How do you know if you are knitting too tight/loose?

I’m kind of new to knitting, and I am still working on things like scarves and shawls so that gauge isn’t too important, but I don’t understand how you are supposed to be able to tell if you are knitting too tight or too loose?

How do you know if you need to go up a needle or down a needle? Is there a way to tell on just a simple scarf?



If you have a pattern, it will give you a gauge to shoot for, but for all those other occasions… something I read in a book is that you can tell that your knitting is too tight if it feels stiff, and too loose if you can stretch it and it doesn’t spring back. (I don’t think the too loose thing would apply to lace since it’s supposed to be that way, but you get the idea.) I’d start with the needle size given on the yarn label and see how you like the drape of the fabric. You can adjust up or down from there.

I am a loose knitter, and that usually gives me a softer result, but if I get the right gauge, it ususally comes out the way it is supposed to.

You knitting will evolve into the right tension for YOU. Each knitter’s gauge is individual to them. Let it happen. If you consciously try to knit tighter or looser, eventually your mind will wander and you’ll return to what’s ‘natural’ for you.

I automatically start a swatch with a needle size larger than the pattern calls for because I know that I generally knit a little tighter than average. Occasionally, though I’m right on with the needle size suggested in the pattern. I have to assume that the designer knits a little tightly, too.

Just keep knitting.