Beginner ribbed scarf gone wrong

Hi! I just started knitting a few weeks ago. I seemed to pick up the basic knit and purl quickly, so I decided to move onto a ribbed scarf. I found several patterns online that called for a knit 2 purl 2, repeating until the end of the scarf. I started with a long tail cast on and I do slip the first stitch to help manage the edges. I count the first slip stitch as a knit then knit one more and continue with the pattern. At the beginning of my scarf I can see where the ribbed pattern was showing. Now it just looks like a jumbled mess. Any suggestion on what I might be doing wrong?

Mmm… maybe. The first time I tried ribbing I just dived into it without really knowing how to do it, and as a result I left out a pretty basic (and as it turns out, important) step. when you go from knit to purl or purl to knit in the middle of a row, you have to take the yarn from back to front, or front to back (depending on which switch you’re doing). If you don’t, then you wind up with the working yarn on the wrong side of the work which… could turn into a jumbled mess pretty quickly.

If you’re gong from knit to purl, pull the working yarn [I]between the needles[/I] before your first purl stitch. If you’re going from purl to knit, pull the working yarn [I]between the needles[/I] to the back side before your first knit stitch.

When you change from knit to purl at the end of a row, this sort of happens automatically when you turn the work over, but you have to do it yourself when you switch in the middle.

Hope that helps.

You might be adding stitches which will throw off the pattern, or you might have a stitch number which isn’t divisible by 4. You can do a number that’s divisible by 4 plus 2 (like 18 or 26) but you can’t begin every row with k2 p2. If you knit the stitches on the needle that look like knits and purl the ones that look like purls, that will keep the ribbing pattern. If neither of these ideas doesn’t seem to be the problem, and you can post a picture of your work, we might be able to figure it out.

That’s how I learned seed stitch… ribbing gone wrong! :wink:

Thank you! I had 26 stiches going. I did not know I needed a multiple of 4. I am going to try again with the correct amount of stitches. I am trying to be very careful about bringing the yarn to the front and to the back for the purl and knit. I probably need to slow down for a while and really be sure I don’t forget to do that. Thanks again for the advice!! I’m excited to put it to use tonight.

Also, side note. I feel like I should aplogize for my absurdly long user name. I had a moment when registering! I was on my 14th or 15th name and they were all taken, so I put that in being sarcastic and it worked. I should probably change it.

Once when I wanted a throw-away email, I ended up with meneednewaddy. I understand, I started here with username and changed it after a while.

You could still use the 26 sts though. The first row would be k2 p2, to the end and k2. The next row is p2, k2 and end with p2. After you get the first 2 rows done you wouldn’t even have to think about it - just knit the sts that look like knits and purl the ones that look like purls.

Yes, I even prefer the symmetry of beginning and ending with the k2 and on the other side, purl 2.