contrasting color and that it is smooth so it can easily be removed later.

Tip #7: Use Brightly Colored Knitting Needles

When knitting with dark colors, you should avoid using dark knitting needles. There are many brightly colored knitting needles on the market you can choose from.

For instance, you could go for needles such as these Prism Aluminum needles that are bound to contrast well with your dark yarn.

If you like knitting hats in dark colors, then something like these Sunstruck Options Short needles made from blond birch needles might just be the ticket.

Tip #8: Use LED Knitting Needles

If you are feeling a bit adventurous, why not try using LED knitting needles? These unique knitting needles have a built-in led light in the needle tips that you can switch on and off.

By having the light so close to the actual stitches, it should make it easier to see them to knit.

If LED knitting needles are something you would like to try, you can find them on Amazon: LED Knitting Needles.

They are only sold as single-pointed knitting needles, but they do come in a variety of sizes.

In Conclusion

As you have seen, knitting with black yarn or other dark colors does not have to be fraught with frustration. Just follow one or more of the tips above and you will have your project done in no time!

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