Brand new knitter

I have been knitting now for a whopping 4 hours. Iam making a Katy Cowl Scarf with bulky yarn & 15 needles. It is a plain garter stitch for the whole scarf. I have taken it apart 3 times so far because I wasn’t consistent with the tension. I cast on 22, and now suddenly I have 88 loops on my needles. As I get ready to pull it apart again, could somebody please give me an idea of what I might have done wrong?

Welcome to KH!

Knitting with even tension just takes practice. If you don’t want your scarf to be a practice piece start by just knitting for awhile till you feel comfortable and it should start evening out.

The extra stitches though is a very common problem for new knitters. These are the most common reasons this could be happening.

  1. Make sure your working yarn is in back of your work when you are knitting. When it’s not in back you sometimes can create what is called a yarn over (aka YO) which is an increase.

  2. Make sure you are knitting only the stitches and not the thread between the stitches. Knitting the thread between is also an increase.

Count your stitches after every row to see where you might be making a mistake.

If you find you have the yarn in front of your needles move it to the back by bringing it between your needles not over the top. Bringing it to the back by going over the needles will create a yarnover and an additional stitch.


Stop at the end of every row and count your stitches. One of these days when you’re much more used to knitting, you’ll only do that every once in a while, but for now, check every row. That way, if you’re gaining stitches, yoú’ll catch them and fix them before you get a long way down the road.
Besides the accidental yarn overs, one really common cause of added stitches is working so tightly that the previous row pulls up and looks like more stitches. Since you’re working with big yarn and needles, the problem can be more annoying, but also easier to see and fix.
Another thing that helps new knitters, although it won’t matter on this pattern: when you have a project with a right and wrong side, like a sweater, use any kind of marker you need to mark the right side/public side/outside of the work. When you lay your work down, try to stop at the end of a row. If you can’t, try to mark the direction you were going. Especially when you’re new, it’s easy to get turned around. If you have scrap paper and a big safety pin, you can even make notes to yourself–“Row 22 is finished” and pin that to the work so you remember where you left off.