You’re going to love my super simple trick on how to remove purl dash lines when changing colors in knit stitch patterns that have a combination of both knits and purls in the same row. Have you ever noticed when knitting up a hat or scarf with a bit of texture, that when you change your yarn colors, the right side of your work looks a little bit like the wrong? That you can see the little dashes of the old color showing through the new color change, making it look (to your practiced eye) a little sloppy?

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How to Remove Purl Dash Lines - Knit Stripes with Studio Knit

Luckily for us knitters, there is an easy fix to remove those purl dash lines when changing yarn colors to knit stripes.  This knitting hack not only makes your work look flawless, but it is super simple. Let’s check it out together with some specific knit stitch patterns.


MAGIC TRICK TO REMOVEING PURL DASH LINES IN KNITTING

When changing yarn colors on straight knitting needles for a flat knitted piece, you will always have a distinct right and wrong side of your work. Even with a pattern like the Garter Stitch that is Reversible when knitted with one color, the color change lines will be obvious on the wrong side of your work. I am adding photos below to demonstrate how each side looks for the different patterns when changing yarn colors to knit stripes.

Here’s the secret: For any pattern that has a combination of both knits and purls on your yarn color change row, simply knit the entire color change row on the right side OR purl the color change row on the wrong side instead.

Okay, that sounds really easy! Let’s take a close look at exactly how to knit some basic Stitch Patterns to see exactly how we remove those purl dash lines.


THE NO-BRAINERS

There are two No-Brainer Stitch Patterns that need no pattern adjustments when changing yarn colors to knit stripes. Let’s begin by taking a quick look at the best way to knit stripes with the simplest of patterns, the Garter and Stockinette knit stitch patterns.

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GARTER STITCH PATTERN

When you are knitting every row in your knitting swatch, you are creating the most basic knit stitch pattern, the Garter Stitch.

PATTERN FOR GARTER STITCH WITH STRIPE COLOR CHANGE

  • CAST ON ANY NUMBER OF STITCHES
  • KNIT ALL ROWS

How to Change Yarn Color for the Garter Stitch: When changing your yarn color, always do so on the right side of your work by knitting the entire row. So sweet and simple!

RIGHT AND WRONG SIDES OF GARTER STITCH STRIPES

Right and Wrong Sides of Garter Knit Stitch Pattern with Stripes. How to Remove Purl Dash Lines - Knit Stripes with Studio Knit_____

STOCKINETTE STITCH PATTERN

When you are Knitting one row, then Purling the next, you are creating the Stockinette Knit Stitch Pattern. You’ll see that my sample is curling up a bit on the edges. Totally common for this pattern. To fix it, I like to add Garter Rows to all sides of the work to help it lie flat. Blocking my work really helps, too.

PATTERN FOR THE STOCKINETTE STITCH WITH STRIPE COLOR CHANGE

  • CAST ON ANY NUMBER OF STITCHES
  • ROW 1 (RIGHT SIDE): KNIT ALL
  • ROW 2 (WRONG SIDE): PURL ALL
  • REPEAT ROWS 1 AND 2 UNTIL THE LENGTH DESIRED

How to Change Yarn Color for the Stockinette Stitch: When changing your yarn color on the right side of your work, KNIT the entire row (Row 1). Or, PURL the entire row if you are changing color on the wrong side of your work (Row 2).

RIGHT AND WRONG SIDES OF STOCKINETTE STITCH STRIPES

Right and Wrong Sides of Stockinette Knit Stitch Pattern with Stripes. How to Remove Purl Dash Lines - Knit Stripes with Studio Knit


PATTERN ADJUSTMENTS

Following are the Knit Stitch Patterns that need slight adjustments in the pattern to help create a perfect color change row. Below I am including the following 5 examples so you can best understand how to modify basic stitch patterns when changing yarn colors in your next knitting project:

  • 2×2 Rib
  • Seed
  • Irish Moss
  • Waffle
  • Garter Checkerboard

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2X2 RIB STITCH PATTERN

The 2×2 RIB Stitch a bit thicker and is great for knitting scarves, hats, blankets, and more!

2x2 Rib Knit Stitch Pattern with Stripes. How to Remove Purl Dash Lines - Knit Stripes with Studio Knit

BEFORE WE REMOVE PURL DASH LINES IN THE 2X2 RIB STITCH PATTERN

You can see that along the line of the color change, there are little purl dash lines that make our work look a little sloppy. It’s not terribly noticeable, especially if your rib stitch is closed up, but there is a way to perfect it!

LET’S REMOVE PURL DASH LINES IN THE 2X2 RIB STITCH

Typically, we would change yarn colors and knit a * K2, P2 * repeat pattern. However, we are going to knit a clean yarn color change row by simply knitting that entire first row instead.

PATTERN FOR 2X2 RIB STITCH WITH STRIPE COLOR CHANGE

CAST ON: In Multiples of 4 Stitches.

COLOR CHANGE PATTERN:

  • ROW 1: KNIT ALL (Right Side)
  • ROW 2: * K2, P2 * (Wrong Side)
    repeat pattern within * * 
  • ROW 3: * K2, P2 *
  • ROW 4: * K2, P2 *

REPEAT: Rows 3 and 4 until the length desired.

READY TO CHANGE YARN COLOR AGAIN? Once you’ve completed Rows 3 and 4, begin again with a new yarn color on Row 1 by knitting that entire row on the right side of your work.

KNITTING OTHER RIB STITCH PATTERNS? There are seemingly infinite Rib Stitch Patterns, like 1×1, 2×3, 3×5, and on and on… For all of these, you can use this exact same pattern by simply knitting up the right side of Row 1 with the knit stitch all the way along the row.

BUT IS THIS RIB PATTERN STILL STRETCHY? Oh, yes!  The stretchiness of your Rib Stitch Patterns, even when knitting the entire color change row, is still totally intact. Hooray!

RIGHT AND WRONG SIDES 2X2 RIB STITCH STRIPES

Right and Wrong Sides of 2X2 Rib Knit Stitch Pattern with Stripes. How to Remove Purl Dash Lines - Knit Stripes with Studio Knit

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THE SEED STITCH

This Knit Stitch Pattern is called the Seed Stitch because the raised bumps from your PURL stitches resemble seeds. It creates a really pretty and sturdy piece of knitting.

Seed Knit Stitch Pattern with Stripes. How to Remove Purl Dash Lines - Knit Stripes with Studio Knit

BEFORE WE REMOVE PURL DASH LINES IN THE SEED STITCH PATTERN

You can see that along the line of the color change, there are little purl dash lines. Let’s fix it.

LET’S REMOVE PURL DASH LINES IN THE SEED STITCH

Similarly to the 2×2 Rib Stitch above, we are going to clean up that purl dash line by switch the Seed Stitch pattern of * K1, P1 *, K1 to simply knit the entire first row instead.

This technique really works! The Seed Stitch looks so much better. And nothing is easier than knitting an entire row, right?

PATTERN FOR THE SEED STITCH WITH STRIPE COLOR CHANGE

CAST ON: An Odd Number of Stitches.

KNIT IN COLOR A:

  • ROW 1: KNIT ALL (Right Side)
  • ROW 2: * K1, P1 *, K1 (Wrong Side)
    repeat pattern within * *, ending with K1
  • ROW 3: * K1, P1 *, K1
  • ROW 4: * K1, P1 *, K1

REPEAT: Rows 3 and 4 until the length desired.

CHANGE YARN COLOR: On Right Side of Work, before knitting up Row 1.

RIGHT AND WRONG SIDES OF THE SEED STITCH STRIPES

Right and Wrong Sides of Seed Knit Stitch Pattern with Stripes. How to Remove Purl Dash Lines - Knit Stripes with Studio Knit

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IRISH MOSS STITCH

The Irish Moss Stitch, also called the American Moss Stitch, is similar to the Seed Stitch above, but with a slightly thicker texture. It’s nice and squishy, too.

Irish Moss Knit Stitch Pattern with Stripes. How to Remove Purl Dash Lines - Knit Stripes with Studio Knit

BEFORE WE REMOVE PURL DASH LINES IN THE IRISH MOSS STITCH PATTERN

You can see the little green purl dash lines within the tan color, and vice-versa. Let’s take a look at how to remove those purl dash lines by changing up the pattern just a bit.

LET’S REMOVE PURL DASH LINES IN THE IRISH MOSS STITCH

Let’s clean up that purl dash line by modifying the pattern as we did with the Seed Stitch by simply knit the entire first row instead.

PATTERN FOR THE IRISH MOSS STITCH WITH STRIPE COLOR CHANGE

CAST ON: An Even Number of Stitches in Multiples of 2

COLOR CHANGE PATTERN:

  • ROW 1: KNIT ALL (Right Side)
  • ROW 2: * K1, P1 * (Wrong Side)
    repeat pattern within * *
  • ROW 3: * P1, K1 *
  • ROW 4: * P1, K1 *

IF YOU ARE GOING TO KEEP KNITTING WITHOUT CHANGING COLORS, KEEP KNITTING WITH THIS PATTERN:

  • ROW 1: * K1, P1 * (Right Side)
  • ROW 2: * K1, P1 * (Wrong Side)
  • ROW 3: * P1, K1 *
  • ROW 4: * P1, K1 *

REPEAT: Rows 1 thru 4 until the length desired.

READY TO CHANGE YARN COLOR AGAIN? Begin again with the above Color Change Pattern by knitting the entire first row on the right side.

RIGHT AND WRONG SIDES OF THE IRISH MOSS STITCH STRIPES

Right and Wrong Sides of Irish Moss Knit Stitch Pattern with Stripes. How to Remove Purl Dash Lines - Knit Stripes with Studio Knit

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WAFFLE STITCH

The Waffle Stitch also has a really fun texture, and syrup is optional. This yummy Waffle Stitch Pattern, with its series of knits and purls, resembles one of our favorite breakfast treats!

Waffle Knit Stitch Pattern with Stripes. How to Remove Purl Dash Lines - Knit Stripes with Studio Knit

BEFORE WE REMOVE PURL DASH LINES IN THE WAFFLE STITCH PATTERN

You can see the little blue purl dash lines within the tan color, and vice-versa. Let’s take a look at how to remove those purl dash lines by deciding when to change our yarn colors in the pattern.

LET’S REMOVE PURL DASH LINES IN THE WAFFLE STITCH

Unlike the patterns above that are chock-full of knit and purl combinations on every row, this pattern actually has an entire row of the purl stitch to help us out.

So, let’s take advantage of keeping the pattern intact, but deciding when to change yarn colors.

PATTERN FOR THE WAFFLE STITCH WITH STRIPE COLOR CHANGE

CAST ON: In Multiples of 3, plus 1

  • Row 1: * K1, P2 * K1
  • Row 2: * P1, K2 * P1
  • Row 3: Knit All
  • Row 4: Purl All (Color Change Row)

Repeat 4 Rows until your piece is the length you desire.

READY TO CHANGE YARN COLOR? When you are ready to change your yarn color in this pattern, simply begin your new yarn color before Row 4 and purl that entire row on the wrong side of your work.

RIGHT AND WRONG SIDES OF THE WAFFLE STITCH STRIPES

Right and Wrong Sides of Waffle Knit Stitch Pattern with Stripes. How to Remove Purl Dash Lines - Knit Stripes with Studio Knit

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GARTER CHECKERBOARD STITCH

This vintage Garter Checkerboard pattern is a combination of garter and stockinette stitch patterns, blocked together. It looks really intricate to knit, but it’s actually quite simple.

Garter Checkerboard Knit Stitch Pattern with Stripes. How to Remove Purl Dash Lines - Knit Stripes with Studio Knit

BEFORE WE REMOVE PURL DASH LINES IN THE GARTER CHECKERBOARD STITCH PATTERN

You can see the little blue purl dash lines within the tan color, and vice-versa. Let’s take a look at how to remove those purl dash lines by deciding when to change our yarn colors in the pattern.

LET’S REMOVE PURL DASH LINES IN THE GARTER CHECKERBOARD STITCH

This pattern actually has entire both rows of the purl stitch and the knit stitch to help us out like the Waffle Stitch above, yay! But, it’s a little more complex.

So, let’s take a look at when to best decide to change yarn colors.

PATTERN FOR THE GARTER CHECKERBOARD STITCH WITH STRIPE COLOR CHANGE

CAST ON IN COLOR A: Multiples of 10, plus 5

  • Row 1: * K5, P5 *, K5
  • Row 2: Purl All
  • Row 3: * K5, P5 *, K5
  • Row 4: Purl All
  • Row 5: * K5, P5 *, K5

CHANGE TO YARN COLOR B NOW (optional)

  • Row 6: Purl All
  • Row 7: * K5, P5 *, K5
  • Row 8: * K5, P5 *, K5
  • Row 9: Knit All
  • Row 10: * K5, P5 *, K5
  • Row 11: Knit All
  • Row 12: * K5, P5 *, K5

CHANGE TO YARN COLOR A (OR C, if adding multiple colors)(optional)

  • Row 13: Knit All
  • Row 14: * K5, P5 *, K5

Repeat: Rows 1 through 14 in pattern until your work is the length you desire.

EXTRA YARN TAIL WARNING: This pattern has us change yarn colors once on the wrong side of the work and then again on the right side. That said, it means you will have to cut your yarn and begin it again on the opposite side of your work and will not be carrying it up the side like most of our knitted stripe patterns.

AFTER WE REMOVE PURL DASH LINES IN THE GARTER CHECKERBOARD STITCH PATTERN

Looking closely at the pattern, changing one yarn color all the way across the row doesn’t make the checkerboard effect look as perfect as it possibly could. To do that, we would be carrying both colors across the yarn color change row, which is a little trickier. However, this is a nice little hack to easily change yarn colors as needed.

RIGHT AND WRONG SIDES OF THE GARTER CHECKERBOARD STRIPES

Right and Wrong Sides of Checkerboard Knit Stitch Pattern with Stripes. How to Remove Purl Dash Lines - Knit Stripes with Studio Knit


WATCH VIDEO
HOW TO REMOVE PURL DASH LINES

Studio Knit on YouTube SubscribeFor a complete step-by-step tutorial of this knitting pattern, you can watch my video below. Subscribe to my YouTube channel Studio Knit for more fun knitting ideas!


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Knit Stitch Pattern Book How to Knit Stripes with Studio Knit


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Take a look at my most popular knitting techniques: 5 Best Tips for Knitting StripesChange Yarn Color, and Weave In Yarn Ends


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2X2 RIB STITCH How to Remove Purl Dash Lines in Knitting with Studio Knit