Garter stitch is one of those stitches that's actually easier to knit in flat than in the round. In flat knitting, all you have to do is knit a row, turn, knit another row... Repeat that and you get a nice, squishy texture that lays flat.
If you want to produce the same texture in circular knitting, things get a little more complicated. First of all, you have to purl every second round. Then there's the thing that happens at the beginning of the round when the two different rounds meet: the jog.
Because knitting in the round is essentially knitting in spiral, the beginning and end of a round never meet at exactly the same height — you just don't see it in stockinette. The jog is the visual discrepancy you get at the change of rounds where the knit and purl stitches start and end at different levels.
Depending on the yarn or project you're working with, the jog might not matter that much. A fuzzy yarn hides most things, a crisp merino or cotton makes it super obvious. The underside of a sweater or mitten cuff — who's going to look there? The side seam on a sweater or a hat? That might draw some eyeballs... and you'll always know the dreaded jog is there.
The jog is really obvious on the cuffs of my Make Space cardigan. I wish I'd known about this technique in 2016.
The Solution: Jogless Garter Stitch in the Round
There are quite a few techniques for getting rid of the jog but the one I'll demonstrate below is by far the easiest I've tried. Some methods have you move the beginning of the round, work with two yarns, or do short rows. To me these are all way too elaborate when you can get practically the same results by changing just one stitch.
This technique is used on my Tweed is the New Black sweater pattern and on the brim of the Wild Sage Hat as well. A small caveat, though: this method is not completely invisible. But it's a compromise on how easy it is to do and how well it hides the jog.
The jogless jog on my Tweed is the New Black sweater. Can you see it?
And here it goes!
Rnd 1: Knit.
Rnd 2: Purl.
Rnd 3: Slip 1 with yarn in front, knit to end.
Rnd 4: Purl.
Repeat rounds 3–4.
Now I hear you asking: Is that it?! Yes, that is it: you just slip the first stitch of each knit round with yarn in front. That little loop of yarn you get in the front of the work mimics the curves of reverse stockinette, and hides the transition from round to round. One stitch is literally all the difference it makes to get jogless garter stitch from regular garter stitch in the round.
Have you tried the jogless garter stitch? How did you like it? Let me know in the comments below!
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