Stripes in the Round

If you have never knit stripes, or have never been satisfied with how you have been knitting them, you might find these basic tips helpful. (By the way, this isn't a tutorial on the "Jogless Jog", which is a way of eliminating the imperfect way stripes meet at the end of the round. Maybe another time!)

When switching colors, first make sure that the last stitch knit in that color (2 rounds ago in this case) is not too loose or too tight.


Now bring the old color (blue) over to the left, keeping it above the new color (white). When you knit the first stitch with the new color, the old color will be trapped between the working yarn and the knitting.


If you're an English style knitter (you hold the working yarn in your right hand):

When you knit the first stitch of the round, bring the yarn over your left index finger (this creates a little slack in the yarn to prevent puckering).


If you're a Continental style knitter (you hold the working yarn in your left hand):

When you knit the first stitch of the round, bring the yarn over your right index finger.


Remove your finger for the next stitch...

If you are using slippery yarn, like this silk alpaca blend, knit the next two stitches normally, but on the third stitch give a gentle extra tug so that the first stitch of the round won't be loose.

Here's what carrying the yarns up the back looks like:


And here's what it looks like in the front:


Notice how the stripes don't exactly meet at the end of the round. Don't worry, that's normal. It's because knitting in the round is actually knitting a spiral. So, the end of a round is one row higher than the beginning of the same round! When you block the knitting, sometimes you can kind of tug the stripes into alignment. (To learn about knitting stripes in the round without a visible seam, try searching the "Jogless Jog" technique!)

5 Responses to Stripes in the Round

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  1. Kaeleira says:

    Great tutorial! I'd like to suggest a slight change to the last paragraph. Yes, having a jog in the stripes is normal, but there is definitely a way to fix that when doing stripes of 2 or more rows! Could you perhaps add in a comment directing the reader to look up techniques for "jogless stripes in the round"? I'd hate to think that there are people out there who don't know about this. Thanks!

  2. purl bee says:

    Hi Kaeleira,

    I do mention the Jogless Jog in the introduction of the tutorial; but since I agree with you, the more people who know more about knitting, the better, I added another mention in the last paragraph.

    Thanks for the suggestion. Keep them coming!


  3. Olena says:

    I'm that one who didn't know about jogless jog. Now I do! Thanks a lot )))

  4. Chris says:

    When do you pick up.the slack of the yarn wrapped around the non working yarns finger?

  5. purl bee says:

    Hi Chris,

    The slack is for the yarn to travel up the work from that color's previous stripe to its next stripe. If your stripes don't require quite so much slack, then you may want to skip the step of wrapping the yarn around your finger; but, even if you're working a one-round stripe, you will need to allow for some degree of slack between the last stitch of a color's stripe and the first stitch of its following stripe.

    I hope this helps you get it just right. Please let us know if you have any more questions and thanks so much for this one!


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