September 25th, 2012

Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – Keeping Even Tension in Ribbing

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This week’s tip coms from Ysolda Teague’s latest book, Little Red in the City. It’s filled with fantastic tips and tricks to making your knitting neater and easier resulting in a stunning finished product.


Uneven tension in your knitting results in sloppy looking stitches that can really distract from your stitch pattern and your overall project. This tension problem can be really obvious in ribbing. A lot of people purl looser than they knit. This makes the preceding knit stitch appear sloppy and uneven since any slackness in your purl stitch is actually traveling backwards to your knit stitch.


To fix this, work all purl stitches in Eastern style. The difference between Eastern and Western style is simply the direction in which the yarn is wrapped around the needle when working the stitch. Most people knit Western style, which wraps the purl stitches counter clockwise. Eastern purls stitches clockwise. The yarn can be held in either the left or right hand. Wrapping the yarn clockwise follows a shorter path around the needle, putting less yarn into the stitch. On the following row, knit into the back loop of your knit stitches.


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13 Responses to “Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – Keeping Even Tension in Ribbing”

  1. Geri Says:

    Great tip!

  2. Michelle McMillen Says:

    So this works only for back-and-forth knitting and not in the round?

  3. Holli Says:

    I’m confused about the next row part. You would ktbl of a purl stitch?

  4. Grace Says:

    When knitting flat, knit into the back loop of your knit stitches. You don’t need to purl into the back of your purl stitches when knitting flat.

  5. Grace Says:

    When knitting in the round, purl into the back of your purl stitches.

  6. Krista Esposito-Polinsky Says:

    What if you are left handed, would you still wrap yarn clockwise?

  7. Melissa Hahn Says:

    So you do this with ALL purl stitches front AND back when knitting flat?

  8. Samina Says:

    What pattern is this?

  9. Sara Delaney Says:

    hi Samina,

    There’s no particular pattern here, just a swatch using 2×2 ribbing to demonstrate the technique.

  10. Melissa Says:

    When knitting in the round and it’s time to purl into the back loop, do you do it western or eastern style

  11. Michael Says:

    Do you do this on both the right and wrong sides? Or only on the right side?

  12. Deborah Parks Says:

    Don’t understand why there would be any difference between knitting flat or knitting in the round

  13. Deborah Says:

    there is a difference. when knitting in the round you purl through the back of the purl stitch. When knitting in the flat you knit through the back of the knit stitches

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