Uneven stitches

I started a top down sweater. The beginning before switching to circular when I was knitting fs and purling ws looks very uneven but when I started knitting in the round it looks great. Have restarted it but get same affect. HELP!

You tension is different between your knit sts and your purl sts. Thus, the two rows pair off and seem more visible than when you knit in the round. This is often referred to as “rowing out.” When you knit in the round, all of your sts are knit, thus your tension is even and the rows tend to blend together evenly.
This problem can be corrected with practice/time, whereby your tension will become more even between knits and purls. Or, for some people who can’t get their purls as tight as their knits, the use of a smaller needle on the purl rows helps.


Thanks I was afraid that was the problem. I hadn’t noticed a problem with smaller accessories but very obvious in sweater. I will practice with less expensive yarn and try again.

I’ve often wondered why people would steek, as one cannot always knit in the round. Even if knitting socks in the round, if using a heel flap and gusset, you will have some part of the sock knitted probably in stockinette. As it is on the back of the heel, not awful but it may not be the only reason for a “padded heel”. The S1/K1 pattern will obscure the “rowing effect”.

To cope with Arthritis, I change knitting styles and I do like most even though I may not be able to knit Continental right as I get rowing a lot when I knit that way. I’ll have to try the change the purl needle to one size smaller.

Then it hit me. There is a modified purl which I use which does not require so much finger manipulation as regular purl. When making it, what is so cool is that if you have every tried to diagnose your own knitting problem by sitting in front of a mirror to watch yourself knit, if you and make the purl stitch look from the backside like your purl stitch looks from the frontside, then rowing often goes away. Depending upon how my querky fingers feel, I switch around. I should keep my finger straight as consistency matters, but soon I am watching TV and my left ring finger is down on my knitting again. Though I do use Combined knitting, the tension only across the palm never feels enough for me, I guess if people have accents in other languages, I have a knitting accent then. If I can keep the left index finger at attention, but in learning other knitting styles, I blur one style into the other and must focus to train myself to not let that finger take naps.

I’ve concluded that the not only does the same amount of yarn need to be shared by each stitch, the amount it is stretched by the knitting process, if different will also show after you let your knitting set a spell. And wool is more forgiving so most problems disappear with blocking anyway.

With knitting socks, the stockinette looks much better on the foot as stretching the sock makes the appearance of rowing go away. It isn’t always the rowing which shows, it is that we have small discrepancies as we knit which changes the appearance.

So I tried Portuguese knitting. Bizarre but I can do it. With two yarns instead of one when purling which are always there, it obscures the view. The knitting is more even and then I tried it making socks. It made nice ribbing but I had a lot of rowing on the heel flap. I must sound anal. After knitting for so many years I have to say I went back to knitting English on the sock, having ripped that part out, as I rarely ever get rowing using my original style, even though I have changed it to Flicking most of the time, and rowing is just gone for me. As I just don’t have to think to do this is likely why it works. Also find that knitting backwards in all styles usually makes a better stockinette since you can stay working on the front with one exception. There is a way working backwards in Continental involving using the right index finger to pull the work to complete the stitch. It stretches the yarn more and also the mount turns it to a Combined mounted stitch, but the stretching is noticeable. As I can knit backwards in Continental maintaining the yarn in the left hand and I either Flick or stretch to complete the stitch, I do not have the problem then. Elizza does this on YouTube and it may work for her better as she also tensions the yarn differently than I do.

As we each hold the yarn a bit differently, hard to say really what works for one will work for the other and if you find success, is all that matters.

When one considers the reasons for pattern stitches being on the yolks of sweaters when the rest of the sweater is knit in the round, it obscures problems when you have to go from kitting in the round to knitting side to side.

If using a purchase set of interchangeable needles, one can knit with a different size on each end. If one is going to gauge swatch and you have a project you knit in the round and it has flat places, swatching to know gauge but also the smoothness of stockinette may be worth it instead of ripping and reknitting as if done too often makes yarn look most sorry.

I got a set of bamboo interchangeables for Christmas by Knitter’s Pride and though they do have the size of the needle printed on the side, the needles do have a bit of finish on them maybe as the stenciled on size wears away while knitting. I have also ChiaoGoo Bamboo circulars and Takumi Clovers which are also imprinted but have not had the needle identification wear away. I have put a needle gauge in my kit so I can test when I put needles on the cables so I have the right size. I have to say that I like the Knitter’s Pride Bamboos a lot and the case it comes in is convenient for me.

Even if yarn is expensive, I always manage to get the extra skein so that when I test out my knitting adventures, I have enough yarn to complete my project.

@sally - is this the purl method you mention? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkhHm_0xo_s It pretty much cures my rowing out problems. It’s easier for me to do too, doesn’t make my fingers cramp up.

Yes, but you can fine tune it sitting in front of a mirror. It is similar to Norwegian purl, just forget doing the first part. As we have slightly different shaped hands, what works is going to be what she is doing or something like it.

The method I use is that I use a direction change for the yarn, which is for the purl, I pull the yarn straight down, and while I have the energy going, it goes right through to complete the stitch.

So to make the knit stitch match which is what stops rowing for me, I do the same thing so whether you are working in front or in back of the needle, I’m doing the same stitch. But the index finger has to be kept up off the needle to do this, maintaining the same height.

It is comfortable to do too, easy to do across the whole row, it is also equal in speed to the knit stitch. The more we muck around with fiddly stuff, the more time the yarn has opportunity to get loose. The faster the stitch is completed, the better it looks, the more even the stitches. If one is working on a shorter needle as any bending in the needle may still allow rowing, so circulars solve that problem. It is just hard for me to cast on many stitches on circs and so do it on straights then transfer the stitches. Especially can’t do the crochet cast on on circs.

If you can imagine while you knit and see how you are purling is indeed making the knit stitch from the back, then I see I am getting the “look” I want.

Right, wrong, has nothing to do with it, it is only technique and not meant to offend, is only for knowledge for all to evaluate if it works for them. If any like to do how they do, it is alright by me, only to help general knitting knowledge.

With my hands, it doesn’t hurt either unless I am having a bad day.