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Old 06-14-2008, 04:52 PM   #1
KAcopan
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help fixing tension??
i will try to get pictures up later as i am out the door right now....

i literally just started knitting last night (see my post in the general knitting>>introductions thread for that story)... through the SUPER INFORMATIVE videos here and youtube, taught myself how to cast-on continental, knit and purl and M1F... but i'm having problems with what i think is the tension.

how tight are your loops supposed to be when you cast on and when you knit???? i do realize there are loose/tight knitters, and i think i would prefer to knit tight.

my problem is that i do the long tail cast on, and then knit one row, but at the end of that row, i'm left with a LONG loop... like all the slack from the entire string ends up in that last loop... is it my tension that's wrong?? any suggestions on how to fix it??? TIA
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Old 06-14-2008, 07:48 PM   #2
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Give yourself a chance. Your personal tension will develop and even out the more you knit. One step at a time!
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Old 06-14-2008, 08:05 PM   #3
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Are you sure you're doing the long tail cast on? Loopy, loose and extra yarn from the caston is usually when you do the backward loop CO, which is only the thumb part of longtail cast on. But yes, tension does improve with practice. Give yourself a coupla days...

eta - Or you mean you have a big loop at the end of the first row? That's not unusual, and it'll get better after a while.
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Old 06-14-2008, 09:58 PM   #4
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I'm no expert on the long-tail cast on, but like Suzeeq I wonder if you are actually doing the backward loop cast-on rather than the long-tail.

By the sounds of it, your problem is not just a slightly loopy first stitch, but something more unsightly that might be quite fixable. Would it be possible to post a picture so we can judge if what is happening is within the norm?

Immediately I read your post I thought it was one I'd read before. Your problem has been discussed here on the forum in the past, but I did a search and can't find the exact post I remember reading. However, I found these threads and they might be worth looking at in case something rings a bell.

http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/sh...long+tail+loop

http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/sh...long+tail+loop

http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/sh...long+tail+loop

http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/sh...long+tail+loop

http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/sh...long+tail+loop

http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/sh...long+tail+loop

I hope some more suggestions are posted for you, as I understand how frustrating it can be when right at the beginning of learning, something goes wrong to prevent you getting on with it.

In the meantime, you could try the cable cast-on (this is NOT what is called the knit(ted) cast on). Its so easy and gives a nice looking flexible edge. You could google it, or here's a link to a video on it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFkYejFGwsI

I've knitted for years and always used the cable cast-on (don't know why its called "cable" because its not a cable...??). Occasionally and more recently I've done the long tail method, but on the whole I do prefer the cable cast-on which somehow seems more straightforward and gives a better looking edge on ribbing. Perhaps its just because I'm more used to it..... Anyway, it would give you a good alternative till you get the longtail method working properly for you.
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Old 06-14-2008, 10:08 PM   #5
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It's called a cable CO because the edge resembles a small cable - the cord, not the stitch pattern.
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Old 06-15-2008, 12:08 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by suzeeq View Post
Are you sure you're doing the long tail cast on? Loopy, loose and extra yarn from the caston is usually when you do the backward loop CO, which is only the thumb part of longtail cast on. But yes, tension does improve with practice. Give yourself a coupla days...

eta - Or you mean you have a big loop at the end of the first row? That's not unusual, and it'll get better after a while.
i am doing the long-tail cast on as instructed in the long-tail cast on video on this site and in the books i've browsed through.

and it is the big loop at the end of the first row... I cast on, then knit one row, and am left with a big loop at the end of the first row.

i tried increasing my tension but it made it so tight that it was hard to move around on the needle.

at least i know now that i just have to keep at it... hopefully it'll get better with time.

thank you all for your input. will still try to get those pictures up tonight.
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Old 06-15-2008, 12:14 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by miss_molly View Post
http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/sh...long+tail+loop


this was my EXACT problem. thank you so much for the links. i just didn't know what to search.

will keep trying now that i know i'm not TOTALLY screwing it up.
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Old 06-15-2008, 12:28 AM   #8
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Don't try to pull too tight on the last stitch. On the next rows, knit the first st, pull a little more on the yarn and that will tighten the end st a little, then knit the next couple a little bit tighter than usual. Don't worry about it too much, it will even up as you knit more and after some more practice on your part.
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Old 06-15-2008, 01:18 AM   #9
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Ingrid said something like, "Don't try to knit tight or loose, just knit and let the yarn and needles decide." (Not an exact quote) That is very good advice. You said,
Quote:
i do realize there are loose/tight knitters, and i think i would prefer to knit tight.
Tight knitting can look very nice, but it tires your hands and can make some stitches hard to do. Don't aim to be real loose, but not being too tight makes life a lot easier. If you need a smaller gauge you can always go to a smaller needle and still knit loose enough to be relaxed and for the stitches to move along easily on the needles.

Like Ingrid said, "Just knit." I think it is a real blessing to be able to knit consistently. By that I mean to have such a natural knitting style that you can expect that given a needle of a certain size and a particular yarn that you will knit the same way on them the next time. I don't have this gift and it would save me a tremendous amount of time if it were the case. I think that maybe just knitting from the beginning without trying to change your knitting to get gauges but letting it all be in the yarn and needles you may be able to develop that natural tension that is all your own. If I were the knitting fairy godmother I would wish this on you. :-)
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