My second Norwegian Stocking is well on its way to being finished, but I thought I'd share a revelation I had last night about something I encountered when I first started knitting it. When I got to the two stripes of white located in the ribbing at the top of the sock, I was very frustrated when it turned out like this:
This is also what the first one had looked like when I started knitting it, and I thought that with careful attention to tension, I could correct it. When the second one turned out this way despite my best efforts, I was pretty irritated and figured I was just doing something wrong. I am still relatively new to projects like this, and just dismissed it as, I don't know, beginner's bad luck. Turns out, stripes are not supposed to line up perfectly when you knit them in the round. It's impossible! A piece knit in the round is a big spiral, not a series of perfect concentric circles, and this misalignment of stripes is called a "jog".
In addition, Eunny Jang has had a post up about this for a month and I've read it at least four times. I just had no idea what she was talking about when she said "jogless join". Last night I followed the link she has for some jogless join suggestions and realized she was talking about the exact problem I have been having. I searched around a bit and found Yarn Harlot's nice and simple jogless join advice in a pattern on Knitty, and it all came clear. No way am I going to rip out all of my stocking progress to redo this, but check out this test swatch:
This is a horrible picture, and the swatch was done up very quickly and sloppily (and, ahem, at work), but you can tell that with the techniques outlined above it's entirely possible to line up that stripe.