The most beautiful knitted or crocheted work, is one in which the stitches are all the same size, and that goal is always before me whatever the project I am working on. I know that I am “knit-picky,” but that’s just the way I am. I even notice the uneven stitches in the photos in my knitting books, and wonder why they chose to use the picture. I guess some people just don’t notice it like I do. That said, I thought I would share a tip or two on adjusting the tension in loose stitches without pulling out your knitting.
Adjusting Loose Stitches in Intarsia
I am going to share this technique with four illustrations. In the first one below, you will see the loose stitch in a green box. Counting down from the top row(the working row) you will see that the stitch was created in a “knit” row. That means the right leg of the stitch must be lifted first (see #1).
Once you have taken up the slack, lift the left leg (#2)of the same stitch, taking up the slack as before. Now, place your thumb on the stitch to prevent the yarn from slipping back. Next, you will move up to the purl row, and begin by lifting the left leg of the stitch (#3).
Once you have taken the slack out of #3 and #4, move up to the row above and take the slack out of #5, beginning with the right leg. Take the slack out of 6, as indicated in the illustration. Don’t forget to place your thumb on the stitch when you are through adjusting it.
In the third illustration, you will see that I have move up again. However, this stitch is off to the left. Does it matter?? NO!! The procedure is the same. Because it is a purl row, you will begin by lifting the left leg of the stitch first(7). Next, lift #8, taking out the slack.
Now that you have your slack yarn pulled up to the row you are working on, you can pull the rest of the extra yarn out by giving your working yarn a tug.
This technique works especially well when knitting an Intarsia design. You can work across as many stitches as necessary. Just remember to determine which direction the stitches were created with first, knit or purl. You can also work across a row to the nearest color change and take up the slack yarn on the back of your work. I will illustrate that in the E-book I am writing on “Painting with Yarn.”
Happy Knitting – KT