View Full Version : I learned it's really important to... because...

12-19-2007, 05:29 PM
This is a thread for fun and for educational purposes. I was thinking last night about all the lessons that I've learned with each knitting mistake I've made, and I was thinking that I should write them all down so that I don't forget. Then I was thinking that it would be neat to know what are some major lessons that other knitters have learned and might share, so that we can learn from each other's mistakes.

I realize this might have a bit of a newbie flavor to it, but that's okay, right? Here goes...

ILIRIT (I've learned it's really important to) pull the first stitch on each needle really tight when knitting on double-pointed needles, because otherwise I'll end up with a big gap in my knitting.

ILIRIT follow decreasing instructions exactly, especially when it comes to doing a row of even knitting in between decreasing rows, because otherwise your project looks REALLY weird.

ILIRIT wind center-pull balls correctly, because otherwise you can end up with an enormous tangle of yarn.

ILIRIT make sure your gauge is accurate, because otherwise you will knit it all in the wrong size. While this is not so important for a scarf, when it comes to hats or items that have to *fit*, it's very important.

ILIRIT use a larger size needle when using 2 strands of yarn, because otherwise you'll end up with a hat so stiff you can eat soup out of it.

OKay, that's all for me so far. Join in and share what you've learned from your mistakes!

12-19-2007, 05:34 PM
ILIRIT measure yourself honestly before embarking on a pattern and to measure your work as you go or you will end up with something that doesn't fit.... ever.

12-19-2007, 05:49 PM
ILIRIT not knit a scarf in stockinette when you don't want it to curl because no matter how clever you think you are, you WON'T get it to stop.

ILIRIT realize that no matter how hard and hot you iron acrylic, it's not going to block and lie flat. (See above)

12-19-2007, 06:23 PM
ILIRIT swatch, swatch, swatch... My knitting has less tears now that I consistently swatch...
This is a great thread!:happydance:
That's tears as in crying not tears as in holes...

12-19-2007, 06:27 PM
ILIRIT Check gauge throughout your project, because if you have any change in tension whatsoever, it shows.

12-19-2007, 06:42 PM
ILIRIT Check gauge throughout your project, because if you have any change in tension whatsoever, it shows.
Very excellent advice... I had to frog 2 almost complete sleeves because somehow I was knitting with the wrong size needles...:doh:

12-19-2007, 07:29 PM
ILIRIT count your stitches occasionally just to make sure you haven't dropped or picked up an extra one, especially when you're doing increases or decreases, as is socks.

This is a great thread!

12-19-2007, 08:08 PM
ILIRIT to make sure you have the same dye lot on all of your skeins for your project and just because they all look identical, they aren't and you'll end up with something funky. You can't hide a bad dye lot decision. :teehee:

12-19-2007, 08:29 PM
Great thread!

ILIRIT not to take on more than you can accomplish before the holidays.

12-19-2007, 08:33 PM
I'll second what Debkcs says but.....

ILIRIT challenge yourself, I spent too much time making scarves because I was afraid to try more complicated things, such as the correct way to hold the yarn.

12-19-2007, 08:41 PM
ILIRIT use a row counter because i tend to zone out and forget what part of a pattern i am doing.

12-20-2007, 03:58 AM
Having just cut a great hole in the back of a baby cardigan when trying to unpick the stitching-in of the sleeve :waah: .....
NEVER end your stitching up, and then thread in the end of the yarn you used for the sewing, till you're sure the sleeve is set in properly!

12-20-2007, 04:48 AM

1. Give yourself time to learn a new technique before getting all
super critical about it and giving up. No one picks up the needles
on a new technique and gets it perfect the first time! :)

2. Just walk away when you start getting frustrated by something.
It doesn't matter what sort of mess your knitting is in you only
make it worse when you get all hyper and frustrated and start
frantically trying to fix it. Just walk away and catch your breath!

3. Stop taking it all so seriously! Who cares what style you knit,
what yarn you use, what level you are, (insert debate subject
here...haha) It is all good! :)

Libbie :)

12-20-2007, 09:31 AM
ILIRIT tidy up your colour change ends as you go, rather than having to do 1000 ends after doing a stripy scarf. doink.

12-20-2007, 11:48 AM
I second the swatch,swatch,swatch. Read and reread the pattern. Pay attention when substituting yarns they don't all drape the same.

12-20-2007, 12:01 PM
-Let my husband detangle knots and yarn vomit because if I do it, the scissors will have to come out and I will lose yards of precious yarn.
-To really think through all of the "modifications" I want to make to a pattern. It won't look the same as the pattern if I use a different decrease, yarn or edging. Do I really want it to look this way, or am I just trying to make it easier on me?

12-20-2007, 12:30 PM
ILIRIT read the pattern all the way through BEFORE I start to make sure I know what it's talking about...

I'll second the too many holiday gifts one, too. I've learned my lesson.

12-20-2007, 01:38 PM
ILIRIT use a larger size needle when using 2 strands of yarn, because otherwise you'll end up with a hat so stiff you can eat soup out of it.


12-20-2007, 01:38 PM
ILIRIT knit a little bit of something that doesn't require exact gauge (hat, scarf, dishcloth) *before* knitting on a specific UFO/WIP, because it takes a little while to settle into gauge.

ILIRIT keep WsIP AWAY from anywhere the cats can get, because... well, we know cats and yarn.

ILIRIT keep swatches of my favorite yarns, because it saves me time later when I need to use that same yarn for another project. In a related "learned-to", ILIRIT write the gauge, needle size AND type (bamboo, metal) directly ON my swatches, so when I go to use a particular yarn I like, I know which needles I need to start with when getting gauge.

ILIRIT buy extra yarn for a particular project, because i might want to knit a different size later, or my gauge might require extra yarn.

ILIRIT learn how to do knitting math, because sometimes something just HAS to be knit, even though the bust size is 3 inches too small, and resizing the pattern is the only way to get it to fit.

ILIRIT search for other people who are knitting something I want to knit or something I'm working on, because I can learn from their mistakes/ideas/problems/successes.

ILIRIT drink wine *after* the knitting is done :)

GREAT THREAD! :thumbsup:

12-20-2007, 01:46 PM
ILIRIT - Relax! The Yarn Harlot made a comment in her interview on the Lion Brand podcast that really hit home for me - you're not defusing a bomb, you're just knitting! Relax and have fun! Mistakes can be fixed!

12-20-2007, 01:58 PM
ILIRIT Never start something new when you are half a sleep. The next morning it is always WOW I did that:thud:. Then it takes the rest of the day for me to fix it.

12-20-2007, 02:07 PM
ILIRIT read the pattern all the way through BEFORE I start to make sure I know what it's talking about...

As a corollary, ILIRIT recheck the pattern closely before starting every new section. When I read the pattern all the way through, I usually form some ideas about what I expect for each part. These ideas are probably WRONG! Sometimes the ideas are so ingrained, I don't even realize that I'm not really reading the pattern. The designer has put a lot of thought into the pattern. If it says purl, it probably means it, even if when I get to that point I kinda recollect that I expected to be knitting.

12-20-2007, 02:15 PM
I have learned that a stitch gone wrong will bother me til it gets fixed, it is easier to take something back and be happy, than to listen to others saying "oh it is fine, nobody will notice"

I have learned there is no pulling me away from a tangled ball of yarn until it is ALL untangled.

I have learned that there is usually more than one way to do things, and that I have usually learned the hard way first *smiles*

Jan in CA
12-20-2007, 02:27 PM

Learn what the stitches look like! It makes it a lot easier to see a mistake or follow a pattern like ribbing.

12-20-2007, 02:29 PM
ILIRIT when I have the suspicion that I should go to bed, I should put my knitting down and at least do something else.

At that point the extra row... becomes something much more complicated.

ILIRIT that sometimes it is just so much more simple to pretend you can't knit something because... it is just easier that way!

12-20-2007, 02:56 PM
ILRIT to keep calm and not to loose patience, if i do start to get stressed then walk away get a cup of tea.

ILRIT i can do things, so stop trying to convince myself that i can't, thats when they go wrong.

ILRIT there are some lovely yarns etc out there but it doesnt matter if i can't afford the exact yarn in a pattern, just do my best and be happy with the retty thing i made (and always look out for sale items!):thumbsup:

12-20-2007, 05:16 PM
ILIRIT take breaks every once in a while and let your hands and wrists rest....because a marathon 6-hour knitting session can really hurt!
ILIRIT keep up with the KH forums, because you never know when you'll get a clue from a fellow knitter about a fantastic yarn sale somewhere! :)

12-20-2007, 06:24 PM

Never leave a DPN on the sofa....they are pointy....pointy+behind=ouchy

(Ok this one FH learned) Never jump from behind the door and yell "Boo" at someone with sharp knitting needles in hand.....

Can you guys tell I'm accident prone?

Listen to Jan in CA's advice

Ask for help if you need it, don't just assume you'll figure it out.

If you need support come to KH.

Add Amy and Sheldon to your prayers to the knitting Gods.

Photo copy patterns, that way you can make note, cross off rows, generally do what you want without feeling guilty.

Keep the pattern you are using with your WIP, you never know when you'll put that WIP down because a "OMG I HAVE TO MAKE THAT..." item will come along. Then when you go back to said WIP (maybe a year or two later) you know what you were making, where you were, etc.

12-20-2007, 06:32 PM
not say "I'm never going to ___!"
here I am, knitting lace socks. :rofl:

make sure I get to the pub at a decent time to grab the corner table with the lamp
otherwise I can't see well enough to knit socks in there.

12-20-2007, 06:57 PM
Oh, I got another one!

ILIRIT slow down on the second sock or mitten because I think I know the pattern and will make so many mistakes because I really didn't...

12-21-2007, 02:28 PM
ILIRIT take breaks every once in a while and let your hands and wrists rest....because a marathon 6-hour knitting session can really hurt!

No kidding, and I use knitting as a way to mellow me out, so I have wanted to plug on with sore paws, and have to realize my humanity and stop.

I have actually bathed my hands in a bath of epsom salts for the pain...:violin:

12-21-2007, 02:56 PM
ILIRIT you don't have to use a certain type of needle just because someone you admire uses them. Use what works for you.
(or at least work up to those, don't try it on a big or important project...:oops: )