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If you're already a fan of circular knitting, you'll love helix knitting. Helix, or helical knitting, involves working stripes where each row of each color is completely jogless. I learned this technique during a test knit for my friend Hannah, who’s a big fan of helix knitting.

Basically, you'll need to divide your total number of stitches by the number of colors you want to knit. You knit normally until three stitches before reaching the next color (you can work with more or less than this if you prefer). Then, you drop the yarn you're working with, slip three stitches without working them, grab your next yarn, and keep going. These slipped stitches allow you to have a completely jogless stripe without losing gauge, neither too tight nor too loose.

We suggest you watch Very Pink Knits' video about helix knitting to see how it works in action.

Now that you're familiar with helix knitting, here are a few common questions about it.

Does helix knitting work in flat knitting?

No. It only works in circular knitting.

Does helix knitting work for stripes wider than a row?

For this purpose, you'll work with more yarn balls of the color that you want to be your main color.

Can I make increases and decreases in helix knitting?

Yes! You can even knit cables and lace stitches. In my opinion, the increases that turn out to be the most beautiful in this kind of work are LLI and LRI. I think they look better than the usual M1L and M1R.

If you want to learn more about this technique, check out this video by Grace O'Neill.

Now, let's take a look at some patterns that incorporate helix knitting.

two striped socks on a table. the stripes are pink, yellow and red. one of the socks hasn't been completely knitted.
© Hannah Ralha

As a self-declared enthusiast of knitting socks and colorful things, I truly enjoyed the challenge of testing this pattern. Helix knitting produces the same effect as self-striping yarn and colorwork charts. You eagerly anticipate the next stripe, and the next, and the next, which makes your work grow without you even noticing. This sock also features a very interesting heel—it resembles a short-row heel, but it's different.

on the left, a man wears a grey and white striped knitted hat; on the right, a woman wears a yellow and brown striped knitted hat
© John Crane

This hat has become my go-to for a speedy gift for baby showers or last-minute birthdays. You don't need a massive amount of yarn, yet you end up with a fancy and stylish piece.

This hat is very stretchy and sized to sit gently on the head to minimize “hat hair.” You can use scraps from another project and half a skein of DK yarn and still achieve a refined hat. Crown it with a fluffy, rounded pom, and the results are sure to be wow-worthy!

a white, blue and navy striped sweater on a clothes hanger
© Ola Ogunlolu

If you're eager to delve deeper into helix knitting, why limit it to accessories when you can craft an entire garment using this remarkable technique? With its lightweight feel, loose fit, and cropped silhouette complemented by long sleeves, this sweater is an essential piece for delightful sunny days with a cool breeze.

The technique strikes a harmonious balance between engagement and relaxation, guaranteeing that knitters of various skill levels will enjoy this project. By utilizing helix knitting, which sidesteps monotony and sustains interest, the process remains intuitive and straightforward.

And if you’re a fan of stripes like I am, make sure to check out these 3 striped sweaters that are instant classics.


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