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Old 09-12-2005, 02:03 PM   #1
amers
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Need some encouragement
I now know why you all encourage newbies to try and begin a project that will be easy and quick. I am a new knitter and I honestly am proud of myself because I can actually knit and purl. Thats where it ends though. I have begun a couple of projects only to dissolve into tears of frustration. I've seen lots of newbies get on here and say how they've knitted scarves, mittens, even Sweaters. I am still working on my guage swatches.

I've tried making two scarves and somehow I ended up adding or losing stitches. Granted it was a popcorn type yarn that I think was too much for me to handle. I only got halfway through the scarf and ran out of yarn.

I bought a kit from Target to make a bag. I started knitting the swatch for the bag, and the circular needles BROKE!!! I wasn't pulling hard or anything. (It was my first time using circular needles).

Okay, so I thought, I just need to start with an even easier project (a hand towel with very basic knit and purl instructions). I now have 4 extra stitches on my needles. UGGGGHHHH!!! I've only knitted 4 rows and I'm already off.

I soooo much want this to work. Just like any new craft, I know it takes practice. I have done many little swatches figuring out how to knit, purl, do the seed stitch. etc. It works fine up until I actually try making something. And then don't even get me started on how to read a pattern. I feel like I'm learning a foreign language.

Gosh,I'm sorry to vent like this. I'm usually the one people come to for comfort. I just want to be able to knit like I sort of know what I'm doing. I want this to work. :(

If you've read this far, well, thanks for letting me vent. Normallly I'm not like this, but I'm just really sad I cannot seem to make anything yet. Sigh, I know, I know, Practice. I'll just keep plugging along.
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Old 09-12-2005, 02:12 PM   #2
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Hang in there!

It really does get better. For a while I'd suggest counting your stitches every row or every other row. That way you can see where you have a tendency to add or lose stitches and fix it before you get too far.

I taught both my daughters to knit, and a SIMPLE scarf or dishcloth is a good first project. Don't make it too wide. That will simplify the counting.

We ALL went through the beginning knitting growing pains. You have to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run (in most cases).

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Just think how much you've learned already!!!

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Old 09-12-2005, 02:12 PM   #3
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Amy I'm sorry your having a hard time. I know when I started thats what I'd do start something tear it out and finally a friend of mine said just try to make something so I did the diagonal wash rag.. I pulled that thing apart I don't know how many times all I can say is just keep trying and practicing and one day it will just click.. Thats how it happened for me.. When I first started I also had to sit quietly by myself after the kids were in bed or afternoon naps and I would just watch how I put the needle in every stitch I just watched what I was doing.. Hang in there and keep trying
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Old 09-12-2005, 02:25 PM   #4
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Yep Amy dear, I have to agree--count your stitches often. Sometimes, the very first stitch can look like 2 if the yarn is turned over the needle the wrong way--it's happened to me a lot, til I began to take notice of now it looked different. :rollseyes:

Honey--I've been knitting for about a year now, and I feel so slow sometimes !! THis morning I spent almost 3 hours! YES ! THREE!! Undoing a little baby sock at the toe because I had dropped 2 stitches!! I had to undo an almost completed sock and believe me, I was tired when I finally got through. But so glad when it all turned out. If you have a library nearby, you might want to go and get a good knitting book and just read some of the Q&A's One thing for sure-you keep on knitting and purling girl--it'll start turning out just right soon. Sorry about your very bad Target needles!!

Keep on Keeping ON!!!!!
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Old 09-12-2005, 02:28 PM   #5
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My best idea for a first project came about 3 months too late...knit a scarf for a toddler. I'm sure you know a little girl or little boy who could use one for the winter, or at least know someone who does. Anyway...toddler scarves are soooooo easy and fast. I've made a few so far and they knit really quick and give you good practice and especially that good feeling of accomplishment. And since they have to be kinda narrow, 5-10 stitches per row is plenty. I played with that a bit and had a blast. The first one I did was garter stitch all the way through. But then I changed it up a bit and did 5 alternating rows of stockinette ...if that makes sense. Anyway, my point: start with the really easy stuff, but don't let yourself get bored. Play with your own mental pattern (i.e., hmm, I wonder how this will look if I k2tog, yo all the way across). (BTW, I've found that this also helps to learn how to read other patterns as well, because you get a grasp on why a pattern reads the way it does.)

Oh, and one more tip. And this was a HUGE help for me. I watched all of Amy's videos. Even the ones I knew I wouldn't be using for a while. I found that the more you watched, the more you can really see what you're trying to get done. And also, I watched some and thought...Hey, that's not hard! I can SO do that!
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Old 09-12-2005, 03:44 PM   #6
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You can do it!!

You are right in saying it just takes a lot of practice. One of the resons I wanted to learn was that I am sooooo bad at anything that requires discipline/practice -- I wanted to use it as a sort of exercise to make myself do something that wasn't easy right off the bat. Because usually, if something isn't easy right off the bat for me, I quit. :rollseyes:

So (and I share this often around here!) when I started I cast on 25 stitches and made myself knit through an entire skein of yarn. For the first 30 rows or so I had to count every row -- if I added a stitch, I would just knit two together to get back to the right number. Eventually, adding stitches became rarer so I stopped counting (yay!). Hours and hours and several feet of scarf later, I felt pretty confident! And you will too.... :D

Also, I realy think that new knitters should stick to regular, worsted weight yarn -- it's much, much easier to see your mistakes and learn from them.
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Old 09-12-2005, 05:07 PM   #7
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I totally agree with Julie. Just knit and knit some more. Simple washcloths are great. You can practice all kinds of things and you only have to count to, what, 40 or so? If you want to keep very careful count, put a marker every 10 or 20 stitches. This way you'll know where you gained or lost a stitch and you can figure out what you did wrong. If you don't feel like going back to fix it, knit two together or increase a stitch. It's not as if you're doing this on commission. It's a learning experience. If it's always at the beginning, then you know that the first stitch is the problem. If it's in a section where you're switching back an forth between k and p, you know that maybe you're not putting your yarn in the right place.

Just have fun with it and when you complete something, put it away to look at a few months from now. You'll be able to chuckle at how far you've come.
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Old 09-12-2005, 05:57 PM   #8
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Amers....You are getting there sweetie!!! I know you can do it! It takes practice. I just did a knit/purl project that I had to rip out twice!!!! But I finished it yesterday, post to follow. When you are switching from knit to purl, make sure you remember to move your yarn to the front. That was my problem.

Good luck!!!! :XX: :XX:
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Old 09-12-2005, 06:29 PM   #9
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Hang in there - it does get better. I first learned to knit 18 years ago, and I remember calling my mother-in-law in tears because I couldn't figure out what a "Piss-o" was.... she laughed and explained that they are letters p-s-s-o, and not a word.... so from there it was all up hill. Remember, we were all newbies once.

Keep trying. Try the knit stitch (knit all rows) when that is mastered, add purl - a little at a time. You CAN do it!!
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Old 09-12-2005, 07:31 PM   #10
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Amers,

I know how you feel!! I remember so clearly the first night that I learned how to knit- I was so proud of myself, and had this little swatch done- I had done it at a yarn shop. Then I went home, promptly messed it up, and couldn't figure out what I had done wrong OR how to fix it!! I was so discouraged that I learned how to do the knit stitch, finished the scarf I was working on, and didn't try again.

Now, it is a year later, and I decided that I was determined to learn- and become proficient. (sp?). I have had many times when I have been SOOOOO frustrated when I haven't been able to figure something out. The people here, along with Amy's videos, and some books from the library, have helped me out tremendously. Try to stay confident- you'll figure it out and before you know it, you'll be posting pictures of your finished projects!!

YOU CAN DO IT!!
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