MASTER­CLASS

Jen Bartlett ex­plains how to work ‘bar­ber­pole’ stripes in the round with two colours, avoid­ing jogs when you change yarns

The Knitter - - Contents - About our ex­pert Jen Bartlett is tech­ni­cal as­sis­tant and yarn re­viewer for The Knit­ter. She loves to knit socks, and en­joys find­ing new ways to achieve a pro­fes­sional fin­ish for her knit­ting projects.

How to cre­ate neat bar­ber­pole stripes

ONE OF the prob­lems with knit­ting stripes in the round is that each colour’s start and end points don’t meet up, as the end of the round is higher than the be­gin­ning - mak­ing a stair-step ef­fect or ‘jog’. When you knit in the round, you are knit­ting in a spi­ral, so that each round is lay­ered on top of the one be­fore. This isn’t re­ally no­tice­able when knit­ting with just one colour yarn, but the colour changes in striped fab­ric make it hard to miss ( 1).

He­li­cal, or helix, stripes take ad­van­tage of this spi­ral con­struc­tion, with the colours fol­low­ing each other around, cre­at­ing a bar­ber­pole ef­fect. You don’t need to twist the yarns to­gether or in­deed do any­thing ex­cept knit one colour and then the next!

This tu­to­rial will out­line helix knit­ting with two colours in sin­gle row stripes - but don’t let that stop you from con­sid­er­ing this method for three or more colours, as the con­cept is ba­si­cally the same. We are start­ing our stock­ing stitch stripes after a sec­tion of rib worked in yarn A, as you might for a sock cuff or hat brim. Plac­ing equal num­bers of stitches on each of your four DPNs will help keep things clear as you work. Step 1: Knit across nee­dles 1, 2 and 3 with yarn A. Step 2: Go back to the start of the round and at­tach yarn B ( 2). Step 3: Work across nee­dles 1 and 2 with yarn B ( 3). Step 4: Re­turn to yarn A and work across nee­dles 4 and 1 ( 4). Step 5: Re­turn to yarn B and work across nee­dles 3 and 4. Con­tinue in this man­ner and you’ll see your stripes swirling around in per­fect un­bro­ken stripes. ( 5) Be sure to keep your ten­sion even and don’t twist your yarns to­gether. Also, bear in mind that pulling on the new colour you’ve picked up, in or­der to tighten it, will cause dis­tor­tion in the fab­ric, mak­ing the changeover more ob­vi­ous. You’re aim­ing for a smooth, un­in­ter­rupted spi­ral.

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