A Beginner's Quandry

I just started knitting, and have picked up the basics pretty well, and am loving the time I have spent learning! I have a quick question though.

I was working on a garter stitch dish towel (as recommended by someone as a great starting point for beginners), and noticed that on my working needle, I had somehow twisted two of the loops into each other, making the loops look like a stitch with two strands of yarn. After counting my stitches, I had definitely lost one in the process.

Can anyone tell me what happened and how I can avoid it in the future?

Also, I have researched different knitting techniques, and can’t seem to find one that I am able to have a consistent tension with. I’ve looked everywhere but have not been able to find ways to improve my stitch consistency. Is there anything I’m missing?

I apologize if these questions have been answered already, but I am teaching myself how to knit, with very little imput and assitance from anyone. Thanks in advance for anything you might respond with!

Hard to say for sure what happened with your twisted stitches, but I have found that sometimes two stitches will get kind of lumped together- they’re not twisted or messed up, they just got piled on top of each other. You just pick them apart with your fingernail and continue on your way. :slight_smile: If that’s not the problem- perhaps if you post a picture, we can help you.

As for tension- it’s all about practice. Pick a technique that feels comfortable to you, and just knit. Your tension will get better as you go along. You can always switch techniques later if you feel like it.

Welcome to knitting, and welcome to KH! :slight_smile:

Well, everyone knits to their own tension, but good for you for wanting to improve your knitting!

Just to get you started, here’s an interesting page on diagnosing st st tension problems, a Knitty article on how to decide whether you’re a right or left hand knitter, and here’s the lovely TechKnitter’s take on how to tame st st that’s uneven.

Somewhere, I remember seeing a page with someone breaking down knitting and purling with the most common trouble spots highlighted (usually someone tightening the stitch after forming it, instead of letting the forming of the [I]next[/I] stitch tighten the stitch for you), but can’t at the moment remember where it is…

Anyway, hope this helps you in some way!

Hi there! I can’t add anything more to the advice about tension, other than what Zina and Abily already said. They both gave great advice. I will just say that for me and for the people I have taught to knit, tension is one of the things that just takes lots of practice, and it will get better over time.

As for your stitch–since you say you lost a stitch in the process, it sounds to me like you might have accidentally knitted two stitches together. This is usually done on purpose to decrease a stitch to shape a knitted piece. When you say it looks like a stitch with 2 strands of yarn, do you mean that it looks like a loop of only one strand of yarn on the needle, but there are two stitches creating it? If that’s the case, then this is probably what happened. In this is true, you have two options. You can either rip back to where it happened, and re-do your knitting. Or (and this is probably what I’d do), if you can live with having one glitchy looking stitch, you can knit until you are two or three stitches from the end of a row, and increase one stitch. There are a lot of ways to do an increase in the videos section, some more invisible than others. If nothing else, you could practice learning a new knitting skill!

The other possibility I can think of is that you dropped a stitch. Examine your knitting closely (make sure to look at both sides). Is there a loop sticking out where it looks like your knitting unravelled? You would see this somewhere down the row from where the glitchy stitch is. If so, there is a way to pick up the stitch and bring it back up, but if you have knit a lot of rows from where the dropped stitch happened, it can be difficult to do because there won’t be much room to weave the stitch back up. The video on how to do this is in the Knitting Tips section of the videos. (It’s called “Fixing a run/dropped stitch”.) If you dropped a stitch, and picking up the stitch doesn’t work, you also could do one of two things. If you aren’t concerned about perfection in your knitting. You could cut off piece of your yarn and unravel some of the plies, or use matching thread and a sewing needle and tack the stitch down to your knitting, and then after that, do an increase as I mentioned before. Or again, you can unravel the knitting to the place where the dropped stitch “landed” and reknit (I probably wouldn’t do that. I’m too lazy. :slight_smile: )

Since you are still learning, I wouldn’t worry about perfection in your knitting. Just keep practicing and your knitting will get better and better. :thumbsup: