Scarf keeps curling - any help?

Hi. I am a new knitter and just finished my second scarf (form my middle son). I used a variation of the 10 feet of Icelandic scarf on the free patterns page. I used wool yarn and used the size 7 needles the yarn recommended. I garter stitched for the first 4 rows and the 2 outside stiches on each row for the whole scarft. I did the stockingette stitch for the rest.

It is rolling inward quite badly - like a tube (I thought the garter on the edge would keep it relatively flat). My 6 year old does not care but it bothers me. Does anyone have any suggestions to fix it?

Thanks, Tiersa

I have had success with slipping the first stitch of each row knitwise and then always knitting the last stitch on the row. Of course, depending on the yarn I’m using, sometimes
NOTHING seems to work. :wall:

same here.
i looked again in the videos, under knitting and then the english method and looking at the example containing casting on knitting and binding off. and i got how to just slip the first one and not knit it. but then its a bit loose in the side.
any help?
maybe you’ll understand by watching the video

It may be that two stitches in garter on the edge aren’t enough. I usually do at least 5 on each edge.

Agree with Ingrid that 2 garter sts isn’t enough. The width of your border sts has to be heavy enough to offset the tendency to roll by st st. On a 6" scarf, it’s not uncommon to have 1+" of garter on each side.

You could try crocheting a border after the fact to add fabric on the offending edges. What fiber are you using? Blocking may or may not help a little…


One thing you can try, even now on the finished scarf:

Pick up stitches all around between the garter stitch border and the stocking stitch area. Then, bind them off immediately. Meg Swansen calls this a “speed bump” and it has worked like a charm for me to prevent rolling of stocking stitch when a narrow garter stitch edge was not effective. It’s super easy, you can do it in a contrasting color or match it if you still have yarn. It actually looks great, it’s a design element!

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I stumbled onto a method that works. I knit about 4 rows of reverse stockinette to start and kept 5 sts on each end in reverse St st also. The rev St part rolls a little, but since it’s only an inch, it’s not nearly as bad. Also, instead of slipping the first st, I’m slipping the last st on each row and that looks really well. When I slip the first st, the loops wind up a lot bigger than if I just knit or purl as usual so I don’t do that. Slipping the last st gives you the same kind of edge, but for me the stitches aren’t so loopy.

face facts. Stocking knit curls.

all the “solutions” involve something that isn’t stocking knit, (and edging of some sort, or seaming, or knitting in a tube…

Suzeeq is the only one who came up with a solution that works with stocking knits nature to curl --by balancing a inward nature to curl with an out ward nature to curl (by using stocking knit and reverse stocking knit.)

this thread (and some others, on other BB’s) got me riled up…
no rant here… but you can read my blog!

of troy:

Does this kind of thing really get you so riled up that you rant? Forgive me, but aren’t you overreacting?

of Troy - I did not know about stockinette when I was a new knitter nor do most people. We try to help everyone who comes to us with questions even if it has been asked many times before. Getting angry won’t help anyone.

i didn’t get angry at tiers, or anyone else. even rant on my blog isn’t an angry rant.

tiers, started by indicating that she included some garter stitches at the edge (by implication she is at least familiar with the idea that stocking knit curls–Quote: “I thought the garter on the edge would keep it relatively flat”.

I think stocking knit is an interesting stitch… a useful stitch, and attractive stitch. but stocking knit curl.

many knitters (new and old knitters alike!) come up with suggestions…
edging (the stocking will roll at the edging!)
gauge (loose rather than tight knitting–but that just makes loose curling vs tight curling…)
blocking (which works somewhat with wool–but not at all with synthetics–still the yarn involved is wool)

the answer is:
Stocking knit curls.
Seaming will resolve
knitting in a tube will resolve
double knitting will resolve.

but single layer stocking knit curls.
this is not being angry. this is being factual.
this is the nature of stocking knit stitch. it is reality.
its not a fault of stocking knit.
It just is.

and it’s good for new knitters, who perhaps don’t have much experience with stocking knit, to learn.

Adding edging can be a wonderful thing… if that is what you want. but if you add an edging, its no longer a plain stocking knit scarf.

Personally, i love stocking knit scarves. i’ve knit them flat, and seamed them, i knit them in the round, and i have double knit them. (and as a result, i never have had ‘problems’ with them curling!)

i have also knit stocking knit flat, and used the curl! I’ve made hats with stocking knit and reversed stocking knit… (and let the two ‘balance’ each other!) to get both flat and textured (ridged) effects.
same with socks… alternating rows of stocking knit/reverse stocking knit makes a get puffy–or “slouch” leg/cuff to a sock… (or glove!)

There are other options beside the ones i’ve listed–things that look like stocking knit… (but aren’t!)
but if you (or anyone!) knits a scarf (or any other flat piece of knitting) that is mostly stocking knit–it’s going to curl!

and stating that, recognizing that is recognizing facts.

There are lots of things these days being knit with out facing/hems/edging… that are blocked and photographed and ‘shown’ flat.
and if you live your life as model, and have a crew of people round to steam and block the scarf every time its worn, you, too can have a beautiful flat single layer stocking knit scarf.

30 years ago, Maggie Righetti wrote about knit garments in photoshoots, and how photo’s can lie and its still a feature of todays knitted photoshoots!

but if you live in the real world, make the real world recognition-- stocking knit curls…

and then maybe, begin to see, stocking knit curls, see it as feature… make use of it! revel in the nature of the stitch, and stop trying to knit flat scarves from a stitch that curls!

of troy – no one’s arguing that stockinette curls. :slight_smile: The OP, as you say, knows/implies that stockinette curls; the issue wasn’t so much “augh my nice flat stockinette stitch is CURLING” so much as “The method I used to balance out the curl didn’t work well enough, what else can I do?”

(your post – and blog rant – did come across as a little angrier than I think you intended. :slight_smile: In part, I think, because the way it was phrased made it sound like the people posting in this thread, and similar threads, didn’t realize that it did that. You’re definitely right, though, that there can be some neat effects accomplished by taking advantage of the curling [rather than trying to defeat it].)

I had a feeling I should have gartered more - now I have an idea of where to start if I do another stockingetter scarf thanks! Tiersa

I was using a pattern on the links page that looked mostly flat so thought mine would as well. It was my first attempt at the stockingette for more than a block in a class group afghan. I mearly wanted to see if there was anything I could do now that I did not get what I expected and what should I do in the future if I wanted to try it again.

Hi MrsDavis3 can you please help me understand what you mean by bind the stitches? I’ve googled for hours trying to find speed bumps and this technique


This is a pretty old thread but it looks like MrsDavis means casting off or binding off.

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The bind off method is worth a try but let us know how well is solves the problem. Usually, a deeper border is needed to try to counteract the stockinette curl.
This series of posts from Techknitter may help.

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