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tilting stitches

dotty | Posted in Knitting and Crochet on

Does anyone out there have any idea why my current knitting project might be veering off to one side. Its not yet a parrallelogram, but its heading in that direction. I don’t normally have a problem with tension and usually knit fairly evenly. Can this just be blocked out?

Edited 9/25/2006 12:59 pm by dotty


  1. User avater
    Becky-book | | #1

    Look closely at the edges of your work; are the stitches lining up one on top of another? or do the rows seem to be getting a stitch longer?  If the stitches line up then you can block it back to square; but if the rows are really shifting in one direction then it seems like something is going wrong when you turn the work.

    Are you working a fancy stitch or plain?  a blanket or sweater or something shaped?

    Hope to be helpful,


    1. dotty | | #2

      Becky - I'm just doing stockinette (on the back). I ended up ripping it out, but for other reasons-I decided to gauge the ribbing as well as the main part. So far it's looking much nicer, but I haven't done enough to tell if my tilting has returned.It was not getting bigger, the problem was that as I measured vertically to begin shaping on the sides, I was having a hard time finding a straight column of stitches to measure along. I've also decided on my second attempt to pull the yarn tight as I insert the needle in the second stitch at the beg of every row. This was suggested in the stitch and bitch book and the edges do look much more even now. So I can't really answer your helpful questions exactly because I started over. I was wondering if it was the yarn since I've never had this problem before

      1. Jean | | #3

        It could easily be the yarn. I'm a machine knitter and one yarn that had a slubby texture biased like crazy and no amount of blocking could set it straight.  I was so frustrated, because I really did like the yarn -- too bad.

        1. dotty | | #4

          This yarn does have a slubby texture. Am I doomed?

          1. katina | | #5

            This has happened to me twice over the years, and in both cases I was using a yarn with slubs.  Yarn biases when it's been spun or twisted too tightly; to create the slubs two or more threads are twisted around each other. If your yarn is over-twisted it's probably going to remain biased. Very frustrating for you - sorry.

      2. User avater
        Becky-book | | #6

        From the other answers you have received it seems it may be the yarn!  One possible solution (it came to me as I was drifting off to sleep last night, so...)  Try using smaller needles but looser  tension to achieve the same gauge, thus allowing the slubs to slide through the loops to their proper place (not hung-up on one side of the loop of the stitch.  Don't know if this would make any difference if the yarn was over twisted!


        1. dotty | | #7

          hmmm.I tend to knit very loosely-- I usually end up on my gauge 2 needle sizes down from the suggested size. Could too loose be a problem? I know this sounds ridiculous, but about 2 or 3 times a row I've been letting the piece hang down so that the yarn unspins a bit. It's getting very tedious, but after a few inches it does look better than what I ripped out. This is going to be one looooong project.Its a vest so it will end sometime. My husband is starting up again with the Penelope and her shroud comments.

          1. User avater
            Becky-book | | #8

            Guess the 'twist' is the problem, keep at it, knitted vests are nice, and vests in general are making a fashion come-back this fall!!


  2. Catherine2 | | #9

    I have had yarns that do this over the years and I think that the others are right and it is the over twist in the yarn. The best solution I have found is to give up trying to knit a straight sided piece and to knit a deliberate bias in the direction that the yarn wants to go. The finished peices are then draped on a dummy until I get a silloette I like, then stitched together. It may not look like the piece you started to create but the end result can be a fabtastic and original garment.

    Have fun with it and just go with the flow.  Cathy :-)

    1. dotty | | #10

      Thanks everyone for input on the tilting stitches problem. I just wanted to add an update. 1) It seems that only one ball of yarn was "overspun". When I got to the next ball I stopped with the untwisting routine because it didn't look as kinky. It seemed to knit fine. 2)I got Maggie Righetti's, "Sweater Design in Plain English" out of the library. What a great book! She identifies this problem and says just throw the yarn out. She suggests for a variety of reasons always buying just one skein to begin with and playing with it to see if it behaves the way you invision.Then go back and buy what you need if your project is still the same. I will do that from now on. The yarn I was using had been in my stash a loooong time. Maybe this will cure me of the stashing habit.

      1. Teaf5 | | #11

        I'm glad to be reminded that not all my crocheting problems are user-caused; sometimes even very expensive yarn is just plain awful to work with and never comes out well. 

        I made a striped afghan as a thankyou gift and was swearing so badly all the way through that I was afraid the recipient would be able to feel the bad will when she used it.  The yarn was slubbed, and each color came out a different length, no matter how many times I gauged it or measured it.  I finally patched it together (something that is easier to do in crochet than in knitting) and put a very plush, lush double layer of very long fringe on it.  It looked good enough to give, but I was so sorry I had persisted in using that yarn!

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