K3tog/slip stitch/cable tightness

So I am already starting to do more complicated things with my knitting. I have tried some more difficult patterns that involve slipping stitches, knitting 2 or 3 together, and making cables. Only I’ve noticed a common problem: everything is too tight! :wall:

When slipping stitches, I am fine for a few rows and then I notice that it is very hard to insert my needle into the slipped stitches from the previous row. I haven’t been able to successfully knit 2 or 3 together yet (the space just won’t accomodate the yarn and the needles). My cables seem to have the least problems, but they don’t really lay as flat as I would like and it seems as if I have more and more problems with them as I go along (ie, the longer the cable, the tighter and tighter it gets).

Does anyone have any tips or tricks for solving this? I’ve tried to knit looser, but I’m getting things tangled, twisted, and dropping stitches all over the place.

Thanks! :mrgreen:

Just pulling ideas out of the air, here. Maybe use larger needles? Don’t try using “funky” yarns with fibers that will knot and bind upon themselves? Experiment with different size needles and yarn thickness. Keep your knitting relaxed, not too loose or tight. Sometimes it seems that K2 tog or cabling looks way too loose when it first comes off the needle, but it adjusts itself as you keep knitting. My mantra is “It all works out in the end. Usually.” ha ha. Remember, you are not trying to make a tight-knit waterproof shelter. Relax, let the stitches slip from the needles and see how it looks after you have done a dozen or so rows.

Something that really really really helps with manipulating stitches such as the K3Tog as you stated, and cables…is to use the KnitPicks Options needles. They are much pointier than other needles, and I use them exclusively for knitting things as you described.

You can just jam that tip into the 3 stitches, get them picked up onto the righthand needle…and knit them together!

When you finish a stitch, are you sliding it on to the full needle width, making it spread out to the size of the needle? if you keep it bunched up on the tip, continue knitting/purling the next couple stitches and keeping them all on the tip, they might be too tight to fit on the full needle size comfortably.

Thanks, everyone! :grphug:

I will look at the KnitPicks needles that were mentioned above as well as try to remember to slide my work farther down the needle. I was working last night (not trying to do anything fancy, just working on rhythem of basic patterns) and was just focusing on staying loose and keeping my stitches from getting really tight. It was helping a little.

This morning I also taught myself the long-tail cast on method and found that I like the results better for edging than what I had been using (a simple cast on method), but it started out tighter for my overall work. As with many things in my life, it looks like I just need to loosen up! :mrgreen:

Here is what I teach my beginners about the cast on:

When all your stitches are casted on…you should be able to lightly hold the stitches with one hand, and slide the needle back and forth through the stitches with the other hand.

If you can’t, the cast on stitches are too tight. Do over.

When your cast on row starts out too tight, all the knitting will be too tight.

So…as you cast on…for every 3 or 4 stitches, try the ‘slide back and forth’ test. If your stitches are starting to strangle your needle…rip them back and do over.

You can try holding your yarn a different way… I don’t loop it around my fingers if I need my knitting to be looser and loop it more if I need it tighter…

For your cast one you can cast on with a larger needle than what you are going to be knitting with

I’m slightly embarassed to admit this, but I don’t really hold my yarn. :oo: I kind of hold it off to the right along the needle as I work (be it front or back), but I don’t do the whole “wrap it around your hand” thing. My grandmother tried to teach me something like that when she taught me to crochet, but I never did like it… it was all I could stand just to use my left index finger to keep the yarn tidy as I worked my crochet projects. So, yeah.

I do think, though, that my cast-on is too tight, so I’m going to try to make that looser now.

Don’t be embarassed, you can deal with the yarn in any way that works for you. I don’t wrap it around fingers either, but thread it through them.

Another idea…the long tail cast on is good and it can help to start with a nice loose cast on. That sometimes helps you to knit looser as you get past the first row. You can cast on on a needle 2 or 3 sizes larger than you intend to knit on. Some people like to cast on over two needles and then slip one out.

I taught one of my DDs to knit so she could help her little girls and I asked her later which way she was doing it (I taught one of her daughters to knit Continental [left hand hold] and the younger daughter to knit English [right hand hold]. So I asked DD which hand she was holding the yarn in, and she said, “I don’t hold the yarn at all.” That made me laugh a bit, but she was doing it wrapping the yarn with her right hand, so English. Whatever works as Suzeeq said.

When you wrap the yarn don’t pull on it hard and that will help. I think it just takes a while to get the feel for it. I had one student who started out as the tightest knitter in the class and ended up the loosest. So just keep knitting and things will probably change some with practice.