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Anthony232 01-09-2012 02:50 PM

I have a question about knitting some baby mittens...please help :(

I am a male among many females trying to learn to knit. This all started because my wife claims that she cannot learn things from reading books or watching videos online. So, I told her that I would teach myself and then teach her. What a loving

To my question...I have completed 1 of 4 halves of a pair of mittens. I am going to have to start over because something is obviously wrong, I know where it's wrong, but I DO NOT know what I did wrong. I think the problem is this WS vs RS stuff :roflhard:

My pattern said something like this...not with me, so not exact.

First 8 rows were stockinette (K1P1) and that was fine. Then, the next 8 rows make up the patt.

Row 1: Knit (RS) (19)
Row 2: Purl - and all other even rows in patt (19)
Row 3: K3, P1, K5, P1, K5, P1, K3 (19)
Row 5: P1, K5, P1, K5, P1, K5, P1 (19)
Row 7: K1, P1, K5, P1, K5, P1, K5 (19)
Row 8: Purl

Now, this makes the pattern, and you are to repeat this pattern until the work reaches 2 3/4" from rib to end of work. This worked out to be me repeating the patt 3 times to achieve the length required.

Sounds easy huh? I thought so until I finished one half of the mitten. Here's my problem. Every time the pattern starts over (ROW 1), the 8 rows flip to be the other side, so from the rib to tip, the mitten has 8 rows of looking right, then 8 rows of looking at the wrong side, then 8 rows of looking at the right side. In other words, the mitten looks like a "wave"...up, down, up...or front, back, front...or RS, WS, RS.

The problem is the "RS" in Row 1. I understand what the right side is, but how do I work this?

I am using a single pointed needle, so at the end of each row, I "Turn" to make the RH needle become the LH needle and work the sts off the LH needle and back onto the RH on and so on. I don't know what else to do? After Row 8, how do I knit RS if there is only one direction I can work?

Thanks for your help, and if the description isn't clear enough, I will try and post a picture of the mitten half that I have worked.

I love the site, and will be spending much needed time here...Nice to meet everyone, and please be nice to


Jan in CA 01-09-2012 03:12 PM

Welcome to Knitting Help! We have other males here, too. ;)

If the pattern has a link that would be helpful.

Since you're not positive that the instructions are correct I can give you some basic info.


Row 1: Knit (RS) (19)
Row 2: Purl - and all other even rows in patt (19)
Row 3: K3, P1, K5, P1, K5, P1, K3 (19)
Row 5: P1, K5, P1, K5, P1, K5, P1 (19)
Row 7: K1, P1, K5, P1, K5, P1, K5 (19)
Row 8: Purl
RS refers only to row 1 in this bit. Row 2 would be the WS. So it alternates no matter how many sections of the pattern you need to complete for the length you need. The RS they show on Row 1 is just to show you that you'll consider that side the RS or outside of the mitten. You can attach a safety pin or removable marker to that side of the knitting to help you remember which side is which.

I should also note here..that k1p1 is ribbing not stockinette. Stockinette is when you alternate rows of knit and purl.

Anthony232 01-09-2012 05:27 PM

I figured the (RS) was just a note (like sts count), but why is my mitten messed up? The first 8 rows that form the patt (as they call it - patt = pattern) look wonderful, it's EVERY time the patt starts over at row 1 that it "flips". So, looking at the (RS) of the mitten, you have the ribbing, 8 rows of RS, then 8 rows of WS, then 8 rows of RS. Again, each time I start the patt over, the entire group of 8 rows alternates to RS or WS. That's where I am confused...please help, and thank you Jan, MUCH appreciated!

Anthony232 01-09-2012 05:43 PM

Picture of Mitten
1 Attachment(s)
PLEASE excuse the rainbow thread. I have some wool to make these out of, but I wanted to make sure (using cheap yarn) that I knew what I was doing. Thank goodness I used spare yarn...hehe.

So, hopefully you can see the 8 row alternates from this photo?

Ok, so my wife sent me the pattern, and here it is word for word:

Pattern Quote Start
Row 1 (RS): Knit.
Row 2 and all even-numbered rows: Purl
Row3: K3, P1, K5, P1, K5, P1, K3
Row 5: Knit
Row 7: K0, P1, K5, P1, K5, P1, K5, P1, K0
Row 8: Purl

These 8 rows form patt. Cont in patt until mitten measures 2 3/4. Keeping in patt, dec 1 st at each end of next 6 rows. Bind off last 7 sts.

This ends my pattern quote.

But, another thing that confused me, is how do you follow pattern and decrease at the same time. In other words, when you get to Row 3 of the pattern, you need to dec 1 at each end, well you have already dec 4 sts (2 in Row 1 and 2 in Row 2), so where do you start the K3, P1, K5, P1, K5, P1, K3??? You no longer have 19 sts, you only have 15. I would realize that there are 2 less sts on each end of the mitten by the 3rd dec Row, so how do I start?


salmonmac 01-09-2012 07:34 PM

First of all, the important part, great looking yarn in wonderful bright colors.
When the pattern says RS it means the outside of the mitten. That's the public side. In your pattern all the odd rows are always RS or outside and all the even rows are WS or inside of the mitten (worn next to the skin). The pattern shouldn't flip because you end on an even row (row 8, WS) and go back to an odd row (row 1, RS). Are you skipping a row somewhere that is making the pattern flip?

"when you get to Row 3 of the pattern, you need to dec 1 at each end, well you have already dec 4 sts (2 in Row 1 and 2 in Row 2), so where do you start the K3, P1, K5, P1, K5, P1, K3" If you decrease a st by knitting two together then you would start the patten 2sts in (it takes two sts to do the decrease). So for the row 3, considering the decreases in rows 1 and 2 you would do: SSK, k5, p1, k5, k2tog. That will make decreases pointing in on the mitten (or if you're happier with k2tog, do that since this will probably wind up in the seam anyway).

Anthony232 01-09-2012 08:42 PM

I am having posting problems...sorry if this duplicates
1 Attachment(s)
I guess I have confused you all, and I am sorry for that. I am familiar with which side the the RS vs WS, but it seems like the Row 1 RS is what was flipping my pattern. I know it is hard to believe, but ALL 8 rows end up on the WS or RS. Let me post a better picture to give you an idea.

Also, if I had skipped a row once, and it occurred once, than I could understand, but it happened every time I went from Row 8 to Row 1...Just a real mystery!

Try this picture taken with my cell phone to see what I am talking about. This is the RS of the mitten...Notice the dips and ridges...Ridge for 8, dip for 8, ridge for 8 more, dip on the dec sts.

I guess I will try again. Maybe something is wrong with the pattern? It was an expensive How-To book, so I would hope not, but no one is perfect.

Anthony232 01-09-2012 08:44 PM

Thank you all for your help thus far...I know with your help and expertise, we can figure this out!

fatoldladyinpjs 01-09-2012 08:55 PM

Is this a knitting class project or just for a friend's baby? If you just want a functional mitten and nothing fancy, may I make a suggestion? Baby mittens are made like tube socks only shorter. I would make the rib cuff like you did. Knit in straight stockinette to the length you need. Knit 2 together on the last 2 rows. Cut the yarn leaving a long length. Fasten off and sew the side seam. This is the way I make my charity mittens with the exception of making an afterthought thumb.

suzeeq 01-09-2012 09:40 PM

You might be doing 2 purl rows. Row 8 is a WS row but it puts it in there, so you work row 7, row 8, then go to R 1, the RS row. Often when the pattern says to work the even rows as purl and then only have the odd rows up to row 7, people forget they need to do row 8 here, so it's put in again to remind you to do it.

Anthony232 01-09-2012 11:43 PM

I am sooo blessed and amazed at the quick replies, and thank you all. These aren't for anyone. I am just trying to learn to follow patterns on the basic level, and I am having this issue. That's why I am so worried that I am overlooking something.

I knitted another half so that I have a whole. It came out EXACTLY as the first....that's good and bad. Only good because they Ok, so what I THINK I have discovered is that the identations are created with the Purl (Row 8), then the Knit (Row 1), then the Purl (Row 2). Does that make ANY sense to anyone? Maybe the indentations are only 3 Rows of my pattern and not all 8?

Since I cant post the pattern, I would be happy to type it real quick and email it to someone? I am sure that it would only take an experienced knitter about 15 mins to get the the point where it starts flipping on you.

Anyone? LOL

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