June 12, 2023 2 min read 7 Comments

As you might imagine, I spend a lot of time talking to knitters. Across the board, we all struggle. Whether it's a knowing how to unknit properly, how to pick up stitches, or how to choose what size to knit, there are things we either haven't tried yet, or have tired and not quite gotten it. 

Either way, there are pain points in knitting.  Usually it's just a matter of the thing being new and unfamiliar. Because everything is hard when it's new. 

I feel like it's my job to help with all this.  I write these blog posts and do the live podcasts, and make silly Instagram reels to help you past your pain points.  But sometimes I'm a little blind.  I've been writing and teaching for so long, I can get blind to what you need right now.  I think, "Oh, I covered that in a blog post before." so I don't address it.  But then I go back and see that it was 2015 when I wrote that post. 

So, tell me -- what are your pain points?  what would you like to read about in the blog or see covered in a podcast? Do you enjoy posts of beautiful sweater patterns I've found? Do you like silly Instagram reels with helpful knitting tips?  

What pain point can I help you past?  You can tell me in the comments, or you can click the boxes in this Google form.  I want to create the kinds of things that are actually helpful for you. 

Here are a few struggles knitters have mentioned.  Please tell me in the comments to get your started

  • I don't know how to choose what size to knit
  • I don't know how to fix my mistakes
  • I don't understand the different sweater construction styles
  • I am confused about picking up stitches
  • I don't understand gauge
  • I am overwhelmed by the pattern instructions 

Tell me what you're struggling with, and I will try to help.  

Warmly,

Ellen

 

 

7 Responses

Tina Parquette
Tina Parquette

June 19, 2023

I am knitting an eyelet sweater, and I keep dropping stitches on the K2 tog. I usually discover this 1 or 2 rows after, so I have to unknit ( tink?) back to the dropped stitch to pick it up. On the plus side, I’m getting good at tinking. ;)

Ellen Lewis
Ellen Lewis

June 14, 2023

Hi Betti!

Well, I hear you! It’s frustrating when knitting curls, but the fact is that stockinette stitch – where you knit on one side and purl on the other – is always going to curl. It’s just the nature of the beast. That’s why it’s so important to block your pieces before you seam them.

I also understand about the edges looking wonky. Again, that ‘s the nature of the fabric. I always say that stitches are like little girls all in a row, holding hands. The keep each other’s hands together. But the little girl on the end doesn’t have anyone to hold that one hand, so it kind of flops around. Fortunately, she gets a friend in the row above to hold her hand, but she has to reach out with her bent elbow to grab hold, making the edge stitch look bumpy. It’s okay, because that edge stitch gets caught up in the seam.

It’s tempting to want to make the edges of a garment nice and smooth by slipping the stitches, but that’s not a good idea. When you slip the edge stitch, it’s only worked once for every two rows, so there are only half as many ladders to use for seaming. That makes your seams look sloppy, and can really mess up the number of stitches you can pick up if the edge is where you’ll be adding a border.

You may also be struggling with your last stitch being too loose. That is a very common problem that you can fix by working the last couple of stitches a little more tightly and being sure to just insert the tip of your right needle into the last stitch and just pull the barest minimum of yarn through.

I hope that helps. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Warmly,
Ellen

Betti
Betti

June 14, 2023

I struggle with finishing rows in knitting flat, especially on the purl side. I’d like to find a way that would result in consistently flat, easy-to-seam pattern pieces.

Sometimes, everything works out fine when I substitute one yarn for another. Other times, the knitted fabric has too much drape or not enough. I find that swatches don’t always match the texture of the finished garment. I can really use some help here. Thanks!

Mary
Mary

June 14, 2023

I am struggling right now with a cardigan made with a cotton/wool blend. The cotton in the yarn is making it really hard to keep an even tension. I’ve tried Lykke wood needles, metal needles and the needles doesn’t seem to make a difference. I’ve resorted to knitting portuguese style to see if that helps and I’m not sure yet. Then to make things even more challenging, the yarn I am using is only 197 yards per ball so I have to join quite a bit and I’ve tried the russian join, magic knot and they all look terrible. You can see the join. This is going to be a cardigan coat so it’s long and the thought of all these joins showing is enough for me to consider frogging and trying a different yarn.

Susan
Susan

June 13, 2023

It never fails that in at least one place in a pattern, I can’t understand what the pattern is telling me to do. Thank goodness for Crazy For Ewe ladies who have the secret decoder ring!

Kelly McGowan
Kelly McGowan

June 13, 2023

oddly enough, my biggest knitting problem is the problems it makes for my OTHER hobby XD

i’m so used to the knitting mentality – especially the lace mentality – of ‘if you mess up somewhere, you need to stop and fix it lest it throw you off down the line and leave a visible flaw in the finished product’, and it drives my piano instructor a little crazy! she’s been trying for YEARS to get me to just commit to my mistakes and keep moving forward when i’m playing a piece, and i’m over here full-body cringing away from leaving a flaw behind instead of going back and fixing it every time. pour one out for ms eliza and her infinite patience with me about it, LOL

Anonymous
Anonymous

June 13, 2023

I have problems kntting cardigan front bands that lie flat. Mine curl in. I know that is supposed to be because I haven’t picked up enough stitches, but if I pick up more the darned thing flares outward.

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