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View Full Version : Is it normal to be a loose knitter?


Wild Lotus
12-24-2005, 12:10 AM
I knit with the yarn in my left hand, I guess that's called continental? Also, I used to be a massage therapist and my hands are very messed up from that. Because of that, I can't hold things very tightly. I even have to vary how I wrap the yard around my fingers because some days I can't hold the yarn tightly enough. The repetitive motion of knitting doesn't hurt my hands (actually seems to help a bit) but I can't do things that take a lot of tension or pressure.

My stitches seem pretty regular and I find the left handed knitting to go pretty quickly. However, my stitching is pretty loose. To get gauge, I usually have to go down a needle size or two.

So far I've only made socks and hats. I'm feeling pretty confident and ready to start my first sweater soon. However, I'm wondering if my loose knitting is going to cause any problems. Is this a problem or a bad habit that I'm going to have to correct soon? Or can I go on knitting confidently knowing that my knitting will work itself out?

Ingrid
12-24-2005, 12:15 AM
Some people are loose knitters and some are tight. That's why they give gauge in patterns, so people can adjust needle size accordingly. Find a tension that's comfortable for you and you can work with that just fine.

jelly
12-24-2005, 02:23 AM
i read the title of this thread as meaning something TOTALLY different

knitbebe
12-24-2005, 02:34 AM
Many knitting teachers will encourage beginners to loosen up a bit. Im pretty sure that I have read that Elizabeth Zimmermann preferred a loose tension --and was also a picker (guys, correct me if I'm wrong) so if my memory serves me correct you are following in zimmermann's footsteps--How awesome is that.

knitbebe

humblestumble
12-24-2005, 02:50 AM
I think I'm a loose knitter, or a medium knitter, at least according to gauges lately, so maybe this can help with your question? I am studying to be a massage therapists too :)

Jan in CA
12-24-2005, 03:05 AM
I knit pretty loosely especially when using straight needles in stockinette. I tend to be tighter when knitting in the round though. Everyone is different I think and you just need to learn to work with it.

Nomad
12-24-2005, 04:42 AM
I'm glad you posted this question, because I was about to ask the same thing! I learnt to knit as a child with the English method (not surprising since I'm English!) and always knitted very tight. Coming back to it as an adult I decided to try Continential method (since I'm now on the Continent?! But more because I get enough problems with mouse-wrist, using my LH seemed a good idea) and I'm finding getting the tension even really hard & my knitting is very loose. But just last night I realised that if I loop the yarn around my little finger one more time than Amy shows, it works much better for me :happydance:

I guess it just means we'll always have to be good little knitters & be sure to knit a swatch before each & every fitted pattern. I can live with that!

Vendie
12-24-2005, 08:00 AM
i read the title of this thread as meaning something TOTALLY different

:fingerwag:


:roflhard:

Angelia
12-24-2005, 08:49 AM
:roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard: Loose knitting! :eyebrow:

Wild Lotus: It might just be your perspective: the way your knitting looks as opposed to the way you think knitting should look. Look at some of Amy's videos (http://www.knittinghelp.com/knitting/basic_techniques/misc.php) (the one showing basic stitch patterns is a good example); her knitting looks incredibly loose, yet it's not at all!

punkhippiemom
12-24-2005, 01:02 PM
:shock:
Glad I wasn't the only one who misinterpreted that!!!
:eyebrow:
You sound like you're doing everything right, switching needle sizes and all... it really doesn't matter how you knit, when I first started I was completely bass-ackwards - I knitted into the back loop instead of the front and purled the wrong way (I'm still trying to work on that)- but as long as you're happy with the end result, I don't think it matters too much. Read 'Confessions of a Knitting Heretic'... it's on my wish list, because I too believe that there is no 'wrong way' to knit!!!

purlgrrl
12-24-2005, 05:23 PM
I think everyone's different. The key is to make sure you get gauge, and the needle size you use is not all that important.

A month or so ago I was wondering the same thing. For a pattern/yarn that calls for size 8 needles, I use size 5's. For one that calls for 13's, I'm happy and getting perfect gauge on 11's. I just kind of rolled with it and am finding that sometimes I use the same needle as recommended, especially for slippery novelty yarns.

EZ (Elizabeth Zimmerman, who is a famous knitter) is a big proponent of staying relaxed while you knit. I'm a massage therapist too, and really think that knitting comfortably - which often means loosely - FOR YOU is the best thing for your shoulders, neck, arms, hands and fingers. I think if you hold tight and tense while you knit, it can't be comfortable. I tense when I sew and it makes me hate sewing because my neck always hurts after. For knitting I just keep my arms down and relaxed and move fairly quickly but not racing...

Anyway enjoy! Sounds like you're doing great. Knitting *should* be relaxing.

kellyjo32
12-29-2005, 11:19 AM
when I first started I was completely bass-ackwards - I knitted into the back loop instead of the front and purled the wrong way (I'm still trying to work on that)- but as long as you're happy with the end result, I don't think it matters too much.

Wow, so I'm not the only one who somehow started mysteriously knitting into the backloop! I'm stuck right now finishing a pattern the wrong way, b/c I found out half way through that I was doing it wrong, and it's driving me crazy, knowing that I'm doing it wrong. It's weird, but I can tell I'm a super tight knitter, and it drives me crazy, but I haven't been able to figure out how to loosen it up...still working on that.

Angelia
12-29-2005, 11:22 AM
To knit more loosely, allow yourself looser tension in the working yarn as you hold it and knit with it. (Doing that helps me, anyway.)

Ingrid
12-29-2005, 11:38 AM
If you're still knitting through the back loop, that'll make it super tight!!

kellyjo32
12-29-2005, 11:42 AM
okay, so maybe that's why this one seems so tight. once i move on to another project, maybe the tension will loosen up a little! thanks!