King of The Frog Pond

Thor's picture

I have been ripping out and starting over on seemingly everything lately. It's kinda depressing and I was really down on myself with my projects. Haven't even posted on here in a long while cause I was embarressed by my LACK OF!!

Like PaxKnitter and PatchworkJester, I started the Hemlock Ring Blanket... a good 8 times! I can't seem to get past the beginning where I am working the double points. So, I tried a different cast-on, I tried magic loop... it all boils down to... I need more practice and need to cut myself some slack for the learning curve. The other thing I learned here is that I am knitting way too tight. To the point that I can't get the needle (Addi Turbos) in the stitch to do the next row. Freakish tight. Need to relax. Zen. Vacation! CALGON TAKE ME AWAY!!

I also was working on two other projects, Shiela The Sheep Tea Cozy (completely lost track of where I was on the head & neck so frogged that) and a knitted head scarf (I am even afraid to look!). With each of these, I plunged into the pattern without really knowing where it was going and ended up "learning" on my piece instead of working it out on a swatch first then doing the actual piece. Again, I need more practice and need to cut myself some slack for the learning curve!

So, I went back to basics. I had purchased a beautiful bulky baby alpaca to make my sister a scarf way back in October or November. I have started and ripped it out a good four times. I was never happy with the pattern I selected. Then it FINALLY dawned on me... I was trying to do these fancy patterns and the true star, the yarn, was not being showcased. So, I am doing a simple stockinette stitch scarf with a simple border and the yarn is really getting shown to it's beautiful advantage! Plus, I am just practicing my basic knit and purl stitches... really paying attention to how I was doing them (turns out I was twisting stitches without realizing it) and trying to RELAX.

I am in awe of my knitting bretheren as they continue to venture out into new territory, and I will join them when my skill set allows me to get there. However, for the time being, I am embracing my "Inner Remedial Student " and getting back to basics.


gardenguy42's picture

Thanks for sharing this! It

Thanks for sharing this! It can be difficult to publicly admit that everything is not perfect every time you pick up the needles and I admire your honesty.

It's part of every knitter's life. I just started the Argyll V-Neck by Martin Storey in "Knitting For Him". I've been knitting for 34 years now and completed hundreds of difficult projects and I've still had to frog this thing more than once too.

I've literally re-knit the ribbing 4 times to get gauge, despite my perfectly knit and blocked gauge swatch. And then I got through one whole repeat of the argyle pattern, which is like a gazillion rows, and I found a small mistake in one diamond that I couldn't repair.

I frogged it out COMPLETELY, since the tweed wool is so fine and bumpy and tangly that I couldn't see the dark-colored stitches well enough to repair back a ways (and the mistake, of course, was right at the join of 2 colors -- a no-no with intarsia) and so I started again.

I've also switched back and forth from bamboo straight needles to my Knit Picks Options nickel-plated circulars 3 times. I'm finally getting the right gauge with the Options and I'm much more pleased with the results at this point. I abandoned the bobbins too and just have the wool bundled in neat little bundles (seems like hundreds of them, LOL)

It's natural, it's a sign of a good knitter when you are willing to rework something that's not turning out right rather than finish anyway and hate the FO because of the mistakes. Hang in there and keep going! You are learning so much right now. Good luck!

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -- Mahatma Gandhi

albert's picture

The frustrations of learning

The frustrations of learning beat hell out of stagnating!

scottly's picture

I feel your pain. I've been

I feel your pain. I've been knitting for almost 25 years just nothing serious, never following patterns mostly just flat garter stitch done with my version of a pearl because I when I knit I was wraping the yarn the wrong way around the needle which twisted the stitch and made it almost impossible to get the needle back into. No one ever watched me knit until recently and they pointed it out to me. They then showed me how to know continental. So basically I'm learning to knit all over again and running into all those begginer problems and it has humbled me. Everything I start gets frogged at least once. Casting on used to be my worst problem especially on circs - that first row was such a b*tch. I've started casting on to a straight needle a couple of sizes too big and then kniting the first round on to the circs. So far so good.

Also I think its good to have a pro knitter watch you knit every once in awhile. I get great tips from the ladies at the lys.

Good luck and remember practice makes perfect.

I wish I were knitting now.

MasonM's picture

No project is complete

No project is complete unless it's been frogged at least once.

Well, that's my excuse anyway. LOL


Linux: because a PC is a terrible thing to waste

Thor's picture

I really want to conquer

I really want to conquer this, too! I have a cousin getting married in July and I have fantasies of knitting up a fabulous "MMario Inspired" lace wrap for her to wear during the ceremony!!

MMario's picture

You could go with a stole -

You could go with a stole - back and forth "flat" knitting.
Or "cheat" on the circular start. one way is to use waste yarn to knit a tab until you have enough to give you a "hold" - if your circular start needs 8 stitchs, make the tab 8 stitches wide. Once it's long enough divide onto dpn's or your circ(s) (either 1 magic loop or 1/2 ON each of two circs) join, and knit around, still with your waste yarn. THEN switch over to your project yarn and knit a row for your "cast on". later, remove the waste yarn, use the tail and a needle to go through the caston stitches and snug them up.

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

Why didn't you tell me this

Why didn't you tell me this before MMario? I will try this 'cheating' method and perhaps it will stop the frogging (and the bad language).

MMario's picture

Another cheat on a circular

Another cheat on a circular start.
Cast on the required stitches.
put half on a second needle and fold the stitches back on themselves so that the first stitch cast on (on one needle) is next to the last sticht cast on (on the second needle.

(so if you cast on eight stitches they would look like:


Then, using your third needle (if on dpn's) or the appropriate end (if on 2 circs) knit across the one needle, turn, switch needles as appropriate and knit the second half of the row/round. After a few rounds should be able to divide up further on dpn's, or just continue as normal for 2 circs. (I actually prefer this start on DPN's if not using the tab start - then I may switch to two circs or magic loop - or stay on dpn's until larger.

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

Muchas gracias.

Muchas gracias.

PaxKnitter's picture

This is how I started my

This is how I started my Hemlock Ring Blanket. The DPNs and I fought too much so I used magic loop. Everything has gone pretty smoothly from there. At round 12, I switched to 2 circs to make sure I'd have enough needle/cable for the stitches.


MMario's picture

Circular starts are buggers,

Circular starts are buggers, aren't they? But once you get them down, - nope, they don't really get easier - just you learn more ways to get around them!

tight knitting can be a real bugaboo as well.

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!