Striped hats, striped socks, striped scarves , striped sweaters: They're fun to knit, make perfect gifts and never go out of style. Stripes for the win! The only problem? Those jogs you get when you knit striped work in the round.
To the untrained eye, jogs look like fails — except they're not. Jogs are actually a built-in part of knitting in the round , but there's a sneaky workaround for avoiding them. Knitting stripes that match up evenly, without the telltale jog at the beginning of each round, is easier than you'd think.
Let's look at what causes the jog in the first place. A jog in your stripes shows up because in-the-round knitting is a bit of a misnomer. You're not stacking row upon row of knitting in a circle; you're essentially creating a spiral. Your last stitch of the round won't meet up with the first stitch in the next round, but instead will begin above it. That change becomes especially noticeable when you're working those stripes, causing what's known as the jog.
You can do one of two things: grumble about it and fiddle with the stitches over and over until the backs of your socks look bumpy, or use this technique to fix it. (Hint: Option two all the way!)
My beginning of the next round is in the middle of the needle, and you can see how all the stripes are just slightly off.
How to Knit Jogless Stripes
1. Begin a New Stripe
Do this by knitting one round as you normally would in the new color yarn.
2. Lift a Stitch
Before starting the next round, use your right needle to lift the stitch below the first stitch of the left needle up onto the left needle.
3. Knit These Two Stitches Together
If you do this at the beginning of each row, you'll create an elongated stitch, hiding that beginning-of-the-round jog.
If you look closely, you'll be able to see where the round began and which stitch was modified to hide the stripe.
If you'd rather not make that elongated stitch, there's a fix for that too. After knitting the two stitches together, place a new marker. Your rounds have now moved one stitch to the left. This creates an invisible seam that will move diagonally.
In this photo you can compare the variations: Beginning from the bottom the first two gray stripes have a jog, the third stripe has the elongated stitch, and the fourth has moved one stitch to the left.
It's best to use the elongated stitch on garments for which the beginning and end of the round should stay in the same place (i.e. sweaters), and to save the moving stitch version for those that don't (i.e. hats, socks).