Making non-crappy projects

Hey everyone. This is sort of posting asking for help/tips, and also sort of just venting.

Everything that I’ve made in knitting, it ended up being a little bit crappy. Some of them are only very slightly crappy, like a sock with a little hole where I joined the heel flap to the inset, some are very very crappy, like with oddly shaped cables or uneven seams or just stuff like that. Most recently, I tried to make a sweater and I just can’t even do it. My gauge changes dramatically throughout the entire piece, so I’m just going to wait awhile to tackle a sweater.
I just, I don’t know. I’m knitting all the time. I love to do it, and I try to pick out cool projects that are okay for my skill level. Just everything always turns out with some big mistakes that make me so unhappy. I want to love my handknits because they’re nice, not just because I make them.

It may be partly because nearly every new project I do is learning one, or usually several, new techniques. My first project was an Irish Hiking Scarf, and I’m pretty certain I could make one of those without many problems. But what about the convertible mittens I’m trying to make right now? CRAPOLA. Seriously. There is a huge hole where I picked up the thumb gusset stitches, and the last stitch before the bind off on each finger is taller or something. And trust me, those are not personal touches. They’re just mistakes. lol I don’t even want to keep working on it because I’m so disappointed.

So I’m going to take some knitting classes at the LYS while I’m at home. But I want to work on a project that will help me just perfect some basics, work on finishing techniques, and just overall learn not how to make crappy projects.
Did you guys ever feel this way? What did you do?

that’s a lie.
that bag you made was beautiful!
none of mine have come out like that.

I let the yarn rest in the closet, talk to it every couple days to see how it’s doing, and then when the time is right take it apart, wash it, and start over.

[SIZE=1](of course, I threw out a couple really awful things too. but those were felted, so they were pretty much beyond hope.)[/SIZE]

Honey–all the places that you say you’ve done crappily are the places that we all do crappily when doing them for the first time!

Since you’ve had success with gauge (I assume) in the past, maybe it’s this particular yarn and needle size that’s causing you to be uneven. Maybe tighter knitting is better for you. I know it is for me.:shrug:

Hang in there! You’ve only been knitting for a few months. It took me 40+ years to make a sock.:rofling:

You are so not alone! I have been knitting for about 2 yrs now, and still don’t feel confident enough to give someone a knitted gift. Oh, a felted bag that miracuously turned out ok, a pair of worsted weight socks that are only great because they were made with cashmere yarn and a few garter stitch scarves. That’s it. In 2 years of knitting nothing else has been given to anyone. Because I feel like it’s all CRAPOLA. I too am working on a sweater, which should be easy, but hmmm… turning out to look like CRAPOLA. irish hiking scarf, while ok, still crap. socks, crap.
I do have a theory though. I love to do new things. I try a sock. it looks like crap. i try a different sock. it looks like crap. i do cables. crap. i do a sweater. crap. MAYBE if I decided to stick to learning the one thing after a while it would get better? I’ve done tons of scarves, and while only have given away the garter stitch ones, I am, IMHO, getting better. So MAYBE, try one thing a bunch of times. Every time getting better???
And besides, if you love doing something as much as we love knitting, who cares if the product is crap? Give it to your mom, she’ll love it anyway:roflhard:


Look, even the most experienced of us went through the exact same thing you’re going through. I would be the very first to tell you it took me about 4 years to get to the stage I’m at now, and I’m sure it’s like that with the rest of us.

Ingrid’s right, all our “firsts” were probably done crappily, I know mine were. You’ve already done socks, and I still haven’t made a glove or mitten! You could probably tackle those no problem!

What I’m trying to say is–Don’t give up! Carry on and knit the sweater, even with the gauge problems, at least when it’s finished you can say you’ve made a sweater, and then the next one, you’ll have the basic concept down and will be able to whiz through it. If you still don’t feel up to it right now, hold off and stick to small things for a while, the sweater will come. Just hang in there!

I echo Ingrid’s comments. Also, I remember that beautiful fake-isle hat you made, that was so very pretty and looked really cute on you too. :hug:

Just so you all can see the source of today’s frustration, and the ultimate realization that all my knitting is sub-mediocre:

A slight-too-large Broad Street Mitten, without the mitten shell as I cannot figure out how to pick up stitches over the knuckle:

And a close-up of the offending thumb-hole:

May I suggest one of those thick thin yarns and making a pattern that calls for variation because it uses the yarn with the thickness variations.

I have seen some fantastic looking shawls up here. We now live next to a very large university. Anyhow, the shawls are knit on larger needles, and the thick then thin yarn makes the stitches really “pop.”

The shawls are worn all sorts of ways. I love them and am thinking of knitting one some time. Right now I have too many projects planned. So that will wait.

But something like that would likely satisfy you! Your tendencies would blend in and enhance the project. And the rhythmic knitting will help you master your tension. I know I really “got” my tension knitting my mother a massive poncho. It took forever, was in the round, but by the end I had a consistant tension.

Think of it this way - Do you think non-knitters are going to notice? Absolutely not!! They are going to marvel at the fact that you knit it. And they should marvel - those gloves are great!

That hole you want to point out is an indication of it’s one-of-a-kindedness. It’s the yarn breathing. An airhole in case your hand gets too warm. That’s how I explain my crappiness away. Either that or I blame the yarn - you know, right yarn, wrong project. Or I frog back like 50 odd times in my more perfectionistic days.

And if it still doesn’t work, put the yarn aside and ask it what it wants to be. I have some lovely alpaca that still hasn’t given me an answer. :tap:

Keep at it Rachel!

That to me is a product of the technique required for that step.
After 40 years knitting I still get those sorts of holes in those sorts of places. Sock heals, necks shaping on jumpers, etc (products of shaping, not dropped stitches) I often will go over a finished piece while sewing up and include those wee holes in the sewing up process. i.e. I sew them shut.
:rollseyes: :shock::fingerwag: Hey, Works for me, and nobody ever knows it was there.
Except you. :lol:

Picking up stitches on the back of the glove?

Put your needle in the stitches as you would for picking up a destination row–through one leg of each stitch.

I love the suggestion of putting the yarn away and asking what it wants to be! my sock yarn in the middle of a sock no longer wanted to be a sock… so I put it away and made it think about what it was doing. It eventually wanted to be frogged and rewound. Still not a sock as it hasn’t said it’s ready yet:roflhard:

Thongs like this have cheats/fixes and other people’s look good often not because they didn’t get those results at first but because they know how to fix it! So some people pick up one or two extra stitches on gussets of thumbs or socks and decrease them away on later rounds, or use the tail to close the hole when you weave in the tail. There’s a fix for most things!

Rachel, you are making these things while learning! You can’t expect to do everything right the first time! Besides, whenever I see something you make I envy you. I have been knitting for a couple years and have yet taken on the challenge to tackle the projects and new skills like you have. You are a great knitter!!! :smiley:

keep at it rachel! i love the idea of taking a class at your LYS. heck, i didn’t even take a class. i just walked in with my knitting and asked for help. (my stockinette has a distinct pattern ‘look’ about it. they gave me great advice.)

[B][FONT=“Comic Sans MS”][SIZE=“4”][COLOR=“Blue”]First of all, redheaded rachel…you are just being way too hard on yourself! You have tackled alot for being a new knitter…I just started last October. I love that felted bag you knit with the music notes…THAT WAS AWESOME!

I understand your frustration…I tend to want to do everything perfectly. One thing that has been great for me, is having my friend to help me with my knitting…the gal that taught me to knit. Maybe someone at your LYS could take a look at your gloves or sweater and make some suggestions and help you.

Everytime I get on this Board, you’re tackling something new and I think that’s awesome! I would love to make that bag for my sister…she was a music major!

My friend always says to me…just take a deep breath!

I have made that Mason Dixon Washcloth and have had twisted stitches 3 times and had to frog the things…talk about wanting to pitch it out the window…LOL! But we will persevere…maybe try a project that you would really like to do and see if that helps…don’t you give up…you’ve done so well…love reading your posts!

Everytime I see your picture, I think about my grand daughter, Kira…she’s got red hair too!

Have a great week![/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][/B]

I’m one of those who think everything they knit is crappy. I could get a million wonderful comments (thank you ladies and gents) and [B]I’D[/B] still find something wrong with it. I still have small holes in my gussets and I’ve finally decided that no one is going to yank off my shoes and start laughing at my socks.

Hang in there and just keep knitting. Nothing and no one is perfect.

You suffer from my syndrome…you see one little oddity (let’s not call it a flaw) and it suddenly is bigger and nastier than the local sewage treatment works and growls like a wolf grin

Now, that hole is fixable with a neat bit of darning. But before you darn it…darn it gal!.. :slight_smile: take it to someone or ask something here would they identify what may have led to the issue so you can try and rectify next time round. Then darn it darn it!

You have identified aspects of the issue - that you keep taking the bar up and that WILL lead to issues. As you can see from responses, you are not along. I have never made a sock!

For what it’s worth, I think you may like to know how inspiring you have been in continually showing your willingness to take on new challenges. If you allow little wee problematics to ruin your sense of humour and patience and understanding of SELF (you know you have been really supportive of others so turn it around and slap a hug on yourself for a change) then knitting isn’t so much fun after all…and we KNOW it is fun.

:slight_smile: I’m coming to you FIRST when I eventually try and make a sock by the way so no telling ME I have made a terrible mistake larger than global warming as I will cry so loud you’ll hear me from there. :slight_smile: