What the @&^%

Okay new guy here again… I’ved learned three cast on methods, the knit stitch and the purl stitch; made a small rectangle of stockinettte stitch stuff and watched it curl up into a tube… Now I was trying to just make a swatch of garter stitch to see if I could measure gauge.

Started with 20 cast on stitches and got to row three or four when I knew I was starting to have problems. Two of the loops on the needle with the work appear to be crossed (they look like x’s when viewed from above) and after counting my loops I see there are now 21… probably 23 if you count the two x’s.

How in the hell does one end up with an extra loop at the end of every row?!?!?!?!?! I started with 20. I know because I counted it three times before I started.


The ‘Xs’ indicate that you may have either not taken a stitch off the L needle after knitting it, or you accidentally did a yarnover, looping the yarn around the needle between stitchs. It’s also common to add a stitch at the beginning (same as end) of a row. When you knit the first stitch, pull the yarn off to the side. If you take it over the top of the needle to the back, that can make the accidental YO, or will pull up the first st and make its two legs look like two separate stitches. And if you’re doing knit and purl sts on the same row, you need to move the yarn between the needle tips, not over the needle.

There’s a FAQ about mysterious extra stitches that may help you. You may also want to read about why stockinette curls, for future projects.

Don’t be too surprised by the fact that this happened. This is just about the number one new knitter issue. So it happens to everyone. And suzeeq is right. Those are typically the ways that you end up with those kind of mistakes. Although, since you are doing a garter stitch scarf, I would imagine that it has to do with pulling the yarn wrong on the very first stitches.

When I’ve had that happen it’s usually because the stitch wasn’t fully completed. See if that’s it and also check the link Sue gave you.

Don’t be discouraged. It is really common to have this happen at first. It does get easier. Really. With a little practice, you have fewer mistakes. And after a while, it just clicks. Hang in there.

It happens to EVERYONE, so you’re on the right track. :wink: It’s why some of use are manic about counting stitches. When I am doing socks and about ready to do my heel flap, I’m a little Rainmanish about making sure my stitches are correct and then it takes me another 3 or 4 countings once I have the stitches divided on the different needles to make sure I didn’t miss something. (If it’s on an instep needle, I don’t sweat it, I’ll fix it later, but since the heel turn works on numbers of stitches… I once cried for 20 minutes because I’d picked up a stitch somewhere on forming the flap and had to frog it almost back to the beginning instead of just doing a decrease.

I recommend the threads on those mystery stitches. And then when you’re done there, look at the tab on decreases and increases.

Well thanks for the information, I think I may have figured out what was happening. Started over with a garter stitch swatch and have about 2 inches of finshed work and it still only has 20 stitches like I began with. Now hopefully I was able to ID the culprit and I won’t continue making the same mistake.

Thanks again all.


Sometimes when you learn to purl that’s when the problems with extra stitches start. Make sure you’re moving the yarn back to do the knit stitches. :thumbsup: