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Rainy113 05-01-2013 09:33 PM

Am I a dummy or is this normal? LOL!
Stared knitting simple scarfs etc about 6 months ago. Just started my first pattern - a shawl. I've had to frog it and start over about 4 times now because I keep losing my place, dropping stitches, etc. I use a row counter and pattern in plastic with an Expo to mark rows as I go. But I still lose my place, do the wrong stitches and have no idea how to tink when doing knits, yarnovers, and togs.

Will this come with practice or is this just not for me? I knit about 2-3 times a week usually but some weeks not at all. Just wondering how long it took others to become proficient. Thanks!!

crazykntter83 05-01-2013 09:52 PM

It's different with everyone, but I would say that it's normal to do this with a pattern. When you're first starting, patterns can be so hard to understand, there's so many abbreviations and it's hard to keep track of where you're at. Heck I still have issues keeping track of where I'm at in more complicated patterns, and I've been knitting from patterns for at least 5 years now lol. The good news is, yes, it does get easier. Soon enough you'll be reading from patterns with ease. Don't get discouraged, you'll get it eventually!!

Ingrid 05-01-2013 10:05 PM

Hang in there, it'll come. Sort of like playing the piano. You're not going to be able to play Beethoven right away without error. . .

Now that you have the techniques down, read your knitting. Work a section and see what you've accomplished and how a particular set of stitches came together. When you work a certain increase or decrease, look at it. See what the end result looks like.

As you work a lace pattern, notice how the knit stitch goes in the yarn-over every time on a particular row to create the pattern. This way, when it doesn't on the next half of the row you know you've done something wrong.

Just examples of things I have done and still do that took me from being a pattern knitter to a knitter who consults with patterns.

I still make mistakes, but I often catch them as they hatch.

GrumpyGramma 05-01-2013 10:08 PM

Lifelines! You need lifelines! There are lots of videos about them. Take your pick or find another, but do get acquainted with them, they'll save your sanity. Stitch markers too. If you use stitch markers to mark the beginning a repeat you can tell if you're on or off at that point and it's easier and less painful to tink back a set of stitches than to frog lots of rows.

Normal? Yeah, I'd say so. Dummy? Nope! As crazykntter83 said, it gets easier.

Rainy113 05-01-2013 11:38 PM

These are some great tips. I will use everyone of them!

I can't believe I didn't think about lifelines! I actually used them when I first started. And stitch markers. I'm using one to mark the middle but it makes sense to mark each repeat, at least until I get used to it.

So happy to have this resource. I can always count on the best advice here!

GrumpyGramma 05-01-2013 11:48 PM


I still make mistakes, but I often catch them as they hatch.
Thank you for that, Ingrid.:muah: It's very encouraging. I remember coming across your Beatrix Potter Blanket and hope one day to be able to come close to doing something that fantastic! I find I'm catching more of my mistakes before they get to be real problems and I'm using stitch markers to make sure I'm on track with the pattern I'm working now.

jinxnit55 05-02-2013 01:48 AM

Yup! Stitch markers rule! I just finished a beret with a simple pattern in it and the stitch markers made it easy!

salmonmac 05-02-2013 05:57 AM

Lots of good advice and links to videos above. Reading your knitting, as Ingrid mentioned and making sure the lace pattern with it's increases, decreases and yarn overs lines up as you knit the next row is critcal.
Here's a new video for re-inserting your needle into a lace pattern that may help too.

Rainy113 05-02-2013 08:17 AM

Yes, that video is very helpful. Also it's good to hear that even seasoned knitters still make mistakes! Now off to Joanns to pick up more stitch markers! LOL!

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