Knitting is so frustrating! I'll never finish this stupid simple scarf! I worked on the thing for hours, trying to be careful and get everything right. It's just a simple friggin 2x2 ribbing pattern. Nothing complicated.

After hours of working on it and having it start to actually take some shape and have a bit of length (well, ok, only about 8 inches or so), I totally screwed up a row. I tried to fix it and messed that up. I tried to unravel a couple of rows but couldn't figure out how to thread the needle back in. I finally just frogged the whole thing. Arrrrgh!

I just don't see how you people can make all of the very nice stuff I see pictured when I can't even do a stupid scarf. I'm hopeless.


gaynnyc's picture

Mason, we've all been there bud. Just keep at it, think of the sense of accomplishment you'll feel when you get to the end. It's a great feeling.

Besides, by the time you finish, you'll be the best 2x2 ribber around! Take heart, cast on again for the New Year!

MasonM's picture

Thanks Tom.

I'm just feeling frustrated right now. I have degrees in Electronics Engineering and Computer Science and would have never thought that I could feel as stupid as I do right now. LOL

I've cast on and started it yet again. I am determined to get this darned scarf finished one way or the other.


Linux: because a PC is a terrible thing to waste


Linux: because a PC is a terrible thing to waste

YarnGuy716's picture

Mason, as has been said, we have all been there. Every knitter started out as a total newbie who made all the basic mistakes. I don't know of a single knitter who picked it up right off and never made a single mistake. As long as you learn from your mistakes, you will become a better knitter. Plus if you never made a mistake when you started out it would cause you to freeze in terror when you finally did make one because you wouldn't know how to fix it.

Now to pass on some knitterly knowledge to you... when I have to put my work back on the needles after ripping back a couple of rows, I pick up the stitches using a needle 2 sizes smaller than what I'm working on and knit that first row back onto the correct size needle. So if I'm working on a US8, I'll pick up the stitches using a US6. Then I work the next row onto the US8 needle and continue working using both US8 needles. You don't want to continue using one US8 and one US6. (Ask me how I know this)

Another thing that helps to put the stitches back on the needle. The last row I rip out I do a stitch at a time. This helps me see where to insert the needle into the next open stitch and helps prevent dropped stitches. This is also refered to as "tink"ing, because you are unknitting, or working backwards... knit - tink.

Keep at it and have a Happy New Year.


MasonM's picture

Thanks Vince! I'll remember that tip. I'm sure I'll need it. If we learn from our mistakes I must be learning a helluva lot LOL


Linux: because a PC is a terrible thing to waste


Linux: because a PC is a terrible thing to waste

grandcarriage's picture

At some point it will all click and everything will be easy. Until then, find a knitting group (or maybe a knitting store with a coffee shop) and work there where someone onsite can help you when a boo-boo occurs.


Not tonight honey: I'm knitting...


My guess is that, as a baby, you didn't just stand up, light a fag, and start strutting around the nursery. You had to crawl first and I'm guessing that you fell several times.

When I teach my students ANYTHING that is new to them, I always tell them: "This first attempt is going to be one of several sacrificial lambs. It's going to be horrible. It ain't gonna go to the Smithsonian and be revered. It's a learning piece." Don't go back and "fix" anything. If you discover a dropped stitch 10 rows back, pin it and when you're done, stitch it up and forget about it. One day you'll look upon it with fond memories of your knitting youth.

If you keep stopping and starting and stopping again, you are, in essence, training yourself to fail, and that's a VERY hard habit to break. Just keep going past the purled stitch that should have been knitted and finish the thing, mistakes and all. You're using Wally-WOrld 100% plastic yarn anyway so there's no monetary loss of any consequence.

A hundred years ago, I was trying to learn Chopin's Fantasy Impromtu in D flat minor. The right hand is in duple time, the left in what amounts to 3 so it's kind of a bitch getting both hands to fit. I was attempting to slowly learn it both hands at the same time and failing miserably. Mom, my teacher, yelled down from the kitchen: "Michael! Stop what you're doing. You've got to learn each hand separately and completely. Then, after that, you'll take a deep breath, screw your courage, and blast away at full tempo both hands together. It will be awful and a mess. But it's the only way the two enemy's will reconcile their differences." And, she was right. After about 2 or 3 days the pieces fit beautifully.

The important thing is for you to get in the habit of moving on, mistakes and all. As time goes by those mistakes will go away . . . mostly. [Any good knitter knows that at least 50% if not 60% of knitting is made up by trips to the Frog Pond. We've all dipped our toes in it, some have bathed in it (anybody else's hand raised?), so it's just part of the "Fun, Joy & Glamour" of knitting.]

Keep knitting for fun. AND: keep breathing! HA! =^D

Happy New Year,
आदि लक्ष्मी
Yahoo Id: stickywarp2001

MasonM's picture

Thanks guys, I appreciate the advice and support. Mike, you're right of course. I need to accept the fact that it's probably not going to be perfect at first. I have a bit of a perfectionist personality and that's hard for me to do, but I do get your point and agree.

On the up side, since I have restarted this thing this last time it's actually looking better than it did the last time and I am spotting some of the mistakes before I make them. Maybe I am learning a little bit LOL


Linux: because a PC is a terrible thing to waste


Linux: because a PC is a terrible thing to waste

Parrot's picture

Mason .. Ditto to the the other guys said. For one thing, read about the other guys . . "knitting since 5 yrs old (now 50 yrs old", "knitting for 20 years", "my grandmother taught me", etc. Sure, these guys are producing some fantastic work. What you don't see is their work when they first started. It's just like everything else; start small, start simple, learn the basics first, practice, practice, practice. A great tip was picking up the stitches with a smaller size needle. Knit a swatch, pull out the needle and practice putting the stitches back on the needle. Ask around and you will no doubt find someone to teach you some things in person. There are many Grandmas around that will be glad to teach you. Or Hey . . your'e a truck driver . . drive here and I'll teach ya'. I couldn't have learned this craft without someone to teach me and show me some of the tricks. Hang in there . . all of a suddent, one day, you will have 60 inches of scarf dangling and you will wonder how you did so well!

And, BTW, once you get to know some of the guys here, you might get a pvt mess or email where they readily admit to you . . after 20 years of experience of knitting . . "I had to frog 20 rows . . . " LOL


TomH's picture

When I learned (about 40 years ago), I just knit stitches. I didn't worry about making anything. I'd use a manageable sized needle (like a size US 8) and get a skein of yarn and just knit. I'd increase stitches, decrease stitches, knit row after row, purl row after row, try ribbing or a variety of other stitch patterns, etc. but the key was to just keep knitting -- without the pressure of trying to make anything. I knew the key to getting a good tension would be to just keep practicing. I used to get crazy when I had to rip out stitches or rows until I realized (convinced myself) that ripping out was just a king of zen un-knitting -- stitch by stitch -- so even "ripping out" was practice. (I still rip out "one stitch at a time".)

This strategy of practicing might not work for everyone, especially if you're result/object oriented. But it worked for me. The bottom line ... just keep knitting -- one stitch at a time.

MMario's picture


It took me 40 years to learn how to purl. that's right - forty years of boring,boring,boring garter stitch - because I couldn't do a purl stitch to save my life. But eventualy I learned.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

I think the best advice is to not do this alone. Even if it means sitting with someone at a local yarn store and paying for a few lessons. It took me 2 days with a knitting friend to learn how to CAST ON! Then when I tried to do it alone a few days later I had forgotten!

I knitted a scarf on #8 needles and I still wear it but still chuckle at all it's wonderful flaws. After a few weeks I figured out how to purl "all by myself" from a book.

Take a breath, take your time,and just relax. This is supposed to take stress away, NOT cause it! :)HAPPY NEW YEAR