You’ve decided to take up knitting. Good for you! You’ve mastered the four basic techniques and you’re chugging along, happily knitting a little garter stitch scarf or cowl. Everything’s copacetic until…
you realise that you’ve dropped a stitch – ack! – or you’ve added extra stitches – where did those come from? – or maybe your knitting’s awesome except that it’s so tight you practically sprain a muscle trying to get your needle into the stitches.
As frightening as these scenarios are, you are not alone! Knitters from time immemorial and knitters to come have and will be making these same mistakes. So when you encounter them, don’t freak out. It’s all part of the natural course of things. So, let’s take a closer look at these common beginner bugaboos and ways to fix them.
1. Dropped Stitches
At some point you will drop a stitch. It’s an unfortunate fact of life as certain as death and taxes. You’ll recognise a dropped stitch by a long tear in your fabric and a wayward stitch at the bottom. When this happens, don’t panic! As frightening as it looks – so sad and helpless, like a child fallen into a well! – it’s nothing to fret about. On stockinette and garter stitch it takes less than a minute to fix, and when you’re done no one will be any the wiser! Panic Level: LOW
2. Adding Stitches
At some point, you might look down at your knitting and think,“Whoa! Why do I have so many stitches on my needle?”
You’ve got more stitches than you cast on! You, my friend, have accidentally added extra stitches to your work. It happens to most beginner knitters, so don’t beat yourself up about it. There’s one way to fix an added stitch, but it requires that you keep your eyes peeled so that you catch the little sneak before it gets embedded into your knitting. Panic Level: MODERATE
3. Tight Knitting
When you’re first starting out as a knitter, you’re excited, nervous and kind of happy! Knitting is fun, after all! But sometimes the nervous side takes over and you start gripping your needles and pulling at your yarn. You’re scared your stitches will fall off.
But the problem is that your knitting is so tight you can barely get your needles into the stitches. You’re going to pull a muscle if you don’t take it easy! So, herewith, three ways to loosen up your tight knitting! Panic Level: DON’T PANIC.
The best way to prevent these three beginner mistakes is to frequently admire your work. It’s not narcissistic. It’s just good knitting sense! If something looks funky, stop and investigate. Did you accidentally do a yarn over? Are you knitting on the tips of your needles?
Like weird skin rashes, ignoring knitting problems rarely makes it go away. So, be vigilant! And when you need to rip back your work, take a deep breath and rip, rip, rip.
Lastly, don’t even think about getting upset when you make a mistake. The person who never made a mistake never made anything. So make mistakes! It means you’re creating, and that’s a heckuva lot better than doing nothing.
“The person who never made a mistake never made anything. So make mistakes! It means you’re creating!” Tweet this
Okay! If you’re a new knitter, I hope you’re getting the hang of it! Let me know if you encounter any of these three knitting mistakes, and if there are others that I haven’t covered, leave ’em in the comments!