4 Strategies for Crocheting or Knitting with Black Yarn

4 Strategies for Crocheting or Knitting with Black Yarn

Sneak peek at design from upcoming Winter 2012-13 issue of Clotheshorse.

How do I love black and other deep, dark colors? Let me count the ways… Black is slimming. Black hides mistakes. Black is clean and elegant. But trying to knit or crochet with dark colors can certainly be a challenge. I’ve had 3 big projects worked in black over the last few months, so I’ve developed four strategies to make the job easier.

Let there be light.

Good lighting is absolutely essential. The best and least expensive source of light is the sun. Weather permitting, take your work outside. Even a cloudy day can provide better visibility than indoor lighting. If it’s raining or you have to work on your project after dark, invest in a good stationery lamp, or better yet a portable light. My favorite is the Stitch Light from Buffy Ann Designs.  You wear it around your next and adjust its angle to point where you need the light. It doesn’t use special batteries, just regular AAAs. The Stitch Light isn’t cheap, but it’s well made and the company offers excellent customer service.

Stitch markers are your friends.

As a veteran crocheter, I’ve often acted as though I didn’t need to use markers as a less experienced crocheter might. Most of the time it turns out alright, but this can be a present a problem when I’m using black or navy yarn. So don’t be a martyr. There is no shame in using your stitch markers. Place one after each pattern repeat, after every 25-50 or so stitches to maintain your count, or to mark the final stitch of your rows. Trust me, you never get too good for stitch markers.

Put something white in the background.

While stitching with dark colors try keeping a light-colored piece of fabric behind the work. A white pillow case on your lap or on the table under your work can create enough of a contrast to help you see your stitches better. You’d be surprised what a difference it can make, even without great lighting.

Contrasting hooks or needles.

Finally, I found that brightly colored or shiny hooks and needles can help make knitting or crocheting in black a little easier. So imagine how much difference a lighted hook or set of needles can make. Check out Crochet Lite Hooks or Knit Lite Needles. I don’t have these yet, but they are definitely on my wish list.

I hope these strategies will be useful in your next project with dark-colored yarn. Do you have a tip you’d like to share? Feel free to leave a comment below.