In this post, we are talking about beginner knitting mistakes.
Let’s be honest now, raise your hand if you have ever found that you have way more stitches than you started with and freaked out a little bit (or a lot!)? I know I certainly have – more times than I’d like to remember!
When we first begin learning to knit, it can take a little while to wrap our heads around which needle is supposed to go where, and whether what we are knitting is actually turning out how it’s supposed to.
The good news is that most common beginner knitting mistakes are easily solved, once you know why they’re happening in the first place.
1. Adding in extra stitches
This usually happens when you forget to switch the starting position of your yarn when moving from a knit to purl stitch or vice versa. Remember when you’re knitting, you keep your yarn at the back of the work. When you’re purling, it needs to be at the front.
Solution: If you’re switching from a knit stitch to a purl stitch, remember to bring your yarn through your needles from the back of the work to the front, and if you’re switching from a purl stitch to a knit stitch to take your yarn through your needles from front to back.
2. Twisted stitches
This can happen when you pick up a stitch and put it onto your needle incorrectly. The right “leg” of the stitch should always be at the front of your needle, and the left “leg” should always be at the back.
This can also happen if you knit into the back of the stitch instead of the front.
Solution: Make sure you’re always knitting into the front of the stitch unless the pattern states otherwise, and keep an eye on your stitches (especially if you’ve picked them up after dropping them) to make sure the right “leg” of the stitch is in front of the needle.
3. Incorrectly Placed Stitches
This happens when we use a purl stitch instead of a knit stitch, or a knit stitch instead of a purl stitch. It is usually quite easy to spot, and it’s fairly easy to fix. It usually happens when we’re not concentrating fully on our knitting if someone distracts us for example!
Solution: Either pull your stitches back to the point of the error and rework your pattern or drop the stitch to correct its positioning.
4. Tension that is too tight
This usually happens when you’re nervous, which, let’s face it, knitting can feel a bit nerve-wracking when you first start. You’re afraid of making mistakes and letting all of your stitches go flying off your needle, destroying your hard work.
So, you knit very very cautiously, often at the very tips of the needles (where the needle is narrower), and tug your yarn super hard to make sure it’s not going anywhere.
If you carry on knitting this way, it can cause a whole host of problems, not only in the final outcome of your knitting, which usually ends up much smaller than intended, but it can also cause a lot of stress to the muscles and joints of your hands and wrists. You will find that knitting is much more tiring than it is relaxing!
Solution: Breathe. Loosen your arms at the elbows, and trust that your stitches aren’t suddenly going to go AWOL because you relax a little. Everything is fixable, so try and enjoy the process a little more. I swear, once you relax into the process, it will be so much more enjoyable.
So, now I want you to leave a comment and let me know which (if any!) of these beginner knitting mistakes you find yourself struggling with from time to time – I know I’ve done them all!
If you would like to know more about how to fix your mistakes, I’ve created a new course, called Knitting with Confidence. It teaches you everything you need to know in order to both prevent mistakes from happening and how to fix them if they do!