The secret of smooth knitting is even tension. It is the consistent way of holding your knitting needles, tensioning the yarn, and making the stitches. Every knitter has a different knitting style and therefore a different knitting tension. If you are having loose or tight stitches in your project that are uneven, then in this blog post we’ll discuss the easy tips to improve your knitting.

It is important to understand that it is not always because of a knitter, it can be because of the yarn fiber or weight, knitting needles' materials, and complex stitches and techniques.

  • Practice 

The first and foremost tip is to practice. As you knit more, you get used to your knitting needles and yarn. And, just like the saying goes, practice makes perfect, and you’ll soon have an even tension. If you are having problems in some projects and not in all, then then it is best that you start every project by knitting a gauge swatch. This will give you enough practice before you get to the project.

  • Change your Knitting Needles

If you have loose or tight knitting tension, changing your knitting needle size might help you be more consistent. A size or even 0.5mm smaller or bigger does the trick in most cases. You do not always have to follow the yarn label or the pattern. Your knitting will give you the answers.

It is also been observed by knitters that changing the type of knitting needle (single-pointed, double-pointed or circular) can improve tension. If you are knitting in the round and the pattern mentions double-pointed knitting needles and you seem to have problems, switch to circular needles and then switch back to DPNs when the stitches become less to manage. The same goes with knitting back and forth, if you are used to single-pointed needles but are having trouble then switch to circulars. The ergonomic make of the needles helps with tension, especially when you are working with heavy-weight yarn or feel your hands and wrists fatigued.

  • Change the way you tension your yarn

Knitters hold their yarn in different ways. Some weave it in their fingers while some clasp it in their hand. If your knitting tension is tight or loose, and generally uneven, change the way you hold the yarn. Use your fingers to have a constant flow to the needle tips without slack or tug. Once you master your yarn tension you basically master your knitting tension.

  • Hold your knitting needles closer

While knitting, it is always important that you hold your needles close together. When you knit, work at the tip of your needles and do not pull your yarn too tight nor leave it loose, but try and be uniform. Do not change the needle angle while inserting into the stitch. Try and be consistent. For the knit stitch, insert the needle from the back at the same angle when you purl the stitch inserting the needle into the front.

  • Try another knitting style

In knitting, there are mainly knitting styles- English (throwing), Continental (picking), Lever, Portuguese and Shetland. All these styles differ because of the way you hold the yarn. You can knit with any of the styles with any of your knitting needles (single-pointed, double-pointed or circulars). English and Continental styles of knitting two are the most used. In English, you throw the yarn over the needle with your right hand or dominant hand while knitting Continental style, the yarn is held in the left hand and usually picked with the needle tip.

Changing a new knitting style might seem like a huge task, but it can work to make a difference and it deepens your knowledge of the craft. In fact, having skills in your repertoire will help you switch to different styles whenever your tension is uneven.

  • Keep Neat Edges

In projects where you need to turn the project where edges are visible, knitters often have uneven knitting tension. The trick is to make neat edge stitches as loose and sloppy edges are the cause of uneven knitting tension. Make sure to add a garter (rows of knit stitches) edge to your swatch and even your projects. This helps the tension of the previous row and even the row you’re working on. 

  • Use a different needle to purl

Many knitters purl more loosely than they knit. It is because of the stitch construction. A secret trick is to purl with a smaller needle size when knitting flat to create a slightly smaller stitch. Many knitters find it useful to work with a smaller needle on the left when you’re knitting in the round. This works easily with interchangeable knitting needles, you can simply screw a smaller needle tip. In fact, having an interchangeable needle set will have everything you need in one place.

These easy tips will definitely improve your knitting. Always ensure to work with premium knitting needles, finishing needles, stitch markers, and accessories for the smooth craft.

Good luck, and keep knitting!

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