New to continental, knit too tight

I learned how to knit (throwing) as a child but never really liked it. So, based on the advice of a friend, I learned how to knit continental off this site in the last month. I am working on my third project and still unhappy with my tension…I can’t seem to get it right! My purl is OK, but my knit is waaay too tight. I end up with ridges in my stockinette and the stitches don’t move up on my needles very well. I have tried moving my stitches farther down on the right needle before starting the next knit stitch, but I can’t seem to do it consistently. Will this take just a matter of time to work out, or is there a quick fix? I am going back to videos again to see if I can see what I am doing wrong.


I think most tight knitters seem to be continental, so I think it’s part of the technique. However, the more you practice and try holding your yarn different ways, you may loosen up, or become more equal with your purl tension.

I’m also a Continental knitter and have trouble with tight knitting sometimes. What I’ve had to do is FORCIBLY knit looser, even if it takes knitting at half the speed to do so. I figure consistant results are better than fast results.

That being said, I found that my tight knitting looks MUCH better when I use metal needles. The stitches slide very easily, so there’s not as much pulling at the work.

Funny, cause my continental knitting is always tighter than when I knit English.

I have heard that you can knit with 2 different size needles to loosen up your stitch. Knit with the larger needle and purl with the needle that gives you gauge.

I’ve never tried it because my issue is always knitting too loosely.

If you used to knit English and now knit continental, pay atention to which way you are wrapping hte yarn when creating a knit stitch. If you are goingthe wrong way (i cant remember which way thatis right now) then it can twist and tighten the stitch.

I know that I am not twisting my stitches (I double-checked), just knitting too tight. <<Sigh>> I will just try to find out how to best loosen up on the knit. In the meantime, I may need to rip the project I am working on because the stockinette looks so crappy. Perhaps I am doomed to knit garter stitch the rest of my life?

Found this interesting article on my problem at the Twist Collective (online mag).

I am going to go read it again.:neutral:

I knit Continental and I tend to knit loosely. I think a lot of Continental knitters tend to knit loosely, but I know it can go either way. Don’t hold the tension too tightly in the left hand, however you are holding the yarn out so that you can grab it with the needle. You could also pull each loop up just a little more when you get it on the right needle.

You could try knitting with a larger needle on the knit row, and the regular one on the purl row.

Here is a cool article from Knitty with the specifics about how people knit too tight. It helped me, a continental knitter, significantly when I was just starting out.

Oh my, that knitty article just fixed my tight stitches problem! Thank you!!

One of the things I would check is to make sure that you are putting the needle all the way in the stitch so that it is full sized before popping it off. When you’re picking, it can be easy to catch the yarn just on the tip of the needle which makes the stitch smaller. Right now I’m knitting with a slubby yarn that wants to knit up tightly, so I give the right needle a little tug as I’m pulling the stitch off.

Also, make sure you are tensioning the yarn in your left hand in a way that feeds easily. I find that wrapping the yarn around my index finger makes the yarn feed more slowly and stickily (is that a word?) which tightens things up, whereas if I strand the yarn through over the index finger and under the pinky it sticks less which makes the knitting looser.

I knit English ,I have tried knitting Continental because it always looks like its faster and I want to learn to knit faster. But I always end up after a few tight stitches going back to English style . But English seems like a lot more movement of the right hand.

So I am a Continental Knitter Wannabe :x:

English doesn’t have to involve a lot of hand/arm movement. I don’t `throw’, I skim the right hand along the needle and flex out my index finger while making a stitch.

I do the same as Suzeeq. If I knit any faster I won’t be able to afford the yarn to keep myself busy. The Yarn Harlot knits a form of English and she is amazingly fast.

If I knit any faster I won’t be able to afford the yarn to keep myself busy.

If I knit faster, I’d use up a lot more of my stash sooner. I probably have enough for 5 years worth of projects, but I keep buying more…