Monday, July 5, 2021

Shortening ribbing: K2, P2 (part 2 of 3)

Supposing you want to shorten bottom-up ribbing. Just as there are two ways to pick up the loops in K1, P1 (1/1) ribbing, so there are two ways to pick up the loops in K2, P2 (2/2) ribbing. 

The first way is to snip a single stitch, then pick out the yarn, catching the ribbing stitches one-by-one as they pop loose. The second way is to insert a slim double-pointed or circular needle ahead of time, then do the snipping and the picking. Let's look at these in order.

One-by-one method

On this sample, I've knit a 2/2 ribbing topped with a few rows of seed stitch, to represent the bottom part of a sweater with a too-long ribbing.  The part of the ribbing to be removed is worked in orange.  

The process of cutting a single stitch, teasing out the cut end and catching the loops on a slim needle is virtually identical to that shown in the previous post about 1/1 ribbing.  Below it is illustrated for 2/2 ribbing.

Decide where you want your ribbing to end.  This soon-to-be bottom row is called the "target row." The target row in this sample is the bottom-most oatmeal-colored row, and the  row BELOW the target row was knit in a different color to make thing easy to see.

One stitch in the row BELOW the target row is carefully snipped

The unwanted fabric excess is going to be separated by picking the cut end of the yarn out of the fabric--unraveling--using the pointed end of a slim knitting needle. As each stitch pops loose, it will be caught on a slim dpn

In the above photos, the waste fabric is separating below the target row as the cut end is picked out and the loops of the target row are caught as they pop free.  This process is repeated all along the row until all the loops are caught.

Shortcut, picking up all the stitches ahead of time: the all-at-once method

For the one-by-one method, above, there's no significant difference between 1/1 and 2/2 ribbing. However, if you want to try the all-at-once method, below, there is a difference. 

With 2/2 ribbing, you can't just insert your dpn down the arms of the stitches on the fabric surface in the target row.  If you try it that way, you'll miss some of the loops you need. Instead, you must re-adjust your eyes to see not the arms, but the  BOTTOM loops of the target row--the TAIL of the stitches, rather than the arms leading to the tails.  (For a quick review of the parts of a knit stitch, this link shows the parts, labeled.)

If this sounds confusing, it'll all come clear in a moment. 

I find that for this trick, it helps to think about these bottom tail loops in a series of four, with each of the four in the series being named after what percentage of the stitch shows on the surface of the fabric from the side you are working. Another way of saying the same thing is that only partial tail loops show on the target row, and it is into these partial loops that you have to thread your slim dpn, as illustrated below. 

  • the first tail loop of the series is not too hard to see: it is a one-quarter (1/4) loop, which can be found where the stitch in the second KNIT column segues into the stitch in the first PURL column. 
  • The second tail loop of the series is a half-stitch (1/2) loop, which is easy to see, it's found right in the middle between the two PURL columns.
  • The third tail loop, like the first, is a 1/4 stitch, which is found where the stitch in the last PURL column segues into the first KNIT column, 
  • The final tail loop of the series is the hardest to see: it is a one-eighth (1/8) loop, hiding almost completely between the two KNIT columns. 
(Geek note: if you think about it, all the loops are actually half-loops, because, regardless of position, structurally speaking they are all the same thing: the bottoms of the tail between the stitches.  What distinguishes them from one another and makes them partial like this is how much of the loop is exposed on which fabric face.  Thus, the 1/4 stitches are equally exposed on both fabric faces, while the 1/8 stitch is actually the back of the 1/2 stitch, meaning, if you flipped the fabric over, the 1/8 stitch--located between the knit columns--would show as the 1/2 stitch located between the purl columns.)

Click to enlarge. In the schematic (right) as well as the photo (left) the series details are highlighted. It is along these partially-visible tail loops that you would insert a slim dpn for pick-up when using the shortcut all-at-once method

As to where to start and stop with your pick-up: you DO have to pick up every single tail-loop, but you DON'T have to start with the first loop of the series as I've described it (and in fact, you probably won't).  If the first tail loop to pick up doesn't happen to be the 1/4 loop which starts a series, you just start with one, two or three "introductory loops," being those loops from a previous partial series which lay on the needle ahead of the first full series. Once past the intro loop(s), the pattern remains consistent all the way down the target row, and that is the use of it. By chanting "quarter-half-quarter-eighth" to yourself, you'll be that much less likely to miss a tail loop or become confused as to to which loop to grab. 

Just to really fasten this concept down tight, here's one more run at it. On this extreme close-up, you'll see that the first tail-loop to be picked up is one of these intro loops.  It is a 1/8 loop, although in actual practice, it could be any of the loops of the series. It is after the intro loop (or loops) that the regular progression of the series develops. 

Close-up: after picking up this introductory loop, the rest of the pattern follows in regular sequence.

This is what the shortcut method looks like in real life, with the needle inserted into the tail loops, all the way down the row. Note that as soon as you insert the needle, the tail loops all stretch to become the same size: the fractional appearance is only how the loops lay in the fabric before the needle is inserted

Once the needle is inserted, all the tail-loops swell to the same size. 

Bind off

Whichever way you got the tail loops on the needle (whether one-by-one, or all-at-once) after the yarn of the row below has been snipped and picked out, this is the end result. The orange waste fabric has been removed and the shortened ribbing ends in loops on the needle.

Now remains only to bind off, and here is the bind off in progress.

This post and the previous have illustrated the conventional method of shortening ribbing which was knit bottom-up.  In sum, so far in this series, you snip a single stitch and pick out the row below, catching the tail-loops of the ribbing on a needle either as you go or beforehand.  Once all the tail loops are on your needle, you bind off.  

Ordinarily, ribbing is bound off in pattern, meaning to knit the knits, and purl the purls.  So you may wonder: why wasn't that done on these samples?  

The short answer is, the loops on your needle, being the tails, don't line up with the loops of the ribbing: the loops on the needle are 1/2 stitch off the ribbing above them.  Because of this offset, you have to use a more general-purpose bind off, and a good all-a-rounder is the ordinary chain bind off

The ordinary chain bind off makes a good workmanlike finish--sturdy and attractive.  Further, with chain bind off, you can easily pull back if it's turning out too tight or loose, so you can mess around until the bottom edge is just right--neither tightly puckering nor loosely flaring, which is an advantage, for sure. 

However, chain bind off is not the only choice.

In the last post of this series you'll see that there are several other alternatives to approach the bind-off problem. 


PS: To shorten ordinary knitting (non-ribbed) check out this post:

Monday, June 28, 2021

Shortening ribbing: K1, p1 (part 1 of 3)

Suppose you have a sweater which you have worked bottom-up, and you decide you want to shorten the ribbing. Suppose further that the ribbing is K1, P1 (1/1) ribbing. You're in the right place: that's what this post is about.  (Iif you have K2, P2 ribbing, check out the second post in this series.)

shortening ribbing in knitting, overview sketch
Shortening ribbing, overview sketch.
This is the cartoon version.
📺😺📺 **
In real life you don't actually hack off
many columns of ribbing with a scissors!  Read on...

If this were stockinette you wanted to shorten, this would be easy to do.  You'd simply snip a stitch free, then unravel that row, catching each now-loose stitch from the row above onto a knitting needle.  You'd then bind off these new loops.

The conventional way to shorten 1/1 ribbing

The conventional way to shorten ribbing is nearly the same, but with a few variations. Here's the illustrated how-to for 1/1 ribbing (K1, P1). 

Suppose, on this two-tone fabric sample, that the maroon-colored fabric is the excess length to be removed. 

shortening ribbing, knit sample overview
Like the opening sketch, the bottom ribbing is shown in a darker color--maroon. The seed stitch represents the first few rows of the garment-body.  The maroon-colored ribbing is the excess to be removed. When we are done, the ribbing will be all oatmeal-colored, and much shorter (5 rows only).

shortening ribbing, closeup of stretched fabric
Close up of above, with the fabric stretched out

Here's the removal in four steps

Step 1: Somewhere along the target row, and at least a few stitches away from any edge, carefully snip a stitch.  Although the opening sketch showed the scissors cutting off a bunch of ribbing, that was only the cartoon version. In fact, after snipping this one stitch, put away your scissors, you won't need them any more.  Instead, the fabric is going to be separated by picking the cut end of the yarn out of the fabric--unraveling-- using the pointed end of a slim knitting needle. 

shortening ribbing, step 1: snipping a stitch
One stitch in the target row being carefully snipped 

shortening ribbing--after snipping there is a cut end
After snipping, there will be a cut end.  Locate the loop adjacent to the cut end in the row above the snipped stitch.  This is the first loop to catch.

Step 2: Once you've identified the loop to catch, insert a slim, pointy needle into the loop. Best to use is double-pointed needle (dpn) or a circular needle. 

shortening ribbing, the first loop caught on a knitting needle
The loop identified in the previous step has been caught by inserting a slim pointy dpn.

Once the loop is caught, begin to remove the cut yarn.  The easiest way to do this is to fish around with a second dpn, teasing and picking the cut end out of the fabric. 

Step 3: As you tease and pick out the cut end, and as further loops pop loose, catch them on the needle. Pretty soon, you'll see the waste fabric coming away from the loops caught on the needle.

A short-cut way to accomplish the same thing, especially with 1/1 (k1, p1) ribbing, is to pick up the entire row at once, by inserting a slim needle along the row.  Below is what that trick looks like. 

Instead of picking the cut ends loose and picking up the loops one-by-one, you can choose to insert a needle all the way down the row, and only then cut loose a single stitch.

Once the needle is inserted, the process is the same as stitch-by stitch: you carefully snip free one loop of the row below, then remove the excess by picking. 

Regardless of how you caught the loops--whether as they popped free, one-by-one, or whether you took the short cut and inserted a needle down the whole row--once the cut end has been picked loose all the way down the row, the result is the same. The waste length of fabric is separated, and the stitches at the bottom of the ribbing are on the needle, waiting to be bound off.

The final result before bind off: the loops are all caught, the waste fabric has been removed.

The picked-out loops of 1/1 ribbing do not sit on the needle in the normal configuration of right-arm forward.  Instead, the right stitch of each pair  lays left arm forward, while the left stitch lays right arm forward.  This is a normal artifact of picking out 1/1 ribbing: the topology (path of the yarn) is complex. (There will be more about the topology of the yarn in the second post of this series...stay tuned!) Further, even if your stitches lie in some other configuration, all will still be well as long as there is no obvious twist at the loop-top where the needle meets the yarn, per below photos.

The ordinary way that picked-out 1/1 ribbing sits on the needle is as shown in the above closeup: the right and left loops of each stitch-pair lie with different arms forward.  However, even if yours looks different, just as long as there is no twist where the loop meets the needle (blue arrow), you're fine to go on to the next step.

Step 4: the final step is to bind off the stitches on the needle.  Below is the bind-off in progress. 

Note that this is ordinary chain bind off, NOT in pattern.  "Binding off in pattern" means knit the knits & purl the purls as part of the bind-off process.  This makes a nicer edge for binding off ribbing.  Unfortunately, here you can't actually do that.  The reason is that the unraveled loops sitting on your needle are the tails of the stitches, not their heads, and the tails of stitches are offset 1/2 stitch from the heads.

As to where to get the yarn for the bind off, that's easy. I knit my ribbing in two colors for illustration purposes, but your ribbing is almost certainly one-color.  This means the waste fabric which you've separated off will contain all the yarn needed to unravel and re-use for the bind off. Note that when you go to unravel ribbing in the OPPOSITE direction from that in which it was knit (which you will be doing with the waste fabric) it readily unravels: one tug and out it comes, easy peasy. 

* * *

The second post in this series illustrates shortening 2/2 ribbing (K2,P2). The third and final post in this series shows alternatives for binding off, with a new trick which doesn't even require any bnding off at all! 

Until next time...


PS: To shorten ordinary knitting (non-ribbed) check out this post:

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Announcement about mailing list

 TECHknitting readers—hello!

TECHknitting blog is getting an updated e-mail notification service.  The new service is set to overlap with the old service for one or two posts.  After that, the old service will end as the new service takes over.

Tomorrow, TECHknitting blog debuts part 1 of a multi-part series on shortening ribbing.  

If you've signed up for e-mail notifications in the past, you should get TWO notifications about that new post: the last (or almost the last) from the old service and the first from the new.  

If you only get ONE notification tomorrow, hunt around in your spam or promotions folder to see where the second one is.  If the second notification is in your spam or promotions folder, then move it to your regular inbox: this tells your computer’s little brain not to send future new notifications to spam. 

In short, if you’re already signed up, then supposedly you'll seamlessly continue to get notifications, just from the new service, not the old--the only thing you might have to do is rescue them from your spam or promotions folder. 


However, if you're not sure whether you’re signed up, or if you want to sign up for the first time, or if you just want to be sure not to miss a post, use the NEW e-mail notification widget in the right sidebar—>  This puts you on the new e-mailing list for sure.

There are also other ways to never miss a post, see the PS below. 

One way or another, see you tomorrow with a new post on shortening ribbing.



—e-mail notifications:

the new notification service is SUBSTACK. The notifications will re-direct you to the posts published on (which is the same thing as  Again, to be sure of being on the new service, consider signing up via the new e-mail notification widget—> in the right sidebar.

—Twitter notifications:

Also, there’s a new tweet sent when new posts are published—follow  on twitter to get notifications that way.  

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Again--see you tomorrow, one way or another. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Hole in my knitting! Help!

"How did I make this hole in my knitting?"  "Where did this hole come from?" These are common questions on knitting forums.  If you have a mystery hole in your knitting and don't know how it got there, perhaps your problem is shown below.

rogues' gallery of mystery knitting holes
A Rogues' Gallery of Mystery Knitting Holes

Going around clockwise, and starting from the upper left, 

  • At 11 o'clock in magenta, a very common error, an enlarged stitch
  • At 12 o'clock, in bright blue, one of the larger types of holes: a compound error made of a dropped stitch combined with an inadvertent yarn over
  • At 1 o'clock in yellow, this is an inadvertent yarn over, another very common error, generally a roundish hole, but wider at the top than the bottom.  
  • Along the bottom, in the 5 o'clock position in red, we have a dropped stitch, also relatively common, sometimes showing as a triangle-shaped hole.
  • And finally, at 7 o'clock in bright green, we have a kind of vertical hole which results from a partial short row, a relatively rare error, perhaps the most mysterious of all when it happens. 

You can see the relative size of these typical errors on the background fabric, and the typical shape of each error in its close-up overlay portrait. To inspect more closely, click on any picture, above or below. 

Below is more about each error, taken in reverse order.

Partial short row

Mysterious elongated hole in knitting
In this illustration, the two extra (short) rows appear on the left side of this vertical-looking mystery hole

How it happened: This error can happen only with flat (back-and-forth) knitting.  What happens is, the knitting gets put down in the middle of a row.  Then, when it's picked back up again, you set off knitting in the wrong direction. So let's say you were knitting stockinette fabric and were working down a knit row on the smooth (knit) fabric face when you put the project down.  Then when you started up the work again, you mistakenly turned the fabric and set off purling.  In other words, you mistakenly set off going back in the direction from which you came,  instead of working further along the original row. 

This error is actually a species of short-row, so, besides making a hole, it also makes one side of the fabric two rows higher than the other side. Note that the stitch count does not change, only the row count, and that, only on one side of the hole. In the above illustration, the two extra rows appear on the left side of the hole. 

To avoid: If you always work to the end of the row before putting the work down, this mistake is unlikely to happen. If you can't do that, then make sure your running yarn is coming from the skein into the fabric onto the right needle when you pick up your work after setting it down, and this is true regardless of whether you knit continental, English-style or combo-method. (Mirror-image knitters: your running yarn comes into the fabric on the left needle when you pick up a project previously set down.) 

To diagnose: count your rows on both sides of the hole. If you're knitting flat, if the hole is mostly vertical,  if the stitch count is unchanged, and if the row-count is off by two between the opposite sides of the hole, this error is your culprit.  

To correct: There is no trick to correct this error so it is structurally identical to no-error fabric. If you're a perfectionist, you must pull out and re-do. On the other hand, if you're way past the spot where the hole appears and/or are discouraged by the idea of pulling out, take heart: in plain knitting, this is not a very noticeable error. Unless your yarn and gauge are both mirror-smooth, this sort of error will pass unnoticed by any eyes but yours if you simply close the hole by duplicate stitching over it. 

Miscellaneous--relationship to buttonholes: this error looks like a vertical buttonhole because it was created the same as the first half of a vertical buttonhole.  If you fear your front edge will flare or ruffle, and you need vertical buttonholes for a small button (pearl buttons on a baby-sweater, say) you can choose to make this "error" on purpose.  Work to within two or three stitches of the front edge, then turn the work and go back to the opposite seam. On the next row, work all the way through to the front-edge.  Voilà. You've created a semi-vertical buttonhole, while at the same time, the edge of the garment has been kept tight via the missing rows.  This works very well for a few buttons spaced some distance apart. But for a fancy garment with many buttonholes close together, this trick might make the front edge too tight due to too many missed rows at the front edge--if so, use the YO buttonhole described below, instead.

Dropped Stitch

Dropped stitch in knitting, leaving a hole.
Dropped stitch.  This one has the typical triangular shape, while the unmistakable dropped stitch sits atop a now-dead-end column.

How it happened: When a stitch falls off the (left) holding needle and lays there, unknit, but then the following stitch is knit normally, the stitch which fell off is called a dropped stitch.  If the error is not corrected before the next row is knit, the entire column of knitting headed by the dropped stitch dead-ends, the stitch count is reduced by one and a hole forms in the fabric over the top of the lost column. At the head of the lost column, there appears the dropped loop of yarn. Because the loop is not fastened into the fabric, then when the fabric is stressed, the loop may run out, forming a ladder, as in a nylon stocking with a laddered run. 

To avoid: I find it pays to count the stitches every few rows, to catch this sort of thing before it gets too far along. 

dropped stitch in knitting, side view
The diagnostic tell-tale:
the dropped stitch itself
To diagnose: if your stitch count is one (or more) off, check your fabric for the tell-tale loop and hole. It's certainly a dropped stitch if the loop of the stitch is sitting there, sticking out of the fabric. 

To correct: If you are only a row or so above the dropped stitch, consider ripping back. If reluctant to rip back because of the yarn you're working with (mohair perhaps?) you can try to wiggle some excess yarn out of the fabric above the error, then latch up. (Video link to latching up)

If you're not going to rip back (perhaps it would be discouraging because the error is too far down?) then try one of these tricks:

--Thread a large-eyed, sharp-pointed (crewel) needle with matching yarn. Anchor the yarn on one side of the dropped stitch by skimming the needle through the fabric leading up to the loose stitch.  Draw the yarn through the loose loop, then anchor the yarn on the other side of the loose loop. This fastens the loop into the fabric so it cannot run out.  

--An alternative is to anchor the yarn, then work a duplicate stitch binding the dropped stitch BEHIND a neighbor-stitch, as if you had worked a k2tog decrease at that spot. Then re-anchor the yarn on the other side of the duplicate stitch. This looks neater from the front but you get a three-stitch stack (the duplicate stitch, the neighbor stitch and the dropped stitch) so things might get a bit lumpy. If your yarn is plied, maybe duplicate stitch using just one or two plies instead of the whole thick yarn if you want to go this route. 

If the stitch count is very important for the pattern you are working, use the twisted-loop method or the nearly-invisible increase to add another stitch to your work in some inconspicuous spot, such as near the side seam. 

Inadvertent yarn over

Inadvertent yarn over in knitting, giving rise to a hole and a new column of stitches
Inadvertent yarn over: a roundish hole, wider at the top than the bottom, and giving rise to a new column of stitches

How it happened: This common error happens when you mistakenly catch the tail of yarn connecting two stitches over your knitting needle, so as to make a yarn over where you don't want one. A yarn over is shown in this linked post--the link shows how to make a yarn over when you forgot to do so in the row below, but the mistake we're talking about here is created in the same manner except that the yarn got caught over the needle by accident, rather than on purpose. As you can see from the above photo, the inadvertent yarn over gives rise to a new column of stitches, arising from a round-shaped hole.

To avoid: As with the previous error--the dropped stitch, which causes the stitch count to decrease by one, this error--the inadvertent yarn over also influences the stitch count, but this time, by increasing the count by one. I find it pays to count the stitches every few rows, to catch both of these sorts of errors before they get too far along. 

To diagnose: The shape of the hole is one clue, and the extra stitch in your stitch count is the tell-tale confirmation.

To correct: This error amounts to an increase, meaning more yarn has been put into the fabric on every round or row, by being knit into the new column. The best way to fix this is to go back and rip out. 

One alternative is to duplicate-stitch the hole shut, then correct the stitch count by decreasing away one stitch in an inconspicuous spot. 

If you're knitting flat, and the error is quite near one edge of the work or another, you could perhaps try to fix this by dropping the extra column (it will not run out past where the yarn over mistake arose). This leaves you with a ladder of slack yarn which you could try to pick, as best as possible, through the fabric to park it over by the side seam, where you can eventually lose the slack in the seam itself at seaming-up time. 

Alternatively, you could work all the slack to one spot, then cut the ends free and use a sewing needle or a knit-picker latch hook to work in the very short tails. However, doing this in the middle of a fabric is likely to show as a lumpy disturbance in the tension, especially if there are stacks of work-ins running up a column of knitting. on the other hand, if there's just one giant accidental YO in the fabric (perhaps the yarn was twisted onto itself, or knotted by accident, or snagged?) then cutting the yarn and working in the slack as ends is a good solution. 

Miscellaneous--relationship to buttonholes: A YO buttonhole is a well-known knitting trick, sometimes called a sheeps-eye. As stated, the YO increases the stitch count by one, which must be counteracted by a matching decrease. This link shows the YO buttonhole with the decrease worked first, then the stitch count is corrected by the YO, but you can just as well work this the other way around, making the YO first, then correct via a decrease on the following row.

Miscellaneous--relationship to increases: Sometimes a YO hole may appear where you aren't expecting one because you knit wrong into a planned increase based on a twisted tail (M1, backwards loop, e-loop, yanked increase, twisted YO or the like). In other words, instead of keeping the tail twisted so as to form the basis of a column of stitches, the twist was inadvertently untwisted by knitting into it "open," (from the wrong direction) thus making a YO where you meant to knit into the twist. You'll know this is your problem if you have a hole where you meant to have a twisted-base increase, and if your stitch count is what it should be AFTER the planned increase. The solution is to drop the column to where the YO appears, then twist the tail where the YO was, then latch back up again, basing the new column on the now-twisted tail. 

Compound Error: Dropped Stitch combined with Inadvertent YO

Hole in knitting, combo hole, dropped stitch plus inadvertent YO
Combo hole: dropped stitch + inadvertent yarn over

How it happened: This is a combo error. There are three ways I know of that this one happens. 

  • When you go to grab a stitch, you knock the stitch off by accident, but still perform the knitting action.  This action places an inadvertent YO in the column directly over the dropped stitch.  On subsequent rows or rounds, you knit into the YO or the column based on the YO. 
  • Another way this could happen is if you accidentally knit or purl through the halo or fluff of a fuzzy-yarned stitch instead of through the stitch itself. Then, as you keep knitting along, the fluff gives way and the hole appears. 
  • A third way is that you dropped a stitch on one round, but on the next round, your brain subconsciously notes there should be a stitch there. This is especially likely in a patterned fabric like seed stitch, basket-weave, double-moss or the like. The I-am-silently-counting part of your brain then tells your hands to create a knitted stitch onto a tail of yarn just above the dropped stitch, while the I-am-enjoying-myself part of your brain keeps watching TV. 

How to avoid: once you've knitted a round or row into the YO above the dropped stitch, this compound error doesn't change the overall stitch count, so you usually don't notice this one until you inspect your fabric. The good news is, it's a fairly evident hole--probably the biggest inadvertent hole of all--so you'll notice it fairly soon.  The other good news is that, unlike any of the errors above, this one's easy to fix perfectly. 

How to diagnose: A big hole with a dropped stitch at its base, while the overall stitch count has not changed? This is your problem! 

How to correct: Because the stitch count has not changed, the correct amount of yarn has been supplied to the fabric.  In effect, this is merely an interrupted column. Therefore,  ladder down to where the YO starts, then latch up from the dropped stitch. If you need to latch back up in pattern (seed stitch, etc.) this link has some tricks for you

Alternatively, our old friend the duplicate stitch will fix this without having to drop anything. Duplicate stitch through the base of the dropped stitch into the base of the YO. Use a sharp-pointed needle and pierce through the fibers of the dropped stitch so as to prevent it from becoming loose in the fabric, turning into an enlarged stitch over time due to fabric-stretching and wear. 

Enlarged stitch

Hole in knitting due to enlarged stitch.
Hole in knitting due to enlarged stitch

How it happened: This is a fairly common error. It can result from an inadvertent yarn over made in one row, and then dropped off the needle in the next row. The stitches on either side of the dropped-off YO soak up the extra yarn and become enlarged. Another cause is distraction, sometimes because you put down the work in the middle or a row or round, then pick it up again without adjusting your tension. Finally, another common cause of this error is "bunching," being an inconsistent way of knitting with too-long runs, meaning the fabric is not repositioned often enough. Here is a whole post about bunching.  

How to diagnose: If you have the occasional enlarged stitch, that's generally down to distraction or an inadvertent yarn over, subsequently dropped off. If you have lots of enlarged stitches, consider reading the above linked article on bunching.

How to correct: Enlarged stitches are a tension problem. You can correct it by picking the excess yarn away from the enlarged stitch with the pointy tip of a small knitting needle and distributing this slack evenly within the surrounding fabric. 

--Good knitting, TK

PS: If you're puzzled by mystery holes which don't fit into any of these descriptions, send me a description of what you think you did plus a photo via Ravelry (where I'm TECHknitter)  or via e-mail--TECHknitting at Hotmail dot com, replacing "at" with "@" and "dot" with "." (Facebook isn't a good way to contact me.) 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Knitting crossword (by TECHKnitter)

knitted crossword by TECHknitter
Solvable knitting crossword
What's is this, you ask?  It's the answer-board for a knit-themed crossword!  

Solvable knitting x-word by TECHknitter

For April Fools, 2021, I've constructed you a crossword and knitted the board! (There's a conventional plain-background version, too, below the clues)


click here for a one-page plain-background printer-friendly grid (this is the grid reproduced below ▼ the clues).  Print selection, work from the clue lists below, then check your answers by clicking here for the on-line completed grid.


click here for a four-page printer-ready google-drive PDF featuring plain (no background) grid, clue lists in larger type, + filled-in answer grid.



1. Breakfast, lunch, dinner or corn

5.   The first thing you might knit to start an afghan, or a kind of 29-down

10. “___ Fi Fo Fum”

13. Madrid’s other

14. Not a soul, or Chaucer’s lunchtime

15. Sicknesses

16. St. John’s most iconic knitted garment

17. An unusual word for unusual

18. Joseph’s ____ of many colors

19. It’d be a good name for a gleaming harmonica, but it’s actually a knitting machine brand

21. Shallowest of the Great Lakes

22. Rage

23. A knitted shape between pencil and full-circle

24. An attachment for 19-across, or the Ravelry feature which scrolls FO’s

27. Ship’s emergency

30. Country of the Hunger Games, or “_____ et circenses” (bread and circuses, Latin)

31. Handy item for steam blocking

32. -ware or wall, it’s usually brown

34. Regard

35. What the knitter does who puts her work down for the night, or the wheels on the bus

36. Designed for two to play together

40. “Filato” is yarn and “maglieria” is knitting, in this langage of times new Roman

42. “____ Thin Air” (1997 Everest bestseller)

43.  The ball of yarn emoji is a _____-gram

46 A left leaning decrease

47. More slippery

48. Splice yarn ends together

49. Where cowboys often take to the air (inits.)

50. Interest, heart, currency exchange: they all have one

51. They start (or end) just above the heel, and end (or start) at the toe

58. 5-across + 29-down = this “tender” cut of beef

59. A different-looking juvenile

60. Kent State state

61. B&B’s

62. Broadcasting now

63. Laze

64. Two years old and never been shorn

65. Often a form of 51-across, you knit them with a separate toe

66. Drunks


1. A woodsy stitch

2.  Queen Victoria probably stored her crochet hook in one

3. Pomegranate seed

4. Amazingly, 4500 pairs were hand-knit for a 2006 NATO conference in Riga

5. If you do this, you might need a CPAP machine

6. What a group of knitters may go on to get to Shetland

7.  Knitting by ____ (autopilot)

8. As to (Latin)

9.  Micturated

10. 2-shilling coin

11.  Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s most famous role

12.  Value highly

15. Lettlopi, plötulopi, bulky lopi…ALL the lopi’s

20. What you do before you frog

23. Gorilla or orangutan

24. “Get ___ of” (destash)

25. “You ___ here” 

26. Anonymous Jane

27. A schooner has a suit of them

28. Fragrant iris root, a base for potpourri

29.  See 5-across and 58-across; you’d eat it at a 1-across

32. Anticipation of journey’s end (inits.)

33  QVC competitor

37. Where a Liverpudlian might head after upper sixth

38. Parisian summer

39. Rocky crag or underground network

41. You might Kitchener stitch this closed

43.  What you’d do to make a “backwards” garter stitch fabric

44. “__ _ ___ horse open sleigh”

45. Historians are doing it with their sources

47 “No ___, ands or buts”

49. “My _____, you are all certainly knitworthy!”

51. How much yarn you’d have if 24-down applied to you

52. Granny

53. Krusty ____ (an undersea dive)

54. 57 in times old Roman

55. Say it twice and you’re a train

56. Och aye, knitted hose sets this off

57. Martian days

PLAIN GRID (printer-friendly)

Select above image and print.  If you can't select, go to for a printable version of the grid, or click here for four-page google-drive printable PDF with grid + clues (in larger type) + answers included.

 For more info on the creation of this project + comments re: some of the more obscure clues, go to the project page on Ravelry. That page also hosts alternative links to the board, clues, and answer grid, just in case the links in this post aren't working for you. 

Many thanks to ESA, ESA, EB, MM, CR + Anons, who "test knit:" straighted out numbering, improved clues, offered suggestions, explained the British educational system, and even caught a spelling error in the first version (oops!)


PS: It became a pillow with a hot pink back!  More info on the pillow-ing process at the Ravelry project page.