… While I’m an Experienced Knitter
I have been knitting for more than thirty years now, more or less regularly. You could say that I’m an experienced knitter (and not a brand new knitwear designer) and despite this experience, I still make knitting mistakes – which is fine – and repeat them – which is a bit more problematic.
So, what are these knitting mistakes?
The most common knitting mistakes
1. No Swatches
It’s probably my biggest mistake as a knitter. Which I repeat over and over again when I say the opposite in class and even on my YouTube channel.
As a designer, I carefully knit a swatch in accordance with all the proper rules but as a knitter, it’s another story!
If I have a crush on a pattern and the time to do it right away, I rush into my stash, choose the yarns that might be perfect for this project, and then I cast on directly. Without making a swatch!
If it’s a shawl, it doesn’t really matter but if it’s a sweater or a cardigan, it’s more problematic.
It’s quite common that after a few rows (or even a few dozen ofrows), I am forced to unravel it because my gauge doesn’t match what is requested in the pattern.
2. Presuming My Gauge Is the Same When Using the Same Weight Yarn and Same Needles
Using the same weight yarn and same needles doesn’t necessarily mean that the gauge will be the same.
Surprisingly, even if a yarn is classified, for example, as a fingering yarn and has the same composition as another yarn in the same category doesn’t mean that the gauge will be identical.
The difference may be minimal but on a great number of stitches, it can become significant. Again, not a problem for a shawl but for a sweater, it can give too much positive or negative ease, too much enough to get a sweater not so wearable or give an impression of fail because it doesn’t fit us that well.
In short, knitting a gauge in accordance with all the proper rules will save you a lot of time and frustration!
3. To not read the pattern carefully
In the video “how to decipher a pattern” (in French) I suggest you read the pattern carefully until the end to be able to understand the construction.
That’s an advice to definitely be followed!
And here’s an evidence – if you need one:
About two years ago now, I wanted to knit Norah Gaughan’s Batwing Sourcebook sweater for my eldest daughter.
The yarn was chosen, the pattern as well. I had understood the construction by taking a look at the photos and I rapidly went through the pattern.
What a mistake! After knitting 10 cm, I realized that I had increased every two rows instead of every four rows as mentioned in the pattern, so I got a raglan yoke that was much too short even though I had the right number of stitches!
I had to unravel everything and start again.
This was the first time; because this sweater will have been knitted several times and the next point explains why.
4. Be sure not to make a Moëbius when joining in round.
First and foremost, an explanation is needed for those who don’t know what a Moëbius is.
In fact, the Moëbius strip or loop is the symbol of infinity: a circle with only one surface and only one boundary curve (click here to learn more).
In the knitting world, it is a technique used to make some cowls or snoods.
Moreover it is also a technique that is done sometines involuntarily while you’re joining in round, whether to make a sweater, a hat or mittens.
Let’s come back to my sweater’s story :
After having unraveled the sweater because I hadn’t read the pattern correctly, I had to unravel this nice sweater again because I had unwittingly made a Moëbius.
And as I hadn’t checked at the beginning if I had joined in round correctly, I knitted for about 15 cm before I realized that there was something wrong!
In other words, be sure you’ve joined in round correctly.
Moreover (I put my designer hat again), here’s a little advice:
You can knit flat two or three rows before joining in round, it will be easier to be sure that all the stitches are in the same direction.
5. Playing Yarn Chicken
This expression is appropriate when the pattern calls for a certain amount of yarn and you’re just not sure you have enough.
Maybe the skeins don’t quite have the same meterage as in the pattern. Or your gauge isn’t perfectly the same. Or you decide to change up the size.
You decide to take a chance and go with this yarn. Will you able to finish this sweater or do you have to make some modifications to make it work ? With this game, you win or you loose.
On second thoughts, sometimes it’s not worth the try and it might have been better to choose another yarn with enough meterage!
In conclusion, are you in denial, too? Do you recognize your mistakes too late? And what are those mistakes you always make as an experienced knitter?
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section and don’t hesitate to share my article on social medias as Facebook or Pinterest.
See you soon,