Help me with my knitting

Warning - nerdy

I’m working on this hat for a friend’s baby. Actually, this is the third expected baby that I’ve tried to make this hat for. I get 3 rows into the pattern, get completely confused about the more complicated stitches, rip out rows of work, and give up. Can the Dope help me?

Here’s the part that has me stumped.
After going a few rounds of alternating purl and knit, the instructions have:
SSK, K7, M1, Sl1, M1, K7, K2tog repeated for a row.

The key says that SSK means to “slip, slip, knit. Slip one stitch knitwise, slip next stitch knitwise, using tip of left needle go back through these two stitches and knit together.” So, essentially, I’m knitting two stitches together, but ending up with the reduced stitch on the left needle so that I can then knit into it on the K7 step? Does that sound right?

And then, the series M1, Sl1, M1 is really strange. The key says to Make 1 stitch by picking up the running thread between stitches with the right needle. That’s all fine and dandy, but doing that on either side of a slipped stitch is making the knitting so tight, I can hardly work with it, even on size 4 needles. What am I doing wrong?


Here’s a wonderful site–with videos!

See if that helps–I’ll have more time to read your post later. Good luck & keep trying. :slight_smile:

For SSK, you slip the first stitch knitwise, slip the second stitch knitwise, and then insert the tip of the left needle from left to right into both the stitches, wrap your yarn around the tip of the right needle (which is now sticking out of the back of both stitches), and pull it through. To put it another way, you’re sticking your left needle into both stitches so you can knit through the back loop. Your reduced stitch should be on your right needle with the rest of your completed stitches.

To M1, you insert the tip of your right needle into the bar between stitches, place it on your left needle, and knit or purl it like a regular stitch. I personally don’t like that one, it leaves a little hole for me, so I usually use K1fb (knit 1 front and back). For that one you knit a stitch like normal, but before you slide it off your left needle you knit into it again through the back loop. is loaded with tips and videos about just about everything you can think of, knitting-wise. Also check out Ravelry; there’s a few days wait for an invite, but it’s the most amazing knitting resource out there, and there’s an SDMB group, too!

Your interpretation of SSK is almost correct - you’re actually reducing one stitch here. (Slip one stitch and then the second, put your left needle through and knit the two stitches together leaving a single stitch on the right needle - this will result in a mirror of the decrease stitches you do by knitting two stitches together on the other side of your work).

For the M1 Sl1 M1 you’re creating the stems - make a stitch by picking up. Slip the stitch. Pick up again. I’m not sure what you’re doing but it sounds like you might be twisting your yarn if it’s getting really tight.

(Cute hat, BTW).

Thanks, everyone! I knew the dope would come through.
Bookmarking now.

And Ravelry! Get on Ravelry!

oooh, Lillith Fair. has made several of those hats! She can help…I’ll send up a bat-signal…

Oh, and if I remember right, she said making those hats from the kits really hurt her hands…that cotton they use knits really tight…

Moving to Cafe Society.

/slight hijack

OK I’ve always wanted to be able to knit but the one time I tried as a child, my scarf grew from the normal width to about five times that wide. Needless to say, I was an utter failure at knitting.

What would be a good way to go about learning to knit? I already sew, I’ve done plenty of cross stitch (but no more, gah I’m over that), but now I have a granddaughter and I see those cute hats and think ooooo I should make her one.

Any guidance?

/slight hijack

How do you learn best?

I taught myself to knit out of a book at the library [Teach yourself Visually Knitting]. Eight months later I can knit anything I put my mind to, including socks. But it’s ok if it takes you longer than that to feel comfortable working with stuff like socks.

There are videos available at some libraries, and videos on the internet. There are books and online written instructions. I can’t recommend any specifically, but maybe someone else can.

Or there are people. Either find a friend who knits and get that person to teach you, or find a local yarn store and ask about private lessons or sign up for a beginners class. (These options may require paying for your lessons). Even Big Box Craft Stores may offer classes.

My sister showed me how to knit when I was 14, but it didn’t stick. Then when everyone in my church was madly knitting scarves, I got Lillith Fair, who is a very good knitter (okay, she’s made a whole sweater and finished it…THAT’s accomplished to me!) to walk me through the basics. But I also used a DVD I got from JoAnn Fabrics called, I think, Teach Yourself To Knit, that was a big help, with close up, clear videos that helped reinforce what Lillith had shown me. Then, armed with two books (10-20-30 Minutes to Knit and Stitch’n Bitch) I struggled through my first scarf, which Lillith will tell you gained and lost stitches with every row. The next six scarves? Not even a dropped stitch! Woo Hoo! I knit in a modified Continental method that just naturally evolved, despite all the instructions showing the English method, and that fact alone has made my sister so proud of me…she’s a huge Continental fan, and has made me some really cool (for the 70’s) sweaters and a poncho, though she hasn’t knit for years now. There are so many great books and videos available now, and the online stuff is invaluable.

Oooh, I love that hat. I’ve thought about making it several times, but the works-in-progress list is too long for now.

If you’re finding the slipped stitch between the two M1s, don’t assume it’s a problem of your making. Sometimes stitch patterns just end up with a stitch that tends to be tight. I can see how pulling up the yarn on either side for the M1s would tighten that slipped stitch. It may be something you just have to live with.

**Contrary **, another tip I can offer is consider not starting with a(nother) scarf. I know it’s the classic “learn to knit” project, but they go on and on and on and on forever and make me want to gouge my eyes out with my circulars. Hats are more interesting and smaller, and there are some really simple patterns available. (The simplest are just a rectangle sewn up the side and gathered at the top.) I taught myself entirely from books (can’t recommend any one specifically) so it can be done.
Things to avoid when starting out: crazy fuzzy nubbly textured yarn (makes it hard to see what you’re doing), tiny skinny baby yarn on skinny little baby needles, really involved patterns like lace baby bonnets that require lots of shaping. (I broke those last two rules with my first project and lived to tell about it, but I didn’t *enjoy *knitting for at least a year)

I generally learn best by reading how to do something. I’m just pretty intimidated by knitting, based entirely on my experience when I was maybe nine years old. Silly, but there ya go. Then I see cute little sweaters and hats and mittens and think they would be nice for my granddaughter. She’s worth sewing for, so I think she’d be worth knitting for as well.

I learned to knit properly by reading a book with a lot of illustrations. The title was “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Knitting” (And crocheting I think). Also, a friend of mine found a weekly knitting and crocheting group, and the ladies there have been helpful. I am now fully bistitchual.

Since everyone’s already answered the SSK issue. M1 S1 M1 is going to be tight. If you knit tight, then it’s going to be really tight. Don’t worry about it.

It didn’t work again :frowning:

I did the SSK as suggested. I even learned how to do a K1fb, as Marlitharn suggested, off of I do like that technique better than picking up the running stitch, and it made the whole M1, Sl1, M1 area looser.

But, I still had an odd number of stitches left over, so I couldn’t complete the pattern for that row cleanly.

Any ideas of what I’m doing wrong? It doesn’t seem like I should be having this much trouble. I’ve done other patterns with more than just knit and purl before, but they’ve never been this annoying. :frowning:

Contrary I taught myself to knit about 4 years ago via the above linky and books. I have buttloads of knitting books, but I am a visual learner and Knitting help was da bomb.

Following a pattern, for me, is like taking directions verbally from someone and all I here ( read) is, " Turn left here, go for a while and blah blah blah…" I’ve attention span issues. However when I have done a un-venting pattern by Elizabeth Zimmerman (where I work up the measurements and how many stitches per inch and stuff like that.) I am fully engaged and the project ( note Singular) turned out perfecto! ( A pair of mittens.)
Another wonderful (x 200000000) resource, if you have a few bucks to blow (and well worth the cashola, IMHO.) is Elizabeth Zimmerman’s A knitting Glossary and pretty much any DVD made with her and her daughter, Meg Swanson.

The over the shoulder shots on the Knitting Glossary with EZ or MS explaining what she is doing and why is like having the worlds best knitter (a Pd.D in Knitology) at your disposal without worrying if you are being too thick to figure out the stitch and about to get a whack on the back of the head for being s.l.o.w.

Knitterly speaking, to me, these visual references, are the Mecca for all Knitters.
Another fantastic DVD resource, again, expensive but worth it, are the DVD’s by Lucy Neatby, which are not a Learn to Knit series. It is to expand the basics or walk you through more advanced stuff. ( Which I haven’t walked there yet. I’m still crawling through the GD gusset on a sock. ) More of her DVD’s are sold by Knitpicks. Knitter’s Review always has really good reviews on products.

OK now I’m daring to imagine knitting something for lil Alison. Would mittens be a rotten project with which to start?

One thing, an M1 and a K1fb are going to look and behave differently, both on the row that you’re knitting and on the row below that. There’s a difference in which row the extra loop is created in and there’s a difference in the fact that one is created in a stitch and one is created between two stitches.

Unlike Marlitharn, normally, when I read to do an M1, I assume they want me to do the version where I twist the string that I lift, so there is no hole. But I would check the pattern to see which version of an M1 they’re looking for to get the look they want around the increases (my eyesight is not good enough to tell by looking at that picture. I’d have a magnifying glass on a paper copy if I had it at home.)

Still - to translate that line using the Kmultiple times into the loop, I would change that to: SSK, K7, Kbfb , K7, K2tog. For Kbfb, you’ll knit in the back of the loop, then the front of the loop, then the back of the loop again before removing it from the left needle. You’ll get the double increase - and you’ll get the center stitch “on top” which will help get the look that the pattern wants.