View Full Version : question about knitting basics....

01-28-2006, 03:07 AM
I am new to knitting and I am following a pattern for a preemie hat. The pattern is pretty simple you start with 1 inch of ribbing: Knit 2, Purl 2,Knit 2, Purl 2, and so on. However when I start on the second row I find it harder to get the right needle into the stitches. Is this normal?

01-28-2006, 08:45 AM
Check to make sure you're doing your stitches correctly on the first row. It may be that you're twisting your stitches by knitting or purling into the wrong side of the loop.

Once you're sure your doing it correctly, it could just be that you're a tight knitter--which is common in the beginning. Make sure you don't tighten your stitches as you make them. Just let them flow.

01-28-2006, 05:45 PM
Try this:

Take the needle with all the stitches on it, and hold it so that the pointy end is to the right, like you were going to knit from it. Without pushing any stitches off the needles, spread a good number of they w-a-y out so that you can clearly distinguish one from the next and you can see a small gap between each.

Notice that the stitches ride your needle with one leg on either side of the needle's shaft. On each stitch, one leg is slightly closer to the tip of the needle. This is called the 'leading leg'.

If all the leading legs are on the front side of the needle, you are pulling the yarn too tight between stitches. Relax. You don't need to tug it to keep it secure.

If all the leading legs are on the back side of the needle, you are either learning to knit Eastern style, which is highly unusual and you would probably know it, or you are unwittingly twisting all your stitches. You're either not entering the stitch on the needle through the leading leg, or you're wrapping the working yarn in the wrong direction.

If the leading leg alternates with every other pair of stitches, you are probably twisting only the purls, and the most common reason is that you're doing what is easiest and most natural, which is purling in the combined style. (There's nothing wrong with that, but to do it correctly you have to change your knit stitches to untwist the purls when you hit them, you have to learn to watch your leading legs to cue you into the proper place to insert the needle, and you have to alter patterns in your head to ensure that the decreases slant in the proper direction. All of which can be daunting to anyone, let alone someone just learning to knit.)

Watch the basic stitch videos. They'll help you see that you're inserting your needle in the right direction, behind the proper leg, and wrapping your yarn in the correct direction.