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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trying to teach myself to knit and have watched a couple tutorials on line. I think I have learned how to properly make a slip knot, cast on, and knit. The two problems I keep having is that I am somehow picking up extra stitches and also, the last stitch I knit on a row is very loose and can only be tightened after I start knitting the next row. I have started over about 10 times, determined to "get it right" only to have the same problems each time.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Hi, Pastor's Wife. I giggled at your post; I, too have had those issues. LOL!!

That loose last stitch is looser because it doesn't have a neighbor next to it to tighten it up. Turning, there it is again - tension your yarn more at this point and slip as if to purl (if that's in your pattern instructions). Proceed on and your first stitch with tighten up more with that next stitch.

Those extra stitches could be due to having your yarn forward or back when it should be vice versa. If you find a hole and the extra stitch, you have essentially done a YO (yarn over) when not needed.

Until you have resolved your issue, look at your work every few stitches; Observe if there's a YO there which doesn't LQQK like a full stitch. When you find one, go to the frog pond and rip-it, rip-it (out); AKA 'tink' (un-knit - knit spelled backwards)).

A tutorial for un-knitting a stitch can surely be googled (youtube).

Dona Rae
 

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much of this is alleviated by practice...as you begin again each time, you are setting yourself back a little....keep going...make a scarf or something long so that you can get some practice AND so you can see your progress..it will look better about 6-8 inches along.....the YO comment is right on with my past experience, keep checking till you are a bit more comfortable...many people slip the first st on each row, but that can backfire on you...it will never be as flexible and stretchy as it should be...just try to improve your tension habits and it will sort itself out...remember, we all went thru this phase...
 

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When I began knitting I would end up with extra stitches and found out that I was sometimes picking up stitches from the row below. One of the ways I found out what I was doing wrong was by placing stitch markers every 10 stitches and counting them every row to make sure I still had only 10 stitches. Buy a fuzzy yarn and knit a scarf so you can cheat and knit two stitches together to correct for an extra stitch if you've somehow added a stich on the row below. You'll correct your error and no one will know but you and you can finish your project. I think finishing is important. You feel like you have accomplished something and fuzzy yarn keeps you from having to worry about small errors. Like others have suggested, count your stitches and knit, knit, knit. It's the only cure.
 

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I vote for emcontrary, too...the markers and counting often will help you...both in keeping the mistakes from multiplying and in learning to recognize what is a real stitch and what is an extra, stray little loop that might get knitted into something more...have fun, I just knitted a hat in three sherbet colors this afternoon (on my knitting machine, this time) and gathered the end with a pink ribbon and turned up a cuff when it turned out to be too long...finishing, redesigning as you go along....all these things are part of the knitting itself and must be enjoyed....
 

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These are common problems when just starting to knit. I taught myself from a book also (way before youtube). Using stitch markers on your needle (round rings that you slip on your needle between stitches) helps you keep track of how many stitches you have. Also knitting with a firm needle, using a larger size needle like a 9 so you can see the stitches better. Also, be sure you can really see what you are doing - good lighting, fewer distractions, wear reading glasses if you need them.

Good luck, once you get the hang, you will really enjoy this craft
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for your suggestions. I think it's agreed that I just need to plug along and keep going rather than starting over. I am assuming I can find the counters at Wal-Mart so I'll look for them. That would definitely help. I bought long needles. Is there a size that would be better?
 

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I am all in favor of good tools and accessories but if you're in need right now, take a four inch piece of contrasting yarn, fold in half, tie loop end into an overhand knot (slip knot) leaving a nice loop at the end...slip loop over needle and go on working....I have markers, but I really prefer yarn markers for three reasons....no noise, handle just like a stitch when it comes time to slip them, so i think they're faster, and because of the enormous color choice in my scrap bag, i pick the colors to mean something, center st, time to wrap and turn, cable here, ...right now i'm making an aran pattern with 4 different patterns in 12 different places...so when i get to the pink markers, i know what pattern belongs in that area...mismatched markers??? that means the bordering purl sts go there, when i see a pink and a blue, i'm in between the pink pattern and the blue pattern, time to purl...always good to have a backup plan that doesn't keep you from knitting till you get to the store...good luck...
 

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I don't care for yarn markers. If I'm watching TV and more or less knitting by touch (I'm very experienced), I'll knit the yarn marker! Cheap markers: Go to a hardware/builder supply store and ask for O-rings. NOT washers, O-rings. They're 10 for about $2. Find out the mm measure for your needles instead of the needle number (#4's are 3.5mm, I think, as an example). Get o-rings just a little larger.
 

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also saw tip for bringing home the large diameter straws from macdonalds and the convenience stores, don't know where i saw it, if it was here, thanks to the contributor

...snip into little rings and go....different strokes for different folks...
 

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Right on for the good lighting. It's amazing how much it can help. I can read in semidarkness but I certainly can't see my knitting errors in it. I made a huge mistake in knitting a mostly black scarf and went to my yarn shop for help. The first thing the person who helped me did was seat us at a table with wonderful lighting and get a sheet of white paper to lay the knitting on. She also advised me to never again knit in black fuzzy yarn. This after my advice to use fuzzy yarn. But, there was a mistake neither of us seemed to be able to "fix" and the fuzzy hid it. Since then I've taken several more knitting and crochet classes and in all of them we were discouraged from using a very dark yarn for our projects. So, along with good lighting, avoiding very dark colors might be another good idea to remember.
 

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pastors_wife said:
Thank you all for your suggestions. I think it's agreed that I just need to plug along and keep going rather than starting over. I am assuming I can find the counters at Wal-Mart so I'll look for them. That would definitely help. I bought long needles. Is there a size that would be better?
When you are beginning and especially when working on a narrow project like a scarf, shorter needles are easier to handle. Once you get the hang of it, the longer needles give you more project choices. Often when working on a large project like a blanket or shrug, I use circular needles instead of long needles - holds as many stitches as I need, more portable, and I can work in smaller areas like the chairs in waiting rooms. I find the circular needles easier on my arms then longer straight needles.
 

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emcontrary said:
Right on for the good lighting. It's amazing how much it can help. I can read in semidarkness but I certainly can't see my knitting errors in it. I made a huge mistake in knitting a mostly black scarf and went to my yarn shop for help. The first thing the person who helped me did was seat us at a table with wonderful lighting and get a sheet of white paper to lay the knitting on. She also advised me to never again knit in black fuzzy yarn. This after my advice to use fuzzy yarn. But, there was a mistake neither of us seemed to be able to "fix" and the fuzzy hid it. Since then I've taken several more knitting and crochet classes and in all of them we were discouraged from using a very dark yarn for our projects. So, along with good lighting, avoiding very dark colors might be another good idea to remember.
Yes I have used the white paper behind black yarn and it certainly works
 
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