Jun 20, 2011

Jogless 2-Row Stripes in the Round: "Tug and Twist"

I'd like to share my way of knitting more successful 2-row jogless stripes in the round. Watch the video and read the post, because both give valuable info on the topic:

First off, manage your expectations:
Knitting jogless stripes in the round is one of those age-old problems that never seems to be totally resolved. Circular knitting is actually knitting in a spiral, not a circle, making a totally jogless stripe impossible. With every tip or trick you find, there will always be something not quite right where you join the new color.

I did some research and found many different methods for use on stripes with 2+ rows per stripe. I tried a few, and settled on the simplest because it can easily be inserted into any written pattern.

The "Slip 1" method:
Knit one round with the new color, then slip (purlwise) the first stitch of the 2nd round.

Short and sweet? More like mangled and ugly:
It's so elegant, right? Just slip one stitch and all your problems go away! Hooray! And yes, I thought it worked well enough at first, but as with most things in knitting, it turns out a bit of finesse is necessary.

I started out using the "Slip 1" technique on a garment with wide stripes, and I was pretty happy. The jog was much less noticeable. Feeling empowered, I then decided to use it on a design I had been working on that involved a series of 2-row stripes. The result was much less successful. The "Slip 1" method looked worse than the jog on my narrow 2-row stripes.

With narrow 2-row stripes, the "Slip 1" technique will distort your knitting into a disgusting mess that you wish you never saw! The problem is that the stripes are too close together and the beginning of each stripe is pulled down further than normal by the previous stripe of that color. AND, since it only deals with one end of the jog, the top of the stripe still ends with a little stair-step down to the new color.

After a lot of head scratching, and really screwing up a mitten, I figured out some tips that take the "Slip 1" method to the next level.

My trick, "Tug & Twist":
It is important to always twist the two colors together at the beginning of every round. Do this by always picking-up the new color from around the back of the old color. The name of the game is tension control. When you twist the colors together like this, a twisted cord will form on the backside of your work that will help keep extra slack or extra tension in check.

As you begin the first row of the new color, take the new color of yarn in your hand and give it a bit of a tug. Tug hard enough to significantly tighten the last stitch of the previous stripe of this color. Then twist the new color together around the old color as mentioned before. Knit the first stitch of the row loosely, making sure there is plenty of slack in the “twisted cord”. The “cord” should sort of lock the shrunken stitch into place while allowing extra slack for that first loose stitch. Knit the rest of the round normally. Then slip the first stitch of the second round, as explained before. Repeat for each color change.

This should do it! Just twist at the start of each round, and tug that last stitch so it shrinks. You can adapt "tug and twist" to use on wider stripes too. Just "tug" the last stitch of the stripe after you've worked the first round or two of the new color, and remember to still "twist" before every round.

I hope you've found this helpful! Please leave a comment to tell me what you think or if you know of any other tricks to make a better “jogless” stripe.


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    over 6 years ago

    Nothing says it like a video! There's a technique out there that has you pull up a stitch from the previous round, then K2TOG. I don't know that that works any better, but welcome hearing what you think. Thanks for tackling that pesky problem :)

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    Alexis Winslow
    over 6 years ago

    No prob Liz! Thanks for your input :) I used the "K2tog" method for years for wider stripes and was perfectly happy. It yields very similar results to the "slip one" method. In fact, If I notice I've forgotten to slip that first stitch, I'll sometimes use the "K2tog" technique to fix the error. I'll unravel the column of stitches down to where I began the stripe, and with a crochet hook I can easily mimic that "K2tog" technique without having the extra slack in the yarn that the "slip one" would have left.

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    over 6 years ago

    Thank you so much for this post and video! I was pulling my hair out after following the instructions for jogless stripes at techknitting.com. TOTALLY did not look good, and still looked like there was a jog. I haven't tried your trick yet, but will later today. Can't wait to see the results!

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    almost 6 years ago

    Wow! So glad I found this technique!! I used it on a hat knit in the round with two-row stripes, and the result is awesome. It looks great! Thanks so much :)

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    almost 6 years ago

    Love this - so helpful and much easier to manage my stripes. Thank you!!

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    almost 6 years ago

    great video, photos and explanation. thank you so much!

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    about 5 years ago

    Brilliant! I would never have figured this out on my own. Thank you!

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    almost 5 years ago

    Thank you! This was very helpful. I do have a question, though. If you are making wider stripes with this method do you still slip the stitch on the 2nd row? Or do you slip it on the last row of that color?

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    Alexis Winslow
    almost 5 years ago

    Hi Christina- Great Question! If your stripes are wider than 2 rows, the technique is much simpler. Simply knit one row with the new color, and slip the first stitch of the second row. The result looks really good. I've also been experimenting with another technique in where you don't slip any stitches, and you use the tugging method to shrink the last stitch in a section of stripes. I've gotten impressive results with this one too, but it takes a little finesse to get it just right. I hope this helps! - Alexis

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    over 3 years ago

    Thank you, this has been really helpful My first attempt with stripes in the round is with striped sleeves. three different colours of 6 rows each. I am using the 2 circular needle method. (similar to the magic loop method) the round stops and starts with different needles.. I found I don't have to twist the threads on every row and I don't need to slip a stitch at all, I just tighten the last stitch of the previous colour. I think it is because that stitch is on the cable part of the needle and can be pulled tighter (at that stage I am now using the other needle). Perfect stripes! I hope this all makes sense.

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    Alexis Winslow
    over 3 years ago

    Gail, Yes, that does make sense. I can see how the cable needle would help the method you have discovered. Thanks so much for sharing. My method is something I figured out specifically for 2 row stripes. I found that twisting the two colors together helped lock the yarn in place after tugging the last stitch.

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    almost 2 years ago

    WOW!!!!!! finally an answer i have been searching for forever on jogless joins. Sooooo glad i found you and this post. This is amazing and it WORKS!!! I have tried all the others and always disappointed in how it looks but i tried your way and man is this ever a good tip to do. I do have a question about when first joining the new color when you first begin doing the color changes. Do i still tug and twist the new colors at the very beginning? I hope i am making sense here.Also in between from the first row and second row of same color do i also tug and twist even though i haven't changed the color yet back to a different color?

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    Alexis Winslow
    almost 2 years ago

    Hi Rebecca, I'm so glad you like this technique! You need to work at least 2 rounds of each color before you begin the tug-and-twist maneuver.

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    Anne Turner
    almost 2 years ago

    I am knitting a hat in the round in which the pattern is eight rows of knitting and two of purling. Any ideas on the best way of doing the purl rows please ? My first attempt has a serious step look about it :-/

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    Alexis Winslow
    almost 2 years ago

    Hi Anne, I haven't experimented with correcting jogs on purl ridges. If you figure it out, please let me know!

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