Friday, March 4, 2011

Jogless stripes--pretty picture version (part 3 of a series)

Slip-stitch jogless stripes were the subject of a post way back in January 2007. Then in the spring of 2009, Interweave Knits published an jogless stripe article by me which included the 2007 info plus some new info about barberpole (helix) jogless stripes. The article also came with a video. With the two most recent posts, helix stripes and a link to the video have now been added to this blog, and the only part of the 2009 article not yet reproduced are some pretty pictures of slip-stitch jogless stripes.

These pictures cover the same ground as the 2007 slip-stitch jogless post--identical info--but these new pictures are prettier. Rather than mess with the original post, I'm putting them into a post of their own--maybe these prettier pictures will shed a better light than the old pictures, even though the process is identical.

* * *

Slip-stitch jogless stripes

General directions:

  • *On color change rounds, change colors by simply knitting the first stitch of the new color as you normally would knit any stitch. Next, 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
  •  Repeat from * every time you want to change colors.

Per the illustration below, slipping the stitch at the beginning of the second round (green arrow) pulls that first stitch of the new color up to span both first and second rounds; the last stitch of the previous color gets pulled smaller (orange arrow); and the stitch of the old color in the row below the slipped stitch gets pulled up along with the slip stitch stitch (purple arrow). These forces arrange the stitches into smaller “steps” (black arrows) lessening the contrast between the old color and the new and essentially eliminating the jog.

How the slip stitch makes the stripe jogless

Jogless slip-stitch stripes come in two types: “traveling” and “stationary.” The actual technique is as shown above, and is the same in both, the only difference is the point at which you change color.


Per the illustration below, if you choose to let the beginning of the round travel one stitch to the left with each color change (orange arrow) then every part of every row will be the same height and have the same number of stitches, and these are the traveling stripes.

Traveling jogless stripes

Here are complete step-by step directions for this type:

  •  On the round before you intend to change colors, insert a stitch marker at the place you intend to change colors.
  • *On the color change round--slip the marker, then change colors by simply starting to knit with the new color.
  •  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 purlwise (ie: not twisted). Knit all the rest of the stitches of the round.  

 Knit as many rounds as you desire for the stripe, knitting every stitch. One round before your next color change, shift the marker over one stitch to the left. Make more stripes by repeating from *.

Stationary stripes

If you choose to hold the beginning of the round in the same place, then in the color-change column (orange arrow) each stripe will be one stitch shorter, and these are the stationary stripes. 

Stationary jogless stripes

Stationary, closeup

 Here are complete step-by step directions for this type:

  • On the round before you intend to change colors, insert a stitch marker at the place you intend to change colors.
  • *When you come to a color change round, slip the marker, then change colors by simply starting to knit with the new color.
  •  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 purlwise (ie: not twisted) Knit the rest of the stitches of the round.

 Knit as many rounds as you desire for the stripe, knitting every stitch. Make more stripes by repeating from *.

Which stripe where?

 The advantage to traveling stripes is that every part of every round is the same height; the disadvantage is that the round beginning "travels" one stitch leftward with every color change (illustration 10) Also, with traveling stripes, a faint spiral pattern will develop along the diagonal of the color change. 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.

 The advantage to stationary stripes is that the color change remains in the same place; the disadvantage is that at one part of each round, that round will dip one stitch lower. (illustration 12). 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 knitting stretches enough to solve the problem. Therefore, stationary stripes are best for thick wool and/or thick stripes.



homesweethome said...

Which technique would you recommend when doing welting (horizontal stripes of purl and/or garter stitch on a field of stockinette) in the round?

Danelle in Kansas, wondering . . .

TECHknitter said...

With purl or garter stitch stripes, it is best to change color while still in stockinette, knit one round and THEN switch to purl or garter stitch. Failure to do so will yield a "dotted" or broken" two-color look in the first purl round. Since it is best to work the first round of the new color in stockinette, you are free to use whichever one of these methods best suits your case-- both will work.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm working in a solid yarn--no colored stripe changes--just the "striping" of the welts. The purls "jog" just like a color change. Hmm, is there a way to post a picture?


TECHknitter said...

ah--I see. Have a look at this post, which shows how to solve that exact problem (it arises in the slightly different context of a purl fold line, but it is the identical problem--have a look at text accompanying the illustration highlighted in pink...)

(You have to cut and paste the above link into your browser-sorry I don't know how to do links in a comment.)

mornnen said...

Hi Techknitter--
I just read through your instructions for the traveling and stationary jogless stripes, and I find myself confused because I don't see a difference in the instructions. What am I missing?

TECHknitter said...

Hi Mornen--There was a part hiding from you in the text about the traveling stripes which I have now gone back and HIGHLIGHTED IN RED, so it can't hide any more! See if it makes more sense now, OK?--TK

Anonymous said...

Wow, I must be dense... I read all three ways of doing jogless stripes and they all seem the same to me. Anyway, I'm practising with a mitten right now. Anyone wanting to discuss knitting know-how with mittens, you can contact me. Thanks.

Gisele -

TECHknitter said...

Hi Gisele--the first method is the general directions, the second method makes a traveling stripe, the third method makes a stationary stripe. The difference between the traveling and stationary is** WHERE** the change occurs, the actual method of changing is the same. Best, TK

Renee @ Loca-faces said...

Hi, first, thanks for such great writing and illustrations. When I picked up knitting again after a 9 year lapse this Winter and decided to try socks, I found myself cursing the kitchner stitch. I finally found your post via a google search and am now totally comfortable with it. I really appreciate the level of detail and technical orientation. It must take a lot of work. So, thanks.

The Ravelry stranded group sent me to this post after I asked about striped socks. This helps me with the jogging and I'll try it now, but I am also wondering about the hole created when changing colors. I have high contrast yarn and I'm wondering what the best approach is to minimize see-through. When you carry yarn B up through a stripe of yarn A, do you move it over slightly so that when it joins it can be brought under yarn A to avoid a hole? and any trick to joining a new, high contrast yarn? Or is the best thing just to join it just left of where the round starts? Any thoughts welcome!

TECHknitter said...

Hi Renee--the very best thing of all would be to try it and see, on a swatch. I myself do not get a hole or any show-through, but if the knitting were somewhat loose, this could be an issue. Part of this problem can be regulated by carefully regulating the tension of the yarns being carried--if the new color, being carried up the length of one stripe is made too tight, there will be a pucker and something of a hole. If the new color being carried up the length of one stripe is left too loose, the slipped stitch will have enough slack to distort and stretch. So, the tension of that carried yarn is the thing to practice. BTW--if you have a too-tight tension, there is no ready cure, but a too-loose tension can be corrected, albeit slowly, by picking and tugging the excess out of the carry-strand and distributing it over the first 10 or so knit stitches on either side of the strand.

Anonymous said...

Hi Techknitter, thanks for the pictures and explanations - they are fantastic! I was wondering if traveling stripes would be the thing to do in a striped top-down in the round pullover in a fingering weight wool - where the two colors change every round (in other words, a stripe of each color is a single row). I will test this, of course, but if you know what would happen in my situation, I would appreciate any insight you might have. Thanks, Klara

TECHknitter said...

Hi Klara--look into Helix stripes--these are far better for a single row stripe.
Cut and paste the below into your browser window...

Karla V Muntane said...

Cannot wait to try it tonight!! I will come back with an image :) Thanks for sharing TK!

arealniteowl (at yahoo) said...

First, thank you for outstanding and clear instructions and diagrams. One question. I am about to put stripes into the center section of a cowl. The top and bottom edges of the cowl are K2P2 and the center section is K1P1. Which (if either!) method will work to give me jogless stripes without losing the K1P1 pattern?

TECHknitter said...

Hi ARNO: You might find it helpful to read about "icky dots" (which are the contrasting color dots on the purl column of (any kind of) ribbing)) and how that all works with jogless joins. The relevant post is here:

Although the post does not stress this, the "icky dots" are eliminated by simply knitting the whole color-change round (no purling) as explained further in this post:

tldr summary: do the stationary jogless join, and KNIT (no purling) the entire first round of the new color, then return to the regular ribbing pattern after that round.

Best, TK

arealniteowl (at yahoo) said...

Thank you! I can't believe how quickly you respond. It is sincerely appreciated. I hadn't considered icky dots, but it makes sense. I will experiment tonight to see what knitting the entire round does to the rib. Many thanks.

Raphaele said...

Thank you so much for this post and the whole blog, this is THE place where I find clear answers to tricky questions, you make it all clear. I can't stop marvelling at the amount of information there is here, this is especially useful for advanced knitters I think. I'm going to try the first method as far as I'm concerned.

Acornbud said...

Thank you!

Francis said...

Hi TK -- this post is wonderful! I just have a question about increasing rounds and the traveling method. Do I need to take into consideration the shifting of the beginning of the round when I am adding m1? This is the pattern that I am using:

I'm not sure if I should just follow the pattern as is or if I need to calculate the shift.

Thank you!

Valerie said...

Thank you so very much for this. I have struggled to knit stripes in the round. I have to projects that I am now able to tackle thanks to you.

TECHknitter said...

Hi Francis--I am not aware of that particular pattern. In general, if you are working a pattern where it is important to keep the round marker in the same location, then choose the STATIONARY stripes.

(When using the TRAVELING stripes, the easiest thing is to allow the stitch marker--which marks the beginning of the round--to travel also. This would not be a good idea if there is shaping to be done at the same spot on every round.)
Good luck--TK

Anna said...

I love this. My hats are going to look so much better now! One question. Is there anything special I need to do when hiding my yarn ends to keep the joggless effect?
Anna, in Flagstaff, AZ

TECHknitter said...

Hi Anna--usually, the yarn is carried up the inside (assuming two, or even maybe 3 colors of stripes, that is). So, the only ends to work in are at the top and bottom of the garment. If each stripe is a different color, however, you'll have a lot more ends to work in. In that case, I suggest working ends in as you go. Here is a link to a post showing 10 different ways to work your ends in, eight of which are as you go.

(cut and paste linky into browser window)

If you choose to skim the ends in, cross the ends before working (like the first part of tying your shoes) this will help prevent a gap from opening.

wes_ben said...

Hi Tech Knitter, fellow Wisconsinite (Madiison) here . Am dabbling with simple stranded knitting (Neapolitan fingerless mitts). Can I do the traveling jog with stranded knitting or will it mess up the pattern?

TECHknitter said...

Hi Wes-ben: While it IS possible to use jogless stripes with stranded knitting, May I suggest you try "picture framing" instead? This will make it a lot easier to maintain the look and will offer fewer complications with stranded knitting.

Cut and paste linky into browser window...

Anonymous said...

When i use the traveling jog, i find that i have a distinct indentation in my work running along the jog. How do I prevent this? Thanks

TECHknitter said...

Hi Anon--this line is a function of two things: The nature of the yarn and the tension of the carry. With the way my hands knit, the thinner the yarn, and the more refined it is (more plies, for example, and very smooth) the more the carry shows. So, with a yarn of this nature, if it was me knitting, a stationary jog might work better.

The other factor is tension, and its a hard one to control. Too loose and you get a hole, too tight and you get a pucker. If you have to choose, then a too loose carry is preferable, because, worst case scenario, you can tighten the carry by various means, such as distributing the yarn among the adjoining stitches with the tip of your knitting needle, or even by sewing the slack up in a loop to the back of the fabric, using a sewing needle and thread.

Another thing to perhaps consider is that what you see is far more detailed than what another person would see. For one thing, you know JUST where to look. For another thing, you are examining the work from very close up. For example, when I look at the photos which accompany my jogless join posts, I, too, clearly see the diagonal carry. But others assure me that they don't. Perhaps the same is true with your work?

Finally, if you really despise the diagonal line, and the staitionary jog won't work, you can utterly eliminate the problem by working flat and seaming, or you can try another dodge, which is "picture framing" the work--here is a post on that subject.

Natalia D said...

Thank you for the stockinette stripe instructions. How about one color garter in the round? How would you fix the jog in that? I'm knitting a sweater. Thanks in advance.

TECHknitter said...

Hi Natalia--please have a look at this blog post, which is about horizontal fold lines in knitting. It may help with your issue.
(Cut and pst link into your browser window)

Jamie Urbain said...

I am having a problem with the stationary jogless striping on a christmas stocking. It is still showing a jog... my stripes are: 2 rows white, 4 green, 2 white, 4 red, 2 white, 4 green, etc. The helix wouldn't work for me because my alternating stripes are too wide. Would traveling stripes work better, or is the short white stripe too short for either technique to not show up?

TECHknitter said...

Hi Jamie--jogless stripes require rounds at least 3 rows high to work. So, either change the pattern, or if you want to stick with two-round high stripes, I would highly recommend "picture framing." (cut and paste link into your browser window).

Good luck with the stocking. Best, TK