Knitting is an amazing hobby that brings on both relaxation and satisfaction. However, like any skill, it takes practice and patience to master. As a beginner, it is common to make mistakes and encounter challenges along the way. I am a beginner, and although I love creating my own clothing, I’ve experienced a couple of bumps along the way. Here are 5 classic or typical beginner fails in knitting (I am guilty of 3 of them) that you also may have experienced yourself:
1. Uneven tension/gauge
A common beginner mistake is having uneven tension or gauge in your stitches. This can result in an irregular appearance in your fabric, with some areas being tighter or looser than others. It takes practice to develop consistent tension/gauge throughout your work. This is a classic drawback, and also one that can be hard to regulate. However, practice does make perfect! Swatches are also a great tool to practice even tension/gauge and ensure that you are knitting the right size.
2. Dropped stitches
Dropped stitches occur when a stitch slips off your needle, and you don’t notice it immediately. This can cause a hole or a ladder in your work if you don’t fix it promptly. It’s also one of those things that you often notice when it’s too late as it’s easier to spot the further down it is. However, there are a couple of tips and tricks on how to sort a dropped stitch. Dropped stitches are more common when working with thin or slippery yarns. I used alpaca yarn on my first project, which I wouldn’t recommend nor do again. For starters, it’s incredibly slippery and therefore dropping a stitch is easily done. In addition, knitting with alpaca adds extra difficulty in that the fluffy texture makes it challenging to identify the stitch. That being said, the end result is beautiful.
3. Twisted stitches
One of the most common mistakes in knitting is accidentally twisting your stitches. This can happen when you wrap your yarn around the needle in the wrong direction or when you insert your needle incorrectly. Twisted stitches can be difficult to fix and can affect the overall look of your project. The issue with being a beginner is that one sometimes forgets how your work is “meant” to look, in these instances it could be valuable to have a more experienced knitter look over your work before you continue.
4. Pattern reading
Not reading the pattern properly! Many beginners make the mistake of not fully understanding their pattern before beginning their project. This can result in mistakes in the stitch pattern, incorrect sizing, or even having to start over from the beginning. Make sure to read your pattern thoroughly and seek help if you’re unsure about any instructions. This is one of those things that’s really important to have down BEFORE you start your project. You’ll regret not properly reading the pattern when you’re halfway through your project and you’ve made a silly preventable mistake.
5. Not counting your stitches
Forgetting to count your stitches can lead to mistakes in your pattern, especially if you’re working on a project with a complex stitch pattern. Make sure to keep track of your stitches by using a stitch counter or marking your progress on paper.
If you’re guilty of 3 or more of these beginner knitting fails, don’t worry! It takes time and practice to improve your skills, and even experienced knitters make mistakes from time to time. The key is to learn from your mistakes and keep knitting. With patience and practice, you’ll be able to create beautiful, handmade projects in no time! I’ll be taking some of these tips on board as well. Happy knitting!