knitter ready to quit!

Hi there…I just need a little encouragement!! I just learned how to knit and I working on a small sweater (the lady at my knitting store recommended) and I keep messing up…ending up with more stitches than I cast on, or less or loops hanging on my ends…Did anyone here have any trouble learning???

Hi Chris!

We’re with you… knitting is HARD! Especially at first! It requires a great deal of coordination, significant mathmatic ability at times, and, hardest of all, patience!

How many times have we all had to unravel the work? …The sock I’m knitting this week has been partially unraveled three times already, and I just knit the same exact pair last week! :roll:

It gets easier. Not because you become perfect, but because you get used to having to unravel! LOL

Don’t give up! You’re definitely one of us now! :wink:


Don’t give up.

It is hard at first for all the reasons Amy said, but also because you don’t have the experience yet to “read” your work so you don’t know what loops should be where and what loops shouldn’t be anywhere.

This will come to you if you keep practising and if you study what is actually happening when you knit a stitch - all you are actually doing is pulling a loop of yarn through the stitch on the previous row, either from back to front for a knit stitch or front to back for a purl stitch. In straightforward stockinette ( knit 1 row, purl 1 row) or garter st( k all rows) if you have a loop that doesn’t come from a stitch on the previous row then it shouldn’t be there and you can drop it off the needle with no problems.

When you get onto fancier stitches and things that need shapes other than a rectangle you will start deliberately adding stitches probably using methods you have already used unintentionally to get your unwanted extra stitches!

Good Luck :smiley:

It happens to everyone. Even advanced knitters have days when everything seems to go wrong. Do you remember the first time you used a mouse on a computer? How about the first time you tried to ride a bike? There is a learning curve and it will take some time.
If you are really a beginner, I’d honestly suggest that you avoid starting with a project like a sweater. It’s not that I don’t think you can do it, it’s just that it takes so long to complete it that it can be too frustrating to stay with it.

Try starting with something like a hat. Smaller and faster than a scarf, hats can be completed in a week if you only knit a little or a couple days if you knit a lot. There are some really fun patterns that have little to no shaping and knit up super fast.

If I might shamelessly promote my own patterns, you might enjoy making this:
It’s simple, fast and cheap to make

As a note on keeping track of your stitches, try working a few rows where you count your stitches on every row. One common mistake that beginners make when working in Garter stitch is that they try to put their yarn in back when they start a new row. When you turn your work at the end of a garter stitch row, the yarn should start out hanging in FRONT of the work. If you wrap your yarn around the back you will make an extra stitch.

Hang in there and don’t lose hope.

Thanks for all the encouragement!! I am doing a little better…still not quite there with visualizing what happens at the end of a row…sigh, but Rome was not built in a day :smiley: And after all the imperfections make it personal…right???
And you should all be glad you never saw me ride a bike hee hee

Imperfections (although probably slight ones, preferably) are indeed part of anything that’s hand crafted.

I have days when I really want to throw my knitting across the room because come what may, it just won’t work out the way I want it. But instead I put it aside for a bit, do something else and then come back to it with a fresh mind and nimble fingers. Eventually, it works out.

Keep with it. You won’t regret it.


When i teach people to knit [and when I first leanrt] the first thing to do is find out what to do when things go wrong - because it really helps to prevent getting disheartened and stuck. So i recommend looking up online, or in a book, tecniques for dropped stitche, unravelling, repairing bits and so on. If you’re equipped with how to fix a problem you won’t have to start over from scratch every time.

Also, as a beginner, it can be handy to count your stitches at the end of every row to make sure you’re not doing something that in increasing or decreasing by mistake. Having said that, I have made lots of things where I have lost a stitch somewhere and I’m not sure how, and it hasn’t caused a ladder, so no harm done I reckon.
Finally, I like knitting while watching tv, but sometimes I have to turn the sound off or pause it so i can concentrate - tv can ruin patterns!


Im just starting out too and had the same problem with ending up with more loops than i cast on, i learnt from people here i was probably picking up stitches… Sooo eventually i gave in an pulled it all apart and started over yesterday, It’s currently free of mistakes! Just take it reallllly slowly and look really carefully at where the needle is going (I’ve been checking i haven’t gained a loop each row too, so if there’s a mistake it’ll be easier to undo)

Good luck! and keep trying :slight_smile:

hang in there Chris. It’ll get better. When I first started knitting ALL of my stitches where twisted and I didn’t know it so it was REALLY hard for me to knit with any speed. Just keep at it, things will work themselves out

You’ll get there, Chris. I still get frustrated at times, but as I’ve learned to read my knitting, it’s become easier. As Ingrid says, “Trust the pattern!.” You might also want to watch the excellent videos that Sheldon and Amy have made available to us here at KH.

Knitting is always frustrating in the beginning. Really. No one just picks up the needles and “gets it”…it’s a challenge, which is part of the joy of knitting.

And everything you learn will be a challenge…but worth it! Just realize that you have permission to “mess up”…and don’t expect that everything you make will be perfect.

I am of the artsy-fartsy variety, and I think that perfect is boring.

Hang in there…it gets really good soon.

When I first started knitting, I watched the videos on this site (AWESOME) and asked my LYS saleslady to help me one afternoon. The saleslady at the LYS told me to knit up this really easy shrug. Well, watching the videos and listening to her, I thought I could. ARGH! My friend (expert knitter and crocheter) then told me to focus on knitting squares or rectangles. She gave me a book called, Kids Can Knit. It is full of projects for kids (easier projects). I knit up a scarf and a belt. I knitted oodles of different washcloths/dishcloths to help me practice switching between knitting and purling. It really helped. The only thing that has really hindered me is that I haven’t had time to practice like I should have. I learned almost 2 years ago but haven’t knitted consistently and am therefore at a beginner+ level {STILL}. Do yourself a favor and practice a bit every day. It will help to have that continuity. I would put my knitting down for months at a time (lack of time in my horrible schedule) and then it was like I was re-learning each and every time I picked up the needles. So, my New Year’s Resolution is to knit at least 3 days a week at night so that I can begin to grow as a knitter. I DON’T want to knit rectangles for the rest of my life!!

Be patient with yourself. Come here often for advice and the videos. And last but not least, PRACTICE!! Good luck. It really is alot of fun, very gratifying, and ultimately relaxing. :slight_smile:

Yarn kitten, I would, for the most part, agree with knitpurlgurl and some others here. I just learned to knit in November 2007 after decades of periodic crocheting and several failed knitting attempts over those years. I had never managed to get past the casting-on stage before, but I got really stubborn this time and just kept trying till I got it. I knitted a lot of sample, practice squares in several different kinds of cheap yarn (Caron Simply Soft, Lily Sugar N Cream, etc.). Even if it was only 15-20 minutes, I made time to knit every night after work and dinner, and as much time as possible on the weekends. After getting comfy on a swatches and a couple of dishcloths, I ventured into scarves and made two garter stitch, then two in basket weave, then I cabled one. Next, I did hats knitted flat (Lion Brand has a great, easy pattern for a flat-knitted watch cap in chunky yarn), and did three of those. Finally, in mid-January, I started my first (baby) sweater, and it was so easy after all that practice on other stuff!

So, as one newbie to another, my advice is similar to KPG’s - knit every day, even if it’s only for a few minutes, and start with easy shapes (squares, rectangles, etc.) and less expensive yarn. If the skein costs $2.49 for 300 yds, you get a lot less frustrated when you have to start over than you do over a 100 yd skein that cost $11+.

Good luck and keep trying, we know you can do this!

starting out is definitely not easy for everyone. Did anyone notice that we’re answering to a guy who had the trouble about 3+ years ago :teehee:? We’re so supportive :hug:

Hang in there - nothing is easy when you first start learning - it takes time and practice… oh and lots of patience. But in my opinion, it is worth it in the long run - for me it is so much fun. Sometimes, when I finish a project, I look at it and say - wow, I made that with some yarn and 2 sticks!!!

This weekend I took a Bead crochet class… it was so hard - we were all a little shell shcoked when the class was over but again, I know with practice it will get better and easier…
Good luck, and please do not give up… we are all here to help you!

Hi Chris,

I’m in the same boat as you. I just started learning how to knit and I’m just about ready to throw in the towel. :frowning: Everyone keeps telling me to practice, practice, practice… it just gets frustrating when you make the same mistake over and over again and have no idea how you’re making it. Hang in there. I’m trying to.