Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tutorial: Jogless Join

Pin It

Anyone who knows me in a "knitterly" way, knows that I *love* knitting in the round. There's something very zen about being able to knit stitch after stitch in a rhythm without stopping to turn your work.

But what do you do when you want to knit stripes? There's no seam to hide the join. And if you just join mid-row, you end up with a jog.

What is a jog?

It's the spot where your old color ends and your new color begins. When you knit in the round, you're actually knitting in spirals. So when you start your new color, the new stitch is directly to the left of your old color, creating a step, or a "jog."

For a cleaner look, you'll want to try a "jogless join" or "jogless jog." This eliminates the step and is nearly invisible. This technique was described by Meg Swansen in her book, Meg Swansen's Knitting. Rather than quote her, I'm going to show you step by step how this technique is worked.

Step 1:

First, at the end of a round, begin your new color. Just pick up your new color and begin to knit for one full round.

Once each stitch is worked in the new color, stop.

Step 2:

Place your right needle (purlwise, or from right to left) under the right leg of the stitch below the next stitch to be worked. This will be the old color.

Bring this stitch up and onto the left needle.

Now your left needle should look something like this.

Step 3:

Knit these stitches together.

Now your work should look something like this. Expect both the old and new colors to have some tension issues. They aren't anchored down by anything. You'll be able to fiddle with this a bit as you go.

Notice that the right needle, though it has already knit the first stitch of the new round, looks like it only has one stitch on it. Thanks to the join, this is the new last stitch of your round. Be sure to move your stitch marker one stitch to the LEFT each time you change colors this way. Failing to move the stitch marker is the single most common mistake I see. If you do not move your stitch marker, you end up with a single stitch where there should be two rows of stitches.

Now you have knit two complete rows. Notice that both the left and right needle have two rows of the new color knit on them. This is a great way to double-check that your stitch marker has been moved to the proper place.

And what does it look like when you're done?

See? It's nearly invisible! Much better than a step.

Here's a series of stripes. Each stripe is 2 rows. Can you see the joins?

You can probably see what looks like a tension problem that runs from the bottom right corner to the top left corner. Remember, with each join, our starting point moves one space to the left.

The diagonal line shows this move.

But you can also see that each stripe is 2 stitches tall all the way across. And in some rows, you'd be hard-pressed to find the join. (I'm hoping I can continue to improve to the point where it's truly invisible.)

On the back, you can see the diagonal even better. Here is where the yarn travels up the work. I loathe tucking in ends, so the double row stripe works well for me. No ends!

Give the jogless join a try for yourself and let me know how it works for you! If you have any questions, please ask in the comments.


kyouell said...

I'm such a beginner -- still making a shrug that I started when my 3yo was 6mo -- but I've found such a wealth of info online that I can visibly see my knitting improving since I picked it up again this year. I cannot wait to try this tip so my 2nd project is going to have stripes!

Linda said...

Thank you for this, it is awesome!

Linda said...

Thank you for this, it is awesome!

AuntieAnn said...

Great picture tutorial! This works very well for me, too. I even use it with self-striping yarn.

tamdoll said...

This is brilliant. Thanks so much for the step-by-step.

Anonymous said...

Clearest resource I've been able to find with detailed captions for step by step photos. Thank you.

Frau Putz said...

I have been knitting like... forever... My grandmother taught me when I was just a little girl.
But... she never taught me this. I never knew you could do that.
Just goes to show, that you live to learn.
Thankyou so much for sharing!

denise.tricot said...

Thank you so much, you are so sweet!
Much love and light!

Julsa said...

Thank you so very much for posting your instructions with pictures. I'm currently working on a stranded scarf and I kept finding the same instructions that said to "pick up the stitch from the previous row" and just couldn't visualize it - Thanks again!

Rose said...

This is so helpful, thank you!

Suzy said...

When you start your 2nd stripe do you do the first stitch in color B and then knit with Color A? Then with 3rd stripe would you knit 2 stitches in color A before starting to knit with color B again?

Jackie said...

Suzy, no. You first knit an entire row in your 2nd color without anything fancy. Then when you're back to the first stitch of your 2nd color, lift the stitch below so that you're knitting one leg of each color. Do this same thing for each stripe.

Anonymous said...

I am knitting a linen lace tunic on circular needles on which the trim around the neck and armholes, usually ribbed, is here made up of several rows of garter stitch. First I pick up and knit a row, then when I switch to purling for the next row I have that "jog". Can I use your technique for garter stitch in the round, only instead of switching the color of yarn I am switching from knit to purl. If so, after I have put the stitches on the left needle, do I knit or purl the two together? Thanks.

Jackie said...

Anonymous, that's a good question. One I haven't experimented yet. Give me a couple days and I'll see what I can figure out. :)

Anonymous said...

Wish I had seen this BEFORE I made the two striped Christmas stockings I just finished. The pattern had me breaking the yarn and weaving it in to minimize the jog. Next time....

RoMag said...

Thanks so much! Awesome tip!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting! One question: how does this work when you only knit one row of the new color and then go back to base color?

LovinglyHandmade said...

great!! thank you

maria said...

Thank you so much for this excellent tutorial. I needed to learn this technique.


chris0855 said...

Thanks for the info. I just tried this on a hat I'm making & it worked well!

Anonymous said...

This makes so much sense it's like "duh". Thanks so much.

Bonnie said...

This is fantastic! Wish I'd known about this a few weeks ago... I'll definitely put this into practice!