Log in

No account? Create an account
Knitting Mistakes - MoonScape [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

[ website | My Website ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Knitting Mistakes [Sep. 24th, 2012|03:11 pm]
[Current Mood |accomplished]

I make a lot of mistakes while knitting.  Not as many as a year ago, or as many as when I first started on socks, in January of this year, but still...mistakes.   I've learned to fix a lot of mistakes and--on second thought--ignore some mistakes (a twisted stitch in a sock?  Ptui.  Not worth the time to bother with it.)    Dropped stitches are now a routine fix, although--since I have trouble picking up dropped purl stitches on the purl side, but find it easy to pick up dropped knit stitches--I just turn the work and pick up the knit side of the purl stitch.    Inadvertent yarn-overs, picking up some other strand than the one I meant to...all routine now.  I've purled where I meant to knit, knitted where I meant to purl, slipped stitches I shouldn't have, knit stitches I should have slipped...and become much calmer about the discovery that this line of ribbing moved itself over one six rows ago, and then moved back three rows ago.  (It's not a bug, it's a feature.   Should that sock ever be stolen, I can prove I knitted it.   ("Right there on the back, Judge, five rows down from the cast-on,  there's a three row jog in the ribbing.") 

But yesterday I made a new, unbelievably stupid mistake...such a mistake that I stared at it last night (was knitting before bed, as I often do) and simply stuffed the sock, five double-pointed needles, and a cable needle back in the sock's personal plastic bag and went to sleep.  Surely things would look better in daylight.  It didn't, much, but I had some sleep in between and better light to work with.

Here's the problem....
See that strand of yarn running alongside the needle, across the stitches?   That's it.   What I had done was fail to check that I was starting to knit where the working yarn actually was.  The yarn had become entangled in the needles, and I mistakenly started knitting one needle past where the previous work ended.  I didn't find that out until I was back where I should have started.  The solution, though, was pretty obvious in the morning.  Carefully work along the stuff I'd knitted with the "loop", gently pulling it free of each stitch so it wouldn't be too fuzzy to use later,  picking up the stitches below as I went along, carefully not knitting with the increasingly long loop this made as the "loop yarn" came free,    The J-shaped cable needle held all the stitches on one needle at a time, as I freed them, then slid them back onto the needle they'd come from.  

Now everything's back as it should be, six or seven rows on, and the slight unevenness in the first row after starting again will even out when the sock's finished and has been washed a couple of times.    I will be very careful to ensure that it doesn't happen again.   The most useful tool was that J-shaped cable needle, though a smaller size DPN would have worked too.  

Most of my mistakes occur when I'm working in less than perfect lighting.  Old eyes, maybe, or still insufficient knitting experience.   I'm thinking of getting some of those magnifying glasses with built-in LED lights, when I want to work in part of the house that doesn't have a bright light nearby.   But I'm also thinking of writing and illustrating a book of "Knitting Mistakes and How to Fix  Them."  I don't find fixes for some of the mistakes I've made in the books I've got.


From: (Anonymous)
2012-09-24 08:51 pm (UTC)

If you ever decide to knit a sweater in the round....

That's actually one method for creating arm-holes.

When you do repeated rows with such long floats, they're known as steeks, and they allow you to machine sew along the first and last stitch on either side of the steeks, then cut through the middle of the steeks to create a relatively robust place for you to pick up stitches to knit the sleeves down from the resulting arm-hole. (The more fastidious use a variety of methods to tidy the short threads, but if you're working with wool, it may felt enough for it to be unnecessary.

In other words, don't think of it as a mistake -- think of it as practice for a project you're not ready to start yet!

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: lillian13
2012-09-24 09:04 pm (UTC)
Knitting is like Sanskrit to me--unless I can hit it with a hammer or set it on fire, it's not my bag. But I bet a nice little e-book with lots of color pictures on knitting mistakes would be a hot seller.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: merseine
2012-09-24 09:04 pm (UTC)
I highly recommend Ott Lights, or some other full spectrum lighting option. I have two of my own and they are *wonderful* for sewing by. I don't know that LEDs would give you the light you're looking for, but you'll only know when you try them.

Correct lighting is critical - I hope you find a good solution for yourself soon.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: noveldevice
2012-09-24 09:51 pm (UTC)
I've done that, and I just break the yarn and weave each end in. I am way too lazy to actually fix that unless it's a self-striping yarn or something.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: aunty_marion
2012-09-24 09:57 pm (UTC)
I use magic loop, rather than dpns, and I've been known to unpick a similar mistake just with the other end of the needle; as long as you're clear in your head where you want to start and finish, it's not too tricky. But congratulations for finding the mistake and working out what you needed to do to fix it, and actually doing it!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: fair_witness
2012-09-25 12:48 am (UTC)
Ugh. I've made that mistake before. I ended up frogging a sock cuff once because it was simpler to rip it up than unpick.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: hugh_mannity
2012-09-25 01:46 am (UTC)
Been there. Done that.

Quite recently in fact, despite having been knitting for 45 years... *sigh*

The nice thing about knitting is that almost all mistakes are fixable.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: xrian
2012-09-25 02:47 am (UTC)
Yes, please do write about "Common mistakes and how to fix them"! The world definitely needs more of that kind of book.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: carbonel
2012-09-26 03:51 pm (UTC)
Totally unrelated to this (except that I've done it, too), but I can't find the months-ago post that I'm actually responding to.

Some time ago, you were bemoaning the "ears" that show up at the edges of doing Kitchener stitch bind-offs. I understand you've mostly switched to doing a gathered-stitch finish, which obviates the need for Kitchener stitch. I've tried that, but wasn't terribly happy with it.

I did, however, find a tip that works for me with Kitchener -- slip the next-to-last stitch at each end of the two DPNs (so four times in all) over the end of needle. Then graft as usual. This draws in the first stitch, and makes the ears mostly go away. I had none at all on the right side, and only a small one on the left side.

And second the Ott light recommendation. If you watch Joanne Fabrics (or subscribe to their newsletters), they have a sale on them every month or so that provides a substantial savings.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: amm_me
2012-09-28 03:01 am (UTC)
Thank you, Carbonel! I needed that tip. I just finished my first pair of socks, almost entirely Elizabeth's inspiration (besides a broken ankle that immobilized me for much of the summer). I did not find doing the grafting stitch particularly difficult (yay, KnittingHelp.com), but the ears did bother me, and I was trying to figure out what would keep those corners from being so prominent.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2012-09-28 03:56 am (UTC)
You finished your first pair! Hurray! What color? Have you posted pictures?

Not that I'm indecently curious, or anything like that. Although not finding grafting stitch particularly difficult...I might have to hate you for that. How on earth do you keep track of which loop to pull, when everything warns you not to pull the loops too tight?

Edited at 2012-09-28 03:57 am (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: amm_me
2012-09-28 02:12 pm (UTC)
I used the video at KnittingHelp.com, and pulled it as tight as it was going to be as I did it. I knit quite tightly, so I saw after just a few stitches that I would have to pull the grafting pretty tight to match. I was working in a variegated (almost garish) yarn with a pretty short color change, so there was a color contrast between the existing stitches and the grafting.

I put a picture of the first one on Robin McKinley's blog comments on September 1 (the Knit Faster discussion). Ummmm... I haven't actually finished #2; there are about 2 rows to go. I was still wearing my huge heavy support boot for the ankle at the time, so I only needed one sock, and I got fascinated with another project. I am out of the boot now, so I guess I better make my claim true and go finish the sock.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2012-09-28 03:56 pm (UTC)
Did I miss that? I was away, mostly out of internet contact, on and around September 1, and don't remember it--need to go catch up in my spare (!!!! as if!!!!) time.

The only way I get pairs done is to start them within 24-28 hours of each other and then play them like a horse race. Each has a little tag of another color wool for "colors" and they "race" to the finish. (I work on the shorter one each time.) That would not work in your situation, though, because the foot without the support boot needed its sock. Makes perfect sense you'd knit that one first. (But do finish the other so its foot can be happy.)

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)