Has anyone ever

just had such a problem with a pattern they totally gave it up? I have been trying to start a scarf for my partner...and I am not joking, have ripped it out 20 times. The pattern is not hard, but for some reason, I lose track of rows, I lose track of stitches, I knit the same row twice.

I know I am newer to this, and it really hasn't happened in the past, but I am getting so frustrated I am giving up and trying another pattern...

I am sure I am not the only one, but how have others combated this...do I just walk away and forget about the pattern, or do I try it till I win?


Thunderhorse54's picture

I'm doing a long sweater coat for a friend of mine, and the pattern doesn't make sense. I've ripped it out twice, changing the pattern each time and it STILL isn't right. I've may set fire to it, or use it for packing when I send something out. Right now, unlike me....it's in the closet.

AKQGuy's picture

I think most knitters have come across something that just doesn't work for them. I have just recently returned to something that a few years ago was beyond me. Now with a bit more more experience under my belt it's something I've been able to tackle. I hope this is something like that for you and even more so I hope you get your needles into a patter the partner will love and wear. Good luck!

teejtc's picture

I've been there... I had a kimono pattern for my wife like that (and a sweater pattern - although that may have been more the yarn than the pattern). In any case, the kimono is never going to see the light of day -- I DID keep that yarn though, I really liked it and someday I'll use it for something else.

Grace and peace,

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Yes, this happens to all of us at various times. If nothing else, you can always rip it out and find something new to knit. Or, as Quinton said, try it again once you have a bit more experience under your belt.
That said...I still have occasions where I end up with a project not cooperating. Even on something I've knit several times. When that happens I take a moment to check if I'm trying something complicated when too tired...if so, I either switch to a simpler project or pick up a book to read. That way, I avoid mistakes.
Good luck and enjoy your knitting.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

chicquette's picture

It has happened more than once. I've learned that by swearing and throwing it across the room a few times is very therapeutic, especially if you put the project in a bag and store it out of sight for a while (a shallow grave in the backyard perhaps??). When I return to the project after a while, the pattern usually works just fine. Just a case of bad brain wiring initially.

Good luck and don't give up.


CLABBERS's picture

Hi Paul,
I just recently got to the very last row of 5 stitches on a hat...decreasing from 96. It was all done in sock yarn...my first time using that. I had small #2 and #3 needles. As I moved one way to reach for something, the yarn went another and ended up on the floor, with the needle in the same place that lost sock go. Found the needles, just not the socks that took flight in 1977. As I picked up the yarn and the hat, it got snagged and I didn't realize it until I had it back on my lap and several rows had been pulled out. A virtual cacophony of wickedly bad words that would truly make a sailor blush came vomiting forth from my normally civil mouth! I tried picking up the yarn, but because of poor lighting, black yarn, tiny stitches, and inexperience with such small things, it unraveled more and more as I tried and tried to steady things. Eventually, a hole grew where once lovely even stitches were. Inasmuch as this was the second time disaster struck on this one project, I again ripped the whole thing out and said, "F* it!" and it now sits in a ball on one of my shelves. Sigh. I look at it now and say, "Next time I'll beat you." I feel rather like Charlie Brown trying his best to control the kite that is bent on self-destruction.

Yarn is just yarn, so it will wait for me to try again with renewed vigor, but I'm bringing a lighted candle and a burn pot with me just to intimidate it!

Keep knitting, Paul.

Thunderhorse54's picture

I had to comment. Your post made me laugh which I needed today. THANKS!!!

smalltownknitguy's picture

I have tried the pattern 198 yards of Heaven several times and just cannot get it right. I feel like I am a fairly accomplished knitter, but finally just gave up on that pattern.

phew's picture

Yes, yes, yes! Just last week I started a different panel for an afghan that I am knitting. After five tries on the very first row, which did not come out correctly, I started counting all of the rows via the instructions in the pattern. None of them matched! Which is to say none had the same number of stitches per row as written. Since I had already completed the sections for the other panel pattern I was not about to give up. I should mention the patern is from a 1985 book I picked up at my library book sale. So, I went online; typed in the name that was used for the pattern in the book and found the pattern with all of the corrections for it on Ravelry, and it was a free download. What luck! Give it a try.

Tallguy's picture

I have never ripped anything out. I have done some "sample" swatches, which are allowed to be ripped out, and I do have a sweater that is not completed (and never will be) because I hit a block, but refuse to rip it out!

Sometimes we have to admit that the pattern just might be wrong! It can happen. So if you have tried and tried, and still can't get the numbers right, check for errata.

But I find that I "cheat" a lot. I use stitch markers ... when casting on, to be sure I have the right number. I will place a marker after EVERY pattern repeat. These get carried throughout the knitting so I am sure my count is always correct. As I knit, as I get to a marker, I should also be at the end of my pattern repeat. If not, it's easy to go back along the last 20 stitches and correct the error before I get further.

And if you are knitting the same row twice, you need to mark your pattern in some way to indicate that you have already done that row. Some people use coloured pens to strike out a row when it is finished. Some use magnetic strips to show only the row you are working on. I again put markers along a row (just going in and out between stitches) marking the end of row 5 or 10 or other number, and if I do get lost, I count from that marker and know where I should be.

I use contrast coloured yarn. It has to be smooth, usually mercerized cotton or neon-coloured acrylic (what else can you do with that?) so it shows easily and can be removed easily. When people look at your work in progress, they sometimes comment on my choice of colours, but I feel there is no sense in trying to explain to muggles that those are only markers and will be removed. Let them think what they like.

You need to use any means at your disposal to keep on track. All's fair in love and war -- and knitting -- if you achieve your goal.

jinct's picture

Never walk away! I will often times make a chart using Word to help me keep track of rows. I have a standard blank one, and I will make a chart for repeating patterns. This helps keep me on track, and it's very easy to just check off a completed row. Lots of luck!

Bill's picture

You're a new knitter. It really does get better and easier with practice and time. We have all ( well, most of us normal knitters) gone through the ripping stage, and the dropped stitches, and the too many or too few stitches.
Whatever helps...markers, pieces of paper, charts...it's all legal.
Put the problem away for a while, if necessary...and knit something in a colour you like...just to cheer yourself up.