Whether you’re knitting a washcloth or making a textured sweater, you want to make sure your stitches are on point. In this post, we share a few tips on how to maximize the textured stitches in your knitting.
1: Choose a yarn that pops.
Whether it’s cables, seed stitch, or ribbing, choose a nice round yarn like Brainy, our exclusive colorway from the March Shipment of our Purl Diver Club. Brainy is dyed on Quince and Co. Chickadee, a 3-ply sport weight yarn. Yarns with more than two plies produce crisp stitch definition due to their round shape, making them an excellent choice for textured projects. As you’ll see in the illustration below, 2-ply yarns are more flat, and don’t “pop” as well. Notice that the circle is filled much better with the 3-ply yarn, producing a more well-rounded (pardon the pun) finished yarn, especially when compared to the 2-ply.
Another attribute to keep in mind is fiber type. Mohair and alpaca don’t have much memory and tend to sag. These fibers are also known for their “halo” and bloom when washed, which ultimately means that they will not show clear stitch definition in your finished piece. When spun into 3 or more plies, wools and plant fibers offer crisp definition because they are smoother.
2: Choose the proper needle size.
In other words, swatch! To get more texture out of your yarn, you want to be sure that your needles aren’t too big, as using a larger-than-necessary needle size will cause holes in your knit fabric. If you don’t know which needle size to use, start with the recommendations found on the ball band of your yarn. If the resulting fabric is too loose, try going down a needle size or two until the stitches “pop.” This article on purlsandpixels.com has a great explanation for how gauge affects your fabric.
3: Remove those pesky gaps between stitches.
When switching between knit and purl stitches, there can sometimes be a small gap caused by loose yarn.
Don’t worry, it’s an easy problem to fix – just tug slightly on your working yarn after switching between stitches! This will take up the little bit of slack which causes those unsightly gaps in your knitting.
With these tips, start knitting your favorite textured projects, and see those stitches pop! Share them with us on Instagram using the hashtag #agysarasota!