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knitting a blanket – k53, p53 – loose stitches when changing k to p.?

March 12th, 2010 · 7 Comments · Knitting Stitches

There is a large space forming btwn the k and p stitches due to a looseness when I change from knit to purl all the way up the blanket as I’m knitting. I have tried to knit and purl the last two knit stitches and first two purl stitches tightly but it doesn’t seem to work. How do I prevent and or fix?
Thanks!

Of course, the obvious answer is to keep your tension steady, but it sounds like you’re already trying to check that. I use a particular stitch that makes me switch from k to p all the time; it does leave tiny little spaces. If you are kitting a blanket that is only 53 stitches across, those must be humongous needles! That will naturally leave a little more space than you’d be used to with little needles. Or, wait a minute, is your blanket really 106 stitches — or more –across? If that’s the case, just be really careful with your tension. If it stays consistently loose, but is otherwise sturdy, you may just need a cosmetic fix for it. When you’re done, crochet a chain stitch through the loose stitches in a contrasting color of yarn. It’ll make a nice border to your different areas of different stitches. Hold the yarn behind your knitted piece and work from the front. Stick the crochet hook through the loose stitch and pick up the new contrasting yarn and bring it forward through the loose stitch. If you can’t yet crochet, get someone to teach you a basic chain stitch. It’s the simplest one they’ve got, but is really nice when done on a knit.

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7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 thejanith // Mar 12, 2010 at

    Of course, the obvious answer is to keep your tension steady, but it sounds like you’re already trying to check that. I use a particular stitch that makes me switch from k to p all the time; it does leave tiny little spaces. If you are kitting a blanket that is only 53 stitches across, those must be humongous needles! That will naturally leave a little more space than you’d be used to with little needles. Or, wait a minute, is your blanket really 106 stitches — or more –across? If that’s the case, just be really careful with your tension. If it stays consistently loose, but is otherwise sturdy, you may just need a cosmetic fix for it. When you’re done, crochet a chain stitch through the loose stitches in a contrasting color of yarn. It’ll make a nice border to your different areas of different stitches. Hold the yarn behind your knitted piece and work from the front. Stick the crochet hook through the loose stitch and pick up the new contrasting yarn and bring it forward through the loose stitch. If you can’t yet crochet, get someone to teach you a basic chain stitch. It’s the simplest one they’ve got, but is really nice when done on a knit.
    References :

  • 2 Margaret C // Mar 12, 2010 at

    I am going to assume that k53 and p53 are on the same row. I think I would try to pull the yarn tighter to the front when you begin the purl st. When you switch back to the next k st., again make sure it is pulled a little tighter. You didn’t say what size needles you are using. As a guess, they might be pretty large, and that could account for the looseness. Hope this helped.
    References :

  • 3 TONI F // Mar 12, 2010 at

    I have been knitting for over 30 years, and I still get this looseness between the knit/purl stitch when doing larger blocks of rib. Obviously I have tried, as have you, to correct this probem, but I think it is inevitable due to the weight of the wool in the blocks. It probably is not as bad as you think, you are just aware of it.
    References :

  • 4 cloudd // Mar 12, 2010 at

    I don’t think you can prevent it. Maybe if you can adjust your k stitch loose and p stitch tighter, that might work.

    Blocking the finished product should fix it though. At least after washing, the tension will even out.
    References :

  • 5 Marcy // Mar 12, 2010 at

    If you have 53 stitches per row. and knitting 53 stitches (Row 1), and then purling 53 stitches (row 2) etc. To fix your problem, when you are on the knit row, Knit 52 stitches, bring your yarn to the front and slip the last (53rd) stitch onto your working needle. Turn your project, bring the yarn to the front and purl the 53 stitches.
    References :

  • 6 Mrs T // Mar 12, 2010 at

    I kinit in the back of the stitch when I am switching from knit to purl or vice versa, instead of the front. Try it!
    References :

  • 7 Catlady // Mar 12, 2010 at

    The first and last stitches always seem to stretch…. they will eventually work themselves even over time. However, if you want to tighten them up, one way that helps is to try to knit or purl the first few stitches as close to the tip of the needle as you can – rather than around the widest "barrel" part of the needle.

    Someone else mentioned slipping the first stitch of each row – this also can help to use up the excess yarn in these stitches.

    If you are concerned about the tension across the whole row seeming different from the knit rows to the purl rows, this is something that many knitters mention – it will even out with time and practice. Also, the knitting itself will even out with time and use – it will sort of self-block over time.
    References :

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