Saturday, March 27, 2010

Uneven knitting part 3--fixing the loose knit column in ribbing, textures and cables

includes 8 illustrations
After a recent TECHknitting post on bunching and too-long runs, Ruth C. wrote:
When I knit columns switching from knit to purl (such as a basket weave pattern) one column is always looser-looking--I think the problem is always switching from knit to purl but switching from purl to knit doesn't have the same problem.
Judi P. followed up:
My daughter was so frustrated last year with this [same] problem with her 2 x 2 ribbing that she hasn't tried to knit a sweater since. (So sad!)
Giving up knitting? That IS sad. However, this problem is fixable. This post show 4 tricks, and one will surely work.

Solution 1--knit tighter.
The simplest quick-fix is to knit tighter. Simply using smaller needles will put so much less yarn into each stitch that the loose column of stitches will magically fix itself. This is actually an excellent solution for sweater bands--bottom or neck, and also for cuffs and hat brims. Cast on properly and knit very firmly on small needles, ribbing transforms into a stretchy, elastic fabric, with stitches laying in very smooth and even columns.

Pros and cons: While this is an excellent solution for cuffs, brims and bands, it is not a good solution for all-over textured fabrics, such as all-over ribs, basketweave, cables, etc. Tight
knitting all over the whole fabric would result in stiff, tight fabric, as well as hand cramps--not fun. Further, even for bands, casting on loosely but knitting tightly is also a trick which must be mastered for this fix to work--a tight cast on will result in a nose-scrapingly unpopular and unwearable garment.

* * *
Luckily, knitting tightly is not the only fix. There are 3 further solutions, but before we get to them, let's take a closer look at the problem.

In all the diagrams of this post, purple means the stitch appears as a knit on the "front" face of the fabric--the public side--the side which will be seen when the garment is worn. Blue means the stitch appears as a purl on the "front" face of the fabric. As you know, knitting is very
zen-- "what has a front has a back," as the Zen masters say. This means that when the fabric gets flipped over, the purple stitches, although knits on the front, will appear as purls, and the blue, although purls on the front, as knits.

In illustration 1, we are looking at the front face of the fabric. The dark purple column is the last knit column which appears just before the column of purls. These dark purple stitches are where the problem lies: This is the column of stitches which get all stretched out and floppy looking.

The first column of purls next to the knit column is dark blue. The red dots on the dark blue stitches in the first purl column show that these purls are the ones we are going to operate upon to fix the problem. That's right: The problem is with dark purple KNIT column, but in the remaining three solutions below, we are going to fix it by operating on the dark blue PURL column.


* * *

Solution 2--run out, then latch up

T
he idea of this solution to make your project working the purls and knits without doing anything different than you normally would. When the project is done, the fix comes in, and here's how.


  • Slip the stitches between one needle and the next until you are right over the dark blue column. Let down a giant (scary looking!) runner.
  • Once the ladder has been let out to the bottom of the fabric, it will be latched up again, using a crochet hook (you could also use a latch hook). As you latch the darker blue column back up, give a mighty yank on each rung of the ladder. As you can see in Illustration 2, the fabric has been flipped over for the latching process, because it is easier to latch up a knit column than purl one. By giving a mighty yank on each rung of the ladder as you latch it back up, the loose stitches in the dark purple column will tighten up nobly as the excess yarn gets yanked out of them into the stitches of the dark blue column. It is, of course, true that the dark blue column will become distorted from the excess yarn being yanked into it, as well as from the act of yanking itself, yet this is actually not so bad. The dark blue column ends up being a purl column on the front face of the fabric, which means it recedes into the fabric, and therefore will not be noticed.
A note about the illustration: The illustration shows the runner let down all the way to the bitter end, to the cast on stitch itself, then latched back up. However, it might be safer to stop a row or two above the actual bottom edge, to avoid the problem arising from the cast off untwisting.

Pros and cons: This trick is very easy and requires nothing to remember as you work on your project. However, it has three major limitations.
  • First, it works best in "sticky" fibers like the various types of non-superwash wool, because in those fibers, the stitches will stay pretty much as you yanked them. However, in slick fibers such as acrylic, cotton, bamboo, superwash wool, alpaca, silk and the like, this trick will not work very well because the fibers will slide around as you wear the item, and the excess yarn will be yanked back out of the dark blue stitches, eventually to spread out again. For slick fibers, solution 3 or 4, below, are better.
  • Second, this trick is not very good for reversible items like scarves and afghans--the distorted dark blue column of stitches will hide on one face of the fabric, but will show on the other. Solutions 3 and 4 solve this problem.
  • Third, this trick really works only if the columns to be run-out-and-latched-up stay in place, so that one column can be let out all the way to the bottom. If the loose dark purple column of stitches travels across the fabric face--traveling cables, for example--solution 4 is best.
Solution 3--latch up out of the fabric

This solution is very similar to the first, but will work on slick fabrics. Here's how:


  • The base stitch for the dark blue purl column is placed on a safety-pin or other holder at the very bottom of the work, as shown in Illustration 3. You then work the garment, decreasing the stitch count by one, and remembering not to purl that column.
  • When the knitting is all finished, turn the work over, so that you are working on the back fabric face. Now go back down to that lonely stitch on the holder waiting at the bottom. Per illustration 4, latch up the whole dark blue column, taking the rungs of the ladder right out of the fabric itself--shown in red. The red dot on the dark blue stitch just above the cast on shows that that stitch was latched up out of a ladder rung--the same ladder rungs that were red on illustration 3. Latching the whole dark blue column of stitches out of the fabric absolutely tightens up the adjoining dark purple column of loose stitches.

Pros and cons: Like solution 2, this trick works well for
cables or ribs running lengthwise (not traveling). Unlike solution 2, however, you must remember to alter your pattern. Specifically, you must remember to delete the dark blue column from your work, then remember to latch it in afterward. When using this method, be sure to swatch and measure a fully-latched-up sample, as the latching pulls quite a bit of yarn up, making the fabric narrower. For a single cable, this might not make a noticeable difference, but for multiple cables/ribs it certainly would.

Solution 4--Slipping

Unlike latching, slipping is done as-you-go. This trick is is slow to work at first, but once up the learning curve, you can knit this trick as fast as any other knitting. Unlike Solutions 2 and 3, this will work splendidly on any sort of columnar-based fabric, even short columns like basketweave, and even columns which wander, like traveling cables.

The essence of this trick is the same as solution 1--knit tighter--but with this trick, the tighter knitting is confined exactly to the point it is needed: the dark blue purls alongside the dark purple column of loose floppy knits. Here's how, assuming a 2x2 ribbing in circular knitting already cast on your needles:



  • Round 1, step a: place marker * K2 (light purple, dark purple). Per illustration 5, Slip next st (first purl stitch--darker blue) with yarn in front. Slip the stitch "open," that is: purlwise, not twisted. Step b: P1 (second purl stitch--lighter blue). Repeat from * all the way around first round. The slipped bar which results in front of the dark blue first purl stitch is shown in red in illustration 6.


  • Round 2: starting from marker *K2.Move the running yarn out of the way. In illustration 7, it is shown pulled straight up. Once the running yarn is pulled out of the way, fish around with your right needle and draw the bar (bar=red yarn slipped on the last round) through that first purl stitch, in a manner which purls the stitch with the bar (ie: do not twist the stitch OR the bar, just draw the bar through the purl from front to back as shown). Next, bring the running yarn back into play, and use it to purl the second purl stitch in the normal fashion. Repeat from * all the way around. If you look at your fabric, you will see that by using the bar to purl the first stitch in the purl column, rather than the running yarn, you have set up the running yarn to be the bar for the next round, as shown in Illustration 8. In other words, in every round, you use the bar remaining there from the slip in the previous round to actually purl the stitch, and you set up a new bar for the next round by simply slipping running yarn across the dark blue column rather than purling with it as is normally done. One more note: the red dot on the dark blue stitch in illustration 8 shows that stitch was created out of the bar illustrated red in illustrations 5, 6 and 7.
  • Repeat round 2 over and over again for the rest of the ribbing.
  • For the very last round of ribbing before bind off, draw the bar through each first purl stitch of each purl column AND THEN PURL it with the running yarn (2 st worked in dark blue purl column).This corrects the row count so that the dark blue column has the same number of rounds as all the other columns.
  • Bind off or continue in a different pattern, as desired
After you work this sample, you will see how to adapt it for ribbing other than 2x2 and for cables, etc.--basically, the first stitch in the dark blue purl column the one being operated upon by slipping as set forth in the instructions for round 2.

The idea is to avoid putting excess yarn into the fabric in the first place. By slipping the stitch, the resulting bar puts into the fabric only a small portion of the yarn a full stitch would add to the fabric. Pulling this short length up into an full stitch on the next round tightens the adjoining knit stitch by permanently yanking the excess yarn out of it.

Pros and cons: For improving all-over ribbing or for all-over cable or basketweave patterns worked in the round, this is the best trick I know. Although this requires close attention to go up the learning curve, this slipping trick can become quite fast--second nature, actually, if you work at it. However, even this nifty trick has its limitations.
  • First, in thin or splitty wool, or in poor light, or on dark colors, catching the slipped bar below can be frustrating.
  • Second, in back-and-forth knitting, the bar of the slipped stitch is on the back fabric face (away from you) on the return trip, because the purl column, as seen from the back face of the fabric, is a knit. Catching a bar from the back and leaving a new bar back there is frustrating, and isn't ever going to be as fast as catching a bar stranded across the front. Therefore, this trick really only works in circular knitting. For back-and-forth knitting, solution 2 or 3 will work better.

Geek notes
For those that want the nitty-gritty.
  • Combining techniques: solutions 2 and 3--latching--are bad ideas if the column to be latched up is going to tangle with the garment shaping. However, on a sweater with cables running up the length, where the cables first become involved in the garment shaping at the neck or armhole edge, you can work your project as far as the shaping, then latch, and then switch to solution 4--the slip method--once the shaping starts.
  • In all the solutions except for 1, the excess yarn is yanked out of the loose floppy stitch once the the knit stitch concerned is off the needles. This removes excess yarn in a manner impossible if that stitch was prevented from shrinking by being forced to stretch over the barrel of the needle. In other words, neither yanking hard on the loose knit stitch nor on the following purl stitch will work to eliminate the excess yarn, because the barrel of the needle prevents either from shrinking down past the size dictated by the barrel's diameter. Once released from the needle, however, giving the loose knit stitch a mighty yank (whether delivered by latching or slipping) will tighten it up tidily.
  • Solutions 2 and 3--latching--are cousins to CHM--the Crochet Hook Method--for tightening up loose left-leaning decreases. Solution 4--slipping--is cousin to Cat Bordhi's "hungry stitch."
  • Other solutions are possible through changing the stitch mount and also through twisting the dark blue purl stitches. However, stitch mount, twisting and the related subjects of combination- and other alternative types of knitting are being put off a future series of posts, so those solutions are not included here.
A BIG thank-you to Carol (Rududu) and to Jane (Maidenhair) for test-knitting Solution 4.

* * *

This is part 3 of a series on uneven knitting. The first two posts are:
Fixing uneven knitting part 1: stockinette fabric--how to tame "rowing out"
Fixing uneven knitting, part 2: bunching, big stitches and lumpy fabric--the problems of too-long runs.

--TK
You have been reading TECHknitting on: purl after knit, tightening up the loose stitches.

45 Comments:

Blogger scifiknitter said...

There is yet another solution - combination knitting. I took Annie Modesitt's class, and was amazed at how much better my ribbing looks when I use combination knitting. Totally even, every stitch the same size, beautiful edges. Annie explains that wrapping the purl stitch from under the needle rather than around the top of the needle means that the same amount of yarn goes into every stitch whether you knit or purl. When you use the western style purl technique, you put more yarn into a purl stitch rather than a knit stitch, which causes lots of things to happen in the fabric, including that loose edge on the side of the knit ribs in ribbing. If anyone wants to check this out, I recommend her website http://www.anniemodesitt.com/ or her book "Confessions of a Knitting Heretic." Thanks for the great ideas here!

March 27, 2010 at 4:16 PM  
Blogger TECHknitter said...

Hi Scifi: You don't actually put more yarn into the purls, you just put more yarn in when going from a knit to a purl, and less when you go from a purl to a knit. Between purls, there is the same amount of yarn as between knits.

There are other considerations also, namely, yarn twist (S vs. Z) and whether you are knitting left to right or right to left. It is because of the complexity of all these considerations that stitch mount solutions are not included in this post, being saved for a future complete treatment of combination knitting, twisted (eastern) knitting and other alternative knitting types. Thanks for writing--TK

March 27, 2010 at 4:32 PM  
Blogger Anneliese said...

Is there a typo or am I just very confused? In the first part of the post, you say, "Blue means the stitch appears as a purl on the "back" face of the fabric--the private side." But in the picture, it seems that blue sts are those that are purls on the public side.

March 27, 2010 at 4:47 PM  
Blogger TECHknitter said...

Hi Anneliese: Thanks for your eagle-eyed catch. It was my fault, not yours (it was a typo) which has now been corrected, thanks to you!
Thanks for writing.
--TK

March 27, 2010 at 5:05 PM  
Blogger Kabira said...

Great, inventive approaches to this problem. I have found that my loose columns of stitches in ribbing disappear upon washing/blocking.

March 27, 2010 at 8:53 PM  
Anonymous Ruth C said...

Thanks for this! I am eager to try these. I look forward to the combination knitting post.

Will you have diagrams that show how we use more yarn in switching from knit to purl than from purl to knit? I know it happens, but I'd like to see WHY it happens!

March 27, 2010 at 9:09 PM  
Blogger TECHknitter said...

Hi Ruth--it isn't very complicated: The yarn exits the knit from the back and enters the purl from the front, taking a longish trip forward through the fabric depth as it travels between the fabric faces, while the yarn exits a purl from the back and enters a knit from the back, which is a short direct trip from one spot on the back fabric face to another spot on the back fabric face, not through the fabric depth at all --TK

March 27, 2010 at 9:35 PM  
Blogger Jane Prater said...

Brilliant. The slip st method is sheer brilliance. Can't wait to swatch and get on that learning curve.

March 28, 2010 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger subliminalrabbit said...

like everything you do - #4 is BRILLIANT! thank you!

March 28, 2010 at 9:50 AM  
Blogger Cheryl S. said...

Great suggestions - thank you!

March 28, 2010 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger C said...

Thank you for your solutions to the bane of my knitting existence!! I've been hoping for this post since I first discovered your blog, thanks again for another informative post!

March 28, 2010 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger Abby said...

Your timing is impeccable! I just finished a project where I had this very problem. There is a baby blanket in my gift drawer with the same problem. So glad to have some solutions.

March 28, 2010 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger Judi P said...

Just brilliant! I was on a weekend knitting retreat last spring when my daughter called in despair over her ribbing. No one had a practical suggestion except twisting the purl stitch, which DD didn't want to do. (Afraid it would "look funny" I think.) I'm off to rummage through the attic to find her abandoned project and start experimenting. I'm guessing that all four fixes will work and it will just be a matter of choosing the one the girl is most comfortable with. THANK YOU!!

March 28, 2010 at 1:43 PM  
Blogger Anisa said...

I just thought I'd point out that the "slipping" method (method 4) is remarkably similar to Cat Bordhi's "hungry stitch" method for tightening up SSKs. It makes sense that the techniques would be similar, since the goal is pretty much the same (tightening something up.) Great minds think alike!

March 28, 2010 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

This is really useful. I also read just a day or two ago on Lucy Neatby's blog about another way to handle this ribbing issue, by 'mismounting' the purl stitches. You can read about it here: Happy Stitches.

March 28, 2010 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger berlinBat said...

Great tips (as always)! I usually knit the last sts before purling from the back, and even doing this only every other row is enough to keep the last knit row from getting all "open". Works well for sticky and mid-slippery yarns. I have not tried it on silk yet, though.

March 29, 2010 at 5:16 AM  
Blogger berlinBat said...

should have read: I usually knit the last sts from the back, before purling (for clarity...)

March 29, 2010 at 5:18 AM  
Blogger CricketB said...

I tried combination knitting one time, but found two problems:

1. It moved the problem. My k-p were nice, but the p-k were now too loose.

2. On back-and-forth knitting, it was uneven. In the normal method, the column, the tighter stitch changes from one side of the switch to the other. I think your 4th method would do the same.

Two more methods I like:

1. Keep the p-k loose. We're so concerned about tightening the p, and p-k is easy to tighten, so it gets too tight.

2. Tug hard on the first p in the previous row when you insert your needle, opening the loop on the old row. Do this again on the next p, and a bit less on the next. This fixes the previous row by spreading the excess over a few stitches.

I also find the yarn makes a difference. Usually on K rows my working yarn angles upwards, bending around the top of previous row's stitch. If I pull on the working yarn at all, it gets trapped by the loop and stays tight. (Like a seatbelt that you pull out all the way and triggers the child-seat setting.)

March 29, 2010 at 10:26 AM  
Blogger Julie K said...

thanks! i was dealing with exactly this problem yesterday!

March 29, 2010 at 12:53 PM  
Blogger Luni said...

I'm late--I save your posts for when my thinking cap is on, which isn't often these days. Thanks for addressing this problem which is so common. I've fought it for several years now, but I think my tension is getting better. Currently, I'm trying to adjust the tension by pulling the looseness out as I knit. I haven't perfected this, so I am glad to get these tips to fix the areas that still look uneven.

March 31, 2010 at 9:24 AM  
Anonymous Eric T said...

My solution has been to simply twist the first one or two purl stitches, either by turning the loop before purling it or working through the back loop. This works on the right side and doesn't look twisted. I haven't done much testing, so i can't say what will be best for the wrong side, probably method 4.

April 2, 2010 at 10:18 PM  
Anonymous slippers and sandals said...

thank you for your post

April 16, 2010 at 2:17 AM  
Blogger Natalia said...

Thank you so much for these tips. As soon as I saw the slip stitch method I thought, "Why didn't I think of that!" It's glad we have someone out there who does.

May 1, 2010 at 7:30 PM  
Anonymous Pam said...

I just have to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your fabulous blog. you've brought fantastic information to knitters. I am so thankful I found you..Your illustrations are so easy to understand..

July 12, 2010 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger L said...

I found a very easy solution to this: "Pushing down the purl bumps". When switching from knit to purl, the yarn has to travel a greater distance when switching from the purl bump on the back of the knit stitch to the purl bump on the new stitch. As I form the new purl stitch, I push down the purl bump on the back of the knit stitch which tends to ride up high, thus making the stitch tighter. I also push down the purl bump on the new stitch before making the next stitch. Hope this helps.

July 24, 2010 at 2:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! I've been knitting for over 10 years and have been plagued with this ribbing problem. I've tried everything (!) and none of them worked until now. I tried Solution #4 and, for the first time, produced picture perfect 2x2 ribbing. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this and all of your other wonderful ideas! You've made me a VERY happy knitter today.

Greg

April 16, 2011 at 7:45 PM  
Blogger joulesB said...

im currently working a sock cuff in k3 p1 ribbing, unlike your pictures, the loose column i have is the first knit column, not the last. how do i apply your tips to this situation?

i tend to be a tight continental knitter if that mkaes any difference

thanks

July 7, 2011 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger Wulfgar said...

I have tried all kinds of fixes for this, but since I work with different yarns I wanted one catch-all. I am a continental knitter, and found that the Norwegian purl took almost all the slack out. The tiny amount left was acceptable. Hope this helps those that don't want to have to latch up all the way, or use different techniques for different yarns.

September 17, 2011 at 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

None of these methods worked for me. :(

September 25, 2011 at 12:33 PM  
Blogger TECHknitter said...

Hi Anonymous--I am surprised to read what you say, because each of these methods fulfills the technical requirement of removing slack from the column of stitches which nearly always causes the problem. Therefore, your unevenness problem must stem from a different root. Can you write again, perhaps with a photo? You can write to me either at Ravelry (where I also go by the name TECHknitter) or by e-mail at the address found under the "profile."

Best, TK

September 25, 2011 at 1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there -
I have the dreaded ladder problem from my first go on dpns, but it's only for about an inch or so in the middle of the sleeve i'm knitting, so i don't think i can use the crochet hook methods, because then i'd have to knit all the way up to the edge of the work, including the parts wehre I DON'T have the ladder, right? Is there a different way to fix this, or am i reading the advice wrong, in which case, which of your methods should I be re-reading?

Thanks so much!
Rookie Kate :)

October 24, 2011 at 9:35 PM  
Blogger TECHknitter said...

Hi RK--for a ladder randomly in the middle of a length of sleeve, you have a challenge. You COULD drop down the two columns on either side of the ladder, drop them all the way down, and then hook both back up, but it's not a guaranteed fix and you might make the problem worse. Your best bet is probably to block that sleeve pretty severely when you are done with the project.

October 25, 2011 at 3:46 AM  
Anonymous kate said...

I was afraid you might say something like that :-D

Thanks for your response, though - I'll definitely be reading your website for help in the future!

Rookie Kate :)

October 25, 2011 at 2:21 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Wow- thank you! Method 4 is just what I needed to fix my cables. Hooray!

November 19, 2012 at 10:58 PM  
Blogger Francesca said...

I just read this post yesterday because I was going crazy with the wonky ribbing in a project I'm working at (I find the problem is worse with cotton yarn than with wool) and the slipping technique solved my problem! Thank you so much for sharing, I will refer to this blog often!

March 6, 2013 at 2:01 AM  
Anonymous nommi said...

My ribbing is transformed! So grateful to the suggestions in this blog. I'm making a top-down sweater in the round and used tech knitting instructions for "improving the transition zone" and scifiknitter's suggestion for combination knitting; basically purling the purl stitches by wrapping the yarn clockwise and then knitting through the back loop on the reverse (knit) side of those purls. The ribbing has turned out beautifully even and smooth. so gratifying for a beginner knitter like myself. the interntet is my teacher.

April 7, 2013 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Tracy Cheney, LMT said...

Will this work with a column of loose purl stitches? I've knitted a hat in the round, my first cable project. It's beautiful except for a column of loose purl stitches where the cable divided the fabric.

September 17, 2013 at 12:13 AM  
Blogger TECHknitter said...

A loose column after a cable is very common, and yes, this will work beautifully.

September 17, 2013 at 4:47 PM  
Blogger Kaliena said...

Could the third option work for the first stitch in stockinette socks when changing needles? I've tried magic loop and two at a time cables and can't avoid the first stitch being too large. It's not a ladder between stitches,just a stretched out, unhappy knit stitch. My kntting is otherwise uniform.

October 3, 2013 at 3:21 PM  
Blogger TECHknitter said...

Hi Kaliena--Consider casting on one fewer stitch to begin with, then making an increase into that loose and sloppy stitch (kfb works well for this). The increase drags the excess right out of that first stitch--this trick works really well for magic loop. Of course, you get a little bump from the kfb, but if you take care to line this up with some texture stitch either below or above (like the ribbing) it won't show at all. Alternatively, start with COWYAK (a provisional cast on with waste yarn) and then your first stitch is in the waste yarn, rather than the main yarn. At the end of the project, remove the waste yarn and cast OFF the provisional stitches. Bonus=cast ON and cast OFF will match.

COWYAK=http://techknitting.blogspot.com/2007/10/cowyak-waste-yarn-method-of-provisional.html

October 8, 2013 at 2:11 PM  
Anonymous knitmaddy said...

I knit in just the ordinary English style and my very simple solution is as follows

1) use 'pointy ended' needles

2) Do each 'knit' stitch on the very TIPS of the needles, carefully lifting it up and over with a slight gap between the needle tips, doing an exaggerated or pronounced clockwise rotation, using the needle to simultaneously tug the stitch in a downward direction towards the 'hem' of the rib.

3) Just do the purl stitch in the usual way but on the full thickness of the needle, not the tips.

Well this works for me anyway. (You will find that your knit stitches look more like little downward arrowheads, rather than big baggy horseshoes).

October 13, 2013 at 5:41 AM  
Blogger Eric Jackman said...

Would method #4 work for something that would eventually require decreasing, like your pocket hat? The only ways I can see that working would be to just leave the bar there and p2tog as normal, or maybe even using the method as normal, but after purling to transfer the stitch back to the left needle. Then, Pick up the stitch from the row below and purl that stitch with the first and second purl...

Thanks for the wonderful techniques yet again!

January 15, 2014 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger TECHknitter said...

Hi Eric--yes, the slipping method (method 4) will work for something which is to be decreased, with the caveat that you would have to bring the stitch count up to the correct number before doing the decreases--which is what I think you're saying too! In the post, that same point is made that on the last row (in this case, the last row BEFORE THE DECREASE) the stitch count has to be corrected by working the slipped stitch and then, immediately, another stitch in the same spot. On the very next row after the decreases, you can start again, then again correct the stitch count on the row before the NEXT decrease. Best regards, TK

January 15, 2014 at 12:51 PM  
Blogger Kim B said...

Hi Techknitter, Your knowledge of knitting is amazing! Do you have any sources (other than your blog) that you would recommend? I ask because I have a persistent and mysterious problem with my ribbing. On my ribbing, the first knit stitch after a purl is loose. I usually knit flicking and have tried pulling on the yarn, combination knitting, and the techniques your suggested above. It looks ok when it isn't stretched out, but when I pull it open even a little bit, you can see that loose knit stitch staring me down, sticking its tongue out at me. I have even learned continental knitting so that I could try out the norwegian purl and combination knitting continental style. It is so annoying to have sloppy looking ribbing. I have started wondering if maybe I should be working on a different stitch other than the purl just to the right of the belligerent knit stitch. I would sure appreciate any insight you have into a problem like this. Thanks a bunch for the info and the inspiration! I hope that when I "grow up" I will be able to knit like you!

March 28, 2014 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger TECHknitter said...

Hi Kim: I really don't know of another resource on the web. As to your issue, have you ever tried converting ribbing? in other words, just knit stockinette, then ladder out the columns where you want purls, and hook them back up as purls. With this trick, the tension has to be correct because the stitches are centered in their ladders, which is not the case with knitting, then purling. Also, converted ribbing is tighter than regular ribbing. Give it a try and see what you think! Best, TK

March 31, 2014 at 9:54 AM  

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