Knitting Disaster

Oh my stars, knitting is hard!  Just look at this mess!
This started in October when I wanted to knit a headband/ear warmer thing.  I can half crochet, but all the ear warmers I liked were knitted.  I have been shown how to knit once or twice.  How hard could it be?  
I know — stupid question.
I bought a magazine that had good pictures showing how to cast on and knit and purl.  I purchased a pattern.  It started off with ribbing — alternating the knit and purl stitches.  Tried that a dozen times before putting it all away.
Picked it up again last Sunday.  This time I decided to first learn to knit, then learn to purl before putting them both together.  I carefully went through the pictures.  It took me another dozen tries to realize I was casting on incorrectly.  Once I was casting on right, it only took several more tries to figure out how to knit.  Then I tried to purl.  Again, it wasn’t too bad.  Took a several tries, but before long I had a stocking stitch — that isn’t the right term.  I was very proud of the small swatch above before I attempted the ribbing again. 
I have no idea what I am doing — obviously.  For some reason I have twice as many stitches as I did before.  There are two or three rows there of alternating between knit and purl.  Because my stitches kept multiplying, the needles are not long enough to hold it all so I dropped one of the stitches.  Oops.
And thus we see the benefit of a teacher.  That swatch has been ripped out for the 32nd — ish time, and I will find a teacher before attempting the ribbing stitch again. 
If you know how to knit, or even if you don’t, please feel free to laugh at my mess.  I certainly am.


  1. nrnoodle
    December 8, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    I had a project from teaching myself to knit. It was horrible. When I found someone to teach me, I showed them my work. It was big enough for a baby doll blanket. I asked her if she would help me finish the blanket and start a new project. She said lets throw that away and start from scratch. I was sad but more than that I thought I should have stuck with quilting. I have since then made a scarf and I am working on my second one right now. I am hoping to have it done by Christmas. It has a hole in it where I did a yarn over. I don;t even know what that is!! My teacher just laughs at me and says we can fix it. Makes me feel better than throwing it away I can surely say. So don;t loose heart. I found my teacher at a local knitting shop.

  2. ritad
    December 8, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    I have a knitting that should be a good lesson for everyone. Back in the 60’s (boy I’m dating myself) I took a free class at Sears.. We had to buy our yarn there, but otherwise it was free. Our teacher got us started knitting a sweater and then left it up to us..When we had a problem.. go to her and she would teach us what ever our problem happened to be. The knitting angels were with me and I got through the entire sweater with no prolems, therefore when I finished I did not know how to correct any issue that came up.. Years later I got it and was able to knit most anything I wanted.. Until now.. I want to knit socks and for the life of me…I just can’t handle the three needles.. I’m going to try again after the holidays..I just can’t be defeated!
    Not by THREE Dang needles anyway. 🙂

  3. scraphappy
    December 8, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    I’m so glad it’s not just me! I see people making socks all over blogland and just have no idea how to make that happen. All the needles, and knitting and pearling. Yikes!

  4. Linda
    December 8, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    I used to knit but everything turned out too big. The only thing I could knit was a scarf. Don’t get too discouraged. Practice makes perfect they say.

  5. Rachel
    December 8, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    That’s my story with crochet. I can knit, but no less than three people have attempted to teach me how to crochet…and failed at the task. (Notice how I blame the teacher? It can’t be my fault that I don’t understand.)

    I’ve given up. Really, do I need another hobby? Don’t think so.

  6. Jane
    December 8, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Check out for wonderful instructional videos. Good luck!

  7. Sue
    December 8, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Yes, there’s so many videos online these days, that you always have a built in teacher! is good and check out youtube too. You can search for knitting ribbing and find several videos. Sometimes you have to see a couple people doing it to totally figure it out. Don’t give up! You can do this. Your stocking stitch is beautiful. Nice consistent tension. That’s where most people have problems when starting out.

  8. Barb in Mi
    December 8, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    Ok, I would never laugh but am constantly amazed how anybody can knit the “american way”. I learnt it the European way – and a few weeks ago I listened in on a JoAnn Fabrics “Beginner knitting class”. Wow, it blew my mind! No way I could ever do it. I can only suggest YouTube knitting videos – there are excellent ones in German (sorry) that I refer to when in need; but I am pretty sure there are English ones as well. It’s sooo worth it to learn! Please don’t give up!!! Pick a youtube video and click repeat, repeat until it looks right! Just my thoughts after tons off sweaters, and uncountable socks.

  9. Lee Ann
    December 8, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    I will not laugh for I totally understand your frustration. I wish I could knit or crochet!

  10. Barb in Mi
    December 8, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Me – again. This is the best video I could find (though I only watched and didn’t listen…):

    Give it a try! Good luck!

  11. Tonya
    December 8, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    I think its great that you trying to learn! I’m also self taught, both in knitting, crochet and now trying my hand a quilting. I can’t claim to be proficient at any of them, but can completely relate to the frustration! And I agree with Jane, helped me immensely! Good luck!

  12. Michele
    December 9, 2010 at 2:03 am

    I have tried to knit and crochet before…it never goes well. I once made a triangular pot holder…it wasn’t supposed to be triangular! Check out the crochet coral reef at

  13. Beth
    December 9, 2010 at 5:31 am

    You can do it! Your stockinette stitch looked good. Sometimes new knitters knit the end stitch twice and end up with more stitches than they started with.
    The videos really are very helpful and you can play them over and over.
    (I juet bought another of your books yesterday and I can’t wait to sew!)

  14. Stray Stitches
    December 9, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Your example is exactly why I gave up knitting and turned to crocheting. It’s much easier to fix mistakes and to tear out rows and pick it up again. Good luck!!

  15. loulee
    December 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Teachers who patiently sit beside you are great. Have you tried youtube tutorials? Some of them are slow enough to follow and you can rewind as many times as you like. Why not call in at the local shop and see if a member of staff will help out. My local lady is wnderful.

  16. LuAnn
    December 10, 2010 at 3:14 am

    If you are ending up with more stitches you are probably throwing your yarn over the needle before you purl and that adds a stitch. If you go to there are free videos that are very helpful. I crocheted first and then about 15 years ago learned to knit. I enjoy crochet more but I think some things just look better knit. I know you’ll enjoy it and hope you don’t give up.

  17. Mary Grace McNamara
    December 10, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Oh no, don’t give up! When I first learned to knit, I thought for sure my first project would be my last! I had been crocheting for about 20 years at that time, and knitting was just too awkward for me. My mother-in-law wouldn’t let me give up so I kept at it. If you check out my sidebar on my website, you’ll find a link to all kinds of knitting videos that I have made to help beginners. I remember how important it was to have someone right there showing me, so that is how I try to do my videos.

    Let me know if you find them helpful, and don’t give up!


  18. Gari
    December 11, 2010 at 12:00 am

    This is why I quilt.

  19. crickets
    December 11, 2010 at 1:41 am

    I’ve tried knitting, too, and well, all that counting made my head spin! I can crochet, and find it relaxing, but knit – just not for me.

    I applaud you’re efforts!

  20. Liz k
    Liz k
    December 11, 2010 at 2:25 am

    Don’t give up, once you get the hang of it you’ll be fine. Your stocking stitch ( yes correct term ) looks great. I have a friend who knits and crochets despite being blind. She is awesome. For the lady with the socks, try a circular needle and I used to have a pattern that you didn’t need to turn the heel. Sadly I have no idea where it is or I’d have got it to you somehow. It’s done in3knit 1 purl for 5 rows and then move the rib across by 1 stitch to give a spiral. Hubby has a pair.. maybe I could work out the pattern?

  21. Melissa
    December 11, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Make sure you are putting the yarn you are working with behind the needles after a purl stitch and before a knit stitch. That’s why you’re ending up with too many stitches. Don’t give up!

  22. ROZ
    December 11, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    you can knit! It only takes practice. Don’t expect perfection all at once. allow youself to make some practice pieces first. I teach people how to knit all the time at my knitting group. just email me anytime with a knitting question.