Mistakes 101: Knitting Too Tight/Loose

Duration: 7:03

A common knitting problem is that the fabric being created for a project is too tight or too loose. In this video, Mary Beth shows examples of this problem and shares her tips on how to get your knitting fabric to be just right.

It’s important when following a knitting pattern that you are getting the gauge that is specified in the pattern. This will ensure that the size of the final product is correct and that you don’t run out of yarn while knitting. There are times when the gauge isn’t absolutely critical in a knitting pattern; however, if the gauge isn’t matched it will affect how much yarn is needed to complete the project as well as the finished size.

To begin, Mary Beth looks at a swatch that is knit too tight. A very tight fabric might be called for on a project like a toy or bag, but in general you won’t want a fabric this tight for most projects. The fabric stands up on its own and has poor stitch definition, since the stitches are so close together.

Next Mary Beth looks at a fabric that is too loose. A loose fabric might be desired for a breezy summer top or lace shawl, but for many projects you won’t want a very loose gauge. The stitches have a lot of space between them and the fabric has very little structural integrity. Finally, Mary Beth looks at a swatch that is knit at a gauge that will work for most projects. It has structural integrity, good stitch definition and slight drape.

It’s noted that the type of knitting needle can contribute to the gauge of the fabric. Mary Beth reviews the characteristics of wooden needles, metal needles, and plastic needles. She also mentions that if your fabric is too loose, try going down a needle size or two. If your fabric is too tight, go up a couple of needle sizes. It’s all about finding the right gauge for you and your project.

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