April 24th, 2012

Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – Circular Knitting for Tight Knitters

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This week’s tip comes from Kirsten H. and is a simple solution for tight knitters using circular needles.

If you’re a tight knitter and have problems sliding stitches from the cable to the left hand needle when working in the round on circulars, a set of interchangeable needles may be your best friend. Only the right-hand needle tip determines stitch size, so you can use a smaller needle tip on the left hand side to make knitting and sliding stitches a lot easier.

You may find that going down just one needle size for your left hand needle tip does the trick. But if you’re not knitting in the round, this solution won’t work.

What tips do you have to help a tight knitter loosen up their gauge?

 

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Dena

Ecommerce Marketing Manager at WEBS - America’s Yarn Store
Dena started working at WEBS in 2006, shortly after she learned to knit. She also dabbles in crochet and weaving. She finds knitting complements her marathon and triathlon training really well.
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  • Evelyn

    My gauge improved tremendously when I switched to “contintntal” style knitting. Although it took a while to retrain, my gauge is now right on!

  • Nancy

    I also have used two circular interchangables to knit in the round with only the right hand needle tip at gauge on each set, and left a size smaller on each, so I did not need 4 tips at gauge.

  • Teresahull1968

    Wow! I didn’t know that. Will have to try that.

  • PickleSoup on Ravelry

    Also make sure to slide the stitches apart from each other on the right hand needle.  Don’t let them ‘pile up’ as you knit them.  Helps them to be a tad looser.

  • Mirra

    Having a glass of wine helps.

  • Anne

    How much of a change was the switch for you?  I have been thinking of switching, but worry about how much attention it will take with complicated patterns, etc, not just plain stockinette

  • Beki Foster

    I also made a switch from English to Continental style, and improved my gauge(loosened).  It wont come all at once, however. As with anything new, you have to practice it.  I’d gotten really fast with my style of English knitting (cottage-style) and when I made the switch, I slowed down.  A Lot.  With practice, my knitting speed is actually now faster than it was before. 

    You’d want to start with very simple knitting at first, in order to practice both the knit and the purl.  I’d also recommend trying out different continental purl techniques to find the one that works best for you.  A lot of people swear by the Norwegian purl, but I find the Finnish purl works best for me.  If you find after all that you still don’t like it, go back to English.  Once you’ve learned it though, you can use both in order to knit fair isle (hold one color in each hand).  It’s a useful part of a knitter’s toolkit.