The Fourth Time’s A Charm

Well, the scarf I showed you last post doesn’t exist anymore. It was unraveled, and unraveled, and unraveled again and after re-starting a 4th time, I finally feel good about it. It’s not perfect, but for my first project, it’s now something I can be proud of (at least the first few rows, so far – lol).

Here’s why I restarted:

  1. As I was making progress, I ran into a “problem” I remembered encountering while crocheting as a kid – curling! The bottom curled up and the sides curled back. I studdied the picture from the Noro Scarf pattern over at brooklyntweed – how flat the scarf laid! How beautiful it seemed to be on the front and the back! (mine looked good on the front, but crazy on the back) – but could not figure out what I was doing wrong. After asking for help in my New Knitters Ravelry forum, I realized I was knitting one row, purling one row. Having been a complete newbie, I missed one teeny tiny little word in Jared’s instructions: rib. So I learned a good lesson (correct me if I’m wrong!): k1, p1 row by row is a stockinette and there is nothing you can do to prevent stockinettes from curling. k1, p1 rib means k1 stitch, p1 stitch, then on the next row knit on the purl and purl on the knit, etc. This makes for a flat, same-on-front-and-back rib knit. Ah ha! This was definitely cause for starting over.
  2. Just like in sewing patterns, there are tricks of the craft that aren’t necessarily included in the pattern. Now Jared did mention this in his instructions, but I didn’t pay much attention to it until someone brought it up in the aforementioned forum. Someone asked me if I were doing a slipped stitch edge on the scarf to make the edge less bulky. Of course, I had no idea what this meant. My friend on Ravelry, Prairiepiper, has edging instructions on her blog Knitting Pipeline, but I was having a hard time visualizing it and understanding some of the terminology. I googled it and found this set of instructions with pictures on Techknitting’s blog! Well, I just had to have this nice-looking edge, so I started over.
  3. By the third time I started over, I was struggling to keep track of knits & purls. In fact, even though I had just finished one or the other, I couldn’t remember which one I had done.  After about 6 rows, my confusion was evident as the first and last 5 or so stitches of each row looked good and aligned, but the middle was all jumbled up! I also was still trying to figure out the slipped edge and I felt I was just on the verge of geting it all right so once again…I unraveled.

    See knit stitches on the left and purl on the right

  4. This fourth time, I was finally able to recognize the look of a knit stitch and a purl stitch (See above), so it wasn’t as confusing to know what I had just stitched. In addition, although it took me 2 rows to get the slipped edge right, I finally got it and was thrilled to see everything looking right! (At least to my novice eye!) Consequently, this is the  start I will  stick with and hope the rest of the project goes without a hitch!

All that to say, if you’re learning something new, stick with it! You will learn a lot in the process!


7 thoughts on “The Fourth Time’s A Charm

  1. You are not alone!!! The first project I started on was a cardigan (because I was preparing for cold weather and already had a scarf- logical right?!) I had no idea what a slip stitch was at the begining did not really think it was significant enough to take note of until my auntie in the UK explained. Don’t stress/ feel bad at all. I had cast and re-cast over 60 stitches at least 5 times before even starting and then unravelled the entire back section of the cardigan one before I had figured stitch tension/ recognition of different stitches. Hang in there and good luck with it.

  2. You’re learning fast! The most important thing, for me at least, was to really learn how to ‘read’ my knitting so I could look down and recognize what I was doing (and fix it if necessary!)

    One thing I did a lot and other people have mentioned as well, is find myself with more stitches on the needles after a few rows than I was supposed to have! It’s super-easy (especially knitting in rib) to not move the yarn from the back to the front correctly, and end up with extra ‘stitches’! My first scarf was positively wavey!

    • After restarting a 5th time now, your point about bringing the yarn to the other side correctly may be my last issue with this project. I do not believe I will unravel as I’ve only done about 10 rows, but I would like to work that out with this project. Glad to know it’s a common issue, Patty!

      • you can just knit 2 together when you notice – for something like a scarf with springy yarn, it’ll be almost unnoticeable… also, there’s a (contested) amish tradition that every quilt block should have one imperfect block, because only god is perfect. You can apply that theory to your knitting 🙂

  3. Wow, you are doing great. And you are definitely making a concerted effort to learn the concept behind the craft and why you do this instead of this which is impressive. It is great that you are recognizing what the K st and P st look like as that makes it so much easier than remembering what st you were just on. I love that you are determined to get a perfect scarf and that you are searching out on Ravelry, TechKnitting, and Brooklyn Tweed! I just took a class from Jared Flood a few months ago as part of UK knit camp and he is pure genius! Best of luck to you!

  4. Thanks to everyone for the encouragement! My local friends just think I’m obsessive compulsive! lol. Secret…I re-started again! This time I really LOVE it so I’m on my way.

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