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Old 02-01-2013, 12:31 AM   #11
1st Leg of the Journey
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Originally Posted by Azrel View Post
Anyway, it's a quick rant about knitting. I've seen many of the videos/tutorials/etc here, gotten help from other sources... and any knitting I do STILL ends up a horrible knotted mess, or completely unraveled because the damn stitches won't stop dropping. It doesn't matter what the pattern is; it can be simple knit stitch and it will end up a mess. I've lost track of the amount of projects I've had to drop because of this. After frogging or outright starting over (after somehow getting the mass of knots untangled) so often... well... I give up on that particular pattern.

What'll help make knitting less difficult?
l can sympathize with you. I happen to be a really slow learner and it can take me a long time to finish a project or decide to frog it forever. I end up using yarn that has been frogged many, many times. It's depressing really. But sometimes I figure something out and I get a project finished and its great. I'm wearing a sweater I knit right now - I love it!

I also think each knitter is going to have a personal source of tension for them that they have to learn to deal with. For me, it's money. Anything I make I need to be able to use, because that money comes out of my clothing budget (mostly-sometimes it spills over into other ones ). This used to be really stressful for me, especially when I first started knitting. I HAD to get it right, but the tension I created within myself meant that I rarely did.

I also went through a spell where Ravelry was having a really negative affect on me. I saw all these people on the site who seemed to complete a perfect sweater a week, complete with gorgeous pictures and I thought that meant I had to also be that prolific and perfect. This is as bad as my other problem and it made me obsessed with trying to knit at a certain speed. I have problems with my right hand and I will never be a fast knitter. Trying to keep up with everyone else had me dropping stitches and misreading patterns all over the place. Gah, that was a bad time. I got over that by making a serious effort not to care anymore about my speed. I then changed from knitting English style to Continental, which took the tensioning task away from my right hand and really helped me find a better rhythm. I also decided to no longer look at people's start and completion dates and by not filling in my own dates on Ravelry. I got through those steps by deconstructing my problem over time and trying different solutions.

Being tense takes energy from everything else. Now I make a conscious effort to chill out. I've had to really take a look at what I wanted knitting to contribute to my life. I couldn't let just take the place of some ready-made items because then I was making a bit of my life like a factory job. Knitting is awesome and I try to honor that by making sure the time I spend knitting is as pleasant as I can make it. I try to do things like listen to music I like while knitting and make sure I take breaks if I find myself a little too upset that I can't figure out short rows. I also don't allow myself to get too attached to a project, so if it doesn't work out I can put the yarn away for another day and then I do this:
Just kidding about that last part, I just like that little guy!
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:28 AM   #12
Casting On
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My Story
About 6 yrs I injured my back, had surgery and was told I could no longer run. I am a very athletic person and always considered myself to be an athlete. Needless to say I wasn't too happy, but decided I'd better find a more sedentary activity. I decided to take up knitting.

I felt totally out of place and I was thee WORST knitter in the class. I couldn't knit a square. Everyone was progressing nicely and I just wanted to scream. I actually got so frustrated practicing at home that I took one of the bamboo needles, broke it in half and threw it across the room!

The next week I bowed my head in shame as I explained why I needed to purchase new needles. When I arrived at the 3rd class the teacher looked at me in surprise and said, "We didn't think you'd be back."

Well that did it. I was going to learn how to knit if it killed me! I made so many mistakes, but that was a blessing as I was the only one at the end of the 6 week class who could correct her own mistakes.

The next six week class I was doing socks and bags when everyone else was doing scarfs (yawn) and they still didn't know how to correct thier mistakes.

So, hang in there my friend (s). I learned that making mistakes is the best way to learn. Slow down, take your time. Look at your work and try to understand how the knots are made (knitting is just making knots with sticks).

I use the bamboo circular needles as someone else mentioned. It's okay to hold your stitches at the end of the needle so they don't fall off. It does get better!

BTW- I am back running and totally healed.

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Old 02-04-2013, 03:11 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by salmonmac View Post
Try just a practice square instead of a project. When it looks ok, add in a cable or other stitch patterns.
You will get this to work, I'm sure.
Salmonmac has the right of it, start small. And practice squares, if small enough, make excellent coasters. Think of each square/coaster as the project. About 20 sts cast on is a good size in worsted.

I still have the first stockinette square I knit (to be honest I was so happy to have finished it I cried from sheer joy), squares from getting the hang of different ribs, from learning to work a cable, and my favorite, my first practice mitten! They are my personal coasters and every time I use one, the best reminder of how far I've come and that I REALLY did learn to knit.

Please don't get discouraged, you'll get there. There are no knitting police and the only competition is with yourself.


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