Purl stitches too loose

Hey All,

I am getting pretty good now with a lot of the basic stitches. Thanks to all of the help this forum has given me. :notworthy:

However, I am doing a cabled neck warmer and knitting in the round. All of my knit stitches look great, but when I get to the purl stitches, they are coming out rather loose and the knit stitch before that is very loose as well. :??

I have tried to make the purl stitch tighter than the others, but to know avail. :wall:

The pattern is k8, p2 repeat. I am using US 11 needles and bulky yarn.

I seems that if I am using smaller needles and finer yarn the purl stitches come out fine.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

i have the same problem when doing anything that alternates knit and purl stitches. the last purl stitch before knit stitches or the last knit stitch before purl stitches is looser that the rest of the stitches and it looks sloppy. i hope someone know how to fix this because i would be interested in learning how to fix it also.

I don’t usually champion this since it could lead to bad habits but have you tried giving the NEXT stitch a tug before you work it? Basically put the needle into the stitch like you are about to wrap but give it a little tug first.

you need to just be careful that you don’t do it all the time or your work could get too tight and completely throw off your gauge.

[color=indigo]If you are knitting continental style, you can make your purl stitches tighter by thinking (and doing) to “press down” on the working yarn strand with your left index finger after you pickup & wrap it on the needle.

For me, this is a bit too automatic at times, so my purl gauge is almost always tighter than is my knit gauge.


I tighten purls in Continental by slightly tipping my hand back at the wrist, away from the needle, to give a slight tug. Nonaknits describes a technique that improved her ribbing where she wrapped her wool in the other direction for purl stitches in some cases to fix the sagginess.
I didn’t have any luck with it, but others have. I was told that my unevenness was caused by differing tension between my knits and my purls, my purls were tighter.


I asked a question about ribbing on another thread but I don’t think I understand fully. I did not get an answer back so I will ask here. Anyway, I have read to improve your ribbing you can wrap your purls clockwise because that will use less yardage. So, because you wrap your purls clockwise that will twist the stitch so if you are working on flat when you get to the twisted stitch you just knit into the back.

My question is

If you are working in the round and you wrap your purls clockwise it will twist your stitch and since you are not turning your work how does this work.

Should I just knit the knits as usual then purl clockwise on every row.
should I just knit the knits as usual then purl clockwise on one row, and then on the next row purl into the back of the purl and then keep alternating? :??

Okay great, but if you are knitting in the English style, what to do, what to do. I will try and give the yarn a little tug when the needle is in the stitch.

What I have been doing is doing the purl stitch, then bringing the yarn to the back and then giving it a little tug, then bring the yarn foward and do the next purl stitch.

But for some odd reason, the knit stitch before is still loose.

Anyone else out there that can help in the English style?

I knit Eng style and elim most of the problem by knitting both the last cable st, and the following P, tbl.

Also, some of the slack may be elim in the wash/dry process (the tension will redistribute). You can also try working out the excess by using a ndl tip to snug up the loose stitch(es) by gently pulling each part of the st separately (for instance the left of the V, then the right) and then gradually working the extra yarn into the adjacent sts (you have to know how the sts work into each other to know where to pull). Helps to do this step as you work each row so you don’t have to go back and do an entire garment.

BTW, I never work with large ndls or bulky yarn so can’t speak to how that would affect your project.