New and Learning

Hi all,

I am new and just learning how to knit. I learned when I was little but stopped because I was a kid and something else attracted my attention. But now I want to start again, nearly twenty years later!

I’ve gotten the two needle cast on down to a fine science, but the garter stitch is just killing me. I must have watched ten different videos, and I swear I am following the instructions to the letter. I put my right needle in the front of the first stitch on the left needle. I throw the yarn counterclockwise around the right needle, push the loop through. I then have the loop on my right needle, with the stitch above the right needle.

This is where I’m doing something wrong, or I’m doing something wrong before hand but only realize it here. If I push the stitch off, I’m left with a loop between the two needles that pulls out. I don’t think I’m supposed to put the old loop on the new needle. At least, I don’t think that’s what I’m seeing in the videos. So, what step am I missing? It seems I should be able to pull the new loop through and push the old loop off. Is that right, and if it is, why do I have a loop instead of a stitch in the middle?

Anyway, thanks for the noob help. I’m sure this is incredibly basic and I’m bit of dope about it.

Which cast on are you doing? You said two needle, but there are several different cast ons some of which use two needles.

Garter stitch is just knit ever stitch on every row. You put your right needle into the loop on the front from the left to right, wrap the yarn, pull through and push the old loop off the needle leaving you one stitch on your right needle. Do it again…and again. If you are doing the stitch correctly don’t worry about how it looks. Just keep going and get the rhythm of knitting. Correct tension will come as you practice.

Did you watch the knit stitch video we have here? At the top of the page are videos - click on free videos/knit and choose the one that is appropriate.

There are also videos and still pictures at this site which might help, too.

Yes, you have to take the old stitch off the L needle, keep the new st on the R needle. You won’t have sts in the ‘middle’ they’re either on the L needle you haven’t knit yet on this row, or the new ones on the R needle. You can look at the Knit st videos here, and the ones at the site Jan linked to. Also look on the Tips page for Demo of a Small project which shows casting on, working a few rows in stockinette st, and binding off so you see what all the steps look like put together. Just keep working across the row making stitches. After a few rows your tension should tighten up. You might be using a thin yarn with very large needles which would also make loose stitches.

Knitted cast on. Slip knot, then knit.

I did watch the video here, and I swear I’m doing it right, but I end up with an open loop in the middle when I push the stitch off and nothing on my right needle. The loop I’ve pulled through doesn’t seem to actually make a stitch. I’m just left with the yarn as unattached as before I threw it. Does that make sense?

It sounds like you’re not pulling the stitch all the way through after you wrap the yarn on it. Check the link I gave you then so you can see still photos of what you are supposed to do. I gave you the main link because I don’t know if you are knitting english - working yarn in right hand OR continental - working yarn held in left hand.

Do you have the same problem when you are knitting on your cast on stitches? The process should be exactly the same, except instead of transferring the new stitch from the right to left needle, you will keep it on the right needle, and drop the stitch from the left needle.

step 1: insert right needle through the first stitch on the left needle (left to right; front to back)
Step 2: wrap yarn counter clockwise (bring yarn between needles under the left needle, then wrap it over the top of the right needle)
Step 3: pull the loop through the stitch, and push it back on the needle a bit so you don’t lose it.
Step 4: drop the stitch from the left needle. (it will now be underneath the new stitch).

You might be knitting between the 2 sts on the left needle instead of knitting [I]into[/I] the first stitch. And unlike when you did the CO, leave the new st on the R needle and drop the old st off the L needle.

English knitting.

I looked at the photographs and the videos, and I definitely have it right up to slipping the stitch off, when it all falls apart. What I have looks exactly like the photographs up until that last point. :shrug:

I feel so helpless and incompetent.

It’s hard for everyone when they start so don’t feel bad. Just wrap the yarn and pull it through the stitch the same way the needle went into it, then slide the old stitch off the needle. There WILL be some loopy areas below, but that is part of the cast on and your knitting. Here’s another video that does it really slowly and shows you how to do it. See if it helps.


Just keep trying. :hug:

Please don’t feel incompetent, everyone has trouble with something. If you could post a video or just a picture at the point where you slide the old st off, maybe that would help us pinpoint it.


Thank you so much! That was exactly what I was doing.

A change in yarn and needle size later, I’ve got it down! Gosh. I don’t know why that was so confusing. Seems none of the videos I watched got a clear view of that step.


Alright, off to see if I can do a 25 stitch row!