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Technique Number 1: Helical Stripes


Just asked that same question. Should have checked before doing that :relieved:
Clear now !


I’m using 12" circulars and love them! I tried the 9" and the needles were just too small for my hands to maneuver. The 12" give me enough play to keep all the stitches on the cable and needles are big enough for me to not get cramped fingers and still be able to do move them around to do things like cables, slipping stitches, etc.

Hope that helps!


So imagine you have 3 yarns - A and B which you have been helical striping, and you want to swap A for C. You can really do that at any time while you are working with yarn A. I would probably work with yarn A until I reach the start of the round marker (swapping and doing some yarn B in between if needed). Then change A for C at the marker. The helical stripes are all “unfinished rounds” so you can really change out wherever you like, but I would probably do it at the marker. Hope that helps!


It does help, thank you!
They’re almost done, one more thumb ribbing to go. Unfortunately I had to increase for the thumb gusset with yarn B, as it would have taken ages for A to reach beginning o.t.r. marker, because A and B overlapped in the gusset. Wish I knew a way to avoid that, e.g. to start 36 stitches before the increases begin. Or is that a silly thought?


Ah, I think my wording has been confusing. You didn’t need to wait until you naturally ended using yarn A at the marker, just until you were working with yarn A and happened to pass the marker. If A and B overlap in the gusset you can just work a little shorter round to move the yarns out of the way. So for example, pick up B and knit 20 sts so that you’re out of the gusset area, then slip sts back to A and work to 3 sts before B as normal. Does that make sense? (Yet another really hard to type an explanation but would be simple to show you if we were sat next to each other!)


Thanks for the very quick answer. Wish we were sitting together :slight_smile:


Knitting a sweater. Using Helical Spiral to avoid color pooling and for the garter stitch hem to eliminate the vertical seam.

Since the two yarns were similar colors, I brought yarn to front temporarily to serve as a moveable stitch marker so I could tell when to be ready to switch yarns.

I rolled the yarn balls in two shapes to help keep me on track the the Helical garter stitch. I knitted the purl working from the sphere shape ball and when I picked up the working yarn from the cake, I knew to be ready to knit.

Question: The how-to video had the helical started after the ribbing. When applying helical right after cast-on, what’s the best way to set it up. I purled a full row. Then knitted almost a full row and slipped three stitches to start purling again. But that area looked thinner like it lacked a row, making the edge have a bit of a jog. I evened it up with darning needle but wondered if there’s a better set-up.


Hmmm, this is a tricky one, and I’d probably have to play around with yarn and needles to be totally certain… But I wonder whether you need to join your yarns in at opposite sides of the round, so that it’s as spread out as possible. When you start 2 spirals at the same point the step is 2 rounds worth rather than the normal 1. This isn’t too noticeable if the first yarn was used for a few rounds first (like in the ribbing), but I guess if you’re helical right off the bat it must be more obvious.

So I would try casting on your stitches with one yarn and join into the round. Then use that yarn to work the first half of the round as knit or purl (whichever you want to start with), then join in the second ball and purl or knit (whichever you didn’t do with ball 1) until you are 3 sts before the first yarn. Slip 3 sts, pick up the first yarn and continue from there.

I think that’s my best guess! :slight_smile: That’s certainly how I handle more than 2 balls of yarn - by spreading out the joining in points as much as possible.


Jen, thank you for your input. I really enjoy the Helical Spiral. It is quite fun to do. I will try your suggestion soon when I cast on the second sleeve!


Hi Helical People, I’m knitting Granito and want to do the body in arrow strips- perfect for this technique. But, how do I do 2 or 3 row stripes? I can’t seem to visualize how to do it without carrying yarn up .
Anybody got the answer??


I know you’ve been pointed at a post with a full answer over in my Ravelry group, but in case anyone else here is wondering about the same thing…
I’m assuming that by 2 or 3 row stripes, you mean 2 colours with 2 or 3 rows of each in the repeat? So the pattern might be 2 rows in yarn A, and 2 rows in yarn B?
I’m afraid that the bad news is that you need a ball of yarn for each row in the stripe pattern. So for the pattern I’ve just outlined, you’d need to wind A into 2 balls, and B into 2 balls.
Then you divide your round roughly into 4 sections (one for each ball of yarn). Knit the first round by working one colour for each section (so for a round of 60 sts, knit 15 in the first yarn A, k15 in the second yarn A, k15 in the first yarn B, then k15 in the second yarn B.
Then you continue to knit with the second yarn B until you’re 3 sts before the next colour change. Drop second yarn B, slip 3 sts and pick up first yarn A. From this point on, you work helically (to 3 sts before the colour change, slip 3 and pick up the new colour).
Hope that helps!


Thank you, thank you!!! I had a feeling it was something like this but it takes a knitting genius, like yourself, to be able to explain it so clearly. I’m now faced with the decision of whether to divide my lovely and huge balls of Wollmeise Twin. Hmmmm… I think I have to try it>
Thanks again.


Why do you have to do 2 or 3 rounds to intermingle the color/lot variation? I’d opt for 1 round of each without dividing my yarn and creating extra ends…


Oh my, I’ve set up my 2 colors- having divided my circumference in 4 parts. I’ve done yarn A in 2 sections, then 2 sections with Yarn B. At this point confusion has set in.
I continue with the second yarn B till 3 stitches before yarn A- slip 3 sets and picked up yarn A. Do I knit a complete round with the first yarn A or stop 3 stitches before the second yarn A to slip them and start knitting with second yarn A? This doesn’t correct . Or- maybe I just figured this out- I knit till the first yarn B- having slipped 3 before it begins - pick up B and knit till I meet yarn A again?
Hmmmm…not sure.
Susan B


I think @skb2714 is working with 2 different colours and wants 2 round stripes of each. That’s my understanding anyway. It’s not a blending dyelot thing. :slight_smile:


You’re closer to getting it than you think. :wink:

It’s the second option… You continue with the second yarn B until 3 sts before the first yarn A. Drop 2nd B, slip 3, pick up first A. Then you knit with first A until 3 sts before second A. Drop first A, slip 3, pick up second A. Knit with second A until 3 sts before first B. Drop second A, slip 3 and pick up first B. Continue like that. So you never knit over the dangling end of a colour. Always stop 3 sts before you hit it, and then slip 3 and pick up the new colour.

Fingers crossed that clears it all up. :slight_smile:


Thanks, Jen. I totally missed that.


You are truly my knitting hero and so generous with your time and advice. I was in the throes of giving it up as a misguided design feature but I am inspired to begin anew!!! I can see now that it’s really 4 helical stripes and it will all turn out beautifully! Thanks again- you are so kind.


Nellknits, thank you for putting your knitting mind towards figuring my problem. I do have contrasting skeins and hope for a stripey effect.
I love knitters!


I’m blushing furiously here. :blush: That’s ever so sweet of you to say so! Lots of knitters have been very generous to me with their advice, blog posts, knowledge and so forth - I’m simply paying it forward. :slight_smile: