Knitting Tips!

One of the best knitting tips I ever got...

Circular needles aren't just for knitting in the round!  They're also GREAT for flat knitting (back and forth) because you don't have the long straight needles sticking out past your elbows!  It's like working with smaller, more manueverable needles, much more comfortable.

And  you can choose a length that's appropriate for your project.  I'm working a scarf on 16" circular needles right now.  If you're doing something bigger, like a sweater front or back, you can use a longer set that will accomodate all of your stiches and the needle itself still fits in your hands.

I rarely buy straight needles now unless I can't pass them up because I like them aesthetically.  Rosewood, nicely carved tops, unique...needles that look good in a cup on the desk.  That's the only drawback of circular needles...they don't look good in a cup on the desk.


So, after some research, I've realized I'm not the only one experiencing problems with uneven ribbing. While working on a simple knitted cap, I found that during the switch from knit to purl, I would inevitably get a gap, most likely as a result of the additional yarn necessary to move from the back to the front of the piece, then wrap around the needle. Thus, I'd get this annoying line down the piece, not to mention uneven tension... very frustrating!

So, the solution? Simple! Just twist the purl stitch, and then on the way back, knit through the backloop. Voila! My guess is that twisting the purl stitch means less yarn is necessary to form the stitch, and also allows you to firm up the tension due to the way it's set up on the needle.

Now, for the beginners out there: a twisted stitch is created by wrapping the yarn around the needle in the opposite direction you normally would. This results in a stitch which is set up "backwards". Now, this is a fairly common mistake, and the correction is to, on the next row, knit through the backloop. Unfortunately, knitting through the backloop is a fair bit harder to describe... insert the needle from right to left through the back of the stitch, wrap the yarn around the needle counterclockwise, and pull through.

Note, for those sharp readers out there, what I've described is the same as working this one stitch in combined knitting style (incidentally, check out that website for images on twisted purl stitched and knitting through backloops).