Snow Day Knitting and the Jogless Jog

The Jogless Jog: Somehow I haven’t had the occasion to use this delightful technique until yesterday, when I found myself without a project to knit during the epic Winter Storm Stella. We had to close the shop early, and there I was with all kinds of time on my hands and a warm, fuzzy feeling resulting from the gratitude I always feel to have a roof over my head when the weather is bad (and also from the space heater that I practically snuggle with in my living room). We’re lucky to be knitters on snowy days, because knitting is the natural thing for a knitter to do while hunkering down at home.

I’ve been on a bright and cheery color kick. I just finished the Hanasaku Cowl in a rainbow of purples, greens, blues and pinks and the Rainbow Warrior Shawl in hot pink and speckled turquoise. I was in the mood for this Malabrigo Worsted skein in bright plum purple. But never one to be satisfied with one single color, I decided to combine it with a bit of leftover cream-toned Cascade Eco-Duo I had lying around. Who knows where inspiration comes from? I just cast on some stitches and began knitting a hat with a hemmed edge and skinny stripes and hopefully a beret-like fit.

The only trouble with stripes in a circular-knit project is that they typically don’t line up at the beginning of the round. There’s a visible jog in the pattern. When you’re knitting around in a spiral and you switch colors, the very last stitch of the row will be basically on top of the very first stitch. One solution, of course, would be to knit all striped objects flat, then seam them with the mattress stitch. This can result in perfectly aligned stripes. But, my friends, there is a better way!

This is how it looks when you lift the stitch below up and put it onto the left needle.

Here’s how to do the Jogless Jog. It could hardly be simpler.

First, Introduce your new color and knit all the way around. No funny business. Just knit a round.

Second, when you are ready to knit the first stitch of the next row, use your right needle to lift the stitch below (which you knit in the previous color) up onto the left needle and then knit it together with the stitch.

Do this every time you switch to a new color. Not every row, just every first row of a new color.

This is how it looks on the inside. See how the end of the row shifts?

 

That’s it! it’s like a miracle – you can’t even tell where the end of the row is. By the way, the end of the row will naturally shift one stitch to the left every time you do this. It’s ok. Just go with it. You never need to hesitate about knitting stripes in the round again!

Some other things that might interest you:

 

Happy Pi Day!

Today is March 14th, which makes it Pi Day! This day, which can be written 3.14, is a fun excuse to celebrate all types of pi(e). Other than the obvious (and delicious) option of making and/or eating a pie, we knitters can also observe Pi Day by casting on a project inspired by Elizabeth Zimmermann! Knit author Kate Atherley, writing for Interweave, explains that the Great EZ “realized that the application of a simple fact of geometry could make knitting a circular shawl significantly easier and more fun”. Atherley’s article, “Demystifying The Pi Shawl: Create Your Own One of a Kind Circular Shawl” is a perfect quick read for today.

EZ’s full original pattern for the Pi Shawl is in the Knitter’s Almanac and Knitting Workshop, both of which we have on the shelf at the shop. But one search in Ravelry will show you the influence that she has had on the knitting world. When I searched “pi shawl”, I got eight pages of results! The beauty of EZ’s genius is in the way it empowers knitters, and transforms complicated or tedious concepts into inspirational springboards. One of my favorite designs on Ravelry is Mwaa Knit’s “EZ 100th Anniversary PI Shawl: Camping” pattern. The designer pieces together four carefully chosen motifs to create a stunning shawl that is a tribute to EZ’s writings, specifically her tales of wonderful camping experiences. The final piece is a work of art.

© Mwaa

For those of you who want to observe Pi Day but are daunted by the idea of doing a full circle shawl, Over The Rainbow Yarn has the answer: our Pi Hat! Basically a mini pi shawl, our Pi Hat uses a strand of sport weight yarn (like Plymouth Galway Sport) held together with a strand of mohair or other fluffy yarn (like Kidsilk Haze or Andean Mist). The pattern for this soft, slouchy beret is available for purchase either in the store, or through Ravelry.

© Over the Rainbow Yarn Designs

How will you celebrate Pi Day?

Applying Knitting-Knowledge Outside of Knitting

I’ve never been a huge fan of the saying “draw what you know“. It seems limiting, doesn’t it? Looking back at it now, though, I can see some merit to these words. Since I started working here, I can see that I’ve added new subjects to my illustration work that I never would have considered before regarding the knowledge I’ve gained about knitting, crocheting, yarn, etc. Probably the most obvious example would be for the coloring pages that get put in the newsletter (which you can find on our website as a free download for a short time! ).

A less obvious way that I’ve noticed is that it’s seeped not only into my drawing, but also into my writing. All the knowledge, conversations, behaviors, etc. I’ve partaken in seem to have found their way into how I create characters. They add layers that make them seem more concrete than before, more alive, more relatable. This is astounding to me, and I’m beyond pleased with the growth that such a vastly different art has been able to provide in my work! 

The amount of times I need to have a reference photo for what knitting looks like is also astounding. Drawing needles in action is difficult, man.