Multi-Round Jogless Stripes

Circular Knitting

Stripes knitted in the round require special handling to avoid unsightly jogs and even holes when the stripes change color.

A jog or stairstep occurs when switching colors in circular knitting if you join the last stitch of the old color round to the first stitch of the new color round. Holes appear if you unceremoniously drop the old color before starting the new color. Eliminate these practices for good looking stripes in the round. Below are three methods to improve your stripes when knitting in the round.

Loose Ends Method: Cut the working yarn after knitting each stripe and leave at least a six inch tail. When you pick up the new color to knit the next stripe, be sure to start with a six inch tail. Don't worry if your stripes don't look even or have holes. You will fix these in the finishing step.

When you are done knitting your stripes, turn the work inside out. For each color change, identify which tail is from the old color and which tail is from the new color.

Temporarily set aside the new color tail and thread a tapestry needle with the old color tail. Look at the hole where the color transition takes place and identify the purl bumps on either side of the hole. The old color tail emerges from one these purl bumps. Insert the needle into the purl bump on the opposite side, coming from below and pulling the yarn up. Pull gently on the yarn until the hole disappears. Now work duplicate stich for appoximately three stitches, being sure to follow the yarn underneath the tail exactly. Sloppy stitch work will distort the stripe. Next, trim the tail close to the knitting.

Now thread the tapestry needle with the new color tail. Use the round of stiches where the two colors interlace as a guide. Align the stitches of this round so that the stitches on either side of the new color tail are perfectly straight. Pull on the tail if there is an enlarged stitch. Take a look on the public side of the knitting. You should see that you have a perfectly aligned stripe. On the private side, work duplicate stitch for three stitches, traveling to the left. To begin, identify the new color purl bump to the left of the new yarn tail. Follow it over to the left and then insert the needle up into the purl bump of the old color, just above. Continue to work duplicate stitch for three stitches using the yarn beneath the new color yarn tail as a guide. Finally, trim the tail close after working three duplicate stitches.

Repeat the above process for the remaining stripes.

For a large quantity of narrow stripes, you may prefer to carry the yarn up the back to avoid working in many tails. Here are two methods that will eliminate the jog without cutting yarn between stripes.

Traveling Method: At the beginning of the color change round, carry the old yarn from right to left and then bring up the new yarn behind it. Knit the first stitch. Be sure that there is a little bit of slack in the yarn that you brought up from below. Otherwise, you may create a tight stitch that will distort your knitting. Check that the old yarn is trapped in the stitch. This will prevent a hole from forming. Knit the rest of the round.

On the round after the color change round, you must never join the last stitch of the previous round to the first stitch of the next round. This creates the jog. Instead, slip the first stitch and place a stitch marker. The first stitch has now become the last stitch of the round. Knit all stitches in the round including, finally, the slipped stitch.

Now, knit normally for as many rounds as needed for the stripe. Repeat the above process for each stripe.

Yarn Over Method: At the beginning of the color change round, temporarily slip the last stitch to the left needle. Place a yarn over of the new color on the right needle. Slip the stitch from the left needle back onto the right needle.

Place a yarn over of the old color on the left needle. With the new color, knit the first stitch together with the yarn over.

Continue knitting the round until the yarn over next to the last stitch. Knit the yarn over and last stitch together.

Now, knit normally for as many rounds as needed for the stripe. Repeat the above process for each stripe.

Sponsored Content