View Full Version : Need some encouragement
09-12-2005, 02:03 PM
I now know why you all encourage newbies to try and begin a project that will be easy and quick. I am a new knitter and I honestly am proud of myself because I can actually knit and purl. Thats where it ends though. I have begun a couple of projects only to dissolve into tears of frustration. I've seen lots of newbies get on here and say how they've knitted scarves, mittens, even Sweaters. I am still working on my guage swatches.
I've tried making two scarves and somehow I ended up adding or losing stitches. Granted it was a popcorn type yarn that I think was too much for me to handle. I only got halfway through the scarf and ran out of yarn.
I bought a kit from Target to make a bag. I started knitting the swatch for the bag, and the circular needles BROKE!!! I wasn't pulling hard or anything. (It was my first time using circular needles).
Okay, so I thought, I just need to start with an even easier project (a hand towel with very basic knit and purl instructions). I now have 4 extra stitches on my needles. UGGGGHHHH!!! I've only knitted 4 rows and I'm already off.
I soooo much want this to work. Just like any new craft, I know it takes practice. I have done many little swatches figuring out how to knit, purl, do the seed stitch. etc. It works fine up until I actually try making something. And then don't even get me started on how to read a pattern. I feel like I'm learning a foreign language.
Gosh,I'm sorry to vent like this. I'm usually the one people come to for comfort. I just want to be able to knit like I sort of know what I'm doing. I want this to work. :(
If you've read this far, well, thanks for letting me vent. Normallly I'm not like this, but I'm just really sad I cannot seem to make anything yet. Sigh, I know, I know, Practice. I'll just keep plugging along.
09-12-2005, 02:12 PM
Hang in there! :thumbsup:
It really does get better. For a while I'd suggest counting your stitches every row or every other row. That way you can see where you have a tendency to add or lose stitches and fix it before you get too far.
I taught both my daughters to knit, and a SIMPLE scarf or dishcloth is a good first project. Don't make it too wide. That will simplify the counting.
We ALL went through the beginning knitting growing pains. You have to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run (in most cases).
You just need a CHEERLEADER :balloons: :cheering:
(KellyK where ARE you?)
:cheering: :happydance: :cheering: :happydance: :cheering: :happydance:
Just think how much you've learned already!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
HAPPY KNITTING :XX: :XX: hopefully without much :frog: :frog:
09-12-2005, 02:12 PM
Amy I'm sorry your having a hard time. I know when I started thats what I'd do start something tear it out and finally a friend of mine said just try to make something so I did the diagonal wash rag.. I pulled that thing apart I don't know how many times all I can say is just keep trying and practicing and one day it will just click.. Thats how it happened for me.. When I first started I also had to sit quietly by myself after the kids were in bed or afternoon naps and I would just watch how I put the needle in every stitch I just watched what I was doing.. Hang in there and keep trying :thumbsup:
09-12-2005, 02:25 PM
Yep Amy dear, I have to agree--count your stitches often. Sometimes, the very first stitch can look like 2 if the yarn is turned over the needle the wrong way--it's happened to me a lot, til I began to take notice of now it looked different. :rollseyes:
Honey--I've been knitting for about a year now, and I feel so slow sometimes ;) !! THis morning I spent almost 3 hours! YES ! THREE!! :shock: Undoing a little baby sock at the toe because I had dropped 2 stitches!! I had to undo an almost completed sock and believe me, I was tired when I finally got through. But so glad when it all turned out. If you have a library nearby, you might want to go and get a good knitting book and just read some of the Q&A's One thing for sure-you keep on knitting and purling girl--it'll start turning out just right soon. Sorry about your very bad Target needles!!
Keep on Keeping ON!!!!! :thumbsup:
09-12-2005, 02:28 PM
My best idea for a first project came about 3 months too late...knit a scarf for a toddler. I'm sure you know a little girl or little boy who could use one for the winter, or at least know someone who does. Anyway...toddler scarves are soooooo easy and fast. I've made a few so far and they knit really quick and give you good practice and especially that good feeling of accomplishment. And since they have to be kinda narrow, 5-10 stitches per row is plenty. I played with that a bit and had a blast. The first one I did was garter stitch all the way through. But then I changed it up a bit and did 5 alternating rows of stockinette ...if that makes sense. Anyway, my point: start with the really easy stuff, but don't let yourself get bored. Play with your own mental pattern (i.e., hmm, I wonder how this will look if I k2tog, yo all the way across). (BTW, I've found that this also helps to learn how to read other patterns as well, because you get a grasp on why a pattern reads the way it does.)
Oh, and one more tip. And this was a HUGE help for me. I watched all of Amy's videos. Even the ones I knew I wouldn't be using for a while. I found that the more you watched, the more you can really see what you're trying to get done. And also, I watched some and thought...Hey, that's not hard! I can SO do that!
09-12-2005, 03:44 PM
:cheering: You can do it!!
You are right in saying it just takes a lot of practice. One of the resons I wanted to learn was that I am sooooo bad at anything that requires discipline/practice -- I wanted to use it as a sort of exercise to make myself do something that wasn't easy right off the bat. Because usually, if something isn't easy right off the bat for me, I quit. :rollseyes:
So (and I share this often around here!) when I started I cast on 25 stitches and made myself knit through an entire skein of yarn. For the first 30 rows or so I had to count every row -- if I added a stitch, I would just knit two together to get back to the right number. Eventually, adding stitches became rarer so I stopped counting (yay!). Hours and hours and several feet of scarf later, I felt pretty confident! And you will too.... :D
Also, I realy think that new knitters should stick to regular, worsted weight yarn -- it's much, much easier to see your mistakes and learn from them.
09-12-2005, 05:07 PM
I totally agree with Julie. Just knit and knit some more. Simple washcloths are great. You can practice all kinds of things and you only have to count to, what, 40 or so? If you want to keep very careful count, put a marker every 10 or 20 stitches. This way you'll know where you gained or lost a stitch and you can figure out what you did wrong. If you don't feel like going back to fix it, knit two together or increase a stitch. It's not as if you're doing this on commission. It's a learning experience. If it's always at the beginning, then you know that the first stitch is the problem. If it's in a section where you're switching back an forth between k and p, you know that maybe you're not putting your yarn in the right place.
Just have fun with it and when you complete something, put it away to look at a few months from now. You'll be able to chuckle at how far you've come.
09-12-2005, 05:57 PM
Amers....You are getting there sweetie!!! I know you can do it! It takes practice. I just did a knit/purl project that I had to rip out twice!!!! But I finished it yesterday, post to follow. When you are switching from knit to purl, make sure you remember to move your yarn to the front. That was my problem.
Good luck!!!! :XX: :XX:
09-12-2005, 06:29 PM
Hang in there - it does get better. I first learned to knit 18 years ago, and I remember calling my mother-in-law in tears because I couldn't figure out what a "Piss-o" was.... she laughed and explained that they are letters p-s-s-o, and not a word.... so from there it was all up hill. Remember, we were all newbies once.
Keep trying. Try the knit stitch (knit all rows) when that is mastered, add purl - a little at a time. You CAN do it!!
09-12-2005, 07:31 PM
I know how you feel!! I remember so clearly the first night that I learned how to knit- I was so proud of myself, and had this little swatch done- I had done it at a yarn shop. Then I went home, promptly messed it up, and couldn't figure out what I had done wrong OR how to fix it!! I was so discouraged that I learned how to do the knit stitch, finished the scarf I was working on, and didn't try again.
Now, it is a year later, and I decided that I was determined to learn- and become proficient. (sp?). I have had many times when I have been SOOOOO frustrated when I haven't been able to figure something out. The people here, along with Amy's videos, and some books from the library, have helped me out tremendously. Try to stay confident- you'll figure it out and before you know it, you'll be posting pictures of your finished projects!!
YOU CAN DO IT!! :cheering: :cheering: :cheering:
09-12-2005, 08:58 PM
Amers! YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!
First, did you take the crappy needles back to target????? Good needles can make a big difference sometimes!
Why not try the bag again? If that's what you really want to do... go for it! What's the worst that could happen.... so you have to rip it out and start again. Making mistakes is how we learn (the teacher in me is talking)... and making mistakes is the best way to learn how to fix mistakes. Have you checked out amy's videos on fixing?? even if you can't figure out how to fix it (or make a bigger mess like i did when I first started!) you can at least learn how to frog (rip out) without starting completely over. Here's a link (http://knittinghelp.com/knitting/basic_techniques/misc.php) to the video page for fixing mistakes, it's the third one down.
Maybe don't worry about a project (per se) right now.... just practice. Practice making mistakes and fixing them. You'll be able to start something "harder" later! Knitting should be about fun, not pressure!
09-13-2005, 12:18 AM
I have been knitting for almost a year now, and I am still almost OCD about counting my stitches... I wish I had known this when I started knitting... put a stitch marker every ten (or 5) stitches when you cast on, that way you can pretty much tell just by looking at it if you have too many or too few stitches in a given section, and if you gain or lose one it'll be easier to figure out where you made your mistake...keep on keeping on, it gets better!!
*edited because I can't frickin type!!!!
09-13-2005, 08:21 AM
I remember calling my mother-in-law in tears because I couldn't figure out what a "Piss-o" was.... she laughed and explained that they are letters p-s-s-o, and not a word....
:roflhard: OMG Im never calling a PISSO anything else, ever again!!! :roflhard:
Amy, I would bet that you are doing exactly what Ellen said....I was just teaching a friend to knit this weekend & this was her most common mistake. Before you start a new row, check to make sure that you move your working yarn forward, down & back before you make that first stitch. If the yarn was moved up and over and back, you may be knitting into both of the "legs" of that first stitch.
Dont get discouraged! Knitting is SUPPOSED to be awkward in the very beginning until you really learn the anatomy of stitches and, more so, until you find your own "style". Everyone holds their needles and yarn a little differently, and it takes a bit to develop a feel for tension.
You're doin FINE. Knitting is one BIG OLD LESSON in patience.
And, lets not call them "swatches"....let's call them COASTERS. That way, you have SEVERAL finished pieces to be PROUD of!! :thumbsup:
09-13-2005, 01:38 PM
Thank you so much EVERYONE, for your kind encouraging words. I totally have taken them to heart and I really appreciate your taking the time let me know that I am not a bad or incompetent knitter, just a newbie.
I do have a quick Amy Story for you all. (I'm known for my Amy stories).
So I decided to start the handtowel again. All was going well, no extra stitches, I'd done eleven rows, but it just wasn't looking like the picture. What was I doing wrong (I must've recounted my stitches 50 times!) I realized that I was working off of TWO different patterns (I had copied two down on two different sides of the paper). Well, I guess when I got up, the paper turned over and I didn't realize it. I just couldn't understand why my pattern looked NOTHING like the picture. LOL. Well, at least I finally finished a project!!! :happydance: Granted,its a weird looking project, :roflhard: , but at least its done LOL
Again, thanks for your kind words!!! :heart:
09-15-2005, 08:14 PM
Oh Amy, you made me laugh and laugh. :roflhard: Not at you mind you, but at the similarities I see in you when it comes to my beginning knitting experiences, without the cable breaking, but hey, that could happen to any of us, right? I do have a size 2 bamboo needle that is seriously warped after trying a swatch. I'm not quite sure what happened.
And, knitting off of two patterns... dare I say it.... it has happened to me to. :oops:
I am still very slow. Still sometimes have added stitches or fewer stitches than I am supposed to. My first project was a scarf for my sister and I looked at it like 2 months after I gave it to her and boy, it was so far from the pattern. Although, it still looked good. ;) I am slow knitter. I take a long time to finish something, and have yet to move on to wearable items besides scarves. Mainly because I can't find the time. But, you hang in there and it will come to you.
I always read through the pattern now to make sure it makes sense, if it is one I copied though. :lol: Good luck!! You can do it!!
09-16-2005, 02:05 PM
When I first started a few months ago I started with a scarf. I cast on 60 stitches and by the time it was a foot long I had added another 40 rows!!
It drove me crazy until I realized I wasn't orienting the yarn correctly at the end of a row. The best advice I found on this was to gently tug your work when you're about to knit a new row. This will give you the proper orientation. Persistance pays off, believe me if I had a buck for every time I had to restart a project I would be knitting with cashmere. :D I try to remind myself that what I really love about knitting is the process, not the fact that I've created yet another hat or scarf. Good Luck. :thumbsup:
09-16-2005, 10:43 PM
Being a relative newby myself, here are my starter tips:
1. Although there are so many pretty yarns out there, stay away from anything knobby or with texture. Too hard to see what you are doing. Likewise, I would be cautious about using cotton, like for dishclothes, because many people find it inflexible and unforgiving. Go out and get a pretty worsted wool, say a Lion Brand Wool Ease, to work with.
2. Do not discount the effect of decent lighting and no distractions. Don't try to knit while you are watching Nip-Tuck or Sex and the City. Do it with as few distractions as possible, and the brighter the light, the better.
3. Needles - my first needles were bamboo size 15. I had read online how wonderful they were. Well, with the boucle I was working with (see #1 above for my recommendations on yarn), and the bamboo, I was driving myself nuts. Ripped it apart so many times the boucle literally fell apart. I almost threw those stupid needles out. I didn't, but I did go out and buy some smaller metal needles at Michaels, and used a different yarn where I could see what was really happening. My point here, is that the tools you are using might be working against you. If you are currently using plastic, give bamboo or metal or try, or vice versa. The price of one set of needles won't kill you.
Good luck! My biggest challenge these days is fixing my boo-boos....I work constantly on it!
09-16-2005, 11:13 PM
I have not had the same experience that many people seem to have with cotton. I love using cotton, I found it VERY forgiving and VERY easy to use. Tension was easy to adjust, and it does not knot up like other yarns do if you pull too much out at once. A great thing about cotton is that most use it for a dishcloth so it is a quick project, easy to learn with.
09-16-2005, 11:15 PM
aw... *hugs* hang in there amers, you will be fine. the last half of December was filled with me sitting on the couch swearing at my knitting, and a few times in March or so I threw my needles across the room when I got pissed at trying to purl . just stick with it. I saved my very first scarf (Lion Homespun, all garter stitch, PLENTY of mistakes, and the width varies from like 4" to 8" in some places.... yeah...) just so I can see how far I've come along. you will do just fine. :thumbsup: