How to Knit Stripes in the Round
Welcome back Mary Beth Temple, who is here with a whole host of exciting tutorials for you. Make the most out of your knitting and crochet with these terrific tips...this week, she's going to teach you all about the jogless join!
A couple of weeks ago we talked about different ways to knit in the round, and a lot of people seemed to be interested and to have more questions. So this week, we will take things a little bit farther.
I am making a newborn size baby hat out of three colors of Deramores Baby DK yarn. I am using DPNs because that is my circular knitting method of choice when working on small projects, but remember you can use any method you prefer.
One thing I didn’t mention in the last post, is that the actual knitted fabric you are making behaves a little differently when knitting in the round as opposed to knitting straight. When you knit straight, you are turning the work at the end of every row, so the right side of the work is facing you half the time, and the wrong side is facing you half of the time. But with knitting in the round, the right side of the work is always facing you. So to get stocking stitch (stockinette stitch) you knit every row in the round, instead of alternating knit and purl rows as you do when knitting straight.
An easy way to jazz up a plain knit is to add stripes! But when you’re knitting in the round, since you are essentially knitting a giant spiral and the stitches at the beginning/end of the round don’t line up exactly, you get two stitches next to each other that aren’t the same color, instead of a long, smooth color line. Knitters call that a jog – you can see it in the photo below, at the tip of the needle.
There are two different ways to get rid of that little jog, and I am going to show you both of them!
Both techniques are used on the second row of the new color. When you want to switch colors, simply drop the old color (we will talk about whether you want to cut the yarn or not in a little bit) and begin with the new color about 15 cm (6”) in from the cut end – you can weave it in later.
After you have finished knitting the first round of the new color, you are simply going to slip the first stitch of the next round of the new color purlwise, and leave it alone.
That’s all there is to it! When you knit the next round you knit that slipped stitch as usual.
You can see in the photo that the jog is nearly invisible. You can also see that the first column of stitches, the one containing that slipped stitch, has one less stitch in it that all of the other columns of stitches. I was knitting 5-round stripes but in that one place, my stripe only shows 4 rounds.
For this reason I prefer to use this method on projects with taller stripes than not. If I was doing 2-round stripes, for example, those slipped stitches would start to stack up, and I might have a height issue over the total project. But it’s a simple fix and works very well in a project with tall stripes, or not very many stripes.
The other method is slightly more complex, but doesn’t make as much difference in the height of the round as the slipped stitch method does
Knit the first round of the new color as we did before, leaving a tail hanging that’s long enough to comfortably weave in later.
Bring the tip of the right needle back to front through the first stitch of the second round below (the last round in the old color), and slip the right-hand leg of the stitch onto the left-hand needle (vice versa for left-handed knitters). You will have two stitches right next to each other, one in the old color and one in the new. Knit those two stitches together as shown in the photos below.
For all of the subsequent rounds in the stripe, just knit as you would usually.
You can see that, once again, you have a nearly invisible jog!
Here is a photo of all of the stripes of my little hat – you can see how neat they look.
As to when to cut the old color yarn and when not to, I don’t mind bringing a float up if the height is about 2.5 cm (1”) or less. You can see in the photo below that I brought the pale yellow yarn up from the end of the stripe before the white to the beginning of the stripe after the white, so I would have fewer ends to weave in later. I wouldn’t do that for the orange yarn though, because the float would be too long, and prone to snagging on something, or pulling my tension (gauge) out of whack. If I can’t float, I simply weave in the hanging ends.
And here is our little hat, all finished!
Thanks again for stopping by!