edges curl up- knitting

topic posted Wed, October 18, 2006 - 5:31 AM by  monica
I have just started knitting.Starting scharfs for christmas gifts. The edges (sides) are curling up, please tell me what I'm doing wrong...
posted by:
  • Hi there,
    You are not actually doing anything wrong. That is simply what happens when you do a straight knit. I have avoided that in the past by making a boarder by alternating knit and purl stitches. For example, if I were to be making a scarf 20 stitches wide, then the first and last four stitches i would purl for one row and then knit the next, while maintaining whatever pattern i wanted in the middle. Is this making sense? I am really terrible with describing patterns since I can't read them myself, but this definitely has worked for me in the past.
    Best of luck and keep it up.
    • hey I don't meant to correct but I think that if you knit one row and then purl the next that is what causes it to curl it you either knit several rows it wont curl or do a seed stitch knit one stitch and then purl the next stitch on the first row then the next you knit the purl and purl the nit (thus a seed stitch it wont roll. On a scarf I think I would probably knit about 8 rows then go the the knit one row and purl the next. then at the end again just knit 8 rows again so both ends will have the same look.
      • sorry correct isn't the right word, I just think that by doing it the way you suggested you will still have a curling effect in the middle.

        I do envy anyone that can make things without a pattern. I have knitted since a little girl but yes I can change the pattern desigonn it anything as long as I figure the stitch count right to get the pattern I desire, but I have to have a pattern to start with. Reading patterns I believe is easy sometimes they are very complicated in design that I need to go to a quiet room to work up a few rows to get it right but unless there is a mistake in the directions you just do what is said one stitch at a time.
        • No problem with the "corrections." I dont' think i explained myself very well and so whatever clarification you can provide or alternative suggestions i am sure are welcome. (i appreciate it anyway, and hope it is not confusing everyone else:P ).
          as for reading patterns, for me it is remembering what all the appreviations are. i always need someone to show me how to do something first adn call it it's proper name before i can figure it out. i suppose that is my own handicap.
          i actually downloaded some WWII knitting patterns that i really want to do and need to sit down and translate them for my brain so to speak. i will post them at some point. they are simply lovely, classic patterns.
          • Both of you were right, and you need to do BOTH things to minimize the curling caused by knitting one row, and purling the next.

            Stop the bottom/top edges from curling by doing a few rows of all-knit (garter stitch) or alternating knit and purl in a mini checkerboard (seed stitch) or ribbing (columns of knit and purl stacked - but they'll scrunch the piece in pretty seriously, so not the best option)...

            Stop the side edges from curling in by doing a border of garter or seed.. or others :)

            Curling happens due to the way the yarn sits when you knit one row, purl one row - on the "knit" side, you see the yarn mostly vertical, so it rolls away vertically on the side edges... on the "purl" side, you see the yarn mostly horizontal, so it rolls away horizontally on the bottom edges.

            A great resource for questions like this is the CoffeeShop forum off - I know that "curling edges - help!" is one of their sticky topics that is always kept at the top for new knitters :)

            And now.. I'm off to teach an intermediate class on knitting textures like ribbing, seed, cables, lace, etc.. whee!

            Good luck with your work!


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