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Topic: New Knitter! WOO! I need some help though....  (Read 591 times)
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motleykitten
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« on: February 09, 2007 02:34:04 AM »

Wow, I can't believe I am actually knitting now. Debbie Stoller really is a genius at making diagrams and writing instructions.

It looked so hard but now that I have it down its really fun. I can't wait to learn to do more than really long rectangles.

Anyhoo, I had a few questions for the experienced knitters... please feel free to answer any combo of these. It would be a big help!

1. Is it normal to have a numb left hand (from holding the stick thing) after knitting a while?

2. Even though my needles aren't sharp I feel like I am getting callouses on my left and right index finger and my thumb. Is there anything I can do about this?

3. In the future, when I start a project, how do I keep the first few rows from being shorter than the rest? Commercially made scarves and stuff are really square and pretty at the ends but mine looks kinda curled up and a bit smaller than the rest of the scarf.

Thank you!
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JennAviv
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2007 04:34:18 AM »

I agree - I learned from her book too, and it helped me so much!

1.  If your hand's numb, you might be holding the needle too tightly.  Maybe stop every row and stretch your fingers and rotate your wrists?  Also, I found that knitting Continental style, that it, holding the yarn in my left hand, helped my wrists and forearms a lot.  Just try to hold the needles barely tightly enough to control them. 

2.  What kind of needles are you using?  And what kind of yarn?  It might be from the yarn moving through your fingers - again, holding needles or yarn too tightly?  Or pushing harder than needed on the needles.  Try a little unscented lotion on your hands before and after knitting for the callous-feeling, if your yarn isn't something that might react adversely to it.

3.  How tight do you cast on?  If your first few rows are smaller than the rest, and you aren't adding stitches accidently (I did that a LOT at first - I had to count stitches and go back quite frequently), then it's probably your casting on.  Relax your wrists, maybe do the two-needle casting on she describes in the original S&B (just casting on to both needles then pulling one out before starting to knit).  That would also help with the curling if it's caused by really tight stitches... Although, if you're knitting in stockinette, curling is a fact of life.  Blocking afterward  helps though.

I used to get really sore shoulders too, until I learned to work on my posture while knitting.  I would either lean forward intently or hold my work up close to my face.  Holding my work more loosely, sitting up straight and knitting Continental all helped immensely. 

Keep it up and have fun with this!!!   Grin
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sachis2112
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2007 09:40:54 AM »

I agree with all of that!  This is one of those things where practice does, indeed, make perfect.  Or a reasonable facsimile thereof.  Keep it up! Grin
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DeadDisco
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2007 10:59:27 AM »

Yeah, what she said Smiley Although, I have an additional thought about this:

2. Even though my needles aren't sharp I feel like I am getting callouses on my left and right index finger and my thumb. Is there anything I can do about this?

Let the callouses develop. Once you've built up some natural protection on your fingers, you won't even notice them anymore, and you'll be able to knit for much longer! Crafty women have calloused hands Wink
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eatyerhartout
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2007 05:47:55 PM »

Let the callouses develop. Once you've built up some natural protection on your fingers, you won't even notice them anymore, and you'll be able to knit for much longer! Crafty women have calloused hands Wink

I agree. I have slight callouses on the tip of my right index finger and thumb, but they really aren't all that noticeable because I use a cocoa butter lotion every night after I'm out of the shower. It keeps them soft, but the thickened skin stays.
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motleykitten
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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2007 06:39:21 AM »


3.  How tight do you cast on?  If your first few rows are smaller than the rest, and you aren't adding stitches accidently (I did that a LOT at first - I had to count stitches and go back quite frequently), then it's probably your casting on.  Relax your wrists, maybe do the two-needle casting on she describes in the original S&B (just casting on to both needles then pulling one out before starting to knit).  That would also help with the curling if it's caused by really tight stitches... Although, if you're knitting in stockinette, curling is a fact of life.  Blocking afterward  helps though.


I am not really sure how tightly I cast on. The project I am doing now is just a continuation of my initial trial knitting (I made two rows and then said, "What the hell; I'll make a scarf and get some serious practice in).

I did the two-needle cast-on which I think is great. But I know I am using really cheap aluminum needles and really cheap yarn (the acrylic Super Saver kind)... would that make the end curl up at all?

I am sure its in the book, but I have to learn more about blocking. I know its my first project and I want it to look kind of nice... even though its got some holes from skipped stitches.
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soozeq
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2007 08:38:29 AM »


I am not really sure how tightly I cast on. The project I am doing now is just a continuation of my initial trial knitting (I made two rows and then said, "What the hell; I'll make a scarf and get some serious practice in).

I did the two-needle cast-on which I think is great. But I know I am using really cheap aluminum needles and really cheap yarn (the acrylic Super Saver kind)... would that make the end curl up at all?

I am sure its in the book, but I have to learn more about blocking. I know its my first project and I want it to look kind of nice... even though its got some holes from skipped stitches.

Are you doing stockinette only - knit one row, purl one row? That makes a straight piece like a scarf curl on the ends and sides. Doesn't matter which yarn you use. Acrylic doesn't block, but washing it will even out the stitches.

sue
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sue
craftykt
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2007 09:51:54 AM »

It sounds to me like you are just holding too tight.  I did it too when I was a new knitter...that probably accounts for both the numbness and the shorter first rows (also possible that you are adding stitches accidentily...have you counted to make sure you have the correct # of stitches?)

I was just realizing that I have quite the little callus that has developed on my right index finger.  Its like a badge of knitting honor!
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