How to Stop Curling in Knitting: Knit Your Way to Flatter Projects

HomeTechniquesHow to Stop Curling in Knitting: Knit Your Way to Flatter Projects

If you’re struggling with curling in your knitting, there are a few things you can do to prevent it. One option is to use a non-curling stitch pattern, such as ribbing or garter stitch. Another option is to add a border to the edges of your project, which can help to weigh down the fabric and prevent curling. Experiment with different options to find what works best for your project.

It’s an age-old problem that has plagued knitters since the days of early civilizations: curling.

You know the feeling – you’ve just finished a beautiful piece, and as soon as you take it off your needles, it starts to curl up like a potato chip.

But don’t despair! There are ways to stop this pesky issue from ruining your project.

In this article, we’ll show you how to keep your knitting from curling so all your hard work won’t go to waste.

Let’s get started!

Understanding the Causes of Curling

To understand why your knitting is curling up, let’s take a closer look at the possible causes.

The most common cause of curling in knitting is an imbalance between knit and purl stitches, which can be caused by using alternative yarns or tension control. This can happen when you switch to another type of yarn or use a different needle size, as these changes can affect how tight your stitches are. Additionally, if you don’t keep track of the number of rows or pattern repeats that you’ve made, it can also contribute to an imbalance in stitch pattern and lead to curling edges.

The second potential cause could be the lack of structure around your edges. Without any structure on the edge stitches (such as ribbing), it can make them much more likely to curl inwards due to the weight of the fabric pulling them down. This is especially true for stockinette stitch projects; because there are no other types of stitches near the edge, it will have nothing keeping it from curling up.

Finally, certain types of yarns may also add extra tension on your edges and increase their tendency to curl inwardly. Yarns with longer fibers – such as wool – tend to have this problem more often than those with shorter fibers like cotton or acrylic blends. In order for these fabrics not to curl up, there needs to be enough slack left in each row so that they won’t pull against one another too much when being worked into a project.

Now that we know what might be causing our knitted pieces to curl up, let’s explore some ways we can prevent this from happening in our projects going forward – like using a non-curling stitch pattern; like ribbing or garter stitch; or adding a border to edges.

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Using a Non-Curling Stitch Pattern

Opting for a non-curling stitch pattern can be an effective measure to stymie the curling of knit fabric. While pattern selection and tension control are important factors, choosing stitches that don’t curl makes all the difference.

Knitters often opt for ribbing or garter stitch when trying to avoid curling edges. Ribbing is a two-row repeat pattern where each row alternates between knit and purl stitches. This creates a fabric with great elasticity that won’t curl up on its own due to the alternating columns of knits and purls.

Garter stitch is created by knitting every single row, instead of alternating between knit and purl rows like in ribbed fabrics. This creates a denser fabric with little elasticity, making it less likely to curl at the edges due to its bulkiness and weight.

Other techniques include adding borders such as i-cords or crocheted edgings which also help keep stockinette from curling inwards at the edges while providing additional decoration at the same time. Adding decorative trims such as scalloped lace edgings or other textured patterns can add visual interest without compromising structural stability of your project, making it both beautiful and functional!

By combining these strategies – selecting a non-curling stitch pattern, using borders or trims – you can help ensure your projects remain flat and stable for years to come.

Blocking your knitting will take you one step closer towards achieving this goal… …and make sure your stitches are even, further enhancing the look of your garment.

Blocking Your Knitting

Blocking your knitting is like giving it a spa treatment, so it can look its best and not suffer from any unwanted ‘frizz’. It’s important to make sure you’ve done a gauge swatch before beginning your project. This will ensure that the finished product will be the correct size and that any stitches are evenly distributed throughout.

Blocking helps to even out stitch tension, which can help with curling if the wrong type of stitch pattern has been used. It also helps seams lay flat and gives pieces a neat finish. After blocking, you should feel confident that your knitting looks professional and is ready for whatever use you had in mind – whether it’s for wrapping up gifts or making yourself a warm winter scarf!

By taking the time to properly block your knitting projects, you can rest assured that all of your hard work won’t go to waste due to unwanted curling. Now let’s talk about how adding a border around edges can help prevent curling in knitting.

Adding a Border to Your Edges

Show your knitting some love by adding a border to its edges; it’ll make all the difference! If you’ve been struggling with curling edges, you can use this trick to prevent them in the future.

Adding a border is also a great way to practice your swatching and tensioning stitches, as each row of the border requires completing multiple rows of stitches on either side of your project.

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Here are three simple ways to add a decorative edge:

  • Knit an i-cord border – This is one of the most popular borders for knitting projects and can easily be done with just two double pointed needles. Simply cast on a few stitches and knit back and forth until desired length is reached.
  • Crochet edging – Add some crocheted flair to your projects with single crochet or slip stitch chains along the edges. It adds texture and color that can be customized however you like!
  • Garter stitch edging – For an easy, no-fuss look, try adding garter stitch borders around your project. Just work in garter stitch (knit every row) until desired length is reached for each side.

Adding a border to your knitting is an easy way to give it extra dimension while also preventing curling edges from occurring in the first place!

Keep reading for more tips on how to fix curled edges when they do happen.

Fixing Curled Edges

By opting for a stitch pattern that includes ribbing or garter stitch, you can effectively put an end to your knitting’s curling woes. Both of these stitches have the advantage of being non-curling, meaning they won’t curl up when placed flat on a surface. Ribbing is especially effective because it helps create tension control by alternating knits and purls across a row. This allows for even tension throughout the piece, which in turn will prevent the edges from curling inwards. Garter stitch is also great because it has rows of alternating knit and purl stitches that will give the fabric more stability and strength so it does not curl. The weight of the yarn used can also play a role in how much your knitting might curl; heavier yarns tend to be less prone to curling than lighter ones.

Properties Ribbing Garter Stitch
Curl? No No
Tension Control? Yes Yes
Yarn Weight? Any Any

It’s important to remember that both ribbing and garter stitch can be used with any type of yarn weight. Whether you’re using a lightweight cotton or bulky wool, these two stitches are sure to provide enough stability and structure to keep those edges from curling inwards. Additionally, they are both relatively easy patterns that most knitters can master quickly with just some practice!

There are several other techniques you can use as well when trying to fix already curled edges such as blocking or adding extra rows at the beginning or end of the project but utilizing ribbing or garter stitch is one of the best ways to prevent further curling while still giving your projects beautiful texture and dimensionality. With this knowledge in hand, you’ll soon find yourself confidently creating projects with edges that remain perfectly straight and flat – no matter what kind of yarn you use!

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Tips for Avoiding Curling in the Future

You can avoid future curling issues in your knitting projects by incorporating a non-curling stitch pattern like ribbing or garter stitch, and adding a decorative border to the edges.

Ribbing is created by alternating columns of knit and purl stitches, while garter stitch is made simply from repeating rows of knits. By using these kinds of stitches, you’ll ensure that your finished fabric is flat and even.

If you’re looking for something more decorative, try slip stitch edging which adds texture to the edge of your piece. You can also add column increases at the sides of your project to help keep it from curling outward.

When it comes to adding borders around the edge, there are plenty of options as well. A simple single crochet border will provide enough weight to keep any fabric from curling while adding an elegant touch as well. Beaded edges are another great way to finish off a project with style; they have enough weight to prevent curling without being too heavy for finer fabrics. Finally, consider using I-cord which is essentially an elongated tube made from knit stitches that’s perfect for creating edgings on sweaters and blankets alike.

No matter what kind of border or stitch pattern you use for your knitting projects, make sure that you take into account how much yarn tension is used when working them up – this can make all the difference between success and failure! Additionally, blocking techniques like steam pressing or wet blocking may be necessary in order to achieve perfectly straight edges after finishing up a project; so don’t forget about these essential steps either!

Knitting projects don’t have to curl if you know how to prevent it upfront with the right materials and techniques. By choosing non-curling stitch patterns like ribbing or garter stitch, along with decorative borders such as single crochets or beadwork edgings – plus remembering important finishing touches like blocking – you’ll be able to create beautiful pieces that stay exactly where they should be!


You’ve come so far! Now that you understand what causes curling in knitting, here are a few tips to avoid it altogether. Try changing stitch tension or using different materials.

Use non-curling stitch patterns such as ribbing or garter stitch, or add a border to edges. Blocking and edging can also help you achieve perfect results every time.

So go ahead and knit without fear of curling! You now have the knowledge to create beautiful projects with no curled edges.

Katherine Pearce
Katherine Pearce
Katherine Pearce is a knitting enthusiast and the founder of With a deep passion for the craft, Katherine aims to make knitting accessible to everyone, regardless of their skill level. Through, she provides online tutorials and resources to help others discover the joys of knitting and develop their skills.

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