Fixing your Stripes in Half Double Crochet When Working in Spirals

If you love working your half double crochet projects in spirals, but are afraid to change colors because of those ugly jogs you get, this post is for you.

I had a viewer request for jogless stripes in half double crochet when working in spirals. I had never tried to do this, so I got my hook and yarn out and worked out a technique that I think helped solve the problem.

So what are jogs? 

See how the color change makes it look like one row is  worked in two different colors.
See how the color change makes it look like one row is worked in two different colors.

When you work a project in spirals, you don’t join your rounds. This is great for projects where you don’t want a visible seam, such as in amigurumi or a beanie. However, if you want to create a stripe in a spiral project you get a “jog” or an offset where you join your new color. In the picture above you can see the offset from the grey yarn to the turquoise.

Usually you just put this in the back of your work or mask it with some clever item like a crocheted flower or belt for your stuffed creature. Here is my solution.

Can you see where I changed the colors?
Can you see where I changed the colors?

The first thing I will say, is that this method does not create a perfect stripe. Rarely is any crochet fix perfect. But, I think my method will create a better looking backside to your spiral project. The picture above is the backside of this project and as you can see, the stripes match up quite well. Through many hours and trials and errors I came up with this method and I’ll explain it below, I also have a video at the end of the post for even more help. Lefties, your video is here.

Let’s Begin

Instead of the normal way of changing color during the last step of your last stitch, you will instead complete a full round of one color (or how ever many rounds you need of a certain color).

For ease of understanding. The picture below has 16 HDC around. I have completed 16 HDC in green.

No color change at my last stitch of the round like in normal crochet.
No color change at my last stitch of the round like in normal crochet.

Now it’s time to change my color. I insert my hook under the back loop only of the next stitch and grab my new color.

This is the first stitch of the previous round.
This is the first stitch of the previous round.

Important Note: I DO NOT count this as my first stitch of the new round. This slip stitch will become the last stitch of my round (more on that later).  I am moving my stitches over by one to create the jogless stripe. This should not effect most patterns. There are exceptions (if you watched the video this is where you saw the note), if you are doing specific shaping this method could throw that off.

Specific shaping would be a designer putting increases or decreases in a specific spot to shape the project a specific way. For example, if they only increased for three rounds on the first two stitches of each round to create a bump in the project, this method will throw that shaping off. You can use this method for normal shaping (as in creating the top of a beanie) where the increases or decreases are spaced evenly around the project.

I will now slip stitch my new color through the loop on my hook very loosely.

Don't tighten the slip stitch down. The highlighted area shows the slip stitch (on top) and the front loop we left alone (on the bottom).
Don’t tighten the slip stitch down. The highlighted area shows the slip stitch (on top) and the front loop we left alone (on the bottom).

The slip stitch should look like a regular stitch after you make it. You don’t tighten it down at all.

It’s important to recognize the front loop that you didn’t slip stitch through. You will need to use that loop at the end of the round to make the jogless stripe. My video at the bottom shows it much better than these photos if you need further help in finding it.

Now, without any chains, begin half double crocheting around. You will work into the next stitch after the slip stitch. This will be your first stitch of the round. Perform all stitches except your last (in this case 15 HDC) like normal. The last stitch of the round is where you make your stripes line up.

I've crocheted all the way around and I'm back at my last stitch, which was the slip stitch I made at the beginning.
I’ve crocheted all the way around and I’m back at my last stitch, which was the slip stitch I made at the beginning.

You can see the highlighted area in the picture above is the slip stitch we made at the beginning and the front loop we didn’t slip stitch in.  To make our stripes line up, we will be working our final half double crochet under that front loop. This will bring our stripes in line with each other.

Insert your hook directly under the front loop.
Insert your hook directly under the front loop.

The highlighted area shows the front loop from the previous round. It can be difficult to see in the photos so I encourage you to watch the video below if you are having trouble finding it.

Push your hook straight through to the back. This will catch the back loop you slip stitched into as well as everything above it. Then half double crochet as normal and your round is complete with a lined up stripe.

Better looking than a jog.
Better looking than a jog.

Note for working multiple rounds before a color change: When using this method, you only do the special half double crochet in the front loop at the end of the first round. If you are performing multiple rounds before your next color change you just keep working your half double crochets normally in each stitch around. The video gives more info on this as well.

Hopefully this will come in handy. Do you have a favorite way to fix stripes in half double crochet spirals? Let us know below.

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6 thoughts on “Fixing your Stripes in Half Double Crochet When Working in Spirals

    1. I crochet quite a lot of basket in the round using spiral and backloop for one row to make it lay better at the bottom, but the problem is the same with lines not matching when changing colour. Is there a way you can make baskets look even when doing the back loop. As I noted in your video for jogless srtripes you made it look even when all the way round

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