Advice on Interrupted Knitting Mid-Row

I like to use every spare minute knitting but I'm hesitant to pick it up when I have a few free moments if I'm not certain I can finish the row in the time available.  I've been told by several seasoned knitters that one never leaves off in the middle of a row for various reasons such as: it will leave a hole, the stitch will be misshapen or there will be a line in the knitting.  I have never read anything about this in any knitting book.  It's not like I'll leave it this way for long; I knit every day.  This fear of creating an additional problem prevents me from utilizing all those odd spare moments of the day.

I'm seeking the opinions of knitters more experienced than myself on this subject.


drmel94's picture

How would this be any different from setting down circular knitting? If you are knitting in the round, then you are always stopping at some point along a line every time you stop, even if it's at the end of a round. Unless you are dropping stitches, forgetting your place in a complex pattern, or forgetting the direction of your knitting (which is unlikely for even a moderately experienced knitter), then it's not likely to cause any permanent problems with your project. As Sainte Elizabeth Zimmerman pointed out, all stitches will tend to even out with time, and if you're skilled enough to maintain a fairly consistent gauge, then it will take less time rather than more. No fear! 

"Hatred does not end by hatred; hatred ends by love. This is the eternal law." - Buddha

Bill's picture

I often stop in the middle of a row... to answer the phone... to get a drink...whatever... even to pack up to move to another room..... It doesn't really matter... it evens out in the next row... LOL Bill

ChazH's picture

Bill's style sounds like mine. I've never noticed any problem with stopping in the middle of a row.  I suppose my technique is consistent (!) but I also agree with Ulf that it can also depend on the yarn.

ulf's picture

Since I almost always knit on straight needles I always knit and purl. In my experiance it can be seen when you leave the knitting in the middle of a row if you are a bit unsurtain about the tension and you start with another tension then when you stoped.

I stop every which way.  I've even left work for months and returned without any noticable problem.  I often work in short bursts - sometimes as litttle half a row if I'm disturbed. Wool is very forgiving.



If you see that your knitting is uneven, slip back three or four stitches before continuing on with your knitting. That should help even out your tension. Since you knit regularly, Jesse, I wouldn't anticipate any problems with stopping in the middle of a row.

Have fun, 

I know what you mean, but sometimes you can't help it. Can't say that I've noticed any problems doing it. I do try, if I can, to finish a row before leaving a project. It's easier to pick it up & carry on the next time I find.

Knit away, knit away

"They say best men are moulded out of faults; and, for the most, become much more the better for being a little bad." William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

JPaul's picture

I've never heard this before, either.  I think this would be pretty low on my list of concerns (if I were to put together a list...or have concerns).

kiwiknitter's picture

Thanks, guys, for all this good advice.  I see that no one felt it was a problem so damn the naysayers: I've begun to knit and leave off in mid-row.  I must confess that I'm working with a boucle wool so I doubt it's possible to leave any negative effects in it.  But, it is nice to be able to pick up and put down my knitting without worry.  The true test will come when I'm working regular wool in a stocking stitch.  I'm keen to give it a go.

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

Jerry in Sacramento CA

Anybody for a MenWhoKnit "club" here?

Jerry in Sacramento CA

Anybody for a MenWhoKnit "club" here?