New to this and not doing well

Hi all,

I usually try to lurk a bit on message boards, but I am truly stumped about something and am hoping someone will be able to help.

I just started trying to learn to knit by watching the videos on this site. As they recommended, I started with a long tail cast on and the continental method of knitting. I swear I have watched those videos 20 times each, and my knitting looks nothing like hers.

I can’t go from cast on to the first row of knitting. When I get to the part where I would start the actual knitting, I see that my cast on doesn’t look the same as hers. The stitches look like they are crossed over each other instead of being parallel to each other like they are in the video. I can’t tell where the stitch I am supposed to be knitting is, and the knitted stitches just look like a jumbled knot of mess.

I think part of the problem may be my supplies. I bought stuff before I really knew what I was doing. I have pretty thick yarn and metal needles. It’s also multicolored. I can see now where I probably should have started with thinner, one color yarn and wooden (or something else) needles. But that still doesn’t explain the weird crossing over in the cast on.

Any thoughts on what I might be doing wrong? Any suggestions? I feel a little dumb right now, honestly.

Hi, welcome to knitting and to Knitting Help. You say you have pretty thick yarn so I’m wondering if your needles are an appropriate size for your yarn. What size are they?

Can you post a picture? That might help figure out the problem you’re having. If the long tail cast on isn’t working for you, you might try the knitting on. You say you’re working Continental, which is fine, but it’s neither better nor worse than English. I knit Continental and it works well for me but don’t be afraid to try English, you just might like it better.

I understand your saying you feel a little dumb, but really, there’s no need to. Few people can do much with needles and yarn the first time they pick them up. We each have our own learning curve.

Welcome to Knitting Help!

You could just try another cast on for a bit. I prefer long tail, but I started with the knitted cast on. I knit english because it was easier for me when I was learning. I can now knit continental as well, but english is my go to method. Do what works for you. One is not better than another regardless of what you’ve been told before.

We usually do suggest a worsted weight (medium #4), light, solid colored yarn and needles of about 8 or 9. The needle material isn’t really important if you aren’t having trouble with them being too slippery. If they are then bamboo/wood might be better to learn on.

I’m trying to think how you might be doing the cast on to get a crossed stitch look… Not sure, but maybe try another one for now?

Thank you for your replies. I took a few pics on my phone, but they’re awful. I’ll take some more and post them in the morning when I have some light.

To answer a few questions, I bought the size needles that the label said to use on the yarn. It does seem like when I actually do make it work for a stitch or two and start to get excited, it slips off. I will try a different cast on and see if that helps, too.

Yes, try the knitted CO and if you go to the Tips page there’s a video called Demo of a Small Project that shows how to cast on, work a few rows then bind off so you get an idea how to put all the steps together. I find the needles on the yarn label might be a little small for learning to knit as a lot of new knitters have pretty tight tension and it may be hard for them to get the needle into a stitch. So just try to relax, work with about 10 sts at first and don’t pull tight on the yarn - looser stitches are easier to knit into, but they don’t fall off as easily as you might think. Hang in there, you’ll get it.

Yes, if you’re even getting a few stitches to work that’s progress. There are many ways of doing all the steps in knitting so don’t feel it has to be one way or the other. Everything is not going to be perfect, so just keep going until the few correct stitches become the many.

I just started knitting too and I had this problem when I was trying to practice the purl stitch. I figured out what I was doing wrong by watching this website’s video, but it is hard to explain how to fix it. When I was doing the purl, I looped it through the already made stitch, looped the working yard and when I moved it to the back of the needle in my right hand, I was “grabbing too much of the yarn/stitches on the left handed needle” before I slipped it off the end of the left needle. I don’t know if that makes any sense to you, but I think that is the problem you might be having based on your description. To fix it I had to just push my right handed needle straight back without picking up any extra yarn.

[B][I]SOMETIMES[/I][/B]…it pays to watch two or three teaching videos.
I always have to watch [B]different teachers for different techniques! [/B]
Yes, even me! Right down to this very day! :wink:






Of course, YouTube has many more basic knitting videos.

Knitting at Knoon Designs has free HOW TO videos that I’ve personally found very helpful.
Click here.

Because the needles are metal, the stitches may slip off. Or that’s what I’ve noticed while knitting with metal needles. Bamboo or wood “catches”–or so to speak–the yarn while knitting. That’s pretty much the difference with them and bamboo or wood.

Really, it takes practice. Look at other vids on the web if one doesn’t help. Try different cast on methods, too. And most of all, don’t give up. :slight_smile: