Messy rib stitch

Ihave always had a problem with my rib stitch looking uneven/messy. I am working on a sweater for my friend and am really not liking it because it is in 1x1 rib stitch and I feel like it looks terrible. One side of the knit stitch is “longer” than the other. No amount of pulling/blocking seems to fix it.

Is it a tension issue? If I do stockinette stitch it looks beautiful, but somewhere in the switching between knit and purl it goes wonky.

PLEASE HELP! I am about to go crazy!:hair: :hair:


Nope, that’s just normal in ribbing. After you have more length it’s not so bad and when you wash the item when you’re done it evens out the stitches. Knitting doesn’t come off the needles perfect, there’s still another step to do.

a bit of wonkyness in ribbing is normal.

1 X 1 can be the worst… because you change yarn position every stitch (from front to back)

some solutions (none work perfectly–together they work better!)

1–a smaller needle.
normally you go down 1 or 2 needle sizes for ribbing. (from a yarn ball band suggested size 8 (4.5mm) to a size 6…
but you might find a US size 5 works better…or if you are a loose knitter, smaller still!

2–Practice! My ribs are finally less wonky (45 years of practice have some effect!)

3–learn to do the combo purl.
If you learned with purling that “the long way round is the wrong way round” well forget that!

wrap the purls the long way round.

Ooops! this will create ‘backwards’ knits (knits that are mounted backwards on the needle… to work these knits, knit into back loop… (working into front of loop will result in a twisted stitch)

there is lot of info on why ribbing is wonky–and almost as much on knitting combination…

(and well not to brag… but look at my most recent projects, or at my baker’s dozen of wash cloths… basket weave face cloths with NO WONKINESS at all (in cotton!)

my 1 X 1 ribbing still has a bit of wonkyness. (i see it!) but its pretty damn good!


Are you talking about that ‘gap’ that ladders between the knit and the purl? As long as it’s not a reversible garment you can wrap the purl stitch clockwise instead and it makes beautiful ribbing. I wrote up a little tutorial about it.

Hey everyone!

Thanks for the posts

of Troy - I was/am doing the combo purl and went back to “regular” thinking that it may be part of the problem. Not it :stuck_out_tongue:

Jan - thanks for the links! I love your Radgoll - the pic makes me miss one of the Ragdolls I used to have (I had 4 and went down to 2 due to divorce). Devil looks almost exactly like yours.

Bottom line your posts make me feel better that others have the same issue!