Crooked Knitted Piece


Hi everyone,

I know this is weird but I knitted a piece that I was going to fold and sew to make a small purse in stockinette stitch and there is a
.25 inch difference from top to bottom on each side. I put a stripe in the piece and it’s off - goes diagonal slightly. I blocked the piece but it’s still off by .25 inch.

I used an old pair of #0 double-point needles (it’s a set of 4 but I only used 2) that originally belonged to my grandmother - she brought them to the US when she imigrated from Finnland at the turn of the last century. My mother says that my grandmother knit many many items with these needles. She made clothing with Scandinavian designs so if there was a difference it would have shown in the clothing for sure but I’ve seen some of the stuff she made and there isn’t.

I used Vanna’s Glamour Yarn which is a weight category 2 - sport yarn. It’s 96% acrylic and 4% metallic polyester.

I have measured, rolled, and put the needles through my gauge checker but I can’t find any anomalies. They have been stored with other needles in a box for years. Has anyone ever run into this type siutation? Any suggestions?



It’s nothing to do with the needles, might be the yarn, or could be how you do your stitches. You might purl looser than you knit, so that could cause a little bit of difference. Also check to see that you have the same number of sts at cast on, bind off. If you can do a couple more posts, you’ll be able to post a picture of it, which is really the only way we can see what you do.


Is it possible that you did an inadvertant short row somewhere in the piece? If you put it down at some point and then started again in the wrong direction, it might skew the piece. If this happened you might be ablt to see it by inspecting the rows or counting the rows at each end.


Suzeeq and Salmonmac - I squared the piece to the table under the towel. The second picture is hard to see folded but it really shows the difference. I thought the needle guide might help put it in perspective.

I checked my CO and BO and they match. I have never had a problem with the difference between my knitting and purling before so I’m leaning towards inadvertantly doing a half row which hadn’t crossed my mind. The stitches are tiny and the black yarn was difficult to see even in the best of light. But if that’s what I did, I must have done it more than once to get a .25 inch difference don’t you think?



Well, if you turned in the middle of a row and reknit some of the sts, that would actually be over 2 rows, so that’s close to a quarter inch if your row gauge is 7-8 rows per inch.

It looks like your BO is tight in the picture on the left, that could account for part of it, and maybe your tension changed as you went along - looser at first and getting tighter about halfway through. The lower edge seems very even from the CO edge to the end of the stripes, then seems to ‘shrink’ in. So maybe you were knitting looser during the color changes and tightened up later.


The measurement going crosswise - with the stripes - is the same all the way across. The edge rolled under when I took the picture.

The bind off wasn’t extrememly tight but I did have to pay attention and try to stay loose. Is there a way to prevent a tight bind off? Thanks,



There are some stretchy bind offs but you can also just use a one or two sizes larger needle in your right hand when you bind off.
Actually the purse looks very good and may just square up a bit more with blocking.


Okay, I can understand the edge would have curled. Yeah, just try the BO with a larger needle, that should help. Then block it out flat and it should square up then.


I started pulling the purse apart and about half way I found a row that I did start the wrong way when I picked it up to continue knitting. Looks more square now but I think I’m going to block it again before pulling out more rows to see if there’s another mistake.

The stretchy bind off looks terrific I can’t wait to try it. I make leg warmers for my niece and granddaughter and this bind off will make a huge difference. Thanks for the link.

You’re both moderators - I have a question. I am a left-handed knitter but still find this site very helpful. It takes a bit of ‘reverse’ thinking but I usually can figure out the left-handed version but has it ever been considered to include left-handed knitting videos on the site?


When you say ‘left handed’ do you mean that you work the sts off the right needle to an empty left needle? The videos were made by and feature Amy the owner and she’s primarily a continental knitter. If you search posts, I thinks there’s a link to a lefthanded knitting site which may have videos, and I think Youtube has a few as well.


Many truly left handed knitters knit “right handed”. Some use continental method where you carry the yarn in your left hand, some use the English method where you carry the yarn in your right hand. Of all the knitters I know personally only one truly knits left handed.

And yes, if you are truly a left handed knitter there are some websites for technique.


The needle in my left hand is empty and the needle in my right hand has the stitches on it. I manipulate the stitches with the empty needle in my left hand off of the needle in my right hand.

When I knit a stitch I put the needle in the stitch from right to the left. When I purl I put the needle in the stitch from the left to the right. From what I understand this makes me a true left-handed knitter.

I’ll check out the continental videos but I have a difficult time with picking up the yarn when I try this method.


Yep, you’re a true lefthanded knitter. You’d probably only need to swap the decreases, or just make sure that you get left and right leaning decreases as appropriate. There’s a group at called On the Other Hand where you can probably get some tips.


Thanks - I’ll check them out.


Glad you worked out the knitted purse. How lovely to have and use your grandmother’s needles.
I’m a committed leftie who knits right-handed. I enjoyed these reflections on left-handed knitting.


Thanks everyone for the suggestions and information.

I wanted to knit something using my grandmother’s needles and with them being so small - size 0 - I chose a small project. Little did I know that I would make a small mistake that made such a big problem.

I can’t imagine knitting sweaters with these needles especially with Scandinavian designs like my grandmother did but it is satisfying to use her needles even for a small project.

Thanks again,


I’ve been following this thread and I’m glad you got it figured out; I couldn’t find anything helpful to add. It’s a small thing like that that can really make everything come out wrong and be such a pain. A bigger, more obvious error would have been easier to spot. Little things can be such a problem sometimes.

Using your grandmother’s needles is awesome. I like to think that someday one of my grandkids would like to use mine.


I found this forum by googling about my crooked knitting but I want to talk about knitting left handed. And also my crooked knitting.
Here is my story, I am teaching myself to knit because knitting and quilting are the only two things I don’t know how to do. I struggled and struggled with the first few rows of the first square of my sampler afghan I am working on. I watched video after video and it was obvious I was knitting too tight but I couldn’t figure out a way to not knit too tight. It was cumbersome, awkward and slow! After trying, ripping it out and trying again at least 20 times (no exaggeration!) it finally occurred to me that if I turned it around and knitted the other way it might work better for me because I’m left handed. Voila! It was like magic, I am still slow but I was at least I’m making progress and it wasn’t too tight. Now that I have read this post I know that I am a true left handed knitter!
Now for the crooked problem, once I put the sampler afghan together will it pull the square straight? I don’t see any mistakes and I can pull it straight to measure. I’m thinking that it is probably because I knitted tighter in the middle and then started knitting loose again.



It could be the difference in tension as you knit that’s causing the square to skew. Have you tried blocking it to square it up?

Are you working with wool, acrylic or another type yarn? What is the stitch pattern in your sampler square?


I have not tried blocking it yet, that is a good idea. The yarn is acrylic and the I’m not sure what the stitch pattern is called but it’s one row of knit stitches then the next row is purl.

I finished it last night but I haven’t cast off yet because I wanted to see what response I got. I think I will cast off and then try blocking it because now that it’s the correct length it doesn’t look as bad as it did when I was only half done.

Thank you