FAQ...Mysterious extra stitches? Look Here!

im a total beginner learning how to knit. im doing my first practice square, but its becoming triangular as mysterious extra stitches keep appearing. i started with about 25 stitches, and fifteen rows in i had 38!! after another ten rows i have 45. what am i doing wrong??? im really confused.


I’ll only be a month old tomorrow. :slight_smile: I’m sure there will be others along shortly to help you out.
I know that for me I was picking up extra stitches because I was trying to go too fast and not really paying attention. Try to slow down and really look at where you are putting the needle in through.
Make sure that it is going through the stitch loop and not something below that along with the stitch. Look after EACH stitch to see that you have only picked up one. I know that sounds silly but until ‘we’ get familiar with how to do knitting I think we really have to pay attention.
I know that once I started really watching what I was doing and counting stitch by stitch and then making sure I counting after EACH row for a time I started getting much better.
Hope this helps until someone MUCH more experienced gets here.
Welcome to the knitting world and to this forum that I love,


lol…well i am certainly NOT much more experienced but this one i do know i think :wink: Susie is right about slowing down. we get so excited about “getting it” that we move too fast and things start going wonky.

I find usually the issue is when you start the new row. You have to make sure you are bringing the yarn around back of the needle and not up over the needle. When you first turn your work the yarn is likely going to be hanging down in front. If you bring the yarn up and over to begin working it will look like there is another stitch that needs to be worked. If you play with the yarn a bit you will see what i am talking about. Make sure that you bring it under and behind the needle and not up and over the needle.

this is assuming you are doing garter stitch (knitting every row) too. If you are purling when you turn your work you need to make sure your work is down in front when you start. never bring the work up over the needle unless you are actually trying to create the extra stitch (yarn over). If you are knitting and purling in the same row make sure the yarn comes between the needles and not over them.

the best way to combat it is to count stitches on your rows every time until you are use to what you are doing.


Another thing that might be happening: if you’re switching from Knit to Purl within a row make sure you always have the yarn in the back to knit and in the front to purl. Don’t forget to put that yarn back where it goes each time…if you don’t, you will add stitches…eeek!

And the most important thing of all…THIS HAPPENS TO EVERYONE in the beginning! I increased stitches for weeks before I knew people actually did it on purpose, LOL! :roflhard:


Makin this one STICKY, for our new-to-knitting friends! :thumbsup:

My most frequent reason for making this mistake when I was new was bringing the yarn up and over the needle after the last stitch in the row. Go get your knitting & see how this happens…bring your working yarn up and over the needle…do you see how that causes the “legs” of the last stitch on the needle to look like TWO stitches? Now, bring the yarn over the front toward you. Now it’s one stitch again, right? That’s how it SHOULD look.

thanks everyone, i think im doing a combination of these things, i went a lot slower and a couple of times i went into the stitch in the wrong place and would have created an extra one if i hadnt been going slow enough to notice.

i couldnt work out what was going wrong until now, i was making holes by dropping stitches and still they kept increasding!!! :lol:

Try to give a gentle tug on the material you’re working with before you begin a new row. this will orient your stitch.

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I am SO glad this is posted. I was having a problem of added stitches, when I slowed down I saw that “Jack” was jumping off of one needle and onto the other one! Bad Jack! :roflhard:


You are TOO funny. :slight_smile:
Where are you in NY? I’m WAY UP NORTH. Private Message me if you don’t want to say here,

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Just adding an idea…I am using stitch counters to help count my stitches when I am working on something long. I place a marker every 10 stitches so I can count the row faster. I can also see where I have made a mistake. If there are only 9 stitches between the markes I know where to look for the problem.

I am doing MUCH better now! :cheering:


That’s an excellent way to use your markers! Thanks for sharing. :slight_smile:

Well said, y’all.

Babs, try slipping the first stitch of the row, or knitting it extra tight, for neat edges. I demo this in the Demo of a Small Project video at the top of the basic techniques/more page, along with a few other little tips.

I have to say I’m so excited because I finally figured this out! I must have read this post 20 times and I just got this down. :cheering:

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i’m extremely new to knitting (even thought i’ve tried it many times over the years) and i could never figure out how i kept adding stitches! right now i’m making my first project, a dishcloth with the letter C on it for the person who got me back into trying to knit. (my friend chantal). it starts with 35 stitches and now it’s up to 36 by row 21. a few rows back i had 37 or 38 stitches and now they’re gone. how the heck did i do that?

also, what’s a good remedy for sore fingers? my fingers are killing me.

last thing…i find it very hard to knit after a row with purling. is there an easier way to get the kneedles in? i’m using size 8’s.



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well i think i can answer the after purling question. maybe.

i found out recently that i was wrapping my yarn around the needle the wrong way when i purled. i knew i was doing it different but my work didn’t look any different when i was done so i decided it didn’t matter. one day i saw someone say that it was creating a twisted stitch and that was why it was so hard to get the needle in. i have consciously switched the way i purl and it is way easier to get that needle in! it takes me longer because i am relearning how to purl but knitting after a purl row is much more pleasant! :thumbsup:


thanks! that’s probably why my fingers are so sore! i’ll have to go back and watch the video again for how to purl. if i switch during the project i’m making will that mess it up?

thanks again!

Thank you for posting this, it has helped me soooo much :slight_smile:

If you are having problems pearling after a row of knitting chances are you are knitting too tight. You should have just enough tension in your stiches so that they don’t fall off the needles. Also if you tug gently on your work after each row or so it kind of orients the stiches the right way. I hope this helps :smiley:

Amy, thanks for activating my account, I’m guessing my 2nd email didn’t make it to you either, that’s why I’m mentioning it now. Must be Prodigy email doesn’t mix with whatever is used here.

MY QUESTION: I’ve heard about slipping the first stitch in every row to make a even border other places, and I see you mentioning it here. The thing that always puzzled me is if the first (and last) stitch of every roll is not worked, they will not grow and remain on the first row height while all the other stitches grow into long rolls. What am I thinking wrong here?

Only the first stitch is slipped. The last stitch is knit, so each edge is being worked every other row. :wink: