Thursday, 19 April 2012

The Dark Side of Knitting

So, I finally cast my knitting on.  Hooray!
Oh by the way, once I washed my swatch my gauge went bigger, boo!  So now there are more calculations in my future involving *gasp* changing the pattern!

And here is my progress:
The holes are meant to be there ;)

 Knitting... such a relaxing pastime.  Until of course you make a mistake!  As a beginner, knitting can transform from "ahh, how nice" to "AGHH... my stitches!!" in about 2 milliseconds.  Well, maybe that's just me!  But I'm sure I'm not the only one who's found that moment terrifying!

I've already re-started my knitting once, actually.  A few rows in on my first go, I messed up a lacy row and got severely freaked out trying to figure out how to undo my work, with all the crazy holes and increases and decreases.   I eventually gave up and started again.

But now I have to arm myself with resources on how to
a) avoid mistakes!  (prevention is better than cure!)
b) fix those dastardly mistakes if I do make them!

Gail has put up a post on her advice.  Definitely some good stuff in there!

And here are some thoughts I've had so far:

For preventing mistakes:
-Write out the instructions vertically like Gail suggests in her post.

-If you want to be really careful, don't just count the stitches at the end of each row.  Count every time you get to a marker!  This is where Gail's spreadsheet is invaluable!

-Don't knit sleepy, it'll only end in tears, lol!

For fixing mistakes:
-'Tink'ing-  It's 'knit' backwards!  That's what it's called when you individually undo each stitch.  This is super helpful, and there are plenty of great videos on youtube.  Every knitter has to know this one!

-Lifelines-  I found this technique on, a fantastic website.  You run a strand of yarn through your knitting and you can rip your knitting safely back to it if you need to.  It's like a little security blanket!  I started using it on my second go, and it has already helped me :) It also gave me an insight into how the stitches work.  I plan to put one in every second purl row- overkill maybe but it makes me feel safe :)  You can actually see it in my above photo.  I used embroidery thread, not yarn.

-Watch some videos on fixing mistakes to get you more comfortable and start to understand how the stitches work a bit better.  Here's one I liked.

-And above all- don't panic!  I did, I honestly almost cried cos I was scared I'd ruined it!  But I left it till morning and it didn't seem so scary.  Give yourself some time to collect yourself :)

Well, that's what I've come to so far!  I'm sure I'll have plenty more 'panic' moments, but hopefully I'll be better armed next time!

Hey everyone, what are your tips on knitting mistakes?  Any favourite videos or revelations you had?
And, as always, if you want to join our knit-along, check out this post :)


  1. You've got some really great insights here! I especially love your last tip for preventing mistakes ;-)

    I know it can be scary at first, but think of it this way: it's a lot more forgiving than sewing! At least with yarn you can rip it back and knit the same yarn again. Once you've cut a piece of fabric incorrectly, it's ruined! (Ask me how I know!)

    1. Haha, yes, the whole "can't uncut fabric" problem every sewer has experienced. You're right, yarn is a more forgiving friend!

  2. Those are great tips. I'm enjoying seeing your progress so far, that pink yarn is looking beautiful. - I agree with Gail's comment above - once you have cut fabric...:(

  3. Ugh, I feel your pain! It's a real problem when you are still learning and are making mistakes and don't know how/aren't comfortable to repair it. I just started picking up stiches for a collar for the first time ever, and about 10 stiches to the end I realised I was doing it all wrong and making life hard for myself, then I took them all off and started over... My advice: don't knit something complicated when you've only had half a nights sleep! :)

  4. oh awesome post! I've just started knitting too! First time ever and learning thru youtube lol! I'm just doing a simple scarf to begin with but I've started over about 5 times! lol First time I messed up some stitches, second time I did quite a bit but realised that my scarf was getting wider and wider and was like wtf so google it and found out why, third time I learnt how to purl and then wanted to do a purl scarf then I got fed up with that and didnt like it so I looked around and finally I have settled on the cartridge belt rib stitch (sounds more difficult than it actually is) but I am finally actually happy with it and have done almost a third of it. Its been first learning the basics though. What are you making? It looks quite complicated!!

    1. I'm making my first cardigan- yeah it is quite complicated and a bit scary, so it's definitely a journey! :)


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