Where I write about knitting, crocheting and lace, and, on occasion general comments on other topics

Troubles with Tension

Written by: Lindy

The first three swatches for the Master Knitter Level I require you to knit 2 X 2 ribbing, 1 X 1 Ribbing, garter stitch, stockinette stitch and seed stitch. As I have been knitting the first two swatches for the Master Knitter Level I, I have discovered that my tension is not what I thought it was: I thought I knit fairly evenly– but as I looked at the examples from TKGA — I began to realize that my knitting tension is not the same when I knit as when I purl. This seems to be a common issue among those who are working on the Level I Master Knitter swatches.

I have tried several different things to correct this problem — but so far I am still not knitting as evenly as I want. I have discovered that my knitting is less even with bamboo needles than with metal needles. I have also determined that it is very important to tighten up my tension at the end of a row — especially on the last stitch, so that I get more even stitches on the edges of the swatch. However — I have yet to achieve the even stitches for ribbing that I’d like to have.

Did you know that tension in ribbing — that it is, tension differences between knit and purl stitches — can really make a difference in the way your ribbing appears? I’d never given this much thought — but it really does effect how the ribs in the ribbing are formed. I have read (very recently) that this more of a problem for English knitters than for Continental knitters — but that it happens with both styles. The problem is often due to the excess yarn used in forming the purl stitch. The next time you are switching between knit and purl stitches — pay attention to how you wrap the yarn for the purl stitch — you actually do use slightly more yarn when doing a purl.

I am still seeking solutions for my tension problems — I’ll post about how I resolve this.

One Response to “Troubles with Tension”

  1. Amanda says:

    More yarn for a purl stitch? Hmm that’s interesting. You’ll have to show me what you have been working on sometime.

    I’m working on a dishcloth right now just using continental knitting. I can tell that my tension is VERY different from when I knit English.