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View Full Version : Losing/gaining stitches help


styrch
01-06-2008, 12:54 AM
So, I'm just learning, which some of you know since many kind knitters out there answered my first post about being frustrated. Well, I made some progress for a while and then yesterday I started sort of strangely gaining stitches. Since then, when I practice casting on and beginning I either have been gaining or losing a couple of stitches several rows into my work. I can't seem to keep a consistent number, even when just practicing only the knit stitch. I totally don't know what I'm doing wrong. I suspected it might have something to do with working in the tail but then I've had this problem even well after I've dropped the tail.

Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions I'd really appreciate it. Thanks in advance!

dreamsherl
01-06-2008, 01:17 AM
When I was a beginner, I used stitch markers to help me keep count. I would put them every five or ten stitches. Usually something that I could eyeball quickly. I still count every few rows. I hope that this helps.

styrch
01-06-2008, 01:26 AM
May I ask what you mean by stitch markers?

I think maybe part of my problem is also having difficulties getting into the stitch. I think I may have a tendency to mutilate the yarn so much it starts to... get loose and separate. Since I'm still learning, I'm learning vocabulary too so I'm not sure how to describe this appropriately. I'm sure there's a much better way to do it. :)

Jan in CA
01-06-2008, 01:48 AM
Stitch markers can be anything from a plain ring to something beaded and fancy.
http://www.knitpicks.com/knitting+markers+stitch+holders_AL300509.html

They are a way to not only keep track of the number of stitches, but can be used to mark areas of a pattern. I use them when I'm doing increases or decreases in hats and sweaters to name a few.

Plantgoddess+
01-06-2008, 09:58 AM
It sounds like you may be splitting the yarn and making extra stitches that way. I am currently working with a lace weight yarn that has almost no twist and splits very easily. I have to slow down from time to time and pull slightly at my work to define the stitch on the needle to make sure where one stitch ends and the next begins.
This is all part of the learning curve. Remember somebody said you learn more from your mistakes than your successes (the moron).

Lisa R.
01-06-2008, 10:13 AM
Watch your knitting carefully. It's VERY common in beginning knitters to add stitches. One common mistake is to pull the working yarn up over the needle at the beginning of the row. When that happens, it's easy to knit into both legs of the stitch in the row below as if it were two stitches.

It's also quite easy to do a yarnover accidently. That would happen when you pull the yarn over the needle and then knit that as a stitch next time around. This will make a little hole in your work, and is often used in lace type work.

As to losing stitches, you may just be dropping some off. Look at your work and see if there are any loops sticking out where they don't belong. If so, that's probably a dropped stitch.

Check out the videos on this site. Some of them explain common mistakes and how to fix them.

Actually, that problem was the reason my first knitting book purchase was Knit Fix...the author's name escapes me and I don't have it in front of me know. But it was helpful for figuring out what caused the mistakes and how to fix them.

styrch
01-06-2008, 12:50 PM
Ok, looks like I'll be buying some of those markers. What a great idea!

I may also purchase that book... I came across it yesterday actually so I know the one you're taking about, Lisa R. Thanks!

Jeremy
01-06-2008, 07:09 PM
Welcome to the forum. We have a nice thread here http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=32886

with lots of suggestions for how to prevent those extra stitches.

styrch
01-06-2008, 11:40 PM
Success! I went all the way through a ball of yarn 18 stitches across! I watched out for two things:

1) Watching for accidental Yarnovers (what Lisa R. said). It ends up I think i was doing this once in a while without realizing it. I caught myself doing it once or twice, corrected it, and continued.

2) I discovered a couple of times that my previous stitch didn't loop over the new stitch and ended up looking like two separate stitches in a row. I have no idea how to describe this in appropriate vocab but at least I know what I'm doing (or rather not doing, or doing incorrectly) now and can avoid it or fix it if it happens.

Anyway, now that I finished this ball, I may go get a second one and try to add on. I'm really curious how that would work. If I don't then I'll just finish it up and say it's a scarf for my cat or something. :)

witeowl
01-06-2008, 11:53 PM
Yay! Nicely done.

(And, really, every cat needs a scarf.)

styrch
01-07-2008, 12:44 PM
Well, he has a fuzzy hat that totally doesn't match from a previous attempt too. :)

Lisa R.
01-07-2008, 01:51 PM
2) I discovered a couple of times that my previous stitch didn't loop over the new stitch and ended up looking like two separate stitches in a row. I have no idea how to describe this in appropriate vocab but at least I know what I'm doing (or rather not doing, or doing incorrectly) now and can avoid it or fix it if it happens.


I'm not sure if i understand correctly, but that sounds like you "missed" with the working yarn. Sometimes that happens when you just don't bring the working yarn over correctly, and sometimes, it sort of slips out when you bring the needle through the stitch, thus resulting in what is called a "slipped stitch." It means you basically move the stitch from the left needle to the right without actually knitting it.

That could be it, perhaps.

OR...sometimes you don't slip the stitch completely through the working yarn and you end up with both the old and new stitch looped together. In that case, you just slip the "extra" loop off and all is well.

I'm not good at verbally describing these things either, so maybe that's no help, but you never know. :)

styrch
01-07-2008, 07:08 PM
What you describe in your "OR" is exactly what I was trying to say. That's what I think was happening to me. As a result I ended up knitting both the old and the new and got my "extra" stitches.

Plantgoddess+
01-07-2008, 07:34 PM
Persistance pays off. As anything worth learning it takes repetition and patience to master something new. Good work in sticking with it and figuring out where you went wrong and correcting it.