Gaining stitches when knitting stocking stitch

Hello there.
I’m a self-taught knitter and I’m having a continuing problem with stocking stitch, in that I keep gaining stitches as i knit. I can’t for the life of me work out what I am doing wrong. I’ve looked about to see if there were any tutorials that addressed the problem but no luck. Hopefully someone here can suggest where I might be going wrong, it’s so frustrating! Thank you so much for your time.
Melissa - homeschooling mama in Australia.

Welcome! There is a ‘sticky’ on this very subject, but it is quite long.

I think there are two main ways that you gain stitches in stockinette. One is that the stitch on the end may appear to be two stitches if the yarn is hanging on the wrong side as you start. Then, unwittingly, you’d knit each loop as a stitch.

The other is when you may not slide a stitch off the needle all the way on a previous row and knit it. If a stitch looks ‘off’ as you go to knit or purl it, take a second look to make sure that it is an actual stitch or just the previous row’s error.

Hope this helps.

you are right: you should not gain any stitches.
I assume you work flat pieces? or in the round?

With a flat piece: you work a knit in every stitch on your needle in the RS row. And a purl in every of those stitches in the WS row.

Problems that happen to knitters can be when starting a purl row:

When you put your yarn to the front and pull it up, you see 2 bars over the needle, not just one, where your 1st stitch was before. The reason is that you are pulling up your stitch from the row below and the 2 sides of that stitch lie over the needle. If you look carefully behind your needle: your lousy little coward of a stitch is hiding right there.
To fix this: pull yarn tight and down - backwards at the beginning of each row. THEN start knitting, without taking your eyes of that first stitch.

If this is your problem, you can identify it:

  1. you gain 1 stitch for every 2 rows of knitting.
  2. when looking at the RS of your fabric your right side looks ok and the left side has an ugly edge as well as a slanting side (about 45 degree)

If you have more than 1 stitch gain per 2 rows that can not so much be the (only) problem.
If you have less gain it COULD still be your problem, if you didn’t make the same mistake every time :wink:

Thank you ladies…I’ve got it all worked out now :slight_smile: Yes, it was the first stitch on every knit row that was causing the problem, I was somehow knitting in to the back of it and making two stitches where there should have been one. Looking forward to exploring these forums some more.

Melissa - homeschooling mama in Australia