My shawl ends smaller than it starts - but same # stitches

I have been knitting for about a year, and so far only simple things like shawls. My shawls fairly consistently end up smaller on the end I finish than on the end I begin on. I have been trying to figure this out, and the only thing I can come up with is that when I cast on it is much looser than when I bind off. Sometimes it’s just a little, somtimes enough so that I end up ripping it out. The number of stitches remains constant (I count as I knit AND at the end of each row - otherwise I tend to add stitches.) Does anyone have any ideas to help me stop this? I appreciate any suggestions!



Hi Judy! Welcome to the forum. Have you tried binding off using larger needles?

How exactly would I do that? Would I just use one larger needle to start binding off? I’m using 17s now… I appreciate the suggestion! I’m having a hard time picturing how it would work - and yet… wouldn’t the final row have bigger - though looser - stitches?


Bind offs generally seem to be tighter than the knit rows because you’re stretching the stitch over another so it won’t seem that much bigger. You can use just the one needle to do the BO, and if you don’t have a larger size, do it very loosely. Really loose, sloppy loose. Try that.


You would keep the stitches on the regular needle still on there, but in your right hand (assuming you’re right handed) you would have the large needle.

I use a much larger needle, myself… like if I knitted something with a size 8 needle, I would probably use a size 11 to bind off.

If you don’t have bigger needles handy, I have heard of people adding yarnovers in between bindoff stitches, if that makes sense.

A yo, never heard of that but it would work.