FAQ...Mysterious extra stitches? Look Here!


Hi, I think sometimes the reason for extra stitches is that you may be purling with your yarn in the back I know that has happend to me before. Don’t give up, you will get there. Libby


Thanks for this post…it has been driving me crazy to try and figure out what I was doing wrong. Now I am going to bring my piece with me in front of the laptop and finish a row and begin a new one to see which of these problems I am doing! I noticed in one of the video examples where the knitter said she doesn’t like to “work” the first stitch on the new row, so I have tried that and seem to be keeping the added stitches to a minimum.
Thanks again for the expert advice!
Merry Christmas


The thing about the first st is that if the loose yarn goes up over the top of the needle, it can pull up the stitch and make it look like two. If you hold the yarn out to the side a bit, you can see that it’s only one stitch.


I see I’m not alone in this problem. I’m not sure yet what I’m doing or if I understand your explanations, but I’ll definitely go slower and pay closer attention now and maybe I can figure it out.



i am am 12 yrs. old and a begginer… i am knitting what is soppose to be a scarf… lol and i am gainging SO MANY STICHES!!! i started with 10 and now have around 30 … lol:P it looks like a half circle…aha so i am going to try to do the yarn thingy and mabey thats my problem mabey i have the yarn in front…? i hoope. if not im hopeless


When I first started knitting, the more rows I knitted the more stitches I had. I found out that I was picking the stitch from behind the little knot(the little knot that I say is like a loop that forms the stitch) that holds the stitch on the needle. As you knit onto the right needle is not going to feel right and if you look at it, it’ll look as a split stitch coming from one little knot (it looks like a V from the knot). Even now that I’ve been knitting for a while, if I’m not paying attention and not looking I can make the same mistake. But, something doesn’t feel right as I place the new stitch on the right needle, so I look at it and can see that the stitch is divided like a V from the same knot. If this happens, just pick up the original stitch and put it back on the left needle and re-knit it [B]being careful to put your needle through the [U]front[/U] of the stitch [/B]and not behind this little knot. If you miss your double stitches in a row start decreasing the very next row by knitting 2 together. …at least until you get more proficient at it.


I was wondering where these stitches came from! Now I actually pay attention and try not to get too relaxed. :slight_smile:


:woohoo: Thank you Brenda!
I am a VERY new knitter and I think that your advice has helped me figure out what I have done wrong…I HOPE! Many thanks.


i have been knitting again for about 1 month and have started the elongated scarf project that is featured on this site. i started out with 28 st but ended up with 35 … i doubled up the stitches and am back down to 29. i think in my case it was “mistaken identity” or splitting a stitch on accident.

So the scarf will be funky … it’s my first project and this thread has helped me CONSIDERABLY to recognize more then 1 thing i was doing a bit hap-hazard :knitting:


I am a new knitter making a ribbed scarf. The post before said to double-up stitches? Is this the way I can get rid of my extras? If I have to start this scarf over again, I may cry!


Look in the Decreases Videos for how to k2tog (knit 2 stitches together). See if that helps.


Oh that is so funny and yet confussing to you.

What you doing is you think you’ve knitted or purled that stitch and yet you haven’t knitted it properly. So thats expands the stitches when you work the rows.


All that you have to do is take your time and you should get it right. Eventually!


I am very new in knitting. Glad to found this topic because i have the same problem too.



I’ve only started knitting a few days ago and I was finding that I’d start off with 21 stitches and I’d end up with 27 or so. I’d switch the needle to my left hand and the first stitch would have this big loop, even when I pulled the yarn. Silly me tried to wrap the yarn around the left needle once to tighten the loop and that’s how I ended up with extra stitches. After I stopped wrapping the yarn and started slipping the first stitch instead, it was no longer a problem.

Now my problem is that I’m easily distracted and it seems something always wants my attention whether it’s my cat or my parents, so sometimes I’ll slip up in the middle of a row and can’t figure out what I did wrong and when I count both sides, there’s an extra stitch on one of them. I was wondering if there was a way to stitch backwards or reverse until you get to the mistake, but it’s looking like I’d just knit or purl 2 together?

sorry if that doesn’t make any sense. I confuse myself sometimes


If you know where the mistake is, one technique you can use is to purposefully drop a stitch above it, let it ‘ladder’ down to the mistake, and then pick up the stitches that are supposed to be there with a crochet hook. The other way is to undo your work - either by undoing one stitch at a time (which is good if the mistake was in the same row) or taking the needles out and just pulling the wool out quickly (i call this ‘shredding’) until you get to the mistake and then picking up the stiches again (if its a long way down, this is rather depressing)

The best advice I can give a beginner is to learn how to ‘read’ you work. Make common mistakes on purpose and then see how they look in your work. Some of those common “mistakes” end up being advanced stitch techniques.

And lastly: patience. We all had to start from somewhere, and i think we all went through the ‘growing work’ stage. And please be reassured, I’ve been knitting for nearly 35 years, and I still pick up the odd stray stitch from time to time - it just takes a moment of inattention and there it is. Its fairly easy to fix if you are doing garter or stocking stitch in plain 8-ply, not so easy when its an intricate lace pattern with the sort of yarn that is so fuzzy that its designed to felt to itself :slight_smile:

Just keep practicing, it will come.


This thread is so great! Its the reason I joined this forum.

I’ve been doing incomplete stitches, yarn splits, dropped stitches, you name it.

Now I’m going to slow down and pay more attention to the stitches as I knit them.

I just get a bit frustrated at times that I can’t fix things easily so I usually frog the whole thing and start over.


I’m just learning too and was constantly dropping or adding a stitch. A friend gave me dividers. So, for example, my current pattern has 10 stitches for each new repeat section. Now if I don’t have 10 stitches when the next divider comes up, I’ve can tell which section my problem is without going crazy trying to analyze the whole line.


Yep, markers can help keep your pattern (and your mind) straight.


I find it funny, but this was my BIGGEST issue as a new knitter. I didn’t realize that when you didn’t move the yarn to the right side that you were in essence doing an accidental yo. It took me forever, and a lot of frustration before I figured out why it wasn’t working. And over and over again there would be that extra stitch. And every time I’d say the same thing, “Where the hell did you come from?”