New knitter with questions

(6 Posts)
SassyPumpkins Sat 01-Aug-15 22:51:13

Ok, going by the old adage that the only silly question is the one that is unasked, I don't know any knitters and although I was taught to knit as a child, it has been many years since I've knitted as I got bored as a kid and crochet was far faster. So, I saw some great needles being given away on freecycle in my area and snagged them to start knitting. I remembered how to cast on, knit and purl, and cast off. However, my first question, my last stitch always seems to be really loose. No matter what I try, it never seems to look like the rest of my stitches. What am I doing wrong or is there a way to fix this?
As I was very young when I learned, I never used a pattern. My mum just did her own designs and so that's how she taught me and I only made things for my barbies. As an adult, I'd like to be able to knit some designs from patterns til I'm able to feel confident enough to create my own designs, which is a ways off yet lol. Can anyone recommend some beginner patterns?
At the moment, I've only made a couple of preemie hats but had the issue with the loose end stitch, so won't be donating those, because if I wouldn't be happy to use on mine or to gift to friends and family, I won't donate to a stranger going through a difficult time. While I crochet preemie and angel patterns o Dante, I'd love to be able to knit some too as it would offer far more designs.
And finally, I thought my tension was pretty consistent, as I've crocheted for years, however, on some rows (was just doing knit stitches for the preemie hat), there would be an obvious difference, where the yarn was all together but the 'interlocking loops' seem to sit higher or lower than the other stitches. Does that make sense? Is this because of a tension issue or am I doing something wrong?
Any help and suggestions would be gratefully appreciated as I have drooled over so many knitted items and desperately want to become a knitter and not just fall back on crochet for umpteen more years.

Thanks Everyone,
Sassy

TheWoollybacksWife Sat 01-Aug-15 22:55:21

I always slip the first stitch of a row and always knit the last stitch - even on a purl row. It seems to give a neat, even finish to the end/beginning of each row.

Gradetwolisted Sat 01-Aug-15 22:58:02

You could try slipping the first stitch of every row. This should make your side edges neater. You will probably find that your tension becomes more even over time. Have a look for patterns on Ravelry....they tend to be graded.good luck.

DarkEvilMoon Sat 01-Aug-15 23:19:50

New stitches - i used youtube tutorials to learn a huge range of stitches and did so through a sampler blanket. It is a fab project but I am going to have to stop because it has grown rather large. sad but it has really boosted my confidence. I have done it in strips rather than squares --i hate joining when I joined crochet squares) as wanted minimal joins to have to do. It has been very therapuetic and because of the wool/needle mixture it grew really quick. Went from knowing how to knit and purl and cast on, to understanding wtf ssk, sl2tog-k1-p2sso and yo mean, plus can spot where one stitch pattern I had had a typo and my ability to rip back entire rows or odd stitches has hugely improved. Have even knitted owls, cables and tweaked patterns to fit my stitch count. E.g. stitch count cast on of 50, pattern in multiples of 16 + 1, even added an extra wandering to the wandering cable pattern. Never thought I would have been able to do that 9 months ago. Very doable and all about confidence tbh. My advice would be to start with patterns that just include knit and purl combinations (which include seed/moss/cable/basket weave) and then build in the stitches with increasing stitches (YO/Knit front and back etc) and decreasing stitches (K2tog/SSK/p2tog-B etc) not the best of the stitch pattern tutorials but I have used loads of them although you sometimes have to youtube the stitch to grasp exactly what the pattern means --mind you I still do that with loads of them)

yy to ravelry, fabulous for patterns. And a good number for free. Lots of different ability, size and items.
Tension can be sorted with a cabling needle and a lot of patience

I still have the last stitch issue with the purl row (slip the first stitch as habit) so am going to try woollyback's tip.

SassyPumpkins Sun 02-Aug-15 00:14:21

TheWoolybacksWife, Gradetwolisted and DarkEvilMoon, many thanks for your help! I will check out the YouTube instructions for stitches and especially how to slip the first stitch.

DarkEvilMoon, that's a brilliant idea to make a blanket with the new stitches to get to gripes with them and I love that you did it in stripes rather than blocks, like you, I hate all the tying in that comes with making a blanket in blocks, even in crochet. I will try doing similar! And your blanket sounds like it will be gorgeous and I'm so impressed with all that you've learned in such a short time, that's so inspiring.

Gradetwolisted, thanks for suggesting Ravelry. I'd used it for crochet patterns but never gave knitting patterns a thought!

TheWoolybacksWife, knitting the last stitch of every row will now be done always, with the first stitch slipped. I can't thank you enough! I'm so excited that I've got to go play now and hope for a lay in tomorrow morning lol.

JoffreyBaratheon Mon 03-Aug-15 09:16:59

As others say, slip the first st every row if you're knitting flat - not in the round.

Also, check out different styles of knitting. I knit Portuguese style which, for me, eliminates any tension problems as you tension the yarn round your neck.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzfYS9_t27k

It is also much, much faster than continental or British style knitting. ;o)

Your problem may be something called 'rowing out':

techknitting.blogspot.co.uk/2007/02/uneven-stockinette-fabric-how-to-tame.html

Your problem may be your yarn, as well. Some of the less expensive yarns are a bit unpredictable when it comes to tension - they have too much elasticity.

I second Ravelry. I'd also massively recommend the books of a writer called Elizabeth Zimmermann. She was great for empowering knitters to be bold and brave and all her instructions used simple garter st or plain stocking st!

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