Monday, March 3, 2008

Jogless ribbing STRIPES with a trick to work your ends in as-you-go (also part 3 of "pocket hats")

Among the several methods to work your ends in as you go, this blog has previously introduced the "back join." Among the methods to avoid a "jog" when striping in the round, this blog has previously introduced "jogless stripes, a new method."

The top part of today's post shows a variation on these two tricks--a JOGLESS BACK JOIN as adapted for 2x2 ribbing. In other words, today's post shows a new 2-in-1 adaptation, so that in ribbing you can:
  • work your ends in as you go AND
  • create jogless stripes
Also, today's post can be read as part 3 of a little knit along (KAL) we have going here, for easy-to-make ribbed stripy "pocket hats." The bottom part of this post puts the jogless back join straight to work with further directions for this KAL.

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ADDENDUM, 2011:  The KAL laid out below stretches out over 5 posts, of which this is the third, and is free.  However, some folks have written to say they find it hard to follow the pattern over so many posts. So...if you like, you can buy the pattern in an easy-to-print, all-in-one place pdf.
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1. (below) The jogless back join is done on seven stitches.
  • the tail of the old color is worked into stitches 1(K), 2 and 3 (both purls)
  • the actual join occurs in stitches 4 and 5 (both knits) and the
  • tail of the new color is worked into stitches 5 (knit) 6 and 7 (purls)
As you can see, the stitches in columns 4 and 5, which will be the "ground zero" of this join, together make up a k2 rib.
2. (below) Step 2 is a MEASURING step. Starting with the leftmost stitch of the last k2 rib in the color change round -- the stitch in column 1 on the diagrams -- work three additional stitches. Mark the spot where the running stitch emerges from the third stitch. In the diagram, that spot has been drawn with a blue dot, but in real life, you could mark the spot with a pin, or by pinching it and not letting to, or with a small dot of tailor's chalk. The point is to measure off the amount of yarn it will take to work 3 stitches, and mark that length.
3. (below) Having marked the correct spot, you will now unravel those three stitches you worked (stitches 1, 2 and 3) and replace them on the left needle. As you can see, stitches should be replaced RIGHT arm forward. At the spot you've marked, interlock the old yarn and the new yarn.

Three little things to note about this step:

  • As shown in step 3, interlocking the yarns means that each yarn--the old yellow yarn and the new orange yarn--are now doubled back on themselves. That's why this kind of join is called a "back join."
  • As you get better and better at the back join, you may find that you are able to skip step 2 (the measuring step) because you are able to accurately estimate where the interlock should be.
  • The diagram below employs artistic license. In real life, the yarn resulting from unraveling the 3 stitches will be much longer, proportionately.

4. (below) Using the doubled-over yellow yarn, you will now re-do stitches 1, 2 and 3, working in pattern. "Working in pattern" means that you should knit st 1, and purl sts 2 and 3, which is the same pattern as the underlying stitches. Because you measured the yellow yarn before you interlocked it and doubled it back, the three re-worked stitches should exactly use up the yellow yarn, and the yellow stitches should end at the interlock. If for some reason the interlock is not where it ought to be, no big deal--just unravel and re-knit these three stitches once again, adjusting the interlock location until it comes out just behind stitch 3, as shown.
5. (below) You are now going to SLIP STITCH 4. As shown in the illustration, when you grab this stitch and slip it up to your right needle, you are going to slip it RIGHT arm forward (untwisted). After slipping stitch 4, you will then knit the first 3 stitches in the new (orange) color. As with the yellow yarn, you will work these stitches with the doubled over yarn (2 strands of yarn) which result from the interlock. By knitting stitches 5, 6 and 7, you are working in the orange tail. One more important thing to note about this step: at this point you are NOT working in pattern. In fact, you will now knit the rest of this first round of the new color (no purling), and this is to avoid "icky dots" in ribbing, as explained in the immediately previous post.
6. (below) After knitting in orange all the way around the round (no purling) you will now knit stitch 4--that being the stitch you slipped in the previous step. After knitting stitch 4, you are going to slip its partner--stitch 5. Be careful here and remember that this stitch you are about to slip--stitch 5--is actually a stitch knit from doubled-back yarn. Therefore, when you come to slip, be careful to grab BOTH loops of this stitch. As you can see, when you grab this doubled stitch and slip it to your right needle, you should slip it RIGHT arm forward, so it lays untwisted.

This is also the time to snip loose the yellow yarn--as the diagram shows, the yellow yarn is no longer attached to the ball, but is now a disconnected tail.

After slipping stitch 5, you return to pattern. In other words, after this step, have completed round 1 of the new color (orange) and you would purl 2, then knit 2, and so on, matching the pattern of the underlying ribbing. If you have been using a stitch marker to mark the beginning of the round, you would now place it just to the left of slipped stitch 5. From here on out, you will work the new color normally, which means that when you come all the way around, you will simply knit off the slipped stitch at the end of the round as if it were any other knit stitch.
7a. (below) This is the finished fabric. Stitches 1, 2 and 3 have the last tail of the yellow worked into them. The next two stitches--4 and 5-- have each been slipped once. The tails of the new (orange) yarn have been worked into stitches 5, 6 and 7. If you look carefully at the diagram, you'll see that the stitches look crooked and uneven, but...
7b. (below) ... diagrams are limited. The join "in the wool" as shown below, shows no jog. As you can also see, the extra loop of stitch 5 does not show. If you find in your own work, that the double loop at stitch 5 does show a little bit, dig around on the back of the fabric with a small knitting needle, and once you locate the "back" of the two loops, tug on it to make it disappear.
8. (below) If you think about what you have done, you've slipped stitches 4 and 5 to be sort of "mezzanine" (halfway) stitches. Because they were slipped, they got pulled down to a sort of halfway position between the end of one round and the beginning of the next, and this is what eliminates the "jog" at the end of the round. However, in eliminating the jog by slipping, we've also eliminated 1 stitch from each of column 4 and 5. We're going to make up those missing stitches (one from each column) by adding them at the top of the column. In other words, each successive color change will travel one k2 rib to the left, and in this way, each column of k2 stitches in each color will have the same number of stitches. Another way of saying this same thing is that stitch 5 of the old color change will be stitch 1 of the new color change. If this remains confusing to you, you might like to review "traveling" jogless joins in stockinette, which are explained here -- the principle is the same whether the stitches travel in stockinette or in ribbing.

So far, the directions in previous posts (click here) have taken the hat to the top of the first color stripe. You will now change colors as shown in this post, and again knit the number of rounds for the hat you are making (somewhere between 13 rounds for the shortest style--the watch cap, and 16 rounds for the longest style--the rasta hat). Continue using this same color change technique to striping your way up the hat to the top (5th) stripe. When you get there (just past the color change for last color) wait for me--the next post will incorporate 3 more tricks to make a truly flat hat top.

--TECHknitter (You have been reading TECHknitting on: Jogless stripes in ribbing with no ends to weave in)