A Little help for new knitter

Hello everyone! I am new to knitting and new to this board and I am in :heart:

I purchased a kniting supply set (a cheap one) and some homespun yarn. I am getting fusterated because even though I am not trying to make anything in particular, it just doesn’t seem to look like I think it should look (I cast on do one row and then end up starting over, ive done this 5 times already). I was wondering if its the yarn? What kind of yarn can I get that will let me see exactly what I am doing? Something good for a beginner to use? Also can you recommend a good first project to try, I was thinking just a plain old scarf but maybe someone has a more fun idea. And one last question, do you have any advice for me that you wish you would have had when you started out?

I feel so slow, one of the ladies on this forum has only been knitting a week and has already made 2 hats…I can’t even get past row 2! Whats wrong with me? :shock:

Thank you so much! (hugs)

Sascha :XX:

I’m the new knitter that has done two hats. I just wanted you to know that it did NOT come easy and I spent a LOT of time with those two hats. I had more problems than you can imagine. I’m what they call an OVER ACHIEVER so when I start something I go gun ho at it.
I spent a lot of time reading, asking questions here and other places, emailed my teachers, went to my knitting neighbor and watched the videos from this forum home site:
Don’t ever thing because someone gets something done that they didn’t have a b*tch of a time. :slight_smile:
Keep asking questions here, watch the videos, try to find a local knitting group or yarn shop that can help and another thing that I think all of us newbies need is patience with ourselves.

Sascha, I would suggest a lightly colored (easy to see the sts) worsted wt (which is the medium wt yarn) yarn and a pair of size 8 needles. With this you will be able to see what you are doing. Homespun is a love it or hate it type of yarn, but certainly not one that i would suggest that you begin with because of it’s bumpy & kind of ‘hairy’ texture with that ‘thread’ running through it that is so easy to get caught on.
I will tell you what I did & I’ve heard that several other knitters have done the same thing. To practice your knit stitch, just do a simple garter stitch (this means using all knit sts & the result is garter st) scarf. For example, cast on say, 20 sts (actually with this project you can cast on any # of sts, it doesn’t matter) and just begin knitting and pay attention to your sts and try to make sure that you are just picking up the knit sts and not the ‘legs’ between them…you will see this be watching the videos. Then, after you have a nice scarf of the length that you like, make another with knit st if you don’t feel comfortable yet with it. If you do feel comfortable with your knit st…then do the exact same thing with your purl st that you did with the knit st and make a scarf just using the purl st. Doing these small projects with one st at the time will give you great practice in learning each individual st, both the knit st and the purl st. Once you have these down you have the foundation of knitting because it consists of just that, these 2 sts and the way in which you manipulate them. Please don’t feel intimidated bc Susie did 2 hats in the 1st week, as she said…she’s an over achiever…lol!..this is certainly not the norm, finishing 2 such projects in your 1st week. PRACTICE, this is the key :wink: Sit down with your yarn & needles at the computer and practice with Amy & the videos…you will do just fine :wink: . If you need any help, just give someone a yell…have fun :thumbsup:

ya know, the one thing that my teacher told me is the one thing i always kick myself for not remembering when i keep quitting something and starting over. The day she taught me how to knit i was sitting there with my needles in my hand looking at the beginning of my third row with a puzzled expression on my face. She asked me what was wrong and i said that it just didn’t look right. She said it was fine and just to keep knitting. “you are too new to know what looks right and what doesn’t so just keep knitting.” sooooooo i just kept knitting. if i remembered that i would have stopped swearing at i-cords and stopped insisting that i can’t do them weeks before i finally realized that it would look like i was doing it right if i just kept knitting.

so there ya go…just keep knitting! :thumbsup:

That’s the ticket right there. Just do it. I like the idea of an entire knit project and an entire purl project. You’ll get to know those stitches really, really well, and then you’re on your way. It doesn’t have to be a scarf, either. Make a square. My first knitted “project” was a bookmark.

Like anything else, it takes practice. Just make sure that you are sure that you’re doing your stitches correctly–through the videos, books, another person. A woman I work with was getting stockinette stitch on her scarf, but was doing it in such a convoluted way that she was taking 10 seconds for each stitch. If I had only seen her work and not the process, I would have said she was doing it correctly.

When you finish your scarves or squares, or swatches, put them away. In a few months, pull them out again and you’ll be amazed at your progress.

Maybe it’s too early for me to be giving advice, because I’m where you are Sascha, but…

Consider not trying to make it perfect right way, and by that I mean - stop pulling it out. Even if it’s not perfect…

I know. Blasphemy, right?

But honestly, I feel I’ve come as far along as I have this time (I’ve tried many times before, dutifully pulling out the stitches determined to GET THEM RIGHT, or not knit at all :rollseyes: … Type A anyone?), because by working through the imperfections of the starter project I began to see what good stitches looked like, as opposed to bad ones. And then a good row, as opposed to a bad one. And then eventually a good swatch right next to a less than perfect one.

And while I was at it, my hands and wrists and subconscious were given an opportunity to associate the FEEL of the movements with the results (that I was able to see because I didn’t pull the sttches out at the cast on) and I actually LEARNED MORE by screwing the square up a little in the beginning (and at varying points in the middle) than I would have had I kept ripping it out, I think. Try living with the mistakes a little and see if you can’t identify “right” and “wrong” a little better doing that. I suspect that what will happen is you’ll start to SEE what you’re doing wrong vs. what you’re doing right (cuz I promise you’re doing it right sometimes…you just haven’t had the opportunity to SEE it yet), and be able to identify each visually - which is half the battle for a newbie.

Just the two cents of a newbie cohort. :slight_smile:

Brenda… nice avatar!!! :roflhard:

NOT blasphemy… :roflhard: I know where you are coming from with that thought…basically, BE KIND to yourself and DONT WORRY SO MUCH. (Ask Joel how Ive attempted to pound this into his stubborn noggin!) :lol:

There is a BENEFIT to pulling out your stitches…and that is a “stitch anatomy lesson”. Really knowing what your stitches are supposed to do, are actually doing, and how to tell the difference, is a GREAT little chunk of knowledge! :wink:

I totally agree with Rebecca. That is one great game plan she came up with! Amy’s videos are AWESOME…they taught me all I know, and Ive only been knitting since January!

if it’s Lion Homespun you’re talking about, it isn’t the most forgiving yarn to work with. it splits and frays easily. I used it for my very first actual object (after practicing on Red Heart Super Saver for only like 3 rows… bad idea to try to jump to real yarn so soon). I was too anxious to start an actual scarf. needless to say that scarf is a wreck, but I saved it.
keep practicing. like others have said before me in this thread, practice garter stitch to find your tension and boost your confidence. I made like 30 all garter stitch scarves before I progressed to a drop stitch, then finally got the hang of purling.

NOT blasphemy… :roflhard: I know where you are coming from with that thought…basically, BE KIND to yourself and DONT WORRY SO MUCH. (Ask Joel how Ive attempted to pound this into his stubborn noggin!) :lol:[/quote]

More accurately… ask how many dents I have in my noggin from that all that pounding… :wall:


For me, that is the hardest thing for me, to NOT to frog something at every mistake I make. I have perfectionist tendencies (which is good for my job and bad for my knitting) and so I see imperfections as a bad thing. I’ll tell you the same thing KK mentioned in one of these threads…

“They’re not imperfections, they’re hand-knit-design features.”

I keep telling myself that everytime I want to frog out something for a little mistake. Yes, I still frog out the big mistakes, the ones that would be obvious to anyone but for the stuff that only I or an experienced knitter would notice… I’m learning to leave it alone.

Yep! And I’m still learning this as well…

thanks you! Useful advice that I’m sure I will take with me fore years. And you are right, How the heck do I know if it looks right or wrong? :rofling: My husband keeps telling me I’m “overthinking” it and I probably am.

I am going to go right out and get some worsted and size 8’s since I only have homespun and size 7’s and 10’s

Thank you and I’ll let you know how it turns out


I did some Amy videos tonight as part of my little self imposed syllabus, and I now know exactly what you mean. It DOES help to see what the stitches are doing. Thanks for that. I hadn’t thought of it. Gives a whole new level of understanding when you need to do something different than what you already know how to do, or are trying to figure out what you’re doing wrong.

Joel - I can relate. :slight_smile: I spent 4 or 5 years allowing my anal retentive bend to stop me from KNITTING. I was stitching along ok, but I never got to knitting cuz I never got past an imperfect row…which was all of them at first. :rofling:

I decided that I’d rather knit, than unknit, :rofling: so I decided to take another approach this time. :slight_smile: Glad you are working on that too. I’ll be reminding you (and me!) with Kelly… :slight_smile: