Saturday, January 27, 2007

Jogless stripes--a new way

includes a how-to
click picture
Knotingale asks "can you explain the 'jogless' join method for stripes knit in the round? I can't understand the instructions I've found thus far."

As we say here in Wisconsin, "yup, you bet!" But, it all depends on WHAT KIND of stripes you're planning to make.

--->For one or two round-high stripes worked in the round, using the same two or three colors throughout consider trying the barberpole (helix) method.

--->For one round-high stripes where every round is a different color, consider working the smoothed circle way. 

--->For stripes with designs in them (such as Fair Isle) worked in the round, consider trying the picture-frame method which disguises the ends of the rows, while allowing you to stay in pattern.

--->For stripes which are three or more rounds high worked in the round, try this nifty method described below:

(a new way)
  • On color change rounds, change colors by knitting the first stitch of the new color as you usually would. Then, knit the rest of the stitches to the end of the round.
  • On the next round, slip the first stitch of the new color, then knit the rest of the stitches.
  • On every following round, knit every stitch as usual
Keep doing this over and over again. That's it. That's really all there is to it. Well--nearly all. You still face the issue of--


The only thing at all complicated in jogless striping is how you choose to stack the color changes. If you choose to let the beginning of the round travel one stitch to the left with each color change (this WILL make sense as soon as you try jogless stripes with needles) then every part of every row will be the same height and have the same number of stitches. Such jogless stripes are called "traveling stripes." If you choose to hold the beginning of the round in the same place, then at one spot on every stripe, there will be one fewer stitches. Such jogless stripes are called "stationary stripes."

Here it is, one more time, slower, with complete step-by step directions and more photos.

  1. On the round BEFORE you intend to change colors, insert a stitch marker at the place you intend to change colors.
  2. On the color change round--slip the marker, then change colors by simply starting to knit with the new color.
  3. On the following round, when you come to the marker, slip it. Then, slip the first stitch of the new color from the left needle to the right needle WITHOUT KNITTING IT (and without twisting it--this is called "slipping purlwise"). Knit all the rest of the stitches of the round.
  4. Knit as many rounds as you desire for the stripe, knitting every stitch.
  5. One the round BEFORE your NEXT color change, shift the marker over one stitch to the left.
  6. Make more stripes by repeating steps 2 though 5.
These stripes are called "traveling jogless stripes."
  • ADVANTAGE: Every part of every round is the same height.
  • DISADVANTAGE: The round beginning "travels" one stitch leftward with every color change.
click picture

  1. On the round BEFORE you intend to change colors, insert a stitch marker at the place you intend to change colors.
  2. When you come to a color change round, slip the marker, then change colors by simply starting to knit with the new color.
  3. On the following round, when you come to the marker, slip it. Then, slip the first stitch of the new color from the left needle to the right needle WITHOUT KNITTING IT (and without twisting it--this is called "slipping purlwise"). Knit the rest of the stitches of the round.
  4. Knit as many rounds as you desire for the stripe, knitting every stitch.
  5. Make more stripes by repeating steps 2 through 4.
These stripes are called "stationary jogless stripes."
  • ADVANTAGE: the color change remains in the same place.
  • DISADVANTAGE: at one part of each round, that round will dip one stitch lower.
click picture


With stationary stripes, each stripe dips one stitch lower at the color change. With thin stripes, and/or in thin wool, you'd soon have substantially fewer stitches along this column, so the fabric might start to "pull" along that column of stitches. However, with thick wool (5 st/in or fewer) and/or thicker stripes, this isn't an issue because the knitting stretches enough to solve the problem. Therefore, stationary stripes are best for thick wool and/or thick stripes.

With traveling stripes, a faint spiral pattern will develop along the diagonal of the color change, so be careful not to pull your yarn too tight, especially if you are carrying the yarn behind from stripe to stripe. This spiral pattern is more obvious in heavy fabrics and less obvious in thinner fabrics, so the traveling stripes are better for thinner stripes and/or thinner wool.

If you have thin stripes in thick wool, or thick stripes in thin wool, you'll have to make up your own mind.


If you choose stationary stripes, you have no problem you wouldn't have with regular (non-jogless) stripes--you begin the garment shaping as directed in the pattern. If, however, you choose to let the round beginning shift by one stitch with each stripe--what will happen when you come to shape the garment?

Suppose your directions require that, "at the beginning of the next round," you must increase (or decrease) to shape the garment. If you've been using traveling stripes, where the heck IS the beginning of the round? Is it where the COLOR beginning of the round is, or is it where the cast-on ACTUAL beginning of the round is?

Long answer short: if you've used the 3-in-1 TECHjoin to start your circular knitting, you won't really be able to tell where the cast-on beginning of the garment is. This frees you to use the COLOR beginning as the beginning of the round. You start your shaping opposite the last color change (double-headed arrow photo below). When you start the shaping, you switch gears. In other words, once shaping begins, you hide the color change IN the shaping (the right part of the photo below). This keeps the color beginning of the round from wandering further and avoids complications.
click picture
Are you wondering how the spiral shift of traveling stripes will affect the shape of the finished garment? Will the one part of the garment be longer than another? The short answer is "no problem." Many knitted garments face this issue--to match shaping, the left front and the right front of a cardigan are almost always off by one row. The same thing with shoulder shaping--that too is almost always off by one row between the left and the right shoulders. Even a circular-knitted sock is one row off between the left side and the right side of the heel tab, or on either side of a short row heel. Knitting stretches, and a spiraling round beginning will not cause any greater problem than do any of these.


In some other instructions, the pattern writer seeks STATIONARY color changes (the color change should stay in the same place) AND the same number of stitches in every part of every round. The only way to accomplish this is by somehow inserting an extra stitch in the same column as the color change, which can get messy pretty fast.

In other instructions, the jog is evened out--not by slipping the first stitch of the new color as set forth in this post--but by slipping some other stitch or part of a stitch already knitted (typically, a stitch in the row below). The complication isn't really one of execution--it is one of explanation. In other words, the complication arises from trying to explain which stitch or which part of which stitch from the row below should be slipped "up" onto the left needle, how that should be done, and what to do with it once it's there.


One thing is for sure: regardless of how you choose to stack your color changes, whether with traveling jogless stripes or stationary jogless stripes, your result has got to be better than regular (jogging) stripes--see photo below.
click picture


PS: There is a different version of this same information in a newer post with prettier photos, so for a different and prettier view of jogless stripes, here is the link.

Pretty, aren't they?
Addendum June 2016:  I was sent the following link to a method which makes a very nice jogless result, using a sewing needle.  I am sharing it with you here. Thanks to Lizzy for this new trick.


Cyndi said...

Great post! Love the last one on joining in the round too. Keep up the excellent tutorials - I always look forward to your posts.

Trish - My Merino Mantra said...

Welcome back! I hope your enjoyed your trip! I am afraid that the last stripes I did jogged all over the place. At least, it seemed like that to me. Thanks so much for the explanation!

Knotingale said...

You did it! 10-q very much.

Anonymous said...

Wow! This looks like a great technique. I can't wait to try it. Also the photos are really colorful and cheerful. Thanks so much Techknitter!

Caren said...

You are truly a Techknitting goddess! I've been using your "stationary jogless stripes" technique on my current project (Dale of Norway "Fana" pullover for my 3 yr old), and it's FABULOUS! My stripes look great, with nary a jog in sight, and no diagonal beginning-of-round movement. Thank you thank you thank you. You have secured "most favored status" on my blog-reading list from now on.

--TECHknitter said...

--You're very welcome. Send a picture when you're done, OK?

Lien said...

I've been either avoiding striping, or doing striped things by knitting back and forth, because I've never been happy with other jogless striping methods.

I think I can stop doing that now because this is the simplest explanation for a jogless stripe I've ever seen. Brilliant!

Andy's Crafts said...

Excellent exposition of the nomad stitch. Thanks a lot.

Sue in Pardeeville said...

Thanks for the extremely lucid explanations. I'm knitting a bag to felt (using two-color stranding for the first time), and your excellent technique has made the crooked stripes straight.

One section of my bag has diagonal cross-hatching (grass green on a pumpkin background), and I find that even a diagonal stripe will jog unbecomingly at the beginning of every round. Slipping the first stitch of each round eliminated the jog but created a too-obvious solid green diagonal line. However, slipping 3 stitches rather than 1 helped to keep the cross-hatching more even in appearance. Are there any other ways around this problem?

Thanks again for all the great info on your site. Happy knitting through our long Wisconsin winter!

handknit said...

Thank you very much for the most clear explanation of this technique. I had not planned on doing anything with stripes in the immediate future, but I may change my mind!

I discovered your site a few weeks ago and am picking my way through your back posts. I truly appreciate the way you present ideas. I immediately adopted your best method of left-slanting decrease (Oct or Nov '07)and am in awe of how it looks. I've shown it off to everyone, including my 16 year old boy, who was ... polite.

susanp_y said...

Thank you so much for this technique. It is wonderful.

the Lady said...

Super-great tutorial! I'm bookmarking this.

Laura said...

The slipped stitch solution is brilliant -- more discreet than the usual jogless jog technique IMO. Thanks for another terrific post.

HPNY Knits said...

thanks you!

Gabrielle said...

Hi there =)
Wonderful tutorials thankyou!
I was wondering if there is any way to make SINGLE ROW STRIPES without a jog? Say, a stripe (one row) of blue, then a stripe (one row) of brown ... and so on?
Thanks a bunch,

--TECHknitter said...

Hi Gabrielle--You CAN make one row stripes, but not by this method. The one-row method is actually SPIRAL. It is very well described by Montse Stanley in her famous "Knitter's handbook.
(To use the link, you'll have to cut and paste to your browser, AND remember to remove the spaces.)

Also, a very popular blogger, GRUMPERINA recently had a series on spiral stripes on her blog

--good luck, TK

Nancy said...

Very helpful, thank you! Great explanation, and illustrations.

I just found your blog today, and I'll certainly be back! I also love the technical aspects of knitting. Are you, by chance, a mathematician or scientist? I'm finding that a lot of knitters are, especially the technique-oriented ones.

Nancy in Oregon

Anonymous said...

I have just discovered this blog today and it makes me smile like this. :D

Thanks for the tutorial!

Carol Schatz said...

I'm not sure I am ever going to knit stripes!

Daniel said...

Thank you... :-)

Laura said...

This is great! I am a beginning knitter and the jogless stripes worked beautifully. But I am making a hat and am worried that when I start to knit stitches together this will all get messed up? How do I ensure that the top of the hat looks as good as the bottom?

website design New York City said...

nice post

--TECHknitter said...

Hi Laura: Sorry to have taken so long to respond to you. As set forth in the bottom part of the post, once you get to the decreasing for the top of the hat, you switch yarn at the decrease, and this hides the jog. If you examine the photo illustration of the striped hat (Second to last illustration) you will see that the jogless joins are replaced by joins in the decrease line, and that the joins in the decrease line really don't show.

Best, TK

Marie Wesley said...

Ok. You win for my new favorite person for the rest of the day. I am bookmarking this post for future reference! Good job.

benjamin said...

can this be used to make a garter knit hat in the round? cuz i made a hat for my friend, and it was this gorgeous cashmere-merino-nylon blend, but when i finished, i noticed it had what looked like a seam, a reallyy bad one at that, and it made me mad... after an unfortunate encounter with a washing machine, my friend's mom (she kinda stole said hat) wanted another one, just like it, and so i attempted to use the traveling stripes to keep the jog from forming, but when i came o he decreases, it messed up like whoa, but i eventually fudged around w/ the decreases and somehow made it work. lol

Regina said...

When I "change colors by simply starting to knit with the new color" I end up with a hole there. Any ideas?

--TECHknitter said...

Hi Regina
You will get a hole the first time you add any color, but after that, you will not, because the yarn traveling up the inside of the garment crosses and closes the hole. For that first hole, it gets closed up when the end is worked in.

Oh--you will also get a hole on the last row of a color, and that hole, too, is eliminated by working in the end!

Cheryl said...

Thank you a million times!!!!!!!!

Monika Nowaczyk said...

This is so great! Thank you for the time and effort to share this with everyone!

Anonymous said...

I'm confused about one thing: when you say "slip the first st. of the new color", you haven't knit with it yet, so how can you slip it? Do you mean "slip the next stitch" or am I totally missing the boat on this? Thank you so much for posting this! I've been knitting for over 40 years & now I should be able to finally make a nice-looking stripe. --Fay in FL (currently in Wisconsin!)

--TECHknitter said...

Hi Fay--the slipping occurs when you come around AGAIN. In other words, you simply join in the new color and knit normally for the first round, then in the SECOND round, you slip the first stitch of the new color. This draws the first stitch of the new color into a sort of half-way position between the two rounds, and thus eliminates the jog. Thanks for writing. TK

Anonymous said...

Light bulbs coming on -- thank you!! It makes perfect sense now. I love all your tips & explanations -- thank you so much for sharing.

~Fay in FL

nevermelts said...

Not sure how to eliminate the hole - I 'm making a child's hat so I can't leave the colors intact and let them hang out inside the hat. I've been tying knots, which closes up the hole and pulls the jog even closer. I'm happy with this so far since it looks really good, but is the knot going to come undone? I've never tied knots and I'm a relatively new knitter so I don't know. I had started by weaving in but it seems like it could come loose too easily since it's for a child and will probably be beat up and stretched out often.

--TECHknitter said...

Hi Nevermelts: there will be no hole if you carry the yarn up the inside--which is really the very easiest way to make stripes!

Meg said...

Ok, unfortunately I'm stuck on the first sentence *blush* "change colors by knitting the first stitch of the new color as you usually would" how would I usually do this knitting in the round? Do I just hold a tail off the back and go for it or is there a technique to it? I saw your post on how to add in a new ball of the same color, but how do you add in a new ball of a different color??


--TECHknitter said...

Hi Meg--sorry to have been obscure! What I SHOULD have said was: "change colors by simply dropping the old color, and working the next stitch with the yarn of the new color." Hope this helps! --TK

Bobbi said...

Thank you so much! I wanna post a link to your blog in my blog entry for today. Is that ok?


--TECHknitter said...

Hi Bobbi--plese feel free to add a link, and thanks for writing. --TK

savvy said...

Your instructions are wonderful. After just a couple of practices, I've "mastered" jogless stripes and now can confidently make striped garment without fear of the knitting police taking all my yarn away.

Anonymous said...

I was so excited to see your post and try out some jogless stripes. Thank you.

Somehow, though, while your instructions seem to be perfectly clear, I am still finding that my stripes are jogging and wonder if it might have been better if I had just left them alone. I am a somewhat experienced knitter who seldom has trouble figuring these things out, so the fact that I can't seem to make this work is boggling my mind.

The pattern I am using works two rows in each color. Could that be the issue? Would it be less likely to show if I had more rows in each color? Maybe I'm pulling too tightly on the yarn when knitting into the second stitch of the second new color row (i.e. the first stitch after the slipped stitch)???

I know it's hard to offer insight without seeing my project. I just was so excited to see your clear, simple instructions, and now I'm a little frustrated that it hasn't worked out for me. I'm such a perfectionist, and this is driving me crazy! I wish I could figure this one out.


*Going back to my little project and hoping I don't get so flustered that I end up ripping!*

--TECHknitter said...

Hi Sarah--two-row stripes are a challenge, for sure. Is it at all possible to turn your stripes into 3 row stripes? The sock in the opening photo has quite a few 3-row stripes, as does the red-and-yellow striped hat-and those work pretty well, as you can see for yourself (the "jogless jogs" of both garments are facing the camera).

If two row stripes are a must-have, can you get hold of an Interweave Knits summer 2009? Maybe from the library? There is an article in that issue by yours truly about "barberpole stripes" and these can be adapted for two row stripes, as that article explains--that trick takes a bit of fooling with, but makes perfect jogless stripes 1 or even 2 rows high.

(next summer, the copyright of that article reverts to me, and I can publish it on my blog, but not until then :-( so you will have to track down the magazine if you want to read about it in the meanwhile...)


Anonymous said...

Thank you again. I feel better after reading your response. I will look and see which IK issue I have; I know I have either summer or fall. Maybe I can pick up a copy of the summer issue if I don't have it. Otherwise, my next version of the little toy I'm making will definitely have three row stripes!


Marilyn said...

Wow! These directions are great! Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. I can't wait to get going on my stripes now!

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for this technique. Question... for step #5 "on the round before your next color change, shift the marker over one stitch to the left," what if you have just made your final color change? Do you still at some point have to shift the marker over again to keep things in line, or do you skip this step and just keep knitting as in step #4 until you're finished? (I'm making a hat.) Thanks!

--TECHknitter said...

Hi Anonymous-- the moving of the marker is just to let you know where the next color change is to start--if you've finished the last stripe (including the color change AFTER the stripe) then you can get rid of the marker--it's encoding information you no longer need.


Anonymous said...

Thanks very much! My stripes are beauteous!

Maritima said...

Would this work for changing from ribbing to stockinette? For example: when you are knitting a topdown sweater and switch from the neck ribbing to stockinette, or from stockinette to bottom ribbing.

--TECHknitter said...

Hi Maritima--I assume you mean that you are also changing the color, not just the texture? If yes, then have a look at this post

If you just want a neat way to transition between ribbing and stockinette, have a look at this post--

If you mean something else, write again, OK?

Anonymous said...

Hi TECHknitter! I'm making a hat on circulars that involves only a few color changes. One of the stripes is only a single round sandwiched in between 3 rounds of another color on the top and bottom. The rest of the hat is large sections (can't really call them stripes) of color, for which I will use your jogless travelling stripes method, but how do you suggest I handle the color change for that one single round? (Barberpole or spiral method doesn't really apply to this situation since it's not a series of multi-colored, single stripes - correct?) Thanks very much for any pearls of wisdom...


TECHknitter said...

Hi Debbie: Thanks for writing. You are right--the jogless method doesn't really work very well for less than 3 rows (rounds) high, and the barberpole has no applicability in your situation. So, for a single round in the middle of a work, you are forced to fudge. Basically, work the single round leaving a long tail at one end, and, at the end when you're finishing, thread the tail onto your sewing needle and embroider a sort of half-stitch to hide the jog. ...That's all I got!


Anonymous said...

Thanks TK - I will give that a whirl! Debbie

TECHknitter said...

Hello to the person who posted a comment asking whther this method would work for garter stitch. For some reason, after the comment was punched through for posting, the entire comment disappeared. Evidently, the gremlins in my computer ate it!

At any rate, as far as I know, there is no real way to avoid the seam in garter stitch knit in the round. However, one of these days, I will cast on and see whether anything comes to me. In the meanwhile, does anyone else have any insight into this?


aknottyknitter said...

I just discovered your blog and this method of working with stripes! Wow what a great technique .... I'm using it as I write .... so simple and looks terrific on the hat I'm knitting for Christmas ..... when all of my knitting projects for Christmas are done .... I will be back to check your previous posts!! Thank You!!!

Anonymous said...

I was thrilled to find your instructions for jogless stripes as I wanted to make a striped beanie for my son. I was so excited and found my copy of interweave knits with your article and followed it very closely.... well I don't know what happened from your printed word to the tips of my needles but something is wrong!
I apparently know just enough knitting to be dangerous. Maybe what I don't understand is exactly how to weave in the ends from the stripes. Here's the striping I did supposedly using the stationary slip-stitch jogless stripes. I knit the ribbing then 10 rounds stockinette in the same color. 2 rounds of a contrast color. 4 rounds of 2nd contrast color. 2 rounds of 1st contrast color, finishing hat in main color. I have tried to weave in the ends a couple of times but it doesn't seem right. I have also asked others and been told to tie a knot weave in the ends and don't worry. I really am not worried I just want it right. Please help if you understand what I need to do other than retire my needles.

TECHknitter said...

Hi Anonymous--don't retire the needles. The problem you have is twofold. First, you're making very narrow stripes. Jogless stripes work better if they are at least 3 rounds high, and this is especially true of the stationary stripes. So, life will be a lot easier if you modify patterns to follow this rule.

Second, the stripes in the examples are all stripes where the other color is carried up the back. If you are cutting the yarn so as to work it in afterwards, then do this:

1. Do the jogless join,
2. Next, knot the ends of the two colors together LOOSELY.
3. At the end of the project, unknot the ends and cross them over each other before working them in. Crossing over can be plain (one laid over the other) or even better, they can be half-knotted together--like the little step you take before tying your shoes--half an overhand knot.
4. Once the ends are crossed, you can work them in in opposite directions by skimming them in (TECHknitting blog post of July 14, 2007) or by weaving them in (post of July 16, 2007) to the stripe of the same color.

The little step of crossing the ends prevents a hole from forming.

If the stripes aren't very high, like 6 rounds or less, consider not cutting the ends, but instead simply carrying the yarn not in use up the back of the garment. When you go to use a yarn which has been carried, be sure not to pull it so tight that it puckers.

Best of luck, and if you have further problems, write again, OK?


tutmarie said...

I just love your blog and your great descriptions which I use a lot. I'm a beginning knitter, so it's very useful to get detailed descriptions along with photos/illustrations.
I'm making a striped sweater and thought I'd give the stationary jogless stripes technique a try. Your description seems very clear, yet I still have two problems. One: I still think the stripes jog! I'm knitting stripes of three rows (because you said this was the minimum) and I'm using relatively thick bamboo/cotton yarn (14 stitches/10 cm). It seems that each row ends one stitch higher than the beginning - and I was hoping your method was going to help me eliminate this. I must be doing something wrong, but I can't figure out what it is.
Two: I keep getting holes along the colour switch column - even though I try to carry the yarn up on the inside. Can you explain exactly how to do when carrying the yarn up on the inside?
Thanks ever so much!

Jolene said...

BRILLIANT! Thank you so very much for sharing!!!!!!!

wellunderstood said...

you are the best! you saved me a big headache!

SweaterFreak said...

Correct me if I am wrong, but it's the stationary color changes just plain old color changes???

When the stripes are knit in the round and the color changes are always in the same column, isn't that what stationary method is? (when each new color change is the row below)

I am confused.

TECHknitter said...

Stationary jogless stripes are very similar to ordinary color changes except for the slipped stitch. It is the slipped stitch which makes the stripes jogless, because it draws the first stitch of the new color up to a half-way position between two stripe, evening out the color transition.

tiggersjp said...

Awesome tutorial. Thank you so much.

Marte said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial; for some reason, I've always thought that jogless stripes are so difficult, but then it turns out it's not! :)

Knits by Jo said...

This is the only post that has given me a viable solution to jogs. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Will these techniques work when doing double knitting? I've just started a double knit hat (no pattern) and am doing fine with the knitting of it. I'd planned to just do two solid color sides for this reversible hat, but am itching to add some striping using the two colors. Don't want to do that, though, if the double knitting will make for joggy stripes.

TECHknitter said...

Hi Anon--this should work with double knitting--no reason why not that I can see!


kim @ pineapplemint said...

thanks for this! very helpful and well explained.

Anonymous said...

I'm knitting a striped sleeve in reverse stockinetter (by knitting the sleeve inside out in stockinette). Is there a way for my to create jogless stripes?

TECHknitter said...

Hi Anon--The trouble with reverse stockinette is that the color change spans two rows. To avoid this "dotted" look where the colors meet, you have to KNIT (rather than purl) where the color change occurs. Because you are working on the knit side (inside) you'll have to PURL to get that color change on the inside of the sleeve. It is true that the round of knitting necessary will change the texture, but this is the only way I know to avoid the problem.

There is more information about this issue in a post about avoiding the "icky dots" from the color change in ribbing. Cut and paste the below into your browser. The issue is dealt with in the context of ribbing, but it is the same problem as occurs in reverse stockinette.

Thanks for writing--TK

Suzie said...

I recently tried your technique on a pair of socks. Unfortunately I did not receive the results I was looking for. I'm not sure what I did wrong, or how to fix it in the future.

Here is my Ravelry cry for help.

Can you tell how I have made a mistake?

TECHknitter said...

Hi Suzie--I did reply on Ravelry, but am reproducing that same answer here.

First of all--nice sock!

That pulling along the line comes when the yarn carried behind is a bit tight. Next time, a bit looser carry will make that diagonal less obvious, as shown in the photos of this post. However, in the end, there will always be a diagonal line, no matter how loosely you work--slight, but still there, as you can see in the photos if you look carefully.

Sadly, there is never a free lunch--in exchange for an actual jog, with the traveling jogless stripe, you get a diagonal line, and you must decide which you prefer!

(Had the stripes in your socks been wider, you might have liked the stationary jogless stripes better.)

Best, TK

James said...

I've been searching for answers and nobody seems to know, so I turn to you, who I've been following avidly and who I trust to have some amazing technical knowledge. For avoiding a jog in circular stranded or fair isle knitting that won't be steeked and has no plain vertical columns to hide it in, the internet people (when they're not being silly and talking about special circular cast ons) have 2 suggestions.
One is the traveling jog you describe, performed on every row (or, I suppose, at every row that isn't identical to the one beneath it).
The other seems to be a similar traveling jog attributed to Meg Swansen, where instead of slipping that stitch you would pick up the right leg of the stitch beneath it and put it on the left-hand needle, and then knit both together.

I'm wondering two things:
1) Am I right that for fair isle or stranded knitting, one of these jogs should be performed at every row that isn't identical to the one beneath it? And
2) Is one of these techniques better than the other, or does it depend? If so, what does it depend on (thickness of yarn, rows in motif, etc.)?

I'm planning on knitting up some test swatches myself, but I figured if you already knew the answer it might save me quite a bit of time.

Thank you!

TECHknitter said...

Hi James--I obviously think the traveling or stationary jogless join is better than the other kinds out there--otherwise I wouldn't have troubled to invent it...

As far as fair isle goes, the very best trick I know is to make a "frame," a vertical column of two or three stitches in a different color, and change the pattern there. For a sweater, it is possible to "frame" the back and the front separately--this gives a nice effect--and completely avoids the issue of trying to hide the jog while maintaining the color work.

Jenny said...

Thanks so much for this informative post on striping! I am now going to knit striped socks with confidence. Thanks.

knitty knotty said...

Can't wait to try one of these methods. I love making striped hats for kids on circular needles, but am always disappointed with the jogs.
Now to see if I can follow the directions.
Ann from San Francisco

SweaterFreak said...

Very informative post, I am a bit confused though....Isn't the whole point of jogless stripes not to have one row lower?

Could stationary jogless be then even considered jogless stripes?

TECHknitter said...

Hi Sweater Freak--stripes knit in the round are actually spirals. Thus, the end of one round is actually a whole row (round) above the beginning of that same round. By working a jogless technique, you pull the bridge stitch (the one which would normally jog) into an intermediate position, thus smoothing out the spot where the jog would normally be. It's not perfect, but it's pretty darn good, and MUCH better than just leaving the jog in the work.


Granny Pink Pants said...

I am using a "self-striping" yarn from Red Heart (Team Spirit) to make a hat in the round. All the sections come out about even but where the colors change I get a jog. Any way to avoid the jog with self-striping yarn? Would you treat it the same as if you were changing colors to avoid a jog? Thanks!

TECHknitter said...

Hi Granny--what a great idea--I'll bet if you did slip that first stitch of the new color, you will minimize the jog. How clever--I would never have thought of doing this on self-striping yarn. Brilliant. Great idea!

Jen said...

This is BRILLIANT! I used the Traveling Jogless method for a pattern with 1-row stripes, with a small modification. In this case, EVERY row is the row before the next color change, so when I get to the end of a row I remove the marker, slip the 1st stitch of the color in the row I just finished, place the marker (thus moving it 1 stitch to the left), knit in the new color to the end of row, and repeat (remove marker, slip 1st stitch of color in current row, place marker, and knit in new color to end of row). It works beautifully! Thank you for sharing your brilliance.

aheins said...

I am pretty new to knitting, so I have one question. When changing colours, do you normally knit your first stitch with the yarn doubled (ie: knit with both colours)or do you just knit with the new colour alone straight away? I find if I don't do the doubled thing I end up with a hole. Any help would be much appreciated!

Heidi H said...

This tutorial was really great!I wish I had read it a bit sooner... I've done the traveling jogless stripes (they're 6, 4 and 2 rows each) on my daughter's dress, but now that I've knit for about 17" I realise that the shapings I've done on both sides every 9th row are straight on one side and "traveling" on the other side, of course! Now that I'm about to start the sleeves and I need to put a few stitches per side on waste yarn I somehow have to find the right "armpit-spot" on the side that has been traveling waaay over towards the straight side (101 stitches on one side of the project, and 34 stitches on the other side). Is there any good way to save this project?

TECHknitter said...

Hi Heidi: I'm not sure I understand--was there a waist shaping or something along the two opposite sides of the garment? If so, did the actual SHAPING travel around the sweater with the traveling jogless stripe, or was it just that the beginning of the row (so to speak) traveled across the fabric? Once you answer these questions, we can try to figure out a plan. Best, TK

TECHknitter said...

Hi Aheins: Sorry I didn't notice your comment earlier. When you change colors, you do not knit with both yarn, you simply drop the old one and start off with the new one. Once you've done an entire round, and you're back at the place where the color change occurred, you SLIP (without knitting) the first stitch you knit in the new color. That's it. Of course, you have to decide whether to tack the changes (stationary jogless) or travel the changes (traveling jogless) but the actual mechanics are the same when you come around to the first stitch of the new color: you slip it.

Now the fact is, you WILL get what looks exactly like a hole when you are knitting in the new color. If you think about it, this makes perfect sense: the OLD color is just sitting there, under no tension at all, and that last stitch of the old color will wiggle loose as you knit with the new color. However, as soon as you drop the new color and go back to the old color (assuming you are carrying the yarn up the inside of the garment) then the hole will magically disappear, because now that last stitch in the old color IS under tension as the old yarn is knit into a second stripe. Naturally, at this point, the new color, which you just dropped, will get up to the exact same trick, but that hole, too, will disappear as you knit the second stripe in the new color, and so on--the resting yarn will always wiggle loose, only to be tightened when you take it up again.

Just HOW tight to tug the yarn which has been resting, when you start to knit with it again is something of an art: not so tight as to cause a visible pucker, not so loose as to leave a hole. Experience will show you the right tension, but if you have to make a mistake, leave a too LOOSE strand rather than a too tight one--a loose yarn can always be tightened by tacking (sewing) the excess down on the inside, but there is no cure for a too-tight strand. Write again if still confused, OK? Best, TK

aheins said...

Thank you so much for replying! I am now knitting beautiful stripes, and no holes in sight.
So nice to have helpful people while learning new things. :)

TECHknitter said...

You are welcome! TK

knitknotes said...


I am knitting a hat that has a stripes of texture (seed stitch, reverse st st). To avoid the avoiding the "icky dots" it takes 2 rows just as you mention. So I knit a row in the new colour B, then want to purl the next row (or stitch) in colour B for several rows, then return to knitting colour A.

Any tips for handling the transition stitch between the knit and purl sections, please?

TECHknitter said...

Hi Knitknotes: Here is a post on handling the transition between a textured row and a knit row in such a manner as to make the transition jogless:
(Cut and paste address into browser window, scroll to relevant picture/text)

Best, TK

knitknotes said...

Thanks techknitting. You have so many wonderful tutorials, and I certainly haven't been through them all. Who would have "thunk" I needed to search for horizontal fold line to find exactly what I needed.


TECHknitter said...

Hi Knitknotes: It is hard for me to figure out how to title posts so people can find them, I try to index articles in a couple of places in the index, but the best way is to do what you did, and write me directly. Best, TK

Anonymous said...

Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and the rest of the website is also very good.

Veronika said...

I do the yarn change in a different way, that completely eliminates any holes.

I knit the last stitch of the first colour, drop the yarn and knit the first stitch in the second colour, then I put the first colour yarn between the knit fabric and the second colour yarn strand between stitch 1 and 2 of the second colour. The first colour yarn is now secured behind a strand of the second colour yarn - hole eliminated.
It's the same thing I do when I knit stranded colourwork, to avoid long strands (that will pucker the fabric) behind the work.

Thank you for your superiour techknitting blog. I have learned so much from you it's unbelievable.

Veronika from Norway

Anonymous said...

I'm knitting jogless stripes! Thank You! I'm knitting a hat, main color grey for 2 inches from CO (k4, p1...), knit 4 rows of blue, 4 rows of gray, 4 rows of blue. Finished knitting stripes. I'm starting with the gray (main color). When do I start my (k4,p1)? After I move the marker one stitch to the left? Do I need to slip a stitch on the 2nd round? Thanks for sharing!

TECHknitter said...

hello Anon!! here is a post which shows how to combine jogless stripes with ribbing:

if this does not answer your question, write again, OK?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your clear explanation. I'm not a very advanced knitter, and for the first time I'm knitting a double knit hat in the round.
Read your information again, but have no clue what happens with the yarn if I slip a stitch (in this case, two, because both front and back have a stripe).
I'm just leaving it at this, I can live with a jog :-)
But I'd love to hear what you have to say about this..
Greetings from the Netherlands! José (Prutxer on Ravelry)

Allison said...

This is probably a ridiculous question, but which way do you slip the first stitch of the new color - purl wise or knit wise? Thank you so much for this explanation! So much simpler than the other instructions I've been looking at.

TECHknitter said...

Hi Allison--you slip the stitch "open" so that it oes not twist or change orientation as it gently slips from one needle to another. Stated otherwise, if knitting western, you slip the stitch right arm forward, so when you come to it again, you can simply knit it just as if it had never been messed with at all.

knitsalot said...

Hope for your wisdom to come my way! I'm using this scarf pattern, but I'm making arm warmers. Sometimes, there is only one row in a color. How can best do it to hide the jog on the one-color row??

TECHknitter said...

If ALL the stripes are 1-row high, then helix stripes are your friend.

However, in a fibonacci sequence, it is only sometimes that a single-row high stripe comes along. This is more of a problem. Here's what I would do.

First, slip a few stitches away from the previous stripe. In other words, you are changing the beginning point of the round.

Next, knit all the way around the round in the single color.

Finally, slip back to where you ended the previous round and begin the next-following stripe there.

On the upside, with this trick, the single stripe is a perfect circle, not part of a spiral. On the downside, there's a hole where the two ends of the single round meet, but using one the handy ends hanging there, you can take a single duplicate stitch over the neighboring stitch and seal that hole forever, before working in the ends of that single round.

France Chevalier Stewart said...

9 years later and this post is still useful! Thank you so much!