How to get even tension with cotton yarn?

I’m making this dress for my friend’s baby. It’s for her first birthday. I’m using Plymouth Yarn Fantasy Naturale 100% mercerized cotton. Needless to say my tension has never looked worse. Any tips for getting more even tension with cotton yarn? I’ve tried knitting looser, purling tighter, etc. I do have Denise needles. Should I use a different size needle on one side?

Also, the decrease down to the waistband left too many holes for my taste. I will sew a thin ribbon border on the top and bottom of the orange waistband to help hide that. I’m thinking of frogging this one and starting over. At least this is the back of the dress. I have not started on the front yet. Let me know your thoughts please! Here’s a couple of pics.

It’s kind of the nature of the beast. Cotton is much more difficult to knit evenly with because it does not have any ‘give’ to it at all. Personally, I don’t think your dress looks bad at all. In fact it’s very cute and the tension is not noticeably uneven, to me. The good thing about cotton is that it can be blocked once finished, and that would take care of a good deal of the unevenness. I wouldn’t frog it, I’m sure your friend will just love it.

I’d have to agree–I think it looks fine. I also agree that the holes at the bottom of the waistband will look better with ribbon. Overall, though, I think it’s as even as cotton can get, unblocked.

IMHO the holes at the bottom of the band aver Very small. and overall the garment looks GORGEOUS~~!!
DON"T frog it~~!!

I think it’s beautiful. I’d never frog something that pretty!

For future reference, you can use a needle size down for the purl sides, one of Amy’s interchangeable needle tricks. :wink: Personally I give the yarn a second wrap around my pinky when I’m purling, which helps me knit a little tighter.

Also, this might not be too helpful now, but this is an instance where knitting a full swatch and washing it to see how it would behave would be really helpful. I agree with the others, it doesn’t look extremely uneven in the photos and what unevenness there is will hopefully work itself out in the blocking. :slight_smile:

If it makes you feel any better…I was really frustrated with the first cotton sweater I ever knitted, for the same reason. When I was flipping through the pattern book, I noticed that the sweater in the pattern photo was uneven, just like mine! :doh:

that is absolutely gorgeous :inlove: please dont frog it! :pray:

:?? but why would you do that? how does it help?

:?? but why would you do that? how does it help?[/quote]

Some people purl more loosely than they knit. This can cause “rowing out” when knitting flat stockinette. One way to compensate for the difference in tension is to use a smaller needle for purling. Interchangeable sets make this easy to do.

BTW, the dress is adorable as is – definitely don’t frog!

For the first time, I actually did wash and dry my swatch figuring that the cotton might shrink. It didn’t and I had to move a needle size down to get gauge. My two swatches don’t look bad. But, even my husband noticed the stripey look of the purl rows being looser on the dress. He thought it was a new pattern stitch :?? . Oh well…at least he’s learning.

Thanks for the feedback. I think double wrapping around my pinky might be the trick. I’ll post a pic when it’s done. Thanks for the encouragement!!

That’s a really cool tip. thanks.