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save10cents 01-29-2006 12:06 AM

Tension problem
I'm a beginning knitter and I'm about to give up!

I'm teaching myself to knit and I know the stitches and how to cast-on properly but I'm having trouble with correct tension.

I've taken apart my first project (a simple knit stitch scarf) about ONE MILLION times now after only the first row. At the end of the row I find, as a I suspect I will, that there is just too much slack. The last stitch ends up being this HUGE loop which I can do nothing to fix except start over.

I'm using size 10 needles. I'm knitting continetal style. The yarn is acrylic.

What are some ways I can maintain good tension and not end up with that noose at the end of the row?

Ingrid 01-29-2006 12:13 AM

One thing you can do is use a smaller needle. Size 10, if you're using worsted weight yarn, will make your stitches loose by nature.

Another thing to know is that loose loop at the end is one that everyone experiences--it's a stitch that's only secured on one side, so by nature it is loose. One thing to do to minimize the loose loop on the end is either to really pull the first stitch tight as you knit in on the next row, or just slip the first stitch of each row without wrapping it.

Another word of advice. Don't rip it out if you don't like the way it looks now. Give yourself a chance to practice. Even tension comes with time. Just keep knitting. Knit, all the way to the end of the ball, and then compare your stitches at the beginning to those at the end. You'll see a major difference. If you're looking for perfection the first time through, you're setting yourself up for disappointment.

If you had your first violin lesson last week, would you expect to play Flight of the Bumblebee right away? No, you'd practice, sour notes and all.

Hang in there, it gets better, I promise.

redmountainquilt 01-29-2006 10:18 PM

I am a brand new knitter and have had the same problem. Twice in the past I have knitted a square and always gave up because the ends looked bad. Well, I just decided to stop making little practice sqaures and I make a scarf. I found a super easy free pattern and felt better about the whole thing because I was actually making something "for real". I used chunky yarn and it was much more forgiving (I really can't tell if my ends are good, bad or otherwise! :lol: ). I am just waiting for my tension to improve over time. Thanks to the pp for the good tips!

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