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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7 Responses to “Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – Circular Knitting for Tight Knitters”

  1. Evelyn Says:

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

  2. Nancy Says:

    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.

  3. Teresahull1968 Says:

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

  4. PickleSoup on Ravelry Says:

    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.

  5. Mirra Says:

    Having a glass of wine helps.

  6. Anne Says:

    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

  7. Beki Foster Says:

    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. 

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