View Full Version : about to give up

11-16-2007, 03:41 PM
i have been practicing every day for a week and no matter what im doing - casting on, knitting or purling - my rows come out uneven and twisted. as im knitting the rows, they just twist all around and i can't seem to get control of any of it, some stitches are too tight, some too loose..it just always looks a mess. i can't even get an easy begining project passed the 2nd row cause it looks horrible and but the time the second row is done, it isn't even workable anymore and i have to undo the whole thing. im tired, my head hurts and im just feeling really defeated already.

11-16-2007, 03:48 PM
Awwwwww, I'm sorry. I haven't been knitting long myself. Is there anyone you know who knits who can sit with you? It is hard to tell what you may be doing wrong, and I am by no means an expert, but there are a lot of experts on here who may be able to help you. Don't give up, please!!! Have you watched any of the videos available on this site? They are extremely helpful..


11-16-2007, 03:53 PM
I hope you can take heart in the fact that we have all been there at the beginning and that if you stick with it there will be a lightbulb moment where it seems to click for you.
I started with a basic Red Heart acrylic yarn. (dirt cheap) and probably about size 8 needles and just cast on and knit and knit and knit. Rip out and start again until I didn't feel like setting the yarn on fire and storming out of the house and screaming.
Hang in there we're all rooting for you.

Becky Morgan
11-16-2007, 04:14 PM
I don't know any knitters who were perfect from the start. Work looks rough, has funky edges, uneven tension and the whole nine yards (okay, more like 90 yards.) It just happens, and it evens out with time and practice. Oh...and laundry. Running stuff through the laundry shakes out a whole, whole lot of uneven tension and so forth.

Why don't you make something felted? If you can get it more or less the right shape, nobody's going to see detail after you roast it in the washer for a while :D Been there, done every bit of that, not gonna quit knitting!

11-16-2007, 04:17 PM
you have to practice to get the tension right.

i've improved mine tremendously in the past few weeks but i still sometimes get too critical of my work.

be patient with yourself. if i haven't thrown in the towel yet, you shouldn't either!


11-16-2007, 04:19 PM
Don't give up quite yet. Try finding a Michael's in your area and having a class or two. Honestly it IS worth the money. Pregodego, imagine how you are going to feel when you produce something knitted for your own baby? YOU CAN DO THIS!!! IT IS WORTH THE TIME AND MONEY! If I can do it, anyone can.

11-16-2007, 04:47 PM
Aww, please don't give up. I bet it's not nearly as bad as you think! The first two rows of any project always seem a bit messy, but as you get further into it, it all evens out a bit and gets easier to control. Maybe you should try different yarn and/or different needles? Some yarn and needles are harder to deal with than others.

Besides checking out the videos on this site, check out the "knitters knear you" forum and find a nice knitter knear you, I'm sure there is someone willing to get together with you and help you out!

11-16-2007, 05:12 PM

Everyone else has given great advice, but I'll add my two cents.

Be sure you're holding the yarn so that you don't have to pick it up every time you knit a new stitch. Thread it through your fingers like in the videos. It really DOES make a difference!

11-16-2007, 05:32 PM
*sings* Just keep knitting, just keep knitting... *sings*:whistle:

When I was just starting, I knit the entire back and front panels of a sweater, realized every single stitch was both twisted and a different tension, ripped the whole thing out and started over. After that, it got a lot better. By the time I was done with the front of the sweater again, I understood the mechanics of the stitch and everything else just fell into place.

I've always found that the first five or so rows of a project are the hardest because until then, the rows like to wrap around the needle and it's harder to get a good grip on the project itself. Persistence is usually the key. Work slowly for the first few rows and watch how the stitches are interacting with each other. Try a different cast-on if what you're using isn't working for you. You could even try switching needles. I've got needle sizes that I can't stand working with and shifting either up or down a size sometimes helps, especially if you're working a project that doesn't need you to meet a specific gauge. I think the hardest thing to remember is to take your time. You don't have to get it right away.

Please don't give up. It's really a fun activity once you get the hang of it.

11-16-2007, 05:47 PM
What a horrible feeling, but like everyone else said, don't give up! Even people who have been knitting for a while feel frustrated and upset sometimes. You just have to be patient. My first project was a dishcloth. I think this a great first project because it's smaller than a scarf and if you screw it up, you can still use it. I've actually learned a LOT of stitches by knitting dishcloths.
Just know that we're all here for you and someone will be able to answer any questions you may have.
Also, I think the others were right, the first two rows of anything never looks good. Knit a few more rows and see how it turns out.
Good luck and happy knitting!

11-16-2007, 05:55 PM
Valarie: Please don't give up. Knitting is such a wonderful hobby. Creating something from a skien of yarn, being creative and doing something with your hands when you watch TV, or even when you just need to get thru a tough time.

Try to get past the first few rows. Just keep going, knitting each row. Don't worry about how it looks just keep knitting, look at the stiches and results and how the yarn wraps around to form the stitch. Take your time but don't give up you will get it.

Any opportunity you have to take a class, sit down with fellow knitters, visit your local yarn shop or chat here will us - do it - you will get it. After you do you will appreciate the talent since you worked so hard.


11-16-2007, 07:04 PM
I felt exactly the same way at first. What helped me was finally just continuing working (plan 2x2 ribbed scarf) no matter what. I refused to frog it and just kept going. As I went along I could see the improvement as the scarf got longer.

While it was a very odd looking thing by the time I had done the last couple of feet it was nice and even.

Just keep after it, don't worry about it being perfect at first, and just practice. It will come to you.

11-16-2007, 07:21 PM
I think that many of us become quite proficient at frogging before knitting! Unfair, but just the way it is. You'll get it; just keep at it and know that we've all been there. None of us was born able to knit, unfortunately.

11-16-2007, 08:50 PM
are you trying to combine stitches yet? are you trying to do both purls and knits? MY suggestion (and this is just my opinion) is that you shouldn't try to move on to doing both stitches until you become proficient at doing them by themselves. Everybody just wants to jump in and start working on all the cool patterns they see but until you feel comfortable with the stitches, you will just keep getting frustrated.

One of the biggest lessons I learned from the lady who taught me was to just keep knitting. I was very puzzled after having done about FOUR stitches on the second row of garter stitch (nothing but knit stitch.) because, as i told her, it didn't look right. She said "YOu haven't been knitting long enough to know if it looks right or not... just keep knitting." and i did... :) I personally think that the people who get the most frustrated are the ones who keep ripping it out, trying to get those first few rows perfect. (yeah you know i am talking about you!) I think that you need to take on those "problem rows" as a badge of honor and just leave them in your work. Don't start with something that will be important to you. Start with something that you can put away when you are done and smile about after you become proficient and are doing crazy intricate lace and cables and be amazed about from whence you came!

I would also watch Amy's video of a small project. There are lots of good tips in there that I would have missed if i hadn't watched it. I already knew the basics when I found that video. I ignored it for a while thinking that there wasn't anything i could learn in it.... i was definitely wrong! :cheering:

And if you get to a point where you just can NOT make your knitting work, take it, in all it's knotty glory with you to an LYS and say HELP! almost always there will be SOMEONE there who is happy to help!

11-16-2007, 09:52 PM
Oh have I been where you are now. It took me *days* to actually figure out how to do a knit stitch. I just couldn't figure out where to put the needle in and then when I tried to drop it off the left needle the whole darned thing either got twisted or fell off both needles. I'm surpriesed I'm not bald what with all the hair I ripped out of my head. ;) Then (as a pp said) somehow, someway, it all just clicked and I had the knit stitch down. It worked. It looked like a real, honest-to-God stitch! So I knitted and knitted and knitted - square after square of nothing but knit. Then it was on to the purl stitch. Same thing and back to pulling hair out. But I got it and now I'm officially addicted. :) Trust me, you will be, too.

11-16-2007, 11:17 PM
Practice, practice, practice.... That's all it is, you're training your brain and your body to do something new and it takes time. Don't try to do a `project' right off the bat, use some cheapo yarn, co about 30 stitches and knit for 2-3". Then add a purl row and alternate for a few inches - k 1 row, purl 1 row. Just do that over and over, don't rip out, try to figure out what mistakes you're making but just leave the mistakes in there. Ripping out causes more frustration, and prevents you from moving ahead. After you think you're okay (not good, okay or better than when you started) do some increases and decreases. Then you might want to try ribbing, alternating knit and purl sts on the same row; start with k3, p3, do that a couple inches, then k2,p2 for a couple inches, ending up with a k1, p1 rib. Just play with the yarn, don't fight with it, otherwise it becomes a chore.

11-17-2007, 01:16 AM
And if you get to a point where you just can NOT make your knitting work, take it, in all it's knotty glory with you to an LYS and say HELP! almost always there will be SOMEONE there who is happy to help!

This is such a true statement. The ladies at both of my LYS's seem to live to help new knitters. I've seen people walk in with a knot of yarn that I couldn't make heads or tails of and these ladies set the knitter down and patiently untangle the yarn and explain everything. It's extremely fun to watch.

11-17-2007, 06:42 AM
I'm not sure how most people start out, but it was a while for me before I started anything more than a scarf or a baby blanket. My sister gave me a skein and I literally knitted the entire thing into an oddly tapered shape. The first 20 or so rows were awful, complete with twisted stitches, dropped stitches, and all kinds of weird tensions, but I got the hang of it and by the end of the skein, things were evening out and looking far better. You just have to stick with it until you find your rhythm.

One thing that held me back was learning how to hold the yarn to maintain tension. I think there is a video about that on this site somewhere

11-17-2007, 08:55 AM
My family and I had fun with the "archeological layers" in my first scarf. I would hold it up from time to time and we would all rejoice to see my stitches and tension improving. I was following the philosophy of a previous golf instructor, who said that great golfers become great by hitting thousands and millions of balls. I was just knitting thousands and millions of stitches.

11-17-2007, 11:09 PM
thanks ladies for all the support and cheering on.

im a cloth diapering mama...who never ever did cloth diapers ever in my life. it was something i needed to train myself to understand and keep up on and stick thorugh even when it got tough or when i got overhwlemed with all the lingo and terms and types of methods. now, i host an online board for cloth diaparing mamas!

so that is what i have been reminding myself constantly, it takes time, one step at a time, i realize im not going to understand every term or way of casting on or even how to make anything past the first few rows of a pot holder.

so i started with a simple cast on that made sense - the long tail, i get it, it's fast and easy and i have now gotten it towhere it isn't too tight anymoreand is pretty even. then i knitted for days..just knitted and knitted and knitted. then i spent days on purling, just purling and purling and purling. then i tried to combine them and it got messy but i had it pretty good.

i think i have found out what it is that's making it difficult. today my friend who crochets, she brought osme stuff to our kids' soccer game to show me (and to give me tons of yarn! the softest yarn i have ever felt!) anyways, and she showed me how to do some crocheting...with a shorter and thicker needle than i use to knit. it was so easy! i felt i had more control with the hook size and im thinking it might be the problem...my knitting needles are too long and too thin for me. they get in the way when they are suppose to be what's doing the work!

so tomorrow im going to head over to the store and pick up short, thicker needles and see if it helps. thank goodness needles aren't too expensive!

im not giving up...i know i can't, it will irk me for the rest of my life LOL and even dh is seeing my work and telling me im doing good and not to give up and that he thinks i am going to love it and enjoy it and do so so good once i get all the kinks worked out.

11-17-2007, 11:28 PM
Keep in mind that thicker needles are used for thicker yarn, so if you use really thick needles with thin yarn, it might look a bit strange. I might suggest getting some circular needles because the ends of the needles don't get in your way as much

11-17-2007, 11:32 PM
Don't give up! It took me several weeks before I could get my rows to come out even. The key to everything is practice. Try to knit for like 30 minutes a day. I even knit while I'm watching t.v. especially during comercials. Everbody knows the position you'r in because everyone who has knitted before has been there! Best wishes in knitting!:grphug:

11-18-2007, 01:16 AM
Even if you get size 10.5 or 11 needles, you don't have to use bulky yarn with them, at least for practice. Size 10s would be good and I also suggest circulars. I can't use even 10" straight ones, they get in the way; the shorter needle ends on circs are a perfect size for hands.

11-18-2007, 01:20 AM
Everyone has given you great tips...just wanted to say don't give up :hug:

11-18-2007, 01:28 AM
Even if you get size 10.5 or 11 needles, you don't have to use bulky yarn with them, at least for practice. Size 10s would be good and I also suggest circulars. I can't use even 10" straight ones, they get in the way; the shorter needle ends on circs are a perfect size for hands.

Ah, you're right. I suppose I should have qualified what I said just a bit.