A few reasons can explain uneven knitting. But, one of the most significant causes of uneven knitting is your uneven tension. Knitting too loosely or tightly can affect your project, although it may not always seem like it.
Knitting tension concerns may disappear for many people after they knit for a while. When you practice a lot, your hands get used to how tight the yarn feels. But, for some people, practicing and waiting to perfect it is not the best solution for uneven knitting.
You could be knitting for years and still have problems with your tension if you do not know how to fix them. Also, it may not seem too significant when you work on projects like scarves and hats. But, it may be a vital problem when you move into more fitting clothes.
So, I am sharing some of the hacks that can help you fix your uneven knitting. Here are six causes of uneven knitting:
- You knit too loose.
- You knit too tight.
Do not worry if you are a beginner and cannot tell if you are knitting too loose. Spotting this problem is relatively simple!
You may be knitting too loose if all the “v” stitches in your stockinette stitch slightly pop out of the fabric. Also, you may notice gaps between the bent “legs” and the ones under them, which is unusual.
Instead of having flat “legs” in your projects, you may notice that yours look bent, which shows loose knitting. But, the best way to tell if you knit too loosely is to make a gauge swatch for your project.
So, make sure to make a basic, tiny square of the stitch that your pattern uses the most. Then, compare it to the given gauge, and fix any issues that you notice.
Although you can see tight knitting on the fabric, you can feel it too! Also, you can ask yourself a few questions to tell if you are knitting too tightly:
- Is it difficult to slide the needle through your fabric?
- Do you need to move your working needle around so it can pass through the material?
- Does your work feel more like needlepoint instead of knitting?
- Are your purl bumps so rounded that the wrong side looks more like a seed stitch instead of a garter?
Again, knitting a gauge swatch is best if you want a surefire way to tell if your knitting is too tight. Also, you will know if you are knitting too tightly if you have more stitches per inch than the given gauge.
As I mentioned, uneven tension is one of the most prevalent knitting issues. It means that you do not always knit too loosely or too tightly. But you find yourself doing both at different times, and sometimes even within the same item!
Your seed stitch is possibly loose and floppy, yet your stockinette is so tight that it slopes inward from the cast-on edge. So, it is best to check if you are knitting consistently with the correct tension.
Another sign of unequal tension is if you knit a few rows of a project, set it down until the next day. Then, when you knit a few more rounds, there is a noticeable change in your fabric’s appearance. For example, the stitches’ look and the width of your project may be inconsistent.
Maybe you knitted more tightly yesterday because you had more energy or were more worried about something. Perhaps you knit looser today because you started later in the day. Whatever the origin of your unequal tension, it is a difficult nut to crack.
If you want your knitting project to be a success, the wrong side should be as even and lovely as the right side. Whether you agree or disagree with it, not properly working the wrong side will affect your entire project, and it will show.
If you detect puckering on the right side of your work, then you are knitting your stranded colorwork too tightly. Also, the wrong side may look ‘bumpy’ rather than smooth and even. But, fortunately, tight stranded knitting is a common issue with various remedies.
Too-loose stranded colorwork will appear visually like too-loose single-color knitting. You may notice that the stitches appear too far apart from one another and pop out of the project. Also, you might discover that your contrasting color is the culprit.
Although the stitches may suddenly look normal when you stretch your work, it is only a temporary repair. And, nothing short of a tension change can permanently restore sloppy colorwork knitting.
You will know that your purl stitches are too loose if your 1×1 ribbing appears wacky. Meaning, the vertical line of the “v” stitches looks more like a vertical line of “H” stitches. Also, the stockinette legs will hang loosely away from each other.
You can also notice this issue in seed stitch. You may see that at least half of the purl bumps in your work protrude from the project.
How to Fix Uneven Knitting?
Making a gauge swatch before you work on your project is the best solution to fix uneven knitting. But, although there are various ways to improve uneven knitting, it would be best to resolve the issue according to the cause. So, follow these six tips to fix your uneven knitting:
- Do you knit too loose?
- Do you knit too tight?
- Do you have uneven tension?
To begin, make sure you are holding your working yarn correctly. Although it may appear simple, some knitters sometimes do it incorrectly, which affects their projects. So, avoid scooping the loose thread up with your working needle and pulling it through.
But, if it is not your problem, you can also try to draw the yarn a little tighter each time you wrap it around your working needle. It may feel weird, but you may discover that you enjoy the sensation of control that tighter stitches provide.
You will undoubtedly appreciate the improved fit of that cardigan you wanted to knit! While the advice is obviously “simply knit tighter,” it is best not to take it lightly. So, recognize that it is a significant change to make, especially if you have been knitting for years.
Consider knitting a practice swatch using scrap yarn on extra needles. Then, practice with those materials for a few minutes before going on to your actual project. Also, try to focus on tightening up your knitting.
The first thing you want to do is make sure that your stitches are not being knit at the points of your needles. Instead, they should be around the needle legs.
It may be comfortable to work on the tops because they are easier to manage. But, they taper at and are smaller than the actual size of your needles, which produce smaller stitches.
But, if you ruled out incorrect stitch placement, then your mood might be the problem. Try to relax and let your needles do the work. It may seem too simple, but it can significantly improve your knitting after you take it seriously.
Spend some time knitting a tiny swatch of stockinette stitch and loosening your grip on your yarn. Once you wrap your yarn around the needle, avoid pulling it too much, and pull it through instead.
When you practice this technique, it may feel wrong, which is why you are using a swatch! You can use this swatch to adjust yourself and experiment with how much you pull your working yarn.
Besides practicing having consistent tension using a swatch, there are also other steps you can do. Here are three tips to correct your uneven tension:
- Knit for extended periods instead of having many short knitting sessions. The more knitting you can do, the longer your blocks of knitting will be in your work. Also, it means that you will knit with the same mindset, mood, and tension.
- Various needles can cause stitches to stick or become excessively slippery. So, looking for the best type for your project and experiment with different needles would help.
- Change your knitting style. Perhaps your current style creates inconsistencies in tension because you have too much control.
- Do you knit your stranded colorwork too tightly?
- Do you knit your stranded colorwork too loosely?
- Are your purl stitches looser than your knit stitches?
Spreading out your stitches can lengthen your floats to an appropriate tightness and reduce puckering. Also, if you are knitting in the round, you can try knitting inside out. But, this method may need more time and practice to master.
It may seem weird, but flipping your knitting forces your yarn to travel more to get from one stitch to the next. So, it lengthens your stitches because the thickness of your item increases the circumference of your work.
Another way to fix tight stranded colorwork is to catch your floats in as even intervals as possible. Also, it would help to remember previous rows. Then, try not to catch your floats in the duplicate stitch above where you caught them in the previous row.
Remember to maintain a color’ pecking order’ in your stranded knitting. In this order, you will always work one color over the other color. Then, trap your float to keep your project from having too many loose sections.
Another excellent solution is drawing your new color over to the working needle. So, if your final stitch has a float that is flopping downward, you can tug on that color of yarn. But, note that tightening up your colorwork may mean individually tightening each stitch.
Think about how you wrap your yarn. For example, wrapping it counter-clockwise uses more yarn on your purl stitch than your knit stitch. So, the problem may not be loose purl stitches but the nature of your knitting style.
But, if you think your knitting style is not the problem, the remedy is to knit your knit stitches normally. Also, it would help to knit while pulling the working yarn tightly towards yourself when you purl. But, again, making a gauge swatch will be the best solution!