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dudeKnit
01-08-2013, 12:40 PM
Hello all, I'm new to knitting, in fact just started Friday past.

I'm trying to make myself a scarf to keep myself warm when I'm out enjoying my favorite hobby of flying my model aircraft. I'm using #4 needles and a simple garter stitch for the project. I'm planning on blocking it when done. I've restarted the project several times since Friday and am getting a bit miffed.

Last night I decided it was too wide and decided to start over, which was a good idea. I took what I had learned the other 4 times I started over and doing my cast on row it came out the best yet. The second row was a bit of a nuisance. I am having trouble with my stitches not being uniform. I will get to a point where some of the stitches are tight and too close together and at other points they feel a bit loser and are much easier to work with.

Does anyone have any tips on keeping stitches uniform in size?

So far I have enjoyed learning, and am finding it somewhat relaxing when not frustrated by missing a stitch or losing one.

Forgot to mention I'm using a worsted weight yarn. In case you need to know that.

suzeeq
01-08-2013, 12:54 PM
Just keep practicing. Size 4s (or 4mm) are pretty small unless you're using a very thin yarn and will make a very dense and tight knit with the worsted. If you can try using a size 9 or 10 needle and it may be easier to make the sts more even and not miss a stitch as the stitches will be larger and easier to see. I think that will help quite a lot.

mojo11
01-08-2013, 01:55 PM
A lot of the non-uniformity will come out in blocking. If you're using an acrylic yarn, once you've tossed it in the laundry and washed it once you'll be amazed at how much more uniform it looks. If it's wool or something else that has to be hand washed, it's a little trickier.

Fiber content might also have an impact on the issue you're talking about if you've pulled it out multiple times and restarted it. Usually it's not an issue, but if you're using something that's not terribly tightly spun, it can start to fluff up and come untwisted if you pull it out and re-use it (as I'm currently finding out is the case with Cascade Eco Duo).

And I'd second what suzeeq said... for a worsted yarn, a US 4 sounds a little small. Then again, "worsted" is a completely subjective term that covers a lot of territory. But if you've got some larger needles, you might try them and see what happens.

Finally, if you have the choice between tightening up and loosening up, go for looser. You're going to see daylight between the stitches -- especially with garter stitch -- so don't fight it. It's supposed to be that way. And don't forget to breathe. Very important. No, seriously, I mean it. If you're tense, your knitting will be too. I know it's tough to relax when you're still at the stage where you're doing this internal Snoopy dance every time a stitch actually works, but that's one of the things that's making things so tight. As a very wise knitter once told me, "it's knitting, not rocket science."

Antares
01-08-2013, 02:09 PM
Are you using metal needles?

I started out on metal needles, and, like you, was very frustrated with how uneven my stitches were. Then, I tried bamboo needles. Although they're a bit more expensive, the end result was well worth the cost--they helped even out my tension and made my stitches very uniform.

So if you opt to buy some bigger needles, I would recommend looking for bamboo ones. The Clover brand is nice, and Hobby Lobby, Jo-ann's and Micheal's almost always have sizes 7-9 in this brand. If you can't find them in straight needles, try circulars, which are multi-functional in that you can use them to knit a circle or for flat knitting (which is what you're doing).

Jan in CA
01-08-2013, 02:18 PM
Even tension becomes better with practice. All new knitters have to go through this so you're not alone.

Are your needles a US 4? What weight yarn are you using? If your needles are too small for the yarn weight getting even tension will be harder.

suzeeq
01-08-2013, 02:33 PM
She said she's using worsted weight, which I think is much too thick to work on size 4s.

GrumpyGramma
01-08-2013, 02:42 PM
I have just been using Sz 4 needles with worsted weight yarn...on purpose, I wanted it very tight, very dense...and must say that a new knitter needs larger needles. At least US 8 probably 9 or 10. Your poor hands, trying to knit those stitches.

mojo11
01-08-2013, 02:54 PM
I have just been using Sz 4 needles with worsted weight yarn...on purpose, I wanted it very tight, very dense...and must say that a new knitter needs larger needles. At least US 8 probably 9 or 10. Your poor hands, trying to knit those stitches.

For the "typical" worsted weight (whatever that is!) I wouldn't recommend anything smaller than a US 6 -- and usually at least a US 8. But "worsted" covers a broad range of weights, some of which might be manageable on US 4s.

But just because you can doesn't mean you should.

Jan in CA
01-08-2013, 03:41 PM
I agree that US 4 is too small for worsted weight except under special circumstances. I'm a loose knitter so I usually use a 6-7, but the suggested needle size is usually 8-9.

I started with bamboo, but now knit with nickel plated/metal. Unless you're having issues with the stitches slipping you may not need to try bamboo, but do get bigger needles either way.

dudeKnit
01-08-2013, 03:45 PM
Firstly thank you all for your input it is very welcome. I do believe the needles are 4 US, will have to make sure when I get home. The yarn is acrylic, and yes they are metal (aluminum I think) needles.

This is the stitch size I'd like to have. http://www.flickr.com/photos/21163798@N07/2417577906/

Not sure if that is doable with my current skill level or not, either way I've nothing but time so I don't mind keeping at it.

@suzeeq, I am a male LMAO.

It's the 21st century men knit and sew now as well.

Antares
01-08-2013, 04:20 PM
Unless you're having issues with the stitches slipping you may not need to try bamboo, but do get bigger needles either way.

I recommended bamboo needles not because they keep my stitches from slipping (although they can do that, too) but because they have helped me create uniform stitches.

And here's additional proof from ArtLady on another thread:

"My students (Friday night Knitting 101 class) all did better with Clover Takumi bamboo needles. One of the students had learned to knit a hundred years ago, but her tension and control of her stitches was always her bane, downfall...and led her to give up. (she had learned to knit way back then with 14" metal straight needles, btw)

This time 'round, she was using Clover bamboo needles because that was on my Class Materials list. I specifically recommended wood or bamboo.

Her tension and stitch control was PERFECTION, and I can't tell you how happy she was!"



So it's worth a try. Save your receipt, and if you don't like them or they don't help, simply return them!

suzeeq
01-08-2013, 05:16 PM
@suzeeq, I am a male LMAO.

It's the 21st century men knit and sew now as well.

Sorry about that, wasn't paying attention to your username! lol

Really, if you go up in needle size to at least a 9, a 10 would be better, you'll still get nice even stitches, especially with a little practice. Smaller needles make tight stitches, not necessarily even ones, and it's hard on your hands to knit at that gauge. Besides the neat even stitches you see in pictures are after the item has been washed and dried, often several times. While most of us develop a consistent tension after a while, we still get wonky sts as we knit - the secret to the items looking good comes with washing or blocking it when you're done.

I agree that bamboo needles work pretty well, I like all my Clovers, and I would suggest you get circulars, even though with clovers you need to dip the cord only in hot water to uncurl them. But you can knit flat things on circs and after you get more experience will come in handy for knitting in the round.

GrumpyGramma
01-08-2013, 06:03 PM
Firstly thank you all for your input it is very welcome. I do believe the needles are 4 US, will have to make sure when I get home. The yarn is acrylic, and yes they are metal (aluminum I think) needles.

This is the stitch size I'd like to have. http://www.flickr.com/photos/21163798@N07/2417577906/

Not sure if that is doable with my current skill level or not, either way I've nothing but time so I don't mind keeping at it.

@suzeeq, I am a male LMAO.

It's the 21st century men knit and sew now as well.


I think your username gives a hint that you're male. That's OK, we don't hold it against you. :roflhard: Seriously, it's so cool to see guys knitting, I think it's good for the soul and spirit of anyone. There are a number of knitters of the masculine persuasion here and they're just more knitters to me.

The picture you linked to doesn't indicate a gauge but as you're wanting to make a scarf, gauge (sts/inch) isn't crucial as long as you are happy with the width you achieve. The picture is garter stitch, every row is a knit row. If you're using a larger needle with worsted weight yarn then you should get a comparable look and a softer fabric which I think you would want for a scarf. Don't be too hard on yourself if you have some inconsistencies, practicing knitting and knitting and knitting some more will help with that.

Dr. Who scarves are popular, as you can see here (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/search#query=dr who scarf). Take a few minutes and join ravelry to get access to all the features there including lots and lots of patterns, many of them free. Ravelry is free to join too. When you look at the patterns you'll see yarn and needle size suggestions, don't expect your sts/inch to exactly match that given in a pattern. Some people knit more loosely and some knit more tightly. New knitters usually knit tight.

dudeKnit
01-08-2013, 06:12 PM
suzeeq, no worries. I will have to try larger needles as I'm sure 1 scarf won't be the full extent of my foray into knitting.

@GrumpyGramma funny you should post that link that's exactly what I want to do. I'm a very big Dr Who nut and have recently been watching the Tom Baker episodes (made the overly long scarf famous) and have fallen in love with the scarf. It's so whimsical that it screams me. I did take time to join and will use whatever information I can glean from the site.

When I get home I'll try to remember to post details of the yarns I've picked with their weights and compositions. It's tough for me to be on a computer when I get home though, I work in IT and am on one 10 hours a day at work.

GrumpyGramma
01-08-2013, 06:18 PM
I've wondered if people who work with computers have one up on the rest of us when it comes to reading and following knitting patterns, after all you're used to things that must be specific down to minute details. But maybe you don't work with code. I've thought my SIL would be really good at knitting if he wanted to but then....now that I think of it....some patterns are written so they'd make his blood boil. Maybe he shouldn't be knitting. LOL However, I should probably say that he is almost certainly undiagnosed Asperger's. I can picture him now rewriting all the patterns...nope he better stick with his 'puters. :wink:

salmonmac
01-08-2013, 07:10 PM
Looks do-able but you may have to put up with uneven tension for awhile. As others have said, with practice, it just goes away. If you want a perfect scarf, it might be best to use a ball of practice yarn until the stitches even out. it's also a good way to test out needle size in order to see which size gives you the knit fabric you like.
And oh yes, he or she. We use the general "she" or "he" refering to knitters more as a convenience. Lots of both here so you've plenty of company. Welcome! We're glad you're here.

Jan in CA
01-08-2013, 07:31 PM
@Antares- oh I see what you mean now. I have even tension on either needle type now and just know it was hard for me at first even with bamboo. It's worth it to try both for sure because like continental vs English they both come in handy later.

We do have quite a few male knitters here. The Usernames don't always give it away though.

IslandTime
01-08-2013, 08:22 PM
I picked up on the male-ness in your first post - my son's wife is a knitter, so he decided he could do this but naturally (being male<g>) had to start off with a "challenge" - so did a neckwarmer using 4 double-pointed needles (dpn's). Aside from the predictable problems with that for a brand-new knitter - HIS hobby is fishing and he's been fly-tying for years - you can imagine the grip he put on the yarn, lol, his neckwarmer is more like chain armour from the Middle Ages. Get some bigger needles, and have fun - I see people flying those planes down near the beach, it looks like a wonderful hobby!



@suzeeq, I am a male LMAO.

It's the 21st century men knit and sew now as well.[/QUOTE]

dudeKnit
01-08-2013, 08:31 PM
I do work quite a bit with code, started back in the 80's with a Commodore 64 and writing basic code in that to make the little balloon fly across the screen. Then in the 90's I started recoding games, it snowballed from there, and I discovered I had an aptitude for it, at the time I was working as a mechanic. FF and for the last 12 years I've been working at a finance company on computers. Never been to school for computers, I've just read tons of documents on computers. As for Aspergers I know several people with it to varying degrees and all are pretty much brilliant. In fact the bittorrent protocol responsible for most of the piracy uproar of the last 10 years was thought up and written by someone with Aspergers. To date it's the definitive way to transfer large files over the internet. It was brilliant and elegant in it's simplicity.

I do find that I like to tinker, I don't spend much time watching tv, I'd rather be learning a language or building something or learning something new, hence the wanting to learn knitting.

I am using metal needles, number 4's 3.5mm, the yarn I'm using is Red Heart it's a medium number 4 yarn, suggested needle is number 5, stitch count per inch is just over 4 stitches and it is 100% acrylic.

IslandTime, I've spent a fair amount of time fishing, even done some fly fishing but never tied my own flys. Fly fishing is very fun. My father used to say "God never takes the time a man spends fishing away from him".

The knitting is my latest foray, into various hobbies and activities to keep me busy and out of trouble. I also do it because my daughter does and the two of us are fairly competitive with each other.

suzeeq
01-08-2013, 09:00 PM
The needle size on that yarn is 5mm, or a US 8. Knitting gets you acquainted with the metric system pretty quick! And it's easy to misread one for another....

dudeKnit
01-09-2013, 12:47 AM
Yes it is. I'm very familiar with metric, 90% of things dealing with rc planes is metric, the kicker is dealing with grams instead of ounces and pounds.

How does a yarns recommended needle size really mean, and why is there a suggested size? Does it have to do with diameter of the yarn?

GrumpyGramma
01-09-2013, 01:05 AM
A yarn's recommended needle size is related to the diameter of the yarn. Fingering or sock weight yarn will call for about a 2 or 3 needle. Worsted weight will call for about an 8 or 9. The skinnier the yarn, the smaller the recommended needle size. It gives you an idea of the gauge to expect, but..... YMMV.

My advance in understanding metrics in relation to yarn amounts: A 50 gr. ball of yarn makes 1 sock, a 100 gr. ball makes a pair.

dudeKnit
01-09-2013, 08:05 AM
Well last night on my 7th row I decided it was too wide, so I started over. This time I really took my time casting on and tried to make the cast on stitches as uniform as possible as well as attempted to maintain uniform spacing and tension. I got 2 rows done so far and this is the best looking attempt yet.

On the previous attempt I believe I picked up stitches, how does that happen? I started with 75 stitches, this time I went with 67, but where do extra stitches materialize from? Is it really necessary to count stitches in each row?

I will also be picking up larger needles both in bamboo as well as the connected circular kind. I'm ready to experiment and see which style I like best.

salmonmac
01-09-2013, 08:44 AM
The needle size on the yarn ball is a recommendation for that yarn weight. You may knit more tightly or more loosely and so need to change the needle size in order to get the gauge or stitches per inch that you want or that a pattern calls for.
Yes, those pesky extra stitches (http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=32886). See if you can tell where the extra stitch occurs along the current or previous rows. Sometimes it's a yarn over that happens when you change from knits to purls or vice versa. Instead of bringing the yarn between the two needles as you should, the yarn is brought over the right needle and that creates an extra stitch. The other common place for extra sts is at the beginning of a row. If you pull the yarn up from the left needle, the single stitch at the needle tip looks like two sts. Knitting into both legs will give you an increase. Pull the yarn down and to the side or back so that you can see that there's only one stitch there.
Using markers can help with counting sts (and locating extra sts). These can be as simple as a loop of yarn with a knot. Put them on the needle every 10 or 20sts to make counting easier. Counting sts is a very good practice for checking your work and finding mistakes early on.
You're learning a lot with each row. Good luck with it!

suzeeq
01-09-2013, 10:33 AM
The needle size on the yarn label is actually more for putting a yarn into a weight class (fingering, worsted, bulky), rather than a 'recommended' size. Patterns will use a smaller or larger needle for a design effect - a smaller one gives a tighter denser knit, something you want with socks, while a larger one will give a looser, more open knit, such as for scarves or shawls. But in general the gauge and needle size is relative to the thickness of the yarn.

It's very easy with garter stitch to pick up new stitches at the beginning of rows. If the yarn is over the top of the needle to the back it can pull up the first stitch and each leg of it looks like a separate stitch. When you start, hold the yarn off to the side a little so you can see the first stitch easier.

IslandTime
01-09-2013, 01:32 PM
I found this handy-dandy needle conversion chart at http://www.yarnfwd.com/main/needleconv.html

Depending on where you live, you could find it helpful when talking on our forum or others - most of the people are in the U.S., and talk about 2's & 3's, 8's & 9's etc. I'm Canadian and we use metric, so - totally different. You'd think I'd get used to it and remember on my own...apparently not, lol.

mojo11
01-09-2013, 03:33 PM
I've wondered if people who work with computers have one up on the rest of us when it comes to reading and following knitting patterns, after all you're used to things that must be specific down to minute details. But maybe you don't work with code. I've thought my SIL would be really good at knitting if he wanted to but then....now that I think of it....some patterns are written so they'd make his blood boil. Maybe he shouldn't be knitting. LOL However, I should probably say that he is almost certainly undiagnosed Asperger's. I can picture him now rewriting all the patterns...nope he better stick with his 'puters. :wink:

As a programmer (and a dude), there are things about knitting patterns that irritate me but I imagine they're the same things that irritate anyone, regardless of profession. Usually the things that get under my skin are things that don't make sense. Some of those are things that just don't make sense to me, others are things that don't make much sense in general.

Probably there's a correlation if you look at the success that IT types have with knitting, but not necessarily a cause-and-effect relationship. My girlfriend has a master's in computer science and she's probably THE most brilliant knitter I know. She does things that ... well, you'd just have to watch her. Then you have me, who's worked in the field for 22 years and... well, let's just say I haven't achieved anything close to "brilliance" as a knitter yet. Yet.

I suspect that the connection isn't direct, but probably two different manifestations of the same underlying aptitude. Musicians (good ones at least) are usually good at mathematics. They'd probably make good knitters too (or programmers for that matter) if they took up the craft.

mojo11
01-09-2013, 03:45 PM
Well last night on my 7th row I decided it was too wide, so I started over. This time I really took my time casting on and tried to make the cast on stitches as uniform as possible as well as attempted to maintain uniform spacing and tension. I got 2 rows done so far and this is the best looking attempt yet.

On the previous attempt I believe I picked up stitches, how does that happen? I started with 75 stitches, this time I went with 67, but where do extra stitches materialize from? Is it really necessary to count stitches in each row?

I will also be picking up larger needles both in bamboo as well as the connected circular kind. I'm ready to experiment and see which style I like best.

Suzeeq is right about the "accidental YO's", I've been bit by that bug more than I can tell you. And that may very well be what's happening to you, but it wouldn't be when you're transitioning from knit to purl 'cos ... you're not doing that if you're working in garter stitch. But something that still happens to me once in a while is I'll get a loop from the previous row hung on the left hand needle, which looks for all the world like another stitch and the next thing you know... it IS another stitch 'cause I just knitted it. Or, you put the work down for a few minutes and when you pick it back up the working yarn has wrapped around the needle and... same thing happens. Or as you're wrapping the yarn for a stitch you accidentally wrap it "doubled up" and ... one stitch becomes two on the next row. (In that particular case you should be able to see two loops coming out of the same stitch when you get back around to it.)

So... no, you don't have to count the stitches in every row, but if you're seeing a lot of this you might want to deploy stitch markers every x stitches and check when you get to the end of a section. It's a lot quicker to count 10 (or 20 or whatever) sts since the last marker than it is to count 60 sts since the beginning of the row.

dudeKnit
01-09-2013, 04:58 PM
As a coder you'll probably appreciate this, it's much easier to spot a fencepost error in code vs spotting the fencepost stitch.

mojo11
01-09-2013, 06:00 PM
As a coder you'll probably appreciate this, it's much easier to spot a fencepost error in code vs spotting the fencepost stitch.

Mmm... yeah, but when I'm coding I have QA to spot those errors. Heh. ;)

dudeKnit
01-09-2013, 10:48 PM
Sadly I'm my own Q&A so bugs get in.

mojo11
01-10-2013, 08:26 AM
Sadly I'm my own Q&A so bugs get in.

Having another pair of eyes helps, but the bugs will still get in. Same with knitting, actually.

dudeKnit
01-10-2013, 10:08 AM
I've actually noticed a fairly staggering similarity between knitting and programming. The most obvious

do{
....
}while


The needle reminds me of a stack, and the stitches are put into the stack in FILO fashion.

mojo11
01-10-2013, 10:27 AM
I've actually noticed a fairly staggering similarity between knitting and programming. The most obvious

do{
....
}while


The needle reminds me of a stack, and the stitches are put into the stack in FILO fashion.

Mmm... I suppose I can see the stack analogy if you think of the CO as a "push", but it kinda falls apart when you "pop" the stitches off and they "push" onto another stack on the RH needle. But the do-while/do-until, yeah. For sure.

GrumpyGramma
01-10-2013, 12:14 PM
Sometimes with knitting something just doesn't connect right for me, computers can be like that too. :clink: Then I have to track down the problem or find a work around.

mojo11
01-10-2013, 12:18 PM
Sometimes with knitting something just doesn't connect right for me, computers can be like that too. :clink: Then I have to track down the problem or find a work around.

Happens to all of us. I've been in IT for almost 22 years and sometimes computers still don't click for me.

dudeKnit
01-10-2013, 01:08 PM
Been on the phone over an hour now with one branch trying to diagnose a dead NIC. I love it when they say it's plugged in and they are looking at the power cables, or better yet when you ask them if the computer is on and they say yes, I turned the screen on.

My all time cake taker was a manager that I spent 45 minutes trying to troubleshoot a printer that wasn't printing went through the whole shabang, including deleting and reinstalling drivers still nothing finally he suggests he check the paper tray, lo it was out of paper. The first question I had asked him was if paper was in the printer.

There needs to be an emote for head explode.

On another note last night I restarted my project, and I think tonight I'll start over again. I finally see where I am picking up extra stitches. When I begin my first stitch in a new row I have been picking up the loop and wrapping around that, instead of picking up the loop then picking the next one and winding. I think I'm doing the same on the last loops of a row as well.

mojo11
01-10-2013, 01:50 PM
Been on the phone over an hour now with one branch trying to diagnose a dead NIC. I love it when they say it's plugged in and they are looking at the power cables, or better yet when you ask them if the computer is on and they say yes, I turned the screen on.

My all time cake taker was a manager that I spent 45 minutes trying to troubleshoot a printer that wasn't printing went through the whole shabang, including deleting and reinstalling drivers still nothing finally he suggests he check the paper tray, lo it was out of paper. The first question I had asked him was if paper was in the printer.

There needs to be an emote for head explode.

On another note last night I restarted my project, and I think tonight I'll start over again. I finally see where I am picking up extra stitches. When I begin my first stitch in a new row I have been picking up the loop and wrapping around that, instead of picking up the loop then picking the next one and winding. I think I'm doing the same on the last loops of a row as well.

I think my all-time personal best was when I asked a client to send me a copy of the nightly backup so I could run some diagnostics using the actual data causing the failure and they sent me -- FedEx OVERNIGHT, no less -- a photocopy of the backup listing. :wall:

To skid back in the direction of on-topic, I'm not sure what you're describing when you say "pick up the loop then pick up the next one" when you're starting a new row. You might slip the first stitch of a new row -- people will do that to make the edge a little neater, though I haven't ever tried it -- but the loop/stitch is still gonna be there. It's possible that you're doing something funky with the ends of the rows, though, and sometimes in the edges that's hard to see. But basically the first stitch of a row (or the last one) isn't any different than the ones in the middle -- at least not in terms of what you do to it (unless you're using the aforementioned slip stitch, which I'm guessing you aren't). In garter stitch (which is what you're using IIRC) you'd just turn the work over, insert the "empty" needle in the first stitch and knit it like any other. It looks a little different because there's nothing to the right of it, and it feels a little different... for the same reason, really (it'll feel looser) but there's no difference in what you're doing as opposed to what you'd do to the following stitches. Same with the last stitch, except it usually feels a little tighter than the rest (to me anyway). the flip it over, lather, rinse, repeat ad infinitum... and beyond.

If you're basing this on what the stitches were doing as you were pulling them out (which seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to do, doesn't it?) there IS a difference in how they behave when you get to the end of a row. I can't really explain it, because I've never figured it out myself, but it LOOKS like there's an extra stitch there when there really isn't. And anyway, if you were adding extras at the beginning and end of every row, you'd have a LOT more than a few extras. You'd be increasing by 2 stitches every row, and it would be VERY apparent before you got very far.

Dunno if that makes any sense whatever, but it's what I got.

GrumpyGramma
01-10-2013, 02:01 PM
Been on the phone over an hour now with one branch trying to diagnose a dead NIC. I love it when they say it's plugged in and they are looking at the power cables, or better yet when you ask them if the computer is on and they say yes, I turned the screen on.

My all time cake taker was a manager that I spent 45 minutes trying to troubleshoot a printer that wasn't printing went through the whole shabang, including deleting and reinstalling drivers still nothing finally he suggests he check the paper tray, lo it was out of paper. The first question I had asked him was if paper was in the printer.

There needs to be an emote for head explode.

On another note last night I restarted my project, and I think tonight I'll start over again. I finally see where I am picking up extra stitches. When I begin my first stitch in a new row I have been picking up the loop and wrapping around that, instead of picking up the loop then picking the next one and winding. I think I'm doing the same on the last loops of a row as well.


I think you need to go here (http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/knitting-tips) and watch what Amy does. Sometimes seeing it in action helps a lot.

I bet you're one of those people who insists the cupholder on my computer is actually for a DVD to go into. Really, the strange ideas people get.

:gah: :hair: There, I saved you the trouble of inserting the emoticons on a reply. :roflhard:

dudeKnit
01-11-2013, 01:30 PM
Thank you for the link I'll have to check that out.

Tonight I'll get stopping by a craft store and picking up one of those magnifier lighted delios. My eyes are getting old and even with glasses it's hard to see the stitches. I think that will help tons, and the better lighting.

As for my picking up extra stitches, I restarted the project no less than twice last night. For some reason the first 2 rows are outstanding, and the 3rd or 2nd not counting the cast row comes out wonky.

I'll also be picking up larger needles as suggested and a circular style needle set as well.

Another question I have is local yarn sources. I've done Micheals (not really a big selection of stuff at my local store) also done JoAnn Fabrics and wasn't impressed with their stuff either. Does anyone have other suggestions on where to purchase or which stores tend to cater more directly to knitting?

mojo11
01-11-2013, 01:51 PM
Another question I have is local yarn sources. I've done Micheals (not really a big selection of stuff at my local store) also done JoAnn Fabrics and wasn't impressed with their stuff either. Does anyone have other suggestions on where to purchase or which stores tend to cater more directly to knitting?

Depends on what kind of yarns you're looking for, really. I don't go to Applebee's for Kung Pao Chicken, and I kinda feel the same about yarn. That said, if you're looking for something like Encore or Lamb's Pride, it doesn't really matter where you get it. But the local yarn store has a lot of advantages besides just a larger selection of yarns. Generally, the people who work there know a LOT about yarn, and about knitting. So in addition to a wider selection of yarns, you can get answers.

Not knowing where you are, I couldn't say with authority that you've got a local shop, but if you can find one it would be worth checking out. You might be surprised, I find that Yarns, Etc and Great Yarns (here in the Research Triangle area of NC) are usually pretty competitive price-wise, and their people are incredibly knowledgeable. (And helpful too!)

suzeeq
01-11-2013, 01:56 PM
Look in your local yellow pages book, or online under 'Yarn' and see if there's any located in your town. In small towns, sometimes quilt or fabric stores carry yarn too. You may have to visit some in the nearest larger town if yours doesn't have one.

dudeKnit
01-11-2013, 03:37 PM
Thank you suzeeq, I googled and there are some local yarn (only, well knitting and crocheting) supply stores here aside from the craft chain style. So I'll be going tomorrow and checking a few of them out. I'm considering signing my daughter and myself up for some of the beginner classes, one has a "I messed up how do I fix it workshop" but it's tomorrow. I'd really like to go to that one.

suzeeq
01-11-2013, 04:49 PM
You might still be able to get into that class if you have the free time for it; give the store a call.

dudeKnit
01-11-2013, 05:03 PM
That's the problem, tomorrow I'm not free. I will be stopping by there tomorrow though and I'll make sure to find out when the next is.

Jan in CA
01-11-2013, 06:19 PM
They may have the class again if its a popular one.

I loved my LYS and was there with a group twice a week. Sadly, they closed last month due to an illness in the family. :(

dudeKnit
01-14-2013, 11:50 AM
I stopped into my LYS two of them actually. The first I was very impressed with, huge selection and friendly people. I ended up getting some new needles instead of using the craft store stuff I ended up spending about the same and got some stainless needles boy are they great! The lady there asked about my project and suggested a size 7 she said she had a template for a mans scarf so she pulled it and we compared and using full worsted weight it was calling for a 7 so I decided to give them a shot. Got home Saturday and restarted my project I am now 5 inches up from my cast on row (not sure how many rows in) and it's looking really great so far. I've done a color change and that came out decent as well. Ever 4th or 5th row I will count stitches to make sure I haven't lost or picked any up and though I did start off with 50 stitches I managed to pick up 6 extra stitches about 3 or 4 rows into the project. Last nights count was 56 stitches so in a few dozen rows I've not picked up or lost any more stitches.

There is one spot near the start where you can see I missed a stitch, I did not notice it until I was about a half inch up from it, I'm hoping to be able to fix that spot later on. Any tips on that would be helpful.

Oh yeah, one of the sites my LYS suggested to me was this one. Told here I'd already found it.

suzeeq
01-14-2013, 11:55 AM
How do you mean you 'missed a stitch'? Did you just slip it from one needle to another without working it, so it's elongated? You can probably just leave it, no one else will know. If it was closer to the row you're on, you can pick it up, but if it's 4" away, that won't be feasible.

dudeKnit
01-14-2013, 12:23 PM
Missed as in it looks like it got doubled with another stitch, basically it appears as a small hole it is fairly noticeable too. I can post pics later today. I'm sure that will help.

I love my new needles. Though they hurt if you slip and impale yourself.

suzeeq
01-14-2013, 12:32 PM
Yep, a picture would help if you can.

mojo11
01-14-2013, 12:45 PM
I love my new needles. Though they hurt if you slip and impale yourself.

Don't worry. Before you know it, you'll develop calluses that will armor plate your fingers and defend against such things.

fatoldladyinpjs
01-14-2013, 01:19 PM
You've got to give yourself a little slack here. You just started knitting. You can't expect to be perfect right out of the starting gate. It takes practice. I'd say work on the scarf and enjoy it. Get the mechanics down first. Practice so that the movements become natural for you.

What color is your scarf? Dark colors are harder to work with, even with the best lighting. I try not to knit with dark colors at night, only in daytime hours.

As to the correct needle size and yarn...this is way simplified. If you use larger needles and thinner yarn, your work will be thin and holey. If you're making a hat or mittens, it won't keep you warm. If you use a needle that's too small for the yarn, like you are now with the worsted weight, it's a pain to do. You'll be squeezing that needle into the stitches and straining to do it. It's not fun.

Another thing is that it's going to take forever. We knitters want instant results. Large needles somehow help us to get the creation fix we need faster. It's not a big deal with a scarf because gauge isn't important. I usually don't do patterns. I'll measure, gauge, pick the right needles and yarn, and design my own pattern. But I've been doing that for a while now. I saw this pattern that I am in love with and had to do. Almost finished with it now. But I'm using a sport weight yarn and needles that are in the 4 mm range that you're doing now. It's so putzy that I want to scream. But the project will be worth it when it's done. Here's the pattern. You guys might like this. It's a fitted watch cap. This is a vintage WW2 Red Cross pattern. Ignore the number 5 needle size listed here. They must have done sizing differently then. It's a 4 mm which is like our #6. The link is within this article.

http://handmadebymother.blogspot.com/2010/02/wow-army-strong-knits.html

dudeKnit
01-14-2013, 01:56 PM
I saw that and did like the watch cap.

I upped my needles, at first I was trying to use a #4 (3 or 3.5mm) for full worsted weight. I moved up my needle size to a #7 and it's much much smoother.

Can't tell you how many times I've restarted this project after only 4 or 5 rows, Saturday once I got the larger stainless needles though they just felt right. The stitching is not quite as small as I want it but I can live with it. Other than the one hole the other imperfections in it so far are minor and I can live with them. It is starting to feel more natural and I've been moving away from my comfort zone of how I'm holding the needles and have been experimenting with different needle positions. My crutch now seems to be holding them in a T formation with the right needle vertical. For some reason it feels comfortable I've been trying to force myself to hold them parallel to each other when I notice I'm going back to old habits.

I have noticed a stark improvement though in both precision and speed as no doubt my muscles are starting to develop that movement memory and it's almost automagic I do still have to pay attention. Last night I think I did 4 rows or 56 stitches in under 20 minutes which is a personal best for me.

So far the only thing that is upsetting me is that I didn't take this hobby up sooner. It's going to be nice to finish it and I'm already looking ahead to my next project which I would like to do a sweater or possibly fingerless gloves for out flying.

mojo11
01-14-2013, 02:17 PM
So far the only thing that is upsetting me is that I didn't take this hobby up sooner. It's going to be nice to finish it and I'm already looking ahead to my next project which I would like to do a sweater or possibly fingerless gloves for out flying.

Welcome to the dark side... your conversion is nearly complete (bwahahahhhh).

As a second project, I'd suggest aiming slightly lower than a sweater. And the reason I say this is that my first sweater is STILL on the needles and has already undergone a couple of major design changes. That was my third (apparel) project after a scarf and a basic ski cap. I figured I had done one flat and one round, so I got the basics... right?

:ahem:

Sweaters, even basic ones, can be tricky... plus they involve a LOT of stitches, and shaping. I understand the ambition TOTALLY. But as one who has been there done that pretty recently, I'd suggest doing some smaller things first to get introduced to the techniques you'll need before you find yourself chest deep in a Brain-Eating Zombie Sweater.

But if you DO decide to dive into the deep end, you might want to keep some smaller projects on the fire to give you a break from it. (Trust me, you'll need them.)

dudeKnit
01-14-2013, 02:33 PM
What would be a good next project, any suggestions? As I mentioned I've thought about doing some fingerless gloves too.

suzeeq
01-14-2013, 02:45 PM
My crutch now seems to be holding them in a T formation with the right needle vertical. For some reason it feels comfortable I've been trying to force myself to hold them parallel to each other when I notice I'm going back to old habits. I wouldn't call this a bad habit, hold the needles in a position that seems most comfortable for you. If you try to conform to what you thinks is 'normal' it may be tiring for you and distracting as well. I hold mine in a T at times, it depends on the stitch and needles; other times they're not really parallel but crossed at the tips and making a large X. There is no one absolute 'right' way to hold them, it's whatever works best for you.

dudeKnit
01-14-2013, 02:47 PM
Well I don't want to hold them like that mainly due to my needles, they are round and the line connecting the two needles is a metal cable. I'm worried about fatigue on that connection between needle and cable and having that cable begin to fray from bending due to it resting on me.

mojo11
01-14-2013, 02:57 PM
What would be a good next project, any suggestions? As I mentioned I've thought about doing some fingerless gloves too.

Gloves -- even fingerless ones -- can get a little tricky when you get to the thumb gusset. Plus you'll probably have to do some small-diameter circular knitting (unless you find a pattern that's knit flat and seamed, in which case you'll have to figure out seaming). It's not that these things are actually hard to do, I'd just suggest learning them on something that's a little bigger with larger gauge.

As boring as it sounds, I'd tackle a basic hat next. If you do it from the top down, you'll do a lot of increases which will get you used to what you'll have to do for that gusset. You'll also end up doing some small diameter work (unless the pattern is flat and then seamed... see above).

But hey... if you feel comfortable jumping in, I'll be the last one to stop ya. I'm just offering the experience of someone who did things in what was probably the EXACT wrong order from the "If I'd known then what I know now" perspective. Especially if I'd been learning without the benefit of a girlfriend who does this for a living. I had the comfort of knowing I couldn't get myself into more trouble than she could get me out of.

GrumpyGramma
01-14-2013, 03:15 PM
A good next project is whatever you want. My first real project was a hooded cardigan with pockets for my GS. I was motivated, he'd asked me to make it for him and picked out yarn he liked. It has front bands, one with buttonholes, that were seamed on. I didn't do set in sleeves, they were raglan. Far from perfect but he likes wearing it. Whatever you decide on, there is always help here, videos galore, and all kinds of printable instruction all over the internet. What's the worst that will happen? You'll set it aside and work on something else for a while or decide to frog and make something else. Either way, you'll learn valuable skills. I think there is one hard and fast principle when it comes to knitting: if it's not fun, it's not worth the effort.

One thing I found helpful in my earliest projects was using variegated yarn, it helps camouflage a multitude of unintented design features aka learning opportunities aka mistakes.

dudeKnit
01-14-2013, 03:25 PM
I think I am kinda putting the cart in front of the horse. I've seen it time and time again with my rc you suggest something appropriate for their skill level and then they go for the jet anyway, it always ends in disaster for the plane.

I think I may take a look at a hat. It's also not like it'll be the last thing I ever knit right? Plus I'm bald so the hat would keep the dome warm!:roflhard:

GrumpyGramma
01-14-2013, 03:37 PM
I think I am kinda putting the cart in front of the horse. I've seen it time and time again with my rc you suggest something appropriate for their skill level and then they go for the jet anyway, it always ends in disaster for the plane.

I think I may take a look at a hat. It's also not like it'll be the last thing I ever knit right? Plus I'm bald so the hat would keep the dome warm!:roflhard:

Lucky us, yarn is more forgiving than a plane. ;)

Jan in CA
01-14-2013, 03:38 PM
I make a lot of hats, mostly for charity. I just enjoy making them. They are small and usually easy to take along anywhere. I use them for experimenting with design, shape, colors, etc.

I prefer bottom up myself and I use magic loop so there are no seams and no switching of needles for the decreases. I rarely use patterns anymore.

I had to get an MRI last year and to keep myself from freaking out in that enclosed space I designed and "knit" a hat. When I got out I continued to think about it and eventually knit it. :)

This is the result-
http://www.ravelry.com/projects/JanCA/mri-hat

mojo11
01-14-2013, 04:13 PM
Hey, you might be one of those people who's able to pull off knitting a working TARDIS once you know a few basics. Such folk do exist, but I'm SO not one of them. Take on what you think you can handle. And if you crash, it's not as hard to rebuild as it would be with an airplane.

suzeeq
01-14-2013, 04:30 PM
Well I don't want to hold them like that mainly due to my needles, they are round and the line connecting the two needles is a metal cable.

Well, I only knit on circs, though I have plastic cords, but on some of them, the joins are metal. I don't think they're be too much stress on the joins, depends how long the cords are, I guess.

A hat is a great idea - not only do you learn to work in the round, but you also get practice at decreasing.

dudeKnit
01-14-2013, 04:57 PM
@mojo11, I did design and build a flying rc Tardis, I'll have to find pics and if I can't find em I'll rebuild it and get some pics.

Sadly I am not one of those that can learn a thing or two then blast off solo never to be seen again. I've learned it pays to take baby steps at least for me. My memory is pretty bad I've got a retention span slightly longer than a goldfish. So practice practice practice is the best answer. I didn't go from thinking planes were cool to designing and building jets, I started with basics, I didn't go from Hello World to The Baconator (an app I wrote while bored that tells you how many pieces of bacon stacked would equal your height how much it would weigh and how many calories it is) wrote one for Pringles as well. Both were simple apps but I learned tons while doing it, adding in animated splash screens as well as drawing a background that was not a typical square or rectangle.

@suzeeq, my needles are 24inch rounds what really stresses them is that I rest the right needle on my stomach and after I hook the stitch and slip it though I push it down onto the right needle, after each stitch I have to straighten the cable due to it being bent. That's why I'm worried about stressing it. I worked in a metal shop, you can do many things with metal but it doesn't like to be bent then rebent then rebent. Done enough times it will break.

suzeeq
01-14-2013, 05:07 PM
You might try a 30 or 32" needle next time you get one. For a hat you can use the 24" or the longer one and do the single loop method of knitting in the round.

mojo11
01-14-2013, 05:07 PM
@mojo11, I did design and build a flying rc Tardis, I'll have to find pics and if I can't find em I'll rebuild it and get some pics.

I might've known...:thumbsup:

Jan in CA
01-14-2013, 05:11 PM
I can do single loop, but i find it stresses the needles and project more than i like. I prefer to use a longer cable when doing magic loop. For socks I use a 32" and for hats I prefer a 40". Thank goodness for interchangeable needles. I only use circular now. I think I own only one pair of straights.

GrumpyGramma
01-14-2013, 05:21 PM
I did design and build a flying rc Tardis, I'll have to find pics and if I can't find em I'll rebuild it and get some pics.


Please oh please oh please!

mojo11
01-14-2013, 05:22 PM
I prefer to use a longer cable when doing magic loop. For socks I use a 32" and for hats I prefer a 40". Thank goodness for interchangeable needles. I only use circular now. I think I own only one pair of straights.

I've been using 32" for pretty much everything, but I just got a 40" to try out. Eventually I will break down and shell out for an interchangeable set, that's just more cake than I feel comfortable putting down right now. Besides which, there are two sets I'm considering and I haven't decided yet which one to get.

I only ever had one set of straight needles, and I almost never use them. I've run into one or two occasions when I was working on something that I needed a small piece for and it wouldn't wait (Bantamime's wings for one), so I used DPNs. But in the case of the wings at least, I wanted to be able to work them from either end anyway, so I'd have probably used DPNs regardless.

Jan in CA
01-14-2013, 06:08 PM
I have the equivalent of two sets of Knit Picks Options NP. One set I bought as a set, the other piecemeal.

dudeKnit
01-16-2013, 07:20 PM
Sorry for the long delay, been really busy.

Here are the pics of the project I promised.

In this one you can see the small hole I was referring to in a previous post.
http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj595/g0bshite/IMG_1065_zps588ad280.jpg

In this one I ended up picking up stitches. I'm not sure if I should go that far back to fix it. When I noticed it my original thought was to just add a tassel on either side to make it look intentional. Now I'm not so sure I want that. What would be the easiest way to fix this? Am willing to undo all that work to get back there.

http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj595/g0bshite/IMG_1067_zpse8c67a9e.jpg

suzeeq
01-16-2013, 07:31 PM
Just thread a short piece of yarn on either side of the hole on the WS and close it up.

dudeKnit
01-16-2013, 09:37 PM
Any thoughts on the section where I picked up stitches then tapered off back to my original stitch count?

suzeeq
01-16-2013, 09:46 PM
Uhhhh... call it a design feature. Yep, that's the ticket, you did that on purpose!

dudeKnit
01-17-2013, 10:59 AM
I did think of that which is why I tapered it and continued on with the project, but my daughter brought up the fact that the symmetry is off and I could stand it no longer. I ended up pulling out my needles and slowly peeled off until I reached just prior to the small whole, I carefully threaded my needle back in after the whole and started from there. I really hate to undo that much work, but given I started this no less than 10 times due to one reason or another I'd hate to have it look shoddy. I'd prefer to lose some work take a bit longer to complete but have a better looking finished product. I'm slightly obsessive like that.

suzeeq
01-17-2013, 11:04 AM
That's what I'd do too. It'll go faster the second time and look so much better you won't have minded redoing it.

mojo11
01-17-2013, 11:18 AM
I've gotten holes like that on occasion too, and I'm never really sure what causes them. I don't recall ever winding up with a "mystery stitch" so I don't think it was an accidental YO (plus it doesn't really look like a YO hole), and I think I'd know it if I'd accidentally knitted into the back loop (I have enough trouble doing that on purpose!)

My best guess is that the needle went into a place it wasn't meant to go, but it would have to do it without me noticing it.

Any guesses?

Antares
01-17-2013, 11:47 AM
In spite of the hole, your knitting is looking great. I can't see it very well, but I wonder if the hole would have blocked out. Of course, that would only work if your design wasn't messed up. I sometimes get smallish holes in my knitting, and it's where I made a looser stitch. These usually work themselves out "in the wash," so to speak. :shrug:

It sounds like you're learning some valuable lessons with this project. It's good to know how to "frog" back and fix something, and you appear to have done it perfectly! You deserve a pat on the back for just that feat alone.

dudeKnit
01-17-2013, 11:59 AM
The hole really was a minor issue. I had figured to try to repair it as suzeeq suggested with just a loop and a square knot, I don't think it ever would have been noticeable but to me. The main problem I had was picking up those extra stitches and having it widen out then taper back off. When I decided to peel off to repair that, I figured why not take it back far enough to fix the hole as well.

It seems I'm also getting faster each day. I think the last time I actually picked up needles to knit, Tuesday I did about an inch in just a few hours.

Thank you for the compliment on the knitting. You wouldn't be surprised how many times I started, restarted it until it looked right. It's really nice when you get the hang of it and it starts to look like something. I almost feel like I know what I'm doing. I was impressed how well my color transition went.

mojo11
01-17-2013, 12:22 PM
You wouldn't be surprised how many times I started, restarted it until it looked right. It's really nice when you get the hang of it and it starts to look like something. I almost feel like I know what I'm doing. I was impressed how well my color transition went.

You're right... I wouldn't be surprised. Been there, done that :mrgreen:. But you're further along than I was at this stage -- even with a personal trainer!

Just wait, once you've got the knit and the purl stitches mastered, there's literally no limit to the variations of how you put them together. They are the basis of everything else, and once you have a firm command of them you can literally do anything. In programmer speak, they're the primitives. If they're sound, the objects you derive from them will be sound. And the objects can be as complex as your imagination will let them be.

dudeKnit
01-17-2013, 01:10 PM
I suppose it is alot like that. In the beginning it looked more like spaghetti code than a well structured program, don't bother looking for comments though. :roflhard:

mojo11
01-17-2013, 01:14 PM
I suppose it is alot like that. In the beginning it looked more like spaghetti code than a well structured program, don't bother looking for comments though. :roflhard:

I make plenty of comments while I'm knitting. Many (most?) of them completely inappropriate for this forum. :twisted:

I tend to see most things through the programing prism. I can make them make sense if I can model them on something I know.

Wait until you recycle a thrift shop sweater... you'll hitnk it looks more like Ramen noodle code than spaghetti! :lol:

Antares
01-17-2013, 01:31 PM
Well, you're certainly making remarkable progress--even stitches, successful frogging and reknitting, color changes, etc. And the great thing about knitting is that it's a lot like life: It may not turn out perfectly, but you learn a lot in the process! :wink:

And by the way, not to discourage you (quite the opposite): I tend to frog every project at least 3 or 4 times before I get going good on it. For some reason, it just takes me a while to get the knitting train headed in the right direction. So although 10 times is a lot of restarting, I believe that was normal for me, too, when I first started. Perhaps we just learn best by doing . . . . and redoing!

mojo11
01-17-2013, 01:34 PM
So although 10 times is a lot of restarting, I believe that was normal for me, too, when I first started. Perhaps we just learn best by doing . . . . and redoing!

An old boss of mine once old me "You'll learn something better and faster by doing it wrong once than you will by doing it right 10 times."

I believe him!

GrumpyGramma
01-17-2013, 01:57 PM
Nice knitting, dude! Your stitches look great. I think your hole might be an accidental knit 2 together decrease. If you've not already frogged, see if you can tell if you knitted 2 together when you pull that one out. I thoroughly dislike counting stitches but learned that it can be a lot faster and easier in the long run. In my earliest knitting I placed markers, you could use anything that will go on the needle between stitches and not snag your yarn--a small loop of contrasting yarn works well--and know you should have a certain number of stitches (pick a number, 1/2 or 1/4 your total stitch count) between markers and it helps figure out where your count is off.

dudeKnit
01-17-2013, 02:35 PM
What is frogging?

The stitches started looking like that when I got a good set of needles, why does a good set cost as much as a cheap set? Got some stainless Chaiogoo and I absolutely love them.

I did use red color markers just made some rounds from red yarn and would loop them over every 10 stitches, they lasted about 2 rows, but that was with the old smaller needles. I'm sure the stitching size has more to do with the larger needles vs me trying to go with the smaller needles. I am enjoying it though. It's nice to work on it, then put it down for a half hour and go back to it, but I find I tend to stare at it while I'm not working on it.

It also beats wasting my life sitting in front of the tv or my computer while home. I much prefer doing something.

mojo11, I just noticed what your avatar says, how many people have caught the reference?

mojo11
01-17-2013, 02:37 PM
What is frogging?

You've done lots of it, by your reports. :"frogging" is just pulling out row(s) of knitting. I believe the term came to the knitting lexicon because it's the :ahem: publicly acceptable version of what you really WANT to say as you're doing this.

Jan in CA
01-17-2013, 02:38 PM
Frogging... Frogs say "rip-it, rip-it"... :lol:

GrumpyGramma
01-17-2013, 02:43 PM
Frogging... Frogs say "rip-it, rip-it"... :lol:

Yup, the frog said, "rip-it, rip-it!" and I did. Never mind the devil on my shoulder, it's the frog I hear.

Antares
01-17-2013, 03:35 PM
And when you "tink" you unknit your stitches a stitch at a time by inserting your needle into the stitch and removing the yarn. I love this word because it's knit backwards! Hee!

Yes, the quality and make-up of your needles can make a lot of difference in how your stitches look. As I mentioned earlier, I get much more uniform stitches using bamboo and wooden needles. Curiouser and curiouser, isn't it?

I know what you mean about staring at your knitting when you're not working on it (maybe that's why we love to look at patterns, too). I did this (and still do sometimes) with a finally finished object. It's kinda amazing to think that you're actually creating something and that it looks pretty darn good. Admiring your handiwork and thinking about knitting and what's next, yeah, talk about a time suck (but a good one).