HeartStrings FiberArts
Inspiration & Patterns for Wearable Art in Timeless Styles
Gallery Catalog Resources Places to Buy Meet Jackie E-S

Get News & Specials
Sign up for free


The Pattern Collections
Easy Knitting
Faroese Shawls
Other Shawl Shapes
Sweaters & Vests
Socks & Fun Footwear
For the Hands
Neck & Up Coverings
For the Man
For Baby
Home Decor
Minis and Miscellany
Holidays & Seasons
Comfort Collection
I Hate to Purl
All Beaded Patterns
PDF Pattern Catalog
Patterns by Yarn Weight


Downloadable Patterns
Printed Patterns
Kits and Supplies


Newsletter Archive
Jackie's Blog
Free Gift

Want to help me with some of the costs of providing free educational resources? Every donation counts. Your donation, small or large, is very much appreciated. Thank you!

"Your patterns are just fabulous ... unique and yet based on tradition."
- Jennifer C.
"I just love the simplicity of your patterns and the complexity of their appearance."
- Maureen M.
"I enjoy your website. It is easy to use and full of information ..."
- Debby L.
"... I love Heartstrings patterns. They are clear and well presented and Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer, the designer, is just a lovely, inspiring woman - well worth supporting by the purchase of the pattern."
- Kimberly L.

The Weigh-down on Stitches

Struggling to work the first row or two of your knitting?
by Jackie E-S

When you are hand knitting, do you sometimes struggle with the stitches while working the first row or two of your knitting after the cast on? Or sometimes you might even continue to fight the stitches further into the knitting?

A couple of seemingly obvious remedies are to

  • Work with a pointier knitting needle, or
  • Attempt to loosen the tension on your working yarn

But let's just say that these are not possible, or maybe just are't doing enough to help – e.g. you don't have other needles to use, or you just are in a stressful "hang onto the yarn for dear life" kind of mood.

One of the things to note is that weight on the underside of stitches can help make your knitting easier (and speedier). Any weight on the knitting beneath the row in progress helps to elongate the underside of the stitch(es), thereby making the job of slipping the needle point through the stitch take less effort.

That is why you may have noticed that your knitting gets "easier" after a few rows have been worked. There is some weight pulling down on those stitches! If you are just starting out, try pulling down on the underside of the stitch simultaneously while the point of the working needle starts to enter the stitch. There isn't much to hold onto just after a cast on row, but you can do it if you try! When knitting with fine lace yarns, continue to be mindful about "weighing down" your stitches as you knit, and you might save your fingers from using really sharp, pointy needles.

The importance of weight on the underside of the row in progress is well understood by those speedy lace knitters. Example in point (excuse the pun): The Russian Orenburg lace knitters sit on the end of the scarf/shawl when it is lengthy enough to do so, and this provides the added tension weight for those gossamer fabrics without the need to do so with the fingers or fight to enter the stitches.

Keep your heart light, but remember that a little weight on your stitches might be a good thing!

Return to Index of Jackie E-S Articles & Tips.

Thank you for interest. I am here to serve you and help keep your knitting a pleasurable experience. If you have questions or need assistance with purchasing or knitting my HeartStrings patterns, let me know. Sincerely, Jackie E-S

Email address: jackie@heartstringsfiberarts.com
Phone: 678-262-6338 or 877-764-2747 (toll-free in US)
Postal address: HeartStrings, Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer, 53 Parlange Drive, Destrehan LA 70047-2133 USA

Meet Jackie E-S
What's New
As Seen In
Privacy Statement
Design Gallery
Easy Knitting
Lace Scarves/Stoles
Beaded Scarves
Faroese Shawls
Other Shawls
Sweaters & Vests
Socks & Fun Footwear
Wrist Warmers
Neck & Up Coverings
Other Goodies
Holidays & Seasons
Comfort Collection
Sock Journal
I Hate to Purl
All Beaded Patterns

Where to Buy Patterns
Downloadable Patterns
Online Classes

Popular Mini-Tutorials
Playing with Color
Using a Swift
Wraps per Inch
What is Blooming?
To Seam or Not?
Dealing with Ends?
The Lifeline
Blocking in Progress
Blocking Tips
Repairing a Disaster
Lever-Action Knitting
3R's of Knitting
Catalogs and Flyers
Newsletter Archive
Jackie E-S Blog
Articles & Tips
Link Banners
Pattern Index
Site Map
Search Site

Last revised Tuesday, 05-Mar-2013 21:33:17 CST