“I find that knitting with dark yarn is very difficult – I can barely see the stitches! Any suggestions?”

Hi Claire,

There are a lot of good reasons to knit with dark colors. Generally speaking, black, navy, and charcoal garments are very slimming. Dark colored yarns also hide small knitting mistakes and coordinate well with a variety color schemes. And if you’re looking for colors that appeal to guys, they are often found at the

Hi Claire,

There are a lot of good reasons to knit with dark colors. Generally speaking, black, navy, and charcoal garments are very slimming. Dark colored yarns also hide small knitting mistakes and coordinate well with a variety color schemes. And if you’re looking for colors that appeal to guys, they are often found at the dark end of the palette. Despite all the advantages of dark colored yarns, knitting with them is a challenge because it can be difficult to see your stitches. Let’s explore three ways to make it easier.

Let There Be Light

Good lighting is absolutely essential when it comes to knitting in dark colors. Luckily, the best and least expensive light source is the sun. Weather permitting, take your work outside. Even a cloudy day can provide better visibility than poor indoor lighting. Since no one wants to knit in the rain, you should also invest in a good lamp for working inside. OttLite lamps feature special bulbs which simulate natural day light and are available in a number of sizes and styles.

Stitch Markers Are Your Friends

There is no shame in relying upon stitch markers. They aren’t just for beginners! When working with dark yarn where stitch visibility is low, think about placing markers in strategic locations such as between pattern repeats, every 25 – 30 or so stitches to maintain your count, and/or marking the first and last sti0tches of your rows. Remember, no knitter is ever too good for stitch markers – especially when dealing with deep, dark colors.

Add a Bit of Contrast

While stitching your dark projects, try keeping a light-colored piece of fabric behind your work. A simple white pillow case on your lap or on the table beneath your knitting can create enough of a contrast to increase the visibility of your stitches. You’ll be surprised what a difference it can make, even without great lighting. Brightly colored or shiny metal needles can also help you see your stitches a bit more clearly.

Knitting with dark colored yarn doesn’t have to fraught with frustration. Just follow these easy tips, and you’ll have a gorgeous black sweater or pair of socks finished in no time.yarn ball

Comments
  • Using light colored needles for contrast helps to see each stitch more clearly

    Reply
    • Carole V.

      This is my trick too. Always take contrasted colored needles..

      Reply
  • When working with dark yarn I found if I sat at a window and used a light coloured set of needles that I was able to see much better (I made a black sweater for hubby with no problem)

    Reply
  • I found sitting by a bright window and using light coloured (silver) needles helped a lot (Iknit a sweater for hubby all black with no problems

    Reply
  • Suzanne T.

    All the above help a lot but I found that knitting with light colored needles just as grey, silver or bamboo help also.

    Reply
  • I purchases an inexpensive headlamp in sporting goods section of WalMart… this made all the difference while crocheting a black shawl. Some rounds didn’t require the extra light, so I switched it off, but some rounds with decreases / increases or different stitch were definitely much easier with the extra light … hands free and shines directly where you’re working.

    Reply
  • Mary H.

    I bought a BlackFire Clamplight Mini and clip to my shirt. Has an LED bright light, and angle is adjustable, that makes knitting much easier. Best present I ever bought myself. I got them (Spare) at The Container Store in TX. Always one in my knit bag.

    Reply
  • Harriet

    There are knitting needles that light up so dark yarns will not be a problem.

    Reply
  • CasDarlin

    Well thank you. All these years of knitting I thought it was just me. I have a lamp, sit outdoors, weather permitting, and knit in my conservatory, use wooden needles. I use a pastle shaded towel on my lap, seems to help.

    Reply
  • lou l.

    I did the same as one of the others, I spray painted my knitting needles white. It helped a lot,

    Reply
  • Linda

    There are gadgets that hang around the neck and can be adjusted to light up the area you’re working on – basically in your lap. A lot of quilters use them for hand quilting. Check Amazon – and choose the one with the largest number of ‘lumens’ for the light – as well as using just one AA battery instead of three AAA batteries, as some of these lights are prone to use. Good luck!

    Reply
  • Susan Pretorius P.

    I cant log in to the free patterns. Why ?????????????????

    Reply
  • Mahdeene

    Many years ago I bought a standard lamp and put it behind the sofa so that my husband, who had cataracts, could see better to read. I now use the same lamp, still behind the sofa, which enables me to crochet with dark yarn during the evenings as that is the time I do most of my projects. It’s a great asset.

    Reply
  • Hudson

    Also it helps to put a white pillowcase in your lap to use as contrast to the dark yarn.

    Reply

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