does your stocking stitch ripple?

Ah, rippled stocking stitch. The perfect thing to contemplate on a rainy Monday.

what’s happening on every other row?

You may have noticed in pattern pictures an odd effect where every other row of the knit fabric looks stripey. And the stripe effect is not part of the pattern design. This happens when you are knitting back and forth, knitting one row and then purling the next. Many knitters knit purl stitches more loosely than knit stitches. One way to solve it would be to really concentrate on those purls stitches but that’s no fun: you want knitting to be as effortless as possible. Nothing in knitting should raise your blood pressure. Really.

there is a solution

There is any easy fix for thie ripple effect: use a needle one size smaller on the purl side. Example: if you are using a US size 5 needle on the knit side of the fabric, use a US size 4 to purl the purl side. Ta da! Ripples are gone. A metric example: if the pattern called for 6 mm on the right side of the fabric, use a 5 mm on the purl side.

As always, you should make a tension or gauge swatch with the needles you plan to use and verify that you are achieving the gauge specified in the pattern. Substituting in the smaller needle may affect the gauge a bit. Play with the needles until you get the gauge you need.

Give it a try on your next project.


2 thoughts on “does your stocking stitch ripple?

  1. Hi, I started knitting this past Christmas and have been addicted to it since. I’ve been trying to find a site to teach me simple techniques ๐Ÿ™‚ been watching a lot of YouTube videos and tutorials, but I usually get so frustrated because I can’t keep up. I look forward to browsing this site ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Becky,

      Welcome to my new site. I will be adding lots of material to help you along. Is there anything in particular that would help right now?

      Have a look at one of the free patterns too. I am trying to write them so that they are easier to work with. Let me know what you think. I’m grateful for the feedback.



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