theraineysisters knitting and so much more

November 29, 2006

From Susan — Sock Monkeys are Ba-a-a-a-a-ck

Filed under: Back Story,Sock Monkey Dresses — lv2knit @ 10:48 pm

The StarTribune (local big city paper) featured an article today about Cutting Edge Crafters: people for whom crafting is an outlet for their [“out there”] individuality.  If you go to the StarTribune website they have an audio/slide show where Rebecca Yaker talks about Sock monkeys.  I will apologize in advance for bringing up this old, tired topic, but I could not resist when I saw the paper this morning!!

I want to thank the commenters about gauge, size, etc.  Lorraine mentioned that people have different purl and knit gaugeS — the knit stitch is actually smaller than the purl stitch.  This is very evident in some people’s knitting.  If you don’t knit the purl st tighter, it will show up in your knitted fabric. 

I had to work very hard to compensate for the large purl sts that occurred at the beginning of the wrong side row of my stockinette.  In fact, I avoided stockinette for years because I did not like the way mine looked.  You would think that just tightening the sts would do it, but in fact that made the problem worse.  By pulling tightly at the beginning of the purl ROW, the last few KNIT sts were pulled up too tight, so the purl sts became even larger to “fill in” the space.  The tighter I pulled, the worse it got.  I finally figured out how to get rid of the problem — I purl the first 4-5 sts of the WS row using just the very tip of the knitting needle, without pulling too much at the start of the row.  For the rest of the row I do purl more firmly.  It works for me!

We were discussing this in a recent knitting class and a couple of the more recent converts to knitting had never heard of this before.  They started knitting tighter on the purl side and the improvement was absolutely amazing. 

I must go knit (and purl — firmly).




  1. I never gave that consideration! If your stockinette stitch appears to even, does that mean you’re fairly even on the knits AND the purls?

    Comment by Carol — November 29, 2006 @ 11:33 pm

  2. It’s called rowing out. I notice it most in my lace knitting. Some people purl with a smaller needle. Anne Modesitt was here to teach Combination knitting and she showed us that it made for a more even knit fabric so that the rowing out wouldn’t occur.

    Comment by Susan — November 30, 2006 @ 1:48 pm

  3. This is something that I have been noticing and even asked a friend about it today.I am pretty new to knitting so I was just figuring out the stiches ., Now I want to improve my tension,etc.. My purls look sloppy and I was trying to pullthem tighter and it was worse like you said,..I will try your advice ,Thanks

    Comment by katomliz — December 1, 2006 @ 12:32 am

  4. i switched to combination knitting a couple of years ago, and the difference is amazing.

    Comment by vanessa — December 1, 2006 @ 3:40 pm

  5. Love the sock monkey slideshow. That gal is really — interesting.

    Comment by Ann — December 1, 2006 @ 5:16 pm

  6. At the risk of sounding repetitive, some people go so far as using a larger needle on their tight purls, or conversely, a smaller needle on their looser ones.
    In my world, unless the needles were different colors, I would be sure to mix them up. Which would do nothing for my gauge issues. And as I tend to use circulars almost exclusively, it wouldn’t help me.

    Comment by Lorraine — December 1, 2006 @ 9:17 pm

  7. This is where the Knitpick interchangeable needle sets come in handy. I have taken one of the cords and put two different sized tips on, so that the smaller end is always used for the purl side and the larger one is used for the knit side (or vice versa depending upon your individual gauge difference). That worked perfectly, especially on a project that was primarily knit in the round (where I used the same sized tips) and then went to back and forth above the armholes (where I made the switch to two different sizes to compensate for a gauge difference between knitting in the round and knitting back and forth).

    Comment by surly — December 1, 2006 @ 9:22 pm

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