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Old 03-23-2010, 02:41 AM   #11
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Take a class! If you can't afford one, many YWCA's offer them for almost nothing, and our local senior center has members who love to teach knitting and crochet to people, just for their company. Not talking about a nursing home, but a senior center where retired people go to hang out. There are some amazingly skilled folks there.

"All good things and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights who cannot change."
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:24 AM   #12
Lisa R.
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It's not a strange problem at all! Most of us probably experience that at one time or another. My kids have a little purse where I switched "sides" when I was learning-- I call it a "design feature."

Probably, as trvvn said, you did one row too few or too many at one point, and that essentially reverses your pattern.

Also, just make sure when you pick up your work that your working yarn is coming off your right needle...that will eliminate the problem of starting back in the wrong direction (which could also cause that problem).

I agree with taking a class or finding a friend to help you see what you're doing when you do it. That little bit of hands on instruction can make a huge difference!
Lisa R.

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Old 03-23-2010, 10:33 AM   #13
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Also, just make sure when you pick up your work that your working yarn is coming off your right needle...that will eliminate the problem of starting back in the wrong direction (which could also cause that problem).
If you're in the middle of a row or working in the round. If you're at the end of a row, the yarn should be on the left needle.
sue- knitting heretic

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Old 03-23-2010, 10:38 AM   #14
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It might be helpful if you posted a picture of your work too. That way we could see exactly whats happening. The pattern you are doing is supposed to reverse itself. So you may actually be doing what you are supposed to be doing an note realizing it? Maybe?...
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:55 AM   #15
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Keeping track...

First, congratulations on your persistence in learning to knit. I promise you it's so worthwhile to push through the hard parts and get comfortable with it.

If you're doing a pattern that says to knit two rows, purl one row and then repeat, one easy way to keep track of where you are in your pattern is to use coins. Take two silver coins and one penny (silver to represent knit rows and the penny for the purl row) and line them up on a flat surface next to you while you're knitting. Then, as you finish a row just slide the appropriate coin over and you'll be able to see right away if you should be doing a knit or purl row.

I have a little "lap desk", made for writing on if you're sitting on a sofa, and I keep that next to me on the couch where I sit and knit. It's got a lip around it so nothing I put on it falls off, and it's been such a great help for holding all the little bits and pieces of things we knitters can't do without.

Hope this helps!

Ruthie :o)
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:25 AM   #16
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Hi, All of these suggestions have merit especially about keeping a list of your rows and checking off what you've knitted or using a counter. You might look into finding a nearby knitter to look over your shoulder and help for a little while if you can't get to a class. Why not take a little time, forget the pattern, and knit a few stitches and rows and then purl a few and really look at them on both sides. Then do k a row p a row (stockinette st.) for several rows and study both sides. Because of the basic fact that the back side of a K is a P and vice versa, I believe that many beginners, maybe all, are confused when first trying a pattern like yours. Don't give up. There's a special video at this site on "how to repair mistakes"? We all mess up and always will. Get a beginner's book like Leisure Arts (buy or library) that gives names and pictures of various stitch patterns. Helps a lot to know what they should look like. Best of luck. Jean
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:10 PM   #17
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All great ideas posted. The only thing I would add is that you may want to just focus on getting your technique down before trying a pattern of stitches. For example, do a large swatch and start by just knitting every row (garter stitch), after you feel really confident in that start doing knit a row, purl a row (stockinette). I found the original Stitch N Bitch book to be a great resourse for basic knitting, with some great basic knitting projects. Really easy to understand and funny! I relied on that book and Amy's videos to get started. Play with your swatch -t rying techniques, getting very familiar with how your knitting should look, etc... You can even practice figuring out your gauge. Take the time to do this before diving into a pattern, and you will be much less frustrated. Good luck! :-) Holly
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:50 PM   #18
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An additional comment: Keep asking questions and count everything, because in knitting as well as many things, everything counts. Jean
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:03 PM   #19
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What I have done is write each row down on paper, like this:

Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Knit
Row 3: Purl
Row 4: Knit
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: Purl

And so on. Then while I'm knitting, when I come to the end of Row #1, I will put a tally mark next to that row with a pencil or pen. That way I KNOW I've done that row. When I've finished Row 2, I put a tally mark next to that row. Make sure you put a tally mark at the end of every row.

I also recommend showing your work to an experienced knitter at a craft store, local yarn shop or something like that. Check your local library too. Sometimes they have knitting classes.

HTH, knitcindy
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:22 PM   #20
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I had the same problem when I was first starting. I didn't know how to tell a knit stitch from a purl stitch, and had to rely purely on counting to assure that I was doing the right one. I tried to look but I kept getting mixed up on telling the stitches apart... and then, one day, I suddenly realized that I could tell. It may be partly a factor of the fact that I have always twisted my purl stitches (oops), but I can feel the difference between knitting where the previous row was purl, and purling where the previous row was purl (and vice versa). Eventually, you learn to see the difference between the two, also.... but I'm betting that if you took your knitting to an experienced knitter, that person could point out how to tell.
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