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Old 01-04-2008, 03:33 AM   #1
amyt
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Tight or Loose Knitting?
Is one better than the other, or is it just a matter of style? I am new to knitting and so far have used just the knit stitch on a couple of projects (very simple). I so far am tending to have a looser style than tighter, and I just want to make sure I keep going with a good habit, or nip a bad one in the bud. Thanks for your input! Amy
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Old 01-04-2008, 03:58 AM   #2
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There is nothing harder to work with than knitting that is too tight and choked up on the needles!

I think being slightly looser is better, simply because you can work the stitches so much easier!

Eventually, you will need to get your 'gauge' under control. I used to knit so loose that my first ARAN pullover (size 4) turned out to be a size 24! I had used the suggested needle size in the pattern.

After that debacle, I started sizing down my needles. So, if a pattern suggests a US 8 needle with this or that yarn...I needed to size down to a US 5 needle! I continued on my merry way, knitting loosely on the needle...but because my needle was so much smaller, my knitted piece turned out the RIGHT SIZE!

I think "loose knitters" are generally feeling more relaxed and calm when they knit. Watch how your tension changes when you are under more stress than usual!
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:14 AM   #3
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Thanks for your answer! - Yes, I agree about being relaxed. And I haven't made anything yet that needs to be a certain size (just a few scarfs and a throw blanket). But I have been using larger needles - maybe I should start trying out smaller needles, still keeping my looser style - it sounds like it works for you. thanks again, Amy
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Old 01-04-2008, 02:09 PM   #4
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I tend to knit way too tightly (I am wound a little tight in general ). I agree that it is harder to knit with tight stitches. I have been making a real effort to knit a little more loosely lately. It goes much faster (and with a lot less frustration and dropped stitches) when it is a little looser. As the pp mentioned, as long as you can get close to gauge, you are fine.
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Old 01-04-2008, 03:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Knitting Gnome View Post
I tend to knit way too tightly (I am wound a little tight in general ). I agree that it is harder to knit with tight stitches. I have been making a real effort to knit a little more loosely lately. It goes much faster (and with a lot less frustration and dropped stitches) when it is a little looser. As the pp mentioned, as long as you can get close to gauge, you are fine.
Hi Knitting Gnome!
I have a quick tip for you! Tight knitting usually begins from the cast on stitches! When I have taught new knitters, I notice that when they cast on real tight, the knitting itself stays tight. When I ask them to re-do the cast on...casting on real loose (but not sloppy)...their subsequent knitting goes along looser, too! Try that! I think it will improve your gauge! Let me know, will ya?
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Old 01-04-2008, 03:07 PM   #6
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I have a tighter gauge, and for me, it makes me happy as I like to keep the gap in my stitches small. I would say totally up to the individual. My mom knits a very loose gauge which suits her....

She hates fixing my mistakes, but either way is good!
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Old 01-04-2008, 03:33 PM   #7
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Hiya Amy,
If you are just starting out, your gauge will be a bit wonky at first. You are training your fingers and your mind to do something different and your gauge might get tighter as you gain more experience and your hand muscles are trained.
So no worries, your gauge will define itself after a while and you'll know if you knit loose or tight and if you need to do as artlady has done and compensate the needle sizes to the way you knit.
So just keep knitting and it'll all work out in the end.
knit on sistuh!! knit on!!!
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Old 01-04-2008, 03:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
have a quick tip for you! Tight knitting usually begins from the cast on stitches! When I have taught new knitters, I notice that when they cast on real tight, the knitting itself stays tight. When I ask them to re-do the cast on...casting on real loose (but not sloppy)...their subsequent knitting goes along looser, too! Try that!
That makes sense. While knitting I sometimes realize that I have knit tighter on the previous row and that I continue to tight as well. So I have to loosen up when I notice it.
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Old 01-04-2008, 09:04 PM   #9
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I also knit loose and have to downsize several sizes on the needles to get gauge, but I find it is great for pattern stitches like cables etc., because you're able to get the tip of the needles into the stitches without so much splitting of the yarn.
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Old 01-04-2008, 10:58 PM   #10
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Yes, I think knitting looser is easier than knitting tighter. You don't have to fight your needles and yarn as much. Don't worry about it for now, you'll develop your own even tension with a little practice.
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