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First ever blanket - I'm stuck

(14 Posts)
PalcumTowder Wed 23-Mar-16 16:53:32

I have recently taken up knitting because I've been so moved by the Woolly Hugs organisation and it coincided with me having to put the brakes on my other crafty projects (woodworking - can't do it while the kids are still babies).

I'm making my first ever blanket with the hope of donating it to a bereaved family through Woolly Hugs, but of course it has to be perfect and I'm stuck!

Does anyone know why this ladder effect keeps happening when I change stitches? It looks like I've dropped a stitch but I definitely haven't. When I change from a knit to a pearl, I have to move the yarn from the back to the front (or the other way around - apologies I haven't figured out the names for the stitches yet so that might be wrong) so I'm moving the yarn between the needles before I make the next stitch. I must be doing something wrong at this point but I can't figure it out? I hope that makes sense to someone experienced out there! I don't know any knitters so it's difficult to learn.

Thanks for any help.

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Wed 23-Mar-16 20:54:16

It looks like your tension gets a bit loose when you change from knit to purl and purl to knit.

Give the yarn an extra little tug as you switch sides. Not too much, just a little bit.

KnottyAndPistey Thu 24-Mar-16 08:38:29

Ahhh, there you are, you have a professional! x

Thank you so much for doing this PT, you star


PalcumTowder Thu 24-Mar-16 17:24:19

Thank you why, I thought it might be that so I've tried to rectify it but with no luck - I think I'll start again and do the little tug right from the start and see if that makes a difference. Thank you!

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Thu 24-Mar-16 22:28:15

For a first one, why not do the whole square as stocking stitch?

Give yourself a chance to get the feel of the yarn and needles.

Are you using bamboo needles? I find them a bit 'grippy' and prefer something smoother.

Another thing you can try is an extra column/row of purl stitches all round the purl square.

So if you are currently working k8 p8 for row 1 and p8 k8 for row 2 and 10 rows to make each square...


Row 1 k8 p10 to end (you will need extra stitches, but it won't be wider, as it puffs upwards a bit.)
Row 2 p8 k 10
Repeat until 10 rows done.
Row 11 purl all way across

Row 12 as row 1
Row 13 as row 2

Repeat until row 21

Row 22 knit all way across (each square now has 11 rows, so the long row will alternate from knit to purl)

Keep going. When it gets blocked, it will probably settle in a bit.

PalcumTowder Fri 25-Mar-16 14:45:54

Wowser! That looks complicated. I will have to read through it more slowly when I have my knitting in front of me, but I will try it this afternoon. Thank you!

I have done a whole square in knit and a whole square in purl, wanted to try something a bit trickier.

Yes I am using bamboo needles but they're rubbish, one has already splintered. I bought a whole pack of different sizes too. After payday I'm going to buy the metal ones.

What do you mean by "blocked"?

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Fri 25-Mar-16 21:30:49

When you have finished making something, you will probably notice the edges curling.

Or if it's a garment, it might not be quite the right shape.

To fix these, you wash or wet the item. Pin it flat to the size and shape you want it. Then let it dry.

Send the broken needles back!

Try some different sorts. Different people prefer different types.

I have some nice coloured aluminium ones at the moment.

Buy a pair of something you like the look of. When you have tested them, you can invest in a set.

Why not try stripes as a next step?

If you are doing a 6 inch square, you are working 42 rows?

7 stripes. 6 rows in each stripe.

PalcumTowder Sat 26-Mar-16 19:10:55

Good tip about the pinning, thank you. I never would have thought of that.

I've started doing a stripey one to get the hang of changing from knit to purl. It's going ok although I buggered up the middle a bit by doing my knit (I think?) the wrong way round.

The stitch where you go in at the back, that's a purl, and if you go in at the front it's a knit, is that the right way round? And when you've done lots of purls you get a "garter stitch", and when you've done lots of knit/purl alternating you get a "stocking stitch" - is that right?

Thanks so much for all your advice, it's really helping!

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Sun 27-Mar-16 00:14:45

Knit every row is garter stitch.
Purl every row will also give garter stitch.

Knit and Purl alternatives will give stocking stitch.

Working the side nearest you, with ridges racing you is Purl.

Working the side of the stitch away from you, with the vvvv facing is knit.

Try this...

Cast on 40 stitches.
K4 p4 all the way across. (Will be 5 times for each)
Repeat for all the rows until it's square. Should be about 42 rows.

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Sun 27-Mar-16 00:16:14

Seriously, phone!


That will give vertical stripes (or ribs).

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Sun 27-Mar-16 00:18:00

And yes. You have knitted a purl row (or the other way round)

No harm in leaving it like that. It won't affect anything, other than the appearance.

PalcumTowder Sun 27-Mar-16 21:16:12

Argh, it's happened again!! I started on the vertical striped pattern you suggested and its laddering again. It's only when I change from knit to purl, when I go purl to knit it's fine. Im giving it a little tug to keep the tension right. I'm going to have to find a wool shop and see if they can diagnose my knitting!

Marcipex Sun 27-Mar-16 21:57:54

Can you find a local knitting group? It's much easier to show people face to face.
Also, perhaps then you could borrow some metal needles to see if you get on better. (I don't, I much prefer bamboo to metal)

Personally, I will do anything to avoid purling. If it's a whole purl row, you can just knit it backwards instead. There are videos on YouTube. It's very easy.

PalcumTowder Sun 27-Mar-16 22:10:31

Ooh purl is my favourite! In my head they're called "the easy one" and "the hard one".

There is a knitting group but it's weekday and I have a 2yo and a 1yo with me so cant really go. There is a knitting shop though so I'll see if the owner minds helping me out.

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