Yesterday, while knitting, I had an amazing realization . . probably only a knitter would understand.
First, I’m pretty much self taught. In college a friend was knitting. I asked her to teach me how to knit. This was a century before youtube, or it seems like it was that long ago. She was left handed. She tried to teach me and I wasn’t getting it so we decided I’d just sit and watch her and then I’d figure out how to do it from there. Probably not a whole lot of what I do is right but . . it works.
Except . . I’m a loose knitter. I almost always go down a needle size and still I feel like the knitting fabric is too loose, which makes it too stretchy. I’ve watched video after video trying to figure out how to tighten it up. I’ve tried putting more tension, using my fingers as the yarn is flowing into the project.That’s what everyone recommends but I’ve not seen much improvement.
While watching one of Suzanne Bryan’s videos the other day – the one where she talks about how to make the cast on for the top of the cuff on socks so they’re stretchy enough, she mentioned leaving a bit of a space between the cast on stitches. That creates a really stretchy top to the socks. (This is instead of having the stitches all close together on the needle – just leave a bit of space between each stitch – like maybe 1/8th of an inch.)
I’m in the middle of a project and I don’t want the tension on the bottom half to be way different from the tension on the top half but I’ve kinda playing around with this and I think I’m onto something. See the space between the stitches on the right needle?
I’ve tightened up that space between the stitches and it is making a huge difference in my tension! Bingo! The loose tension had nothing to do with the amount of tension I was putting on my yarn so all that I was trying to do to increase the tension wasn’t going to change it.
Suzanne Bryan is a genius when it comes to knitting . . maybe she’s a genius in everything but all I know about her is knitting and I’m totally impressed. Her video was to help us have a more stretchy top to our socks and she’s improved everything about my knitting.
I’m really enjoying this lime green sweater but I can’t wait to finish it and start a new project so I can start from the beginning with this tighter stitching and see how it goes.