Need Help Figuring Out Skill Issue

I just started learning how to knit. This is a bit of a read so, please, bear with me.
I made exactly one dishcloth and now I want to make socks.

The project was relatively easy until I reached the gusset because I somehow started purling on the wrong side (it wasn’t that pretty stockinette look anymore). I decided to frog all of it until I made it to the slip stitch heel flap and decided I could very easily just restart from there.

I carefully slipped all the loops back onto my needles and counted them. Everything was there and set up just fine. No issues with that.

I would like to start this next part by saying that I had the same issue while trying to make my heel turn longer the first time around (but only while trying to make it longer, it was perfect before that) but ended up undoing my work and going with the recommended 16 rows.

Anyway, the stitches bunch up/puff up at certain points in the needle instead of laying flat.

I can’t figure out if it’s a tension issue or…WHAT? I’m carefully tracking my progress and keeping track of the stitches. Not sure how it’s happening but it’s so ugly and frustrating.


I’m not entirely sure what you mean–if you mean that it’s rolling up, that’s quite normal unless you use quite heavy yarn and usually happens with tight tension. That stitches bunch up or puff up is usually also because of shifting tension, but it’s something that’s usually solved quite nicely when you block your project–then the stitches will loosen up and start looking the same, in most cases anyways.
And if you’ve started on the heel flap, it tends to look a bit funky on the inside and feel thicker because you’re basically doubling the layer of yarn (it’s made thicker to withstand wear-and-tear).

I don’t know if any of the points above is answering your question, so if they don’t, please elaborate a bit more and I might be able to help :slight_smile: I’d show some of the insides of my socks, but I’ve given them all away :sweat_smile:

Oh, and I’m going to add a note; socks with heel flaps/gussets tend to look funky until you actually start working on the foot. So even if it feels weird, it might be an idea to just go with it until you reach that portion–that’s where you’ll notice if something’s off or not, in most cases.


First off, thank you so much for replying so early in the morning.

Here is my feel flap the first time around. I was able to make it neat and flat.

Here is this funky boy this time around.


To me, it looks like it’s tension issues, but it could also be that you’ve missed a couple of stitches? I thought you said that the stitch count was correct though, so I’d go with tension. Are you using the same sized needles as the first one? If you are and it turns out looser, maybe try to go down a needle size for the gusset. When it comes to knitting, tension can be quite wild when we start out, because we aren’t used to it yet–maybe you started tight and got a bit more comfortable with knitting so you loosened up a bit? It happens.
But from what I can see, I’d guess it’s just tension.
And don’t worry about it being in the morning :slight_smile: I’m in Europe, and here it’s 12 in the day :slight_smile:


Thank you for your insight.

It might be me monster gripping the needle and that’s causing an issue with the tension. Or perhaps it’s too loose? I’ve been trying to figure out an even tension. I will keep at it since it’s something I now know I could fix… :sweat:

I have a tendency to hold the entire needle that has worked stitches on it with my palm. Would that negatively impact the finished stitches?


Even tension is something that will come with time, as you get more acquainted with the craft and you find out what works for you–I started really tight, but with time my tension loosened up (it’s still tight by most people’s measures, so I need to use a thicker needle size than normal–that’s something you’ll come to figure out down the line too). Some people just remain very tight knitters while some become very loose (needing thinner needles).

A fun thing to do if you want to check for tension issues at the end of a sock is to weigh them–do they weigh the same and one’s bigger? Tension :slight_smile: Still, blocking can work magic.
You can also gauge swatch or measure what you have. You can do this with the sock you have and the one you’ve started. If you count a number of rows and stitches in one sock and mark them out, does the second sock have the same amount of stitches in the same length/height?

I do that too, especially when working in the round. But the finished stitches sit where they sit, and the only thing I can imagine being impacted are the loops on your needles (if you pull a bit on the project, they might stretch out? That’s just a guess though.). Maybe with too rough of a handling it could felt, but I’ve done it too, and I’ve had my knitting thrown around and pressed into bags etc, and it hasn’t changed a thing with the finished pieces (not that I’ve noticed, anyways).

I’ll just add a note–my boyfriend is the culprit of the roughing up of my projects–if it’s in the way, it’s gotta move :joy: Luckily I use needle stoppers so no loops fall off!


Awesome! Thank you so much for the help and advice. I will definitely be be blocking this pair of socks. The yarn was pricey and I plan on gifting them to close friends. :yum:

I have my own crafting nest on the loveseat and nobody else is allowed to sit there so I don’t have to worry about anyone touching my stuff >,<