Knit too loosely

I am a continental knitter, very even tension, but can’t quite figure out why my knitting is so loose. I usually knit swatches and have to trade down two or three sets, sometimes four, needles to get gauge! Any tips appreciated.

Don’t beat yourself up over this. Needle size is ALWAYS just suggested, whatever needle size gets you gauge is fine. If your knitting looks even an you are comfortable you aren’t doing anything wrong. Everyone knits differently.

Thanks, Marnie. I guess I just got a bit panicky when I got an infant hat pattern for size 3 needles; I pictured myself working on size “negative 2.” :shock:

I am practicing on the yarn I intend to use. I am trying to work a bit more towards the tips of my needles and hope that condenses the stitches a bit. I don’t overly pull on my work, but maybe I form the stitches too far down. We’ll see. I think I will follow your advice and just try to relax about my needing smaller sizes than called for.

I’m also continental knitter with generally loose stitches (which I love as it gives me plenty of room to make each stitch and my work has always been even). I’ve been working on a project where the yarn combo/needle size was creating much looser knit rows than pearl rows, which has never really happened to me before… Rather than mess with needle sizes too much (because I didn’t want to rip a bunch of rows to start over with smaller needles) I added a gentle tug to my pearl rows (to tighten up the following knit row) as I formed and ended each stitch… This helped a ton. Perhaps something like this, combined with decreasing needle sizes, could help?

Thanks for the tip. I have been teaching some friends to knit and I am always so amazed that they seem to strangle each stitch, although they do eventually loosen up their hands as the skill becomes more familiar. I have such a type-A personality that you would think I would be the same. I have tried to work tighter but all I get are cramps in my hands. I’ll try the gentle tug after the stitch is formed and see how that works.

When I taught a lady how to knit, she had the same “problem” of loose stitches. I sat down to watch her knit and I noticed that she held her needles very far apart from each other. I suggested that she try to hold her needles closer toward each other. As it turned out, the distance between her two needles is what caused the stitches to be so loose.

Just a thought … :wink:
Happy knitting!