I am what you might call a newbie or virgin knitter (I first picked up a pair of needles a few days ago). I was taught the basics and have a pretty good idea of how everything works thus far but the bane of my infantile knitting existence is those darn first and last stitches in each row. I know that I will improve with time but I honestly feel as though I am missing something or perhaps was taught incorrectly when it comes to the first and last stitch in a row. I’ve searched the internet for instructional videos and perused a few ‘how-to’ knitting books but no one seems to even mention the first and last stitch. This blows my mind.
Anyway, from what I can gather I am using the knit stitch with the continental method (I am right-handed as well). But even with such seemingly specific information I have had a rough time finding any answers so I will try to outline my queries here in the hopes that someone may be able to help.
After casting on and before beginning my first row of stitches I am sort of confused how to go about creating the first stitch. I was told that I am to go ‘behind’ the first stitch with my needle to pick of the yarn but as I alluded to earlier every video I have seen shows the needle going in from ‘the front’ to grasp the yarn.
This leads me to question two:
I was told that I am using a ‘combined method.’ I’ve done a few searches and the only ‘combined methods’ i can find are a combination of the knit and pearl stitches and I know for certain that I am not using a pearl stitch (frankly, i don’t think I could even comprehend that yet … aha). Is there another sort of combined method which I may be using that the internet videos do not show? I think I am knitting a pretty basic (if not the most basic) pattern here so I am a bit confused.
When coming to the last stitch in every row (although I will speak specifically of the first for the moment) I am again seeing a few different methods of finishing the row. The method I was taught was that I bring the yarn (which is still being held continentally) to the front of the needle in my left hand and then merely slip the last stitch onto the needle in my right hand. But in every video I have seen, the knitter knits the last stitch in the same manner that she does every other in the row: With the Yarn staying behind the needle and entering the stitch via ‘the front’ in order to grasp the yarn to pull through.
This leads to question four:
It doesn’t matter which of the two methods mentioned in question three I use, the last stitch is always twice as loose (at least) as every other stitch. Why is this and how can I potentially tighten this stitch? Could it be that I am making the rest of my stitches in the row too tight (this is something I think i can be guilty of)? When I consciously try to keep the stitches loose the knitting looks horrible (Stitches which are far too loose). But even keeping my stitches loose does not seem to alleviate the very loose stitch as the end of the row (and thus the beginning of the next row).
I know this may seem like a long sting of questions but I have a feeling the answer is going to relatively simple in comparison to my analytical line of questioning.
So if any can or is willing to help it would be greatly appreciated. I have started and re-started this same project (a scarf as you would expect … aha) about 20 times in the past week due almost entirely to these darn first and last stitches. I am presently at a stalemate with the project as my yarn is cast-on but laying in wait for me to figure out this problem.
Thanks in advance for anyone who may step forward to help this mule of a man (boy).