Beginner needs help - simple garter stitch

Hi All!

I am a complete beginner at knitting and just started two days ago. I really want to continue practicing and be able to make nice cardigans, scarves, etc. I know it will take me a long time to get there but I am excited! No one I know knits so I hope I can post questions and ask for help in this forum!

I am starting with a simple garter stitch scarf. However, I am already having problems :frog: I started with a 12 stitches on each row and I wanted to continue that way till I get to a comfortable size. UNFORTUNATELY, these are the problems I am having:

  1. The first 14 or so rows are good and have 12 stitches. Somehow (without realizing) the next 10 or so rows have 18 stitches. I have no idea how I got there. How to avoid this problem and how do I prevent it for the next time?

  2. Some of the row have like holes in some of the stitches…Maybe I missed a stitch? Not sure how I did that either? How do I prevent this?

  3. Some of the row edges are not as intact as the other? How do I make sure they are all the same?

I apologize if my questions seems silly, but please bear with me! I want to knit my husband a scarf for Christmas and want to avoid these problems I am having now. Any help will be much appreciated! I am so happy I found this forum and look forward to your responses. Thank you once again!! :thumbsup:

PS - some pictures are included of my current project. It looks pretty bad so I apologize for this. It’s my first project and I can’t wait to get better!

Where the holes are you must have wrapped the yarn around the needle in between sts; this is a YO/yarn over, and makes an extra stitch. It’s done on purpose in lace knitting, but not wanted otherwise. You might also have done that at the beginning of some rows, that puts an extra one at the edge and makes it jagged looking. Or you could have put the yarn over the top of the L needle to the back at the start of a row and that pulls up the first st so each ‘leg’ of it looks like 2 sts instead of one. Hold the yarn out to the side a little bit when you begin a row and you’ll be able to see that first stitch better.

You could take this out to the row where the first hole is or where you last had 12 sts and do the rest over, or just keep going since this a practice piece.

You are not alone.Here is some collected wisdom about those mysterious extra sts. It’s a common problem and will undoubtedly go away if you pay enough attention to it.

We’ve all had problems like that when we first started. Hang in there. You’ll get better with practice.

You only started 2 days ago and you’ve already knitted that much!? Wow! :yay:

Don’t worry, I made the same mistakes when I first started knitting just a couple of weeks ago so you are definitely not alone. The very first “thing” I knitted came out looking warped because I was accidentally adding extra stitches. I started out with 15 and ended up with 32! The videos here are extremely helpful. You should watch them all if you haven’t already.

Hi…and hang in there. Practice (umm usually) makes perfect! I have been at it for about 6 years and still learn something new all the time…Suzee is right on…so just be careful,don’t yarn over (unless on purpose) or you will get holes:grphug: also from your pic, if you want to get a more even edge, just instead of knitting the first stitch, just slip it (as if to knit) to your needle.Insert your needle in the stitch, don’t wrap your yarn (to knit) and pull off to your right needle…Make sense? if not, just post and I will check back…good job!!!

I’d say you have done pretty darned well for only knitting two days. Just keep practicing and take it slow and easy at first. I’ve knit for years and have become a ‘master’ at tinking. Keep up the good work, learn from the mistakes and from the very well-informed other knitters on this site. I have learned so much since being here and it has helped me - a lot.:thumbsup:

Thank you all for your response and your kind words of encouragement! I started over and it’s looking better already! I will try to follow everyone’s advice and post a picture when I’m done (or ask more questions hehe). :stuck_out_tongue:

Thank you again! cloud9

Hey All!

Just wanted to post a picture of my finished project! It’s not that perfect, but I’m pretty happy with it! Thank you all for your help!

@cheley - thanks for your feedback! Sorry, I don’t think I fully understand the finer/straighter edge suggestions. Do you know of any videos that show this? That would be really helpful!

Wow, it looks great! You have learned so much in such a short time. Congrats on your first finished project. What next?

Nice one Ash, the scarf turned out lovely. :slight_smile:

Yay! That looks good!

Y’all are just so sweet! Thanks once again!! :inlove:

@salmonmac - I want to make a hat to match this scarf so am looking for videos that I can follow. If you know of any for beginners, please forward them!!

What other projects do y’all recommend for beginners?

Also, what size yarn and scarf (stitches, rows) would you recommend for a scarf for a man? I want to make one for my fiance but not as bulky or wide as this one. Any suggestions?

Thanks again everyone! Y’all make learning to knit so much fun! :thumbsup:

If you go to Ravelry (free to join) and do a search for garter stitch hat, there are all sorts that show up. Good luck with it!

Yay…it looks awesome!!! Very good…glad you didn’t chuck the whole thing:yay: The edge thing is something I kinda “learned”/practiced with… I know someone posted a video here along time ago, maybe they will remember and re post…Or go to search here and try looking up edging…Once again…Congrats, girl you did it!!!

There’s also tons of patterns on and and - they’re sorted by category. Most men like a shorter scarf, maybe 55-60" instead of 70" and probably about 6 or 7" wide. But if he already has some, check and see how long he likes, some prefer longer ones.


I figured I’d ask this question here since y’all have been so supportive so far! My next project will be a ribbed scarf for my husband. I found one on Lion Brand website that I liked but most people recommended increasing the stitches from 36 to 48. I am not how to increase the directions for the increased stitches. Which is better for a male scarf, 36 or 48 stitches?

The original was:

Cast on 36 stitches.
Row 1 (RS): Knit 2, purl 2, (knit 4, purl 4) 3 times, knit 4, purl 2, knit 2.
Row 2 (WS): Purl 2, knit 2, (purl 4, knit 4) 3 times, purl 4, knit 2, purl 2.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until Scarf measures about 66 in. (167.5 cm) from beginning. Bind off.

What should I do to increase it to 48 stitches? Where to add the extra knits and pearls? Help!

It depends on your gauge, the yarn and needle size you use. Cast on about 24 sts and just do the stitches as -
Row 1, Knit 2, purl 2, knit 4, purl 4 knit 4, purl 2, knit 2, and
Row 2, Purl 2, knit 2, (purl 4, knit 4) purl 4, knit 2, purl 2.

  • for about 3". Then measure how wide that is. If twice as many sts will get you the width you want, then go with 48, but if that will be too big, then use 36. If you use 48 sts then repeat the (knit 4, purl 4) 4 times instead of 3.

Ash -

Wow! That’s an impressive amount of work first time out. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

What Cheley is recommending for your edge, slipping the first stitch, I don’t have a link for, but for the first stitch of every row:

  1. insert your needle as if to knit (or purl), then transfer the stitch without knitting(purling).

  2. knit (or purl) the next stitch, pulling enough to tighten that first transferred stitch.

  3. continue the rest of the row, turn and repeat.

This will give a straighter edge than working that first stitch.

Happy knitting!