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Jogless Stripes: The Right Way (in Both Senses)

I hope you're sitting, because I'm about to shock you: yes, it's another actually useful post from Uncle Stashley. I know, I know, it's been a while.

So: when you are knitting in the round, you're essentially knitting in a spiral (it's true!) which is both (a) kind of a fun, and (b) not so great for lining up stripes. Maybe this is why people invented seamed sweaters, just to get those darned stripes to line up. So, because it's a spiral, when you change to a new colour (regardless of whether you're doing tiny stripes or big blocks of colour), well, it shows:

And you can't help it, not really, because when you change colour you're knitting the new colour in right next to the old one. It's not your fault, it's physics and the laws of nature. But what we can do is use a clever, EASY cheat that mitigates the problem so that only sleuths with magnifying glasses will realise what you've done, and everyone else in the world (the vast majority, since there are few sleuths left) will just see lovely stripes.

So here are the simple steps for accomplishing essentially jogless stripes (or at least the appearance of them, and isn't that the same thing?)

When it's time to change colour, start knitting with the same colour. (If the pattern calls for purling, see note* below). In my example, I have begun a round of darkest blue.

Knit one complete round with your new colour--I'm presuming you're using a stitch marker to mark the beginning of the round, but if you aren't, the first round of this new colour is obviously finished once you get to the point of having to knit into a stitch of the new colour, duh.

Below, you can see I've completed my first round of the new colour, darkest blue.

Stop, breathe. Don't knit into the first stitch of new colour from the round just completed, not yet. Instead, stick your right-hand needle into the right-side of the knit stitch that's hugging the loop on the left-hand needle.

Gently lift up the right-side of the stitch and plop it onto the left needle, next to the first loop in the new colour.

K2tog (knit 2 together) once.

Then carry on knitting as usual.

Tada! Relatively jogless stripes. Yes, the sleuths can see where the round begins/ends, but there's still no jog, and that's the point--the stretched V is less intrusive than a jog would have been.

(This hat, by the way, is by Jared Flood, it's the Turn a Square hat).

[*Note: even if the pattern calls for purling, ignore it for the row when you change colour, otherwise the join isn't pretty and you can see bits of old and new colour intermingling for a complete round. The purls above and below this knit round do have a tendency to want to pull together, and the fact that you have a round of knitting will go mostly unnoticed, save for the aforementioned knitting sleuths.]

Off the Needles

  • Turn a Square (Hat) by Jared Flood (crown shown at right, with harsh flash lighting, oops)

On the Needles

  • Falling Snow Stocking (this time, for my niece).

  • Sophie's Universe crochet project (Part 12: Round 86--only 27 rounds to go! (before I add extra rounds to make it larger and more bedspreadlike))

  • GGN Norwegian Ski Sweater (still adding the steek stiches while knitting from eventual armhole to neck, I'm about 92% done with the final chart of the torso piece--but there are still arms to be knit!)

  • Persian Dreams Blanket (row 35 of the fourth hexagon)

  • The second Double-Knit Vice Versa Scarf, about 3/4 of the way through

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