All together now: “Carry the unused color loosely across the back of the work…”

Stranded or Fair Isle project instructions nearly always include this sentence (unless they’re older and not so detailed), yet here are Mmm… Yarn the hands simply can’t make it happen. Behold the pucker that will not block out:

Squares in Squares Hat

This phenomenon is the reason you don’t see a lot of stranded knitting at Mmm… Yarn. When changing colors, I knit one stitch with the new color, give a mighty tug on the stitches on the right needle to significantly loosen the strand, and in the end it still puckers like it’s been munching on a sour persimmon. It’s enough to turn one off doing colorwork entirely. Tonight I rip it back to the ribbing for the second time. Perhaps the third go will work.