Question from a Newbie

Hi Everyone!

I just took up knitting over the holidays. All the women in my family are crafty, and when I found out I was going to be an auntie this spring, I knew right away that I wanted to eventually make a blanket for my future niece or nephew.

Anyways, to my question… I’ve grasped the basics of casting on, knitting, purling and casting off quite easily. I’m a little puzzled however, as one side of whatever I seem to attempt to knit ends up on a huge angle, getting wider and wider with every row. The other side, however, is perfectly straight and neatly knitted.

Can someone tell me what I’m doing wrong?

Thanks so much!


Could you be inadvertently adding a stitch on one side? Forgetting to move the yarn back is a common problem for new knitters when purling and knitting in the same piece. :think:

I think that’s probably what I’m doing but I have no idea what it is I’m doing wrong. I think I am adding a stitch every time I do a row of knits.

I would watch the first stitch of your row. That first st can be treacherous, since it’s slightly loose, and the loop from the previous stitch can kind of ride up and make you think it’s a separate stitch.

There’s a sticky thread at the top of the “How-To Questions” section, about those increasing stitches you might want to check out.

Yeah, I think you’re somehow adding stitches. The easiest way to figure out what you’re doing wrong is to sit next to somehow who knits and let them see what you’re doing. If that isn’t possible, watching the videos is the next best thing. Good luck! It just takes a little practice to get “it.”

To explain it in newbie terms (I am very new too)

For a knit stitch, the yarn has to be coming out the back, UNDER (between) the needles, and over the work. For a purl stitch, the yarn has to be coming out the front, under the needles, over the work. If you’re at the end of the row, just make sure you’re not looping the yarn over your needle. If you’re making a knit stitch then a purl stitch, move the yarn from back to front between the needles. You are NOT dropping a stitch that way, although it may feel that way.

I remember, I taught myself, and that was something I wondered about. I guessed right, but it confused me to start with.

You’re probably knitting the first stitch as 2 instead of 1. When you start the row, hold the yarn out to the side instead of over the top of the needle. The end stitch may be a little loose but you should see just the one stitch there to knit into.

I know this because I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt! lol I think it was on my purl stitches where my working yarn, while in the right place, had wrapped around the right needle as I was bringing it into place. It was a matter of where my right needle was when I was bringing the yarn forward or backward. What I did was to count my stitches after every row and if I had an extra one (or two or three, ha ha), it was pretty easy to tell where it was because it wasn’t a real stitch, more like a yarn over. Now I’m looking for it and if I happen to do it, I can see that extra wrap around the needle before I make the stitch.

Thanks for much for the help everyone! I think I sorta maybe figured out what I’m doing wrong, but a friend and I are going to a drop-in knitting circle after the weekend, so hopefully someone will be able to point out my error.

Like suzeeq said, I think I’m knitting the first stitch as two separate ones instead of one…

I remember one night when I 1st started knitting and purling. I was adding those extra sts and I must have sat up in front of my laptop for an hour trying to figure out what was going on. I went to bed that night very frustrated. I finally went to my instructor and she had me complete a row. She pointed it right out to me. Boy, did I feel like a heel. I then paid very close attention to my knitting.

My daughter (7 yrs old) still does it and it upsets her tremendiously, because she can’t knit like mommy. (not that I am amazing, but I do ok) I try to tell her what she’s doing, but she claims she gets it. Oh well, she’ll figure it our someday. She really just needs to practice more.

Those pesky “mystery stitches” can be a pain. They do go away with practice and paying more attention to whether the working yarn is front or back.