To Knot or Not to Knot

The debate over whether to tie knots in your knitting and crocheting, can get a little heated in some circles.  I’m not sure why the issue is so volatile to some.  In my humble opinion, it’s one of those things that belongs in the camp of “being the boss of your own knitting/crocheting.”  You choose.  You make your yarn work do and be what YOU want it to do and be.  End of discussion, right?

Not so fast.

Purists

For some, tying a knot of ANY kind, whether it is when you add on a new skein of yarn or when you change colors, is strictly TABOO!  They do have good reasons:

*Knitting (crochet 2!) produces a stretchy fabric.  A knot often hinders the yarn to stretch in the area where the knot is tied and thus  makes for a little pucker on the right side of the work when the garment or yarn piece is worn or used.

*Knots on the back side of yarn work is unsightly.  Folks who fall in this camp desire to have their knitting be as beautiful on the WRONG side as it is on the RIGHT side.

*Knots left in the yarn work, whether knitted or crocheted, is uncomfortable.  This would be especially so in socks or other garments where the knitting/crocheting is close to the skin.

Pragmatists

For others, tying a knot is FUNCTIONAL.  It accomplishes a specific purpose and makes one feel secure about their knitting and crocheting.  Here’s why:

*Tying knots and leaving them in the work insures that the piece will not unravel.  At least not at the point of joining yarns.  This, to me, is a COMFORT, especially when I make things that are going to be used and washed a lot…like baby items, afghans & blankets, sweaters & hats.  If what you’re making is for a child, they are harder on their clothes/toys/blankets than others.  I want to knit/crochet something that I KNOW and FEEL SURE will stand the test of time, wear, and wash!

*Tying knots CAN be done in such a way as to maintain much of the stretchiness of the knitted/crocheted fabric.  I will often tie my original knot and keep crocheting or knitting; but then, AFTER I’m finished, I’ll untie that knot and RETIE it allowing the yarn to breathe a bit.

*Knots can be tied AT FIRST when the new yarn is added on, but then UNTIED later when a knot is not desirable, such as in socks and some sweaters.

Whether you fall in one camp or the other really makes no difference whatsoever! Be proud of whichever way you so choose, which hopefully changes depending on the item your are knitting/crocheting.  And allow the gal next to you to choose her own way, to knot or not!

It’s certainly NOT something to lose a yarn friendship over.

And I don’t think anyone ever has!:)

P.S. For a tutorial on How to Tie On New Yarn, click here!

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2 thoughts on “To Knot or Not to Knot

  1. This is a very real issue. I have been taught that tying a knot is a major crime and when I teach newbies I tell them never knot. Reading this post gives me a new prospective. I think that after you learn a bit about knitting and crocheting, you can determine when a knot is not a problem!

    • Thanks so much for visiting, commenting, and sharing your thoughts on knots!:) So glad to “meet” a fellow knitter and knitting teacher! Cheers!

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