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Tips for Fixing the Loose St on the Edge of Cables and Intarsia

Intarsia knit Doctor Who logo

These tips were compiled from various email lists.

<< the pesky problem of the loose stitch on the left edge of a cable or rib–if you’re switching from a knit to a purl somehow there’s extra yarn in there causing that loose stitch. >>

I found the solution to that problem while helping a friend figure out why she had the same problem with intarsia. She had been avoiding intarsia for over 30 years and is a professional designer.

We sat down together to see why she had problems and I didn’t. We discovered that when she starts purling, she was purling farther down the needle than I was. When we moved the stitches closer to the tips of the needles that problem disappeared.

“I am very interested in methods for correcting the ugly stitch on one side of a cable pattern (or on one side of a single line of knit on a purl background). This has bothered me for years.”

This often occurs for many of us. The change in tension between K and P sts shows up as a looseness, sometimes made more apparent by some yarns than others. Sometimes you can pull extra tightly at this point every row and that helps. But it can be hard to remember to do all the time. If the look annoys me, I K into the back of that st onĀ  every row. Yes, it twists it, but at least it closes it up! And if I don’t notice it ’til a couple of inches up, then drop the offender and help it run down, then hook it back up with a crochet hook, twisting each strand before you pull it through.