alright i’m getting really frustrated right now. I have practiced and gotten the knit and purl stitches down pat, but as soon as i try to do a pattern with a combination of things i make a million mistakes and i cant figure out why. First i tried to do a pretty dishcloth the i frogged about ten times before i gave up (i never got more then two inches through it ) and then i tried to do a coaster that i frogged about five times before i gave up. i didn’t think i was choosing patterns that were too complicated so i don’t understand what my problem is. I want to tackle something with more then just plain knitting. ugh, thanks for letting me vent
How long have you been knitting? How much of knit and purl did you actually do? What dishcloth pattern were you trying to do? It helps a lot to keep track of your rows. You may have to go very slowly at first so you don’t make a mistake. But if you do just keep at it.
The best advice anyone can give really is to just practice.
Princess, I have to second what Jan wrote. After crocheting for years, it was very hard to switch to knitting. It took a lot of practice, and I’m still making dumb errors. And when you get frustrated, put it down, go away for awhile, then come back to it. You’ll get there.
Are you trying to do anything else at the same time?
(like watching television or talking to someone)
When I was first knitting knit/purl combination stitches, I had to turn off EVERYTHING, and really concentrate on what I was doing. After a while, I was able to do it easier, and was able to multi-task again.
I still sometimes have to go into “the zone” when I’m doing lace knitting. I’ll go into my craft room, close the door, and turn off my cellphone if it’s a really complicated pattern. :teehee:
Practice makes perfect! Just keep on trying. Try a dishcloth that is only the knit stitch. Here is the one I learned on:
CO 4 stitches. K one row. Next and every row to 26 rows; K2, YO, K to end. Row 27: K1, K2tog, YO, K2tog, K to end. Repeat Row 27 until you have 4 stitches on the needle again. K one row. BO.
This is so easy and you get something useful from it.
Also, I always keep a little pad and pen with me when I am knitting. I write down the rows I have to knit (ie. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 etc.). When I am finished knitting the row, I cross it off the list. This way you will always know where you are. You can pick up your knitting at any time and know exactly what row you should be knitting. TIP: when not in use, keep the pad and pen in a ziplock bag in case the pen bursts, you don’t want ink all over your pretty knitting and ziplock bags prevent that from happening. I also keep my knitting project (when I am not working on it) in a large ziplock bag so it is protected from any “accidents”.
Good luck and don’t give up, YOU WILL GET IT, sometimes it just takes time and practice!
They say we learn from our mistakes, but sometimes I make mistakes that I cannot even figure out how I did them!
I’ve only been knitting a couple of months now, and I still make a lot of mistakes. Take your time, start simple, and focus. And, if you have a yarn shop nearby, take your errors to them and they’ll usually happily fix them. I’ve made many trips to mine with my boo-boos.
It IS frustrating. I crocheted for years and that was so much easier, but I just love knitting. Even if I do stink at it, I am getting better. (Very, very, very slowly!)
Hang in there!
I think we’ve all been there - and still go there from time to time regardless of how long we’ve been knitting. I, too, learned to crochet as a little thing. I struggled with knitting for a long time. But it was something I wanted to do so I stuck with it. I made LOTS of scarves and dishcloths to practice before I got brave enough to go on to other things … and still have a long way to go! There’s always something new and exciting for me to try. I tend to learn something (or do a new technique) with just about every project I do.
I remember when I first started knitting my mom had me do 4" swatches of just knit or just purl. I’m not that mean to my students. I will generally teach them by doing a garter stitch (all knit) scarf. I do this so that they get the rhythm and flow of knitting. Then I teach them how to do a flat rolled brim hat (seamed up the back) using stockinette stitch (knit on the front, purl on the back) Again so they get the flow of the two and learn how to correct mistakes (which comes with learning any new artform). THEN I help them find something a bit more difficult. If you are trying to learn knit and purl by doing somethig a bit complicated or with lots of changes between the two, I would recommend backing off and mastering knit and purl even if all you are doing is making insanely long scarves or swatches using inexpensive yarn.
Princess you sound exactly like me when I first started. I was so frustrated I was ready to give up. But I just kept at it and kept practicing until it finally started coming together for me.
As Jan wisely said, practice.
One big mistake I was making was when switching from a knit to a purl or visa versa I was forgetting to move the yarn from back to front or visa versa. Pay close attention to that.
Just keep practicing.
Read my sig.
Hang in there…like other have said it takes practice…if you get to frustrated walk away for a bit…
I second what Mason said. Check to see if you are remembering to bring your yarn to the right side of the knitting before you make your next stitch.
If you are looking at a very “holey” finished product/knitting that is most likely what’s going on.
I too… still do that on occasion. Mostly when I’m trying to knit up something quick like!
It might be less frustrating if you don’t keep starting over. Really. Just cast on some stitches with the idea of practicing, not making anything. If you goof, keep going but try to figure out what went wrong. Knit every st on every row for a few inches, then knit a row and purl a row. After a bit of practice it gets easier; you have to train your hands as well as your head when you’re learning a new thing.
the thing i do is photocopy the pattern i’m working on (or print off a copy… i save my favorite patterns in PDF format on my computer) and then use a highlighter once i’ve completed a row.
if it’s a pattern that has different sizes, i write the name of the person that the item is intended for on the top of the first page and then go through and circle the numbers for the size i need in a bright colored pen (red, pink, green, etc) and i STILL highlight once i’ve made it through one of the rows or one section of the pattern.
oh, one more thing…
if you’re switching between knit and purl in the middle of the row, say you’re going from knit to purl… after you complete the knit stitch, bring the yarn forward THROUGH the space in your needles so that it comes forward between the stitches, purl, then continue on. I picked that tip up watching Knitty Gritty on DIY Network
It’s just like anything else…practice makes perfect (or at least good enough to be satisfying!)
I spent forever just knitting up a ball of yarn…no particular pattern, just knitting. I’d count stitches every few rows and learned to decrease because I kept having mysteriously more stitches that I started with–so I finally figured out how that was happening.
Then I did a little project that had knits and purls. I have a bit lump in my stockinette stitch because I knitted two rows instead of keeping the knit/purl pattern. I gave that to my kids, who don’t care!
I made a hat on the wrong size needles and it fits a HUGE teddy bear.
Accidental yarnovers were a big problem for a while.
One thing that finally worked for me was to just finish something. So my little kid purse wasn’t right–it was finished…so I had a few holes in something…it was finished…so my hat was now Gargantua Hat…it was finished.
And now I’ve got enough under my belt that I can do a project right. Frogging isn’t as big a problem as it was because I understand better what it is I’m doing…how to make the mistakes and how to fix them.
One key, as others have said, is really paying attention to my work. K2P2 ribbing has me sitting there saying to myself “knit knit purl purl knit knit purl purl” till I’m really in the pattern. If people talk to me, I have to really look at my work before continuing.
So…it’s a matter of learning a bunch of stuff and taking things one step at a time. Do each step of your pattern and check it before moving on to the next. Go slowly and carefully.
And realize it’s all part of the learning process. If we look at it all as a process instead of a product, it becomes less frustrating—maybe the hat was big enough for the jolly green giant, but now I know how to make hats, and I’ve done four really nice looking ones in the last couple of months—it’s all about process and just enjoying what you’re doing. The nice finished products will come!
It will get better if you practice- I promise!! Knitting is just like learning anything the more you do of it the better you will become. you wouldn’t expect to pick up a Saxophone and play perfectly. It’s the same thing with knitting. Be patient with yourself!! You’ll get it!
I have to second the don’t frog idea. As a new knitter, you’re going to make mistakes. Now is also the best time to learn to live with those, because you’re never not going to make mistakes.
Find a quiet room somewhere and get a skein of something like RHSS knit your dishclothes until it clicks. I started on a sweater and knit the entire back and front of the sweater, realized somewhere on the front my gauge had changed and I wasn’t twisting stitches anymore. Then I frogged both panels and knit them again.
The point is, you have to just keep going until your body understands the movement, then you can look and figure out why the things that are wrong are wrong. Learning takes time.
Practice, practice, practice. I still have a couple of sweaters to tear apart and reknit because I didn’t know what I was doing in substituting yarns in a pattern and they don’t fit right or hang right, this is after a few years of just getting the hang of the stitches.
After 30 years it is still a learning process for me and I’m learning a lot just having been on KH for part of a year.
Hang in there and eventually there will be the AHA moment and you will be off and running.
When I did my first ribbing I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t ribbing then I figured out that I had to knit the purl’s and purl the knits on the next row.
I’ve only been knitting for around 4 years now and I’m still doing a lot of scarves. They are the best way to learn new stitches. Make them for yourself that way you aren’t as concerned about the mistakes. I learned to knit by taking a course at my local community college. Our first project was a scarf that was ribbed. We k2, p2 all the way through it. Remember the ribbing doesn’t really show until a couple of inches are done. I still use that pattern to make a nice traditional scarf.
I STILL have to go into a distraction free zone…sometimes if I’m just doing a combo of knit and purl stitches in the same row. I have to SLOWLY talk myself through it all even telling myself such things as, “Okay, now I need to purl 3 so bring my yarn forward and purl 1, purl 2, purl 3. Okay, now put yarn back to the back and k2tog and knit 1. Okay…” and, well… you get the idea. It is the only way I can keep track of what I’m doing. To each his own trick.