Fixing Common Beginner Knitting Problems – Losing Stitches
Beginner knitters often find that as they are knitting, their work is mysteriously getting narrower and narrower – where did those stitches go? It’s easy to lose stitches – but luckily it’s easy to fix the problem too.
The source of the problem might be the yarn you are using -fine or fuzzy yarns such as mohair, or fancy yarns like boucle or eyelash, make it easy to knit two stitches together instead of one. The best solution is to simply use a different yarn – but if you are in love with that particular yarn, make sure to count your stitches at least every couple of rows, and watch those stitches closely as you knit! Look out for ones that seem a little bit thicker or harder to knit than the rest.
The most common cause of missing stitches, however, is dropped stitches – they have literally dropped off the needle. It’s so easily done, even by experienced knitters. You are struggling with a tricky bit and don’t see the next stitch slide off the needle, or the phone rings and you put your knitting down in a hurry, or you’re simply using a slippery yarn on slick needles! Look at your work – are there any rows of holes that like ladders or runs in a stocking? That’s ta dropped stitch happily unravelling itself. If you find it’s happening a lot, you might want to try different needles – bamboo or wood have more ‘grab’ than metal or plastic. If you’re already using bamboos, grab a cheaper pair – they are usually less polished and even more grabby!
Fortunately, there is a nice simple little trick for picking up dropped stitches, using a crochet hook. At the bottom of the ‘ladder’, you’ll find a stitch that hasn’t unravelled yet. Coming in from the front of your knitting, grab that stitch with a crochet hook. Now grab the next rung of the ladder, and use your hook to pull it through the stitch you just rescued – you should still have one loop on the hook. grab the next rung and pull it through, continue doing this until you get to the top of your work (not just the top of the ladder!) then pop the stitch back onto the needle. Fixed! You can also use this trick to fix almost any knitting mistake without unravelling rows of knitting.