Hello … I have grown up around aunts sitting around knitting and have now decided to learn. All the aunts have passed away and my mom tried to teach me, but she is left handed and I am right, so we just didn’t click on that. I watched a video on you tube on how to cast on … which was good, and then one on how to knit … again which was good … but my question is, well a couple questions : )

  1. do the needles ever get comfortable in your hands … I feel so clumsy with them and they are a shorter needle, but I feel like I’m not holding them right.
  2. How tight do you hold your yarn? My stitches look so loose and flimsy … will this ever change?

Thank you for your help to this new beginner!!

You’ll get used to them. Remember using a hammer or screwdriver at first, they were awkward too. Just practice, that will help you get used to them, and improve your tension. Look at you tube for hundreds of videos and every knitter holds the yarn differently. Try out a few and see if any of them feel ‘easier’ for you.

Congratulations on teaching yourself to knit!!!

Do not worry. What you are experiencing is normal for new knitters.

  1. You will become more comfortable holding and manipulating your needles over time. You will also, no doubt, evetually try different types and brands of needles, finding the one that feels best to you.
  2. What you are experiencing is tension problems, which happens to all new knitters, and even some seasoned ones. Sometimes you’re too loose, sometimes you’re too tight. Rest assered, practice makes perfect (or at least close to it). Again, time will improve this, but your tension can change with the project, yarn and needle, so you will need to (and learn to adjust) on each project you do.

Where do I go to post?
My question is.
In my pattern it says every 3rd row purl 2 sts. together on WS row.
i am working on a sleeve and every right side you knit 2 together at beginning and end.
But the purl part I am confused. On the purl side do I decrease at each end too.
It is the every 3 rd row I am confused.
Thank You

You can keep posting in this thread, or start a new one. Above the threads there’s an orange button that says ‘Start a New Thread’.

Not sure about your question. Can you post exactly what it says for the sleeve decs? Purl 2 tog is like k2tog, you put the needle in 2 sts instead of one and work them together. It may be that the pattern reads that you dec every 3rd row, so some of them will be knit rows and you k2tog, and some will be purl rows and you p2tog on them. At both the beg and end of the rows.

Personally I think you should post a new thread, Nancy. Asking a new question in another thread can often be overlooked.

thank you all for your comments … I did go out today and bought a yarn that was a little thicker than what I was using last night to practice … this one seems to go easier for me than the thinner one … I love this site, there is so much information on here that I am just sitting here reading and watching the videos. I can’t ait until I get the nerve to actually do something rather than practice. I don’t know what a good project is to start, I have heard scarves, but I would really like to do some type of wrap. Who knows … but thank you again for everything I really appreciate it!

Yes, the needles do become more comfortable with practice. And my experience is that you develope a comfortable way of holding the yarn to give you tension and that stays with you throughout. You can always adjust gauge by changing the needle size, not by changing your tension.

I noticed when I first started knitting that the needles felt clumsy. And even now that I have gotten so used to using circular needles for all my knitting, if I go back to using straight needles they feel extremely clumsy. Plus I remember that pain from squeezing my needles so tight that my fingers hurt. I actually still have the first set of straight needles that I learned to knit on, and if you hold them a certain way you can see that they have a little bit of a bow to them from me squeezing so hard over time.

Gauge comes as you learn. I find that everyone I’ve taught, when they first start out, either holds the yarn way too tight, or way too loose. Rarely does someone get it right straight out of the gate. It just takes practice, and it took me a while to find a way of holding the yarn that felt comfortable to me. I wrap it around my pinky, then over the backs of backs of my fingers, over top of my index finger and down to the needle. But that’s just what works most comfortably for me.

Just keep practicing holding the yarn and the needles and doing the stitches. Once you get the mechanics of it down, then you can work on the tension. If you don’t like it, rip it out and start over. I do that a lot when I’m practicing a new stitch or technique. The videos on Youtube are great. But some teachers are better than others. If you don’t understand a technique in one video, look for another one. Some videos just click with you and some don’t.

You’ll get used to the feel of the needles in your hands, it took a little experimenting for me to find ‘favorites’ in both straight and circular needles. Don’t despair you will find a groove.
As for the tensioning, I tend to practice a new stitch on wash cloths, pot holders, and place mats until I feel comfortable with the mechanics of the stitch. I know this won’t work for everyone, but it might help you find something that keeps you knitting.

I taught my self to knit when I was in high school. Then after I married and had kids, knitting was put aside. Recently I took it up again because the plastic bags were taking over the house. I had to relearn to cast on but after I did I remembered everything. I used circular needs to knit string market bags to use when shopping. Gauge really doesn’t mean anything in this type of knitting I found but if I used a smaller number needle than a 8 the resulting bag was smaller in size by several inches, even if I used the same number of stitches. So knit your swatch with your favorite needles and measure how many stitches you have in one inch. Then multiply that number by the inches of width in the pattern to find your number of stitches to cast on for the scarf.