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.
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.
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.
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.