If you're like me, there may be some stitch patterns that you avoid. This is the problem of ribbing.
I've been knitting for a good many years at this point, but for whatever reason, some of my transitions between knits and purls for ribbing just look sloppy. My gauge is even when I knit, and so why should I have sloppy stitch lines?! This problem has irked my perfectionist brain since I noticed it about four years ago, and up until now, I haven't had the interest in fixing my ribbing (or finding a solution to fix it) until recently.
Long story short, I have a project that I'm working on that requires some ribbing. I'd done some research on Ravelry and around the internet a few months back, hoping to find an answer and a solution to the question of ribbing tension issues. Sure, enough, I found a few blog posts that talked about how to fix the stitch change from a knit to a purl in ribbing to make ribbed stitches more even. Did I try the recommended fix instantly? Of course not! But, I should have, especially since it would have changed my knitting life overnight.
Now, you may be thinking that I'm going a little overboard with how ecstatic I am about my ribbed stitches-fix, but trust me, when you see the difference, you will understand why I'm so excited.
In the beginning of my yarn- and knitting-filled days, my ribbing looked something like this:
This shawl is the Shibui Mix No. 4 shawl (link) with Silk Cloud and Baby Alpaca. It's a dream to knit and it's gorgeous, but I can't bring myself to finish it, knowing that my ribbing looks a little imperfect. But to be honest, the more that I look at it, the more I think it may just be me being overly critical of my own work. We're all our own worst critics, right?
After I read this article by Ysolda Teague (link), I decided to give the technique a go. For my first purl stitch following the knit section in ribbing, I worked the purl going the opposite direction with my yarn, making the stitch tighter. I found that this was the only way that worked for me, but other articles suggest that you can simply knit/purl tighter for better tension.
Here is my resulting ribbing:
Look how much neater it is! The transitions between stitches are nearly perfect, the ribbing is nice and springy on each side, and it looks fantastic.
I'm now wishing that I'd tried this out sooner, and I'm ready to give ribbed stitches a second chance for my knitting. Ever noticed that my sleeve cuffs don't use normal ribbing, but broken rib? That would be why! Now, I can start transitioning back to normal ribbing...
Off to dream up some new patterns with ribbed stitches! And to finish up this adorable little sweater for a very lucky and stylish pup.
happiest of knitting,
Hi, I'm Emily, nice to meet you!