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Topic: MAJOR Knitting Debacle. What did I do?! Please help!  (Read 1181 times)
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motleykitten
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« on: February 19, 2007 09:54:53 AM »

Hey everyone,

So I posted a topic bragging about how I just learned to knit and was feeling really confident about it (I got lots of good replies) and then something HORRIBLE happened.

I'm knitting along, tra-la-la-la, and after a while I am like, "Hey, it seems like its taking a lot longer to finish a row than it did when I started." But the scarf was taking a long time and I figured it was just my brain making it SEEM longer because it was becoming a little tedious and tiresome.

After a while of slaving away, I start to think something is not right. I look at the scarf and its way wider at the end. I count the stitchy-knitty-loopy things, and there is about a hundred. Then I count the stitchy-knitty-loopy things at the BEGINNING of the scarf. FIFTY FIVE. I felt REALLY stupid. REALLY EFFING STUPID.

I don't know how its possible that I added THAT many. I want to know how this could have possibly happened! Has it ever happened to anyone else, or am I some kind of knitting mutant?! I mean, I was making a SCARF, which I hear is pretty hard to screw up. Its a freakin' rectangle, for Corn's Sake.

If I am not the only one who has massacred a scarf (while giving themselves a massive case of Carpal Tunnel), I would like to know- is there any way I can possibly FIX it? And if not, how can I make sure this never happens to me again?
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2007 10:20:24 AM »

Take a deep breath, put down the knitting, and congratulate yourself on joining the club of.... beginning knitters! This happens to everyone in the beginning! I still have the very first thing I ever knit, which seems to follow nearly the exact dimensions of your scarf. Ten years later and I'm doing cables, lace, intarsia, all that jazz... I promise, it gets easier.

I think that scarves are terrible first projects! They take too long, there's a lot of room for error.  Maybe try a hat in the round with double pointed needles with chunky yarn- super quick, and  stockinette stitch is easier to keep track of then garter stitch. Or, knit the scarf longways instead of horizontally and cast on 250 stitches and knit 20 rows maybe.

No need to feel stupid AT ALL! When I first started knitting and everyone said "knitting is so relaxing! It's the new yoga!" i wanted to punch them in the face with my aching fingers. But stick with it, and give yourself a break!
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Parilla
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2007 10:52:58 AM »

*hug* Don't worry, everyone does it.  Even really experienced knitters.

There's a couple of things that could have happened.  Maybe when you made the stitch, you forgot to slip the stitch from the previous row all the way over.  This means you end up with two stitches in the place of one, crossed over like an X.  It's very easy to knit into both.  Or maybe the stitches twisted a bit around the needle.   You can end up with the stitches you just did hiding in the back with the previous row wrapped around the needle, looking all innocent - except the number of potential stitches is doubled, because they're around the needle, instead of the needle being through them.  I do this a lot.

One good way to guard against this is to make some stitch markers.  You can buy them, but I just knotted little loops of yarn in a contrasting color, making them big enough to go around both needles at once.  It's best to use cotton, or some other smooth yarn - make them too fuzzy, and you'll end up with them bound up in your knitting.  Cast on normally, then slip them onto the needle ever ten stitches or so while you knit the first row - and remember, put them on the *needle*, not the knitting.  When you come to them as you knit, just transfer them from one needle to another.  It'll feel a bit awkward to break rhythm like that at first, but you'll get used to it in no time.  It makes it easier to keep track of stitches (it's easier to count five groups of ten instead of one group of fifty!), and if you do make a mistake, you'll have a better idea of exactly where it is.

As for fixing it...

If it were just a few stitches and the kind of yarn where it wouldn't be that noticeable, I'd say to K2tog a few times.  It'd end up a bit warped, but hey, who's first project doesn't?  But an increase of that much is...er...a bit much.  If there's a specific spot where you can see the increase (the knitting will be all rippled there, like a ruffle), you can frog it.  If you do this, it's a good idea to take a darning needle and some embroidery thread or smooth yarn in a nice, contrasting color, and run it through every stitch in the last good row.  That way, if a stitch makes a wild break for it, it'll be stopped at the thread.  Put your knitting back on your needles, pull out the thread, and go back to work.

Really, you're doing good.  Knitting is a meditative sport - once you've been doing it a while.  Remember how scary and hard it was to learn to ride a bike, or to cook, or to drive?  Same thing.  And a scarf is a pretty impressive project to start out with - sure, it's simple, but it's freaking huge.  Especially a fifty-stitch scarf.

((edited because I said the same thing three times in different ways.  Oy.))
« Last Edit: February 22, 2007 10:54:42 AM by Parilla » THIS ROCKS   Logged
spurtiic
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2007 10:28:11 AM »

Aww *pats back*, you can fix it...kind of.  Or make it into a new scarf  Smiley

I first learned to knit about a year and a half ago.  Oh, man, did I ever suck at it.  I'm still not the world's greatest, nor fastest knitter, but it is far less complicated after a year than it was in the beginning.  Welcome to early knitterhood!

I'm not sure how long your scarf is supposed to be or how long you'd like it to be, but one solution (the lazy way-aka my way) is to start decreasing your stitches back down to 55 stitches (if those were your beginning stitches).  You could make a wonky scarf, double knot it, fling around your neck, etc.  OR You could frog-it all the way back to where you last had 55 stitches and start from there. 

You most likely had several yarn overs or knitted in the front and back of the same stitch w/o realizing it (b/c otherwise you'd probably not have done that).  That's how you got so many stitches (maybe). 

I think scarves are fairly easy first projects b/c you get used to the same stitch over and over and it's a good way to practice new stitches.  I wouldn't recommend trying double points just yet b/c though they are pretty simple to use, it's easy to get pissed in the beginning b/c your first round could be all twisty or you will accidentally turn it (as I still do when not paying attention) and start going back in the other direction (which works great for making thumb holes for those nifty arm/hand warmers). 

Dishcloths are very easy to make.  Lion Brand has a diagonal baby blanket free pattern on their website; a similar pattern is used for making a dish cloth!  You only have to know how to yarn over and decrease (k2tog, knit 2 together).  And using Homespun yarn and size 10.5 US for a baby blanket makes it go by really fast.

Don't lose heart. You'll get the hang of it.  Even now, the most advanced knitters - still screw it up.  That's when you can call it Amish (nothing is made perfect!).   Roll Eyes



« Last Edit: February 23, 2007 10:39:26 AM by spurtiic » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2007 06:05:06 AM »

another possibility is that you're pulling the yarn tightly when you're getting ready to start a row.  it pulls the previous stitch up over the needles (like parilla said, only i think it's way more common that it only happens with the first stitch of the row) and makes one stitch look like two.  i'm pretty sure there's a video on knittinghelp.com where she shows you what it looks like and how to avoid it.  but i'm at work so i can't say which video it is.  maybe the purling video?
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motleykitten
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2007 01:35:44 PM »

Ahhh! Thanks everyone. I don't feel like a moron anymore. I started a new project and have been carefully counting my stitches every few rows. Its kind of a pain but so far I am doing well.

I think what may have happened (in conjunction with a bunch of other stich-related screw-ups) is that I had a really cheap yarn. It would shred and I think instead of looping all the yarn together on one stitch, I stitched it where it separated, thereby adding tons of loops. I got some better-quality yarn and things are going well.

Thanks for your hugs and pats and reassurance! I feel way better now...
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Up yours, young people. You and your rock and roll 8-track tapes!
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