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Old 05-02-2008, 10:55 AM   #1
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new knitter + seed stitch = epic fail
"Simple", that's all I hear from websites about this stitch. Yet it's proving to be the most difficult for me, which surely belies some bigger problem...

Hi, everyone -- my name is Mandy and I'm a first-time poster here, as well as a brand new knitter.

I've been at it for about a week now. I caught on to the Continental knit stitch within a day, and the Continental purl took about a day and a half. Last night I finally put them together and made some beautiful stockinette on my first shot, which (as you can probably guess) had me itching to start on a simple scarf I've been wanting to make...

Well, I know that just stockinette won't be good enough due to the curling, so I read that seed stitch would be great for the bottom and the sides.

Problem is, my seed stitch comes out like a tangled mess of yarn every time and I can't figure out why.

I've tried three different sizes of needles, two kinds of thread, holding the yarn six different ways, etc... but nothing helps. Admittedly my stance is awkward when I'm doing it, but so far even when I felt like I was getting the hang of it, the whole thing still came out looking like this (or worse):



What on earth am I doing wrong? Shouldn't my knit and purl stitches be discernable? I didn't think I was getting anything caught up in the pull of the yarn, but apparently that isn't the case... I'm really at wit's end here. I know I can't exactly be a good knitter if I can only do the basic two and not put them together on the same row. If anyone has any suggestions, please help me out...

I've watched video after video and I can plainly see with my eyeballs what is going on, but no matter how much I practice, I can't manage to manhandle the yarn the way video knitters seem to. I can't seem to coordinate my fingers to work that way and hold the needles steady (and move them) at the same time.

I spent the past 4 hours this morning struggling with this and I don't want to give up, but I really am wondering if I'm just missing something with my technique. You know how you can make rope by twisting three strands of hair or thread one way but if you let go and you've turned them the wrong way they just fall apart? I'm wondering if I'm doing something like that with my seed stitch and I'm just not aware of it.

Please help me figure out if this is an oversight due to my purling, or if I'm just not being nimble enough with the working yarn.

Thanks so much~
Mandy
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:07 AM   #2
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When you're doing the Knit stitch, place your working yarn at the back. When you do the purl stitch, bring the working yarn to the front. On seed stitch, you'll hold the yarn in back, knit the first stitch, then pull the working yarn to the front and purl the second stitch, then you place the working yarn in the back again for the next knit stitch and so on and so on.... hope this helps.
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:11 AM   #3
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Mary,

thank you so much, but (unfortunately) I know all too well that that step is necessary. The thing I'm having trouble telling is if I'm doing the back-and-forth correctly... I am definitely holding the yarn up front when I purl and to the back when I knit, but the curiosity I have is, am I somehow pulling a bunch of stuff into the stitches that shouldn't be pulled in when I'm passing it back and forth, and if I am, how can I avoid it? ; ;

My big fear is that someone is going to tell me that yes, it's just that my grip sucks and that I need to work on holding the needles a bit better... and that will only come with practice.
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:19 AM   #4
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The problem of grip and tension may very well be the case. And I will be the first to tell you that practice makes perfect. When you're working back and forth, starting a second row, you'll purl the knit stitches you knitted on the first row and knit the purl stitches you purled on the first row. Relax, have confidence and take it one stitch at the time...believe me, you'll get the hang of it. I am a right-handed throw knitter so my placement and grip on the needles will differ from yours. I just hope I can help you with this.
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:21 AM   #5
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I'm looking at your photo and it looks like you might be double wrapping your knit stitch. How do you cast on?
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:39 AM   #6
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It looks like you're doing it right, just the tension is a little loose. In ribbing or seed, it's hard to tell if it looks right on just the first row, they generally look odd. Do a couple more rows and see how it comes out then. Don't worry about the tension right now, keep going for a bit and the sts will even out.
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:40 AM   #7
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This is just a suggestion, and you've probably done it already. I think that if you do a few more rows, it might 'smooth' itself out. When I started, I would get frustrated and give up, or start over, after 1 or 2 rows because it didn't look right. Then, I can't remember why although I think I was just browsing posts on here, I decided that I would not examine my work until I'd done about 2 inches. Of course, I looked and it looked wrong, but I just kept going. When I estimated I'd done about 2 inches, it looked fine. A little crooked because my tension was off but at least it was noticeably the stitch pattern I was doing.
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:48 AM   #8
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Ah, seems no one figured it out from the picture, but I just did.

*laughing wildly* I was passing my yarn UNDER the work...

Yeah, that should be common sense, but when I was only working on my first non-cast-on row, it was less obvious to me.

I just tried again and it's ugly, but it's what it should (mostly) look like.

I do appreciate the tips about holding the yarn and about practicing... it encouraged me to go try again, and I got it. It's funny that none of my books seemed to think it was important to tell me how to pass the yarn during seed stitch :P I guess they thought it was common sense. I'm a little denser than that.

Regardless... let this be a lesson to all other new seed-stitchers.

And I'll definitely be back. Hopefully not with another colossal mystery.
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:51 AM   #9
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Ahhh, when switching from knits to purls, move the yarn between the needle tips. I thought someone had mentioned that, but I guess not.
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:28 PM   #10
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I should have remembered it from the video, but I think I was so caught up in how I was holding the needles that I utterly forgot.

Things are going swimmingly now. ^_^ And not a moment too soon... I don't know how much more of that depression I could have taken. :D
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