Spiral Stripes

I went diving into my stash for worsted weight yarn for another Any Gauge Raglan pullover. I found 6 50g balls of royal blue (300g in total). A great colour but not enough for a sweater. I didn’t find any sweater amount of anything else that caught my eye. What to do? Spiral Stripes, that’s the answer. I have lots of single balls in several different colours. I’m going to go stash diving to see if I can find 4 more colours that will go with my royal blue. Wish me luck.

For quite some time I have thought that a raglan would be perfect for working Spiral Stripes (also known as Helix stripes). This method gives you single rounds of stripes without any jog at the beginning of the round.

I’ve worked Stash Buster Socks with 3 colours and with 4 odd balls I worked the Stash Buster Striped Hat using spiral stripes.

These are the rules I follow:

  1.  One more colour than sections your project is divided into.
  2.  Do Not Twist when changing colours.

That’s it.

Rule 1:  Divide your project into sections and work with one more colour than the number of sections. You can use markers to make arbitrary divisions in your project or use any natural sections your project may already be divided into. The sections do not have to have the same number of stitches. For example, a sock can be divided into the front of the leg and the back of the leg. My Top Down Raglan will be divided into 4 sections: Back, shoulder, Front, shoulder. There are 4 markers, each placed between these sections. At each of the markers the colours could change. Since I have 4 sections in this raglan pullover I will be looking for 5 different colours.

Rule 2:  Do Not Twist. Usually when changing colours you would pick up the new colour so that the old and new colour link together (twist around each other). This prevents holes at the change. For this method of stripes you purposely Do Not Twist the colours at the change.

I’ve knit this method in the Stash Buster Socks with great success. I used 3 colours and divided my sock into 2 sections (front of leg, back of leg). At the colour change spot, I took the colour I just used, placed it to the right and dropped it. Then I picked up the new colour from the round below (it will be sitting right there where you need it) and began knitting the next section of my sock. The two colours do not twist.

These socks were knit with a solid purple colour, a solid green and a variegated brown/pink/gold combo.

In this photo the purple has just been used and placed to the right and the green from the round below will be picked up to start knitting the next section.

Stash Buster Sock P1040010 (636x640)

Can you see that the green round will continue over the brown/pink variegated round on the left needle? All the rounds are continuous so there is no jog.

So far I have knit 5 pairs of socks. The Stash Buster Sock is a great for those lonely 50g balls of sock yarn you might have in your stash. Pair them up with some interesting friends and see what magic happens.

Stash Buster Sock P1040016 (640x621)

I’m starting my Spiral Stripes Raglan this week. I’ll keep you posted on my progress. This is the result of my stash dive.


EVENTS: On Saturday September 8 Cabin Fever will be at the KW Knitting Guild’s Knitter’s Fair in Kitchener, ON. It’s a terrific show with tons of vendors and lots of like minded knitters. Drop by and say hello.

Thanks for reading,


Cabin Fever patterns on ravelry.

Author: debgemmellmods

I'm a Knitter. The capital K means every day, everywhere. I'm co-owner of Cabin Fever with my sister Lyn. We have published over 100 patterns and 11 books. I'm also working on a new set of patterns for Any Gauge knitting. Dive into your stash and cast on for a Top Down sweater that fits, or an accessory to use up those odd balls of yarn.

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