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Author Topic: Beginner Knitter needing help!  (Read 1114 times)

ILuvLucy

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Beginner Knitter needing help!
« on: January 22, 2016, 08:39:49 AM »
Hello friends!  I've taken 2 knitting classes on Craftsy, & am doing ok with the little that I've learned so far.  But I have a question that is making me feel stupid, so I'm coming here, where I know I'm amongst friends to help me understand.

When I am doing the purl stitch on my shorter length (16") circular needles, it is extremely hard for me to angle the right needle up enough to go down into a new stitch purl wise.  The cord is not long enough to physically get the correct angle. I know that everyone else in the world can do this simple stitch on 16" circulars (or even shorter?), so I don't know what I'm doing wrong.  I have found a way to keep the right needle slightly more parallel to the left when entering the stitch purl wise, but it feels somewhat awkward.

Is there any advice you can give me so that I don't feel at war with my needles when doing this maneuver?  The ribbing that I've just completed looks like it's been through the grinder.  :eek:
Hopefully I've explained my question well enough.  If not, I will try to put up a photo.
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"A mysterious expression will add a lovely sheen to your complexion" --Nancy Drew in The Clue of the Velvet Mask

Styyna

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Re: Beginner Knitter needing help!
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2016, 12:32:28 PM »
16" circular needles are really short. Still, it sounds like you are having too much difficulty.

The only time I've had that much trouble I attached the wrong (too long) interchangeable tips to a cord intended for a 16" circular length. You're not using interchangeable needles, are you?

If not, what needle are you using?

A picture might be helpful. :)
  • Complexion: NW10; slight rosacea; dry
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To be kind to all, to like many and love a few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness. - Mary Stuart

ILuvLucy

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Re: Beginner Knitter needing help!
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2016, 02:41:06 PM »
Hi Styyna.  The needles are interchangeable but are all the same length. 
I couldn't get a good photo of my own needles/cord.  I still have my hat project on them, and you can't really see the cord.

So here is a photo from a free tutorial on the purl stitch.  The person in the photo is using a long cord, but I'll try to explain my issue with the 16".
Do you see how the tip of the right needle is going into the stitch? (I know it's not the best photo - sorry).  Focusing on the angle.  The other end of the right needle (connected to the cord) is tipped up a little bit, so the point can go down into the front of the stitch.   
My cord is too short to allow me to get the point of my right needle into the stitch purl wise easily, even when stretched tight across.  Even to comfortably get my needle to a right angle is difficult.  Hopefully, I'm almost done with this hat, & can demonstrate with my own needles/cord. 
I know I will be able to purl ok with a longer cord, but the 16"  seems to be a good size for this hat.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2016, 02:51:02 PM by ILuvLucy »
  • Complexion: Light/Medium
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"A mysterious expression will add a lovely sheen to your complexion" --Nancy Drew in The Clue of the Velvet Mask

Styyna

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Re: Beginner Knitter needing help!
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2016, 03:00:30 PM »
Hmm...can't see the picture on my iPad.

16" is a good length for hats.

Did the cord you are using come with your set of needles? It really sounds like the tips are too long for that length of cord but I have a hard time believing a company would sell a 16" cord with needle tips that couldn't be accommodated. I learned the hard way, though, that it's possible to buy and attach a 16" cord to tips that are too long for the cord.

How long are the tips?

As you can tell, I really don't think you are doing anything wrong. Based on your description you're dealing with a cord that's too short or, more likely, tips that are too long. The 16" length should be the total of the two tips' length plus the cord (the cord is, therefore, shorter than 16").
  • Complexion: NW10; slight rosacea; dry
  • Eyes: Blue-gray
  • Hair: Dark blonde with slight gray, thick, wavy, dry
To be kind to all, to like many and love a few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness. - Mary Stuart

milla

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Re: Beginner Knitter needing help!
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2016, 05:33:58 PM »
I wish I could make a suggestion, but I hardly ever use circular needles to work on the round. To make hats, socks or sleeves I use a set of 5 double-pointed needles.  I have only used circular needles for shawls or any other project involving a large number of stitches! But I am going to experiment with 16" circular needles to see exactly what you mean…

Styyna

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Re: Beginner Knitter needing help!
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2016, 06:02:52 PM »
Now I can see the picture! Still would like to know how long your tips are.

More importantly, are you in the path of the storm? It just occurred to me that you're east of here and pretty much everything east of here seems to be in the path of the storm.
  • Complexion: NW10; slight rosacea; dry
  • Eyes: Blue-gray
  • Hair: Dark blonde with slight gray, thick, wavy, dry
To be kind to all, to like many and love a few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness. - Mary Stuart

ILuvLucy

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Re: Beginner Knitter needing help!
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2016, 10:36:01 PM »
Yes, the snow has begun.  They are calling for blizzard conditions & possibly 8" - 10" in my area.  It's never accurate though, right? (is what I keep telling myself :rollseyes:).  We have a generator, & I went out today & filled a gas can, so we can use it.  The power outages are the worst.  We rely on electricity for so many things ---Even water because we have a well, & the well pump is electric.  So no flushing toilets if the electricity goes out!
My main goal is to keep my kids off the road!  It can get very icey, and I hate the thought of them driving.  Thankfully it's the weekend, so most people can just stay home if the roads are bad. 

More knitting talk tomorrow, when I hope to figure out how to finish this hate after I've made so many decreases.
  • Complexion: Light/Medium
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"A mysterious expression will add a lovely sheen to your complexion" --Nancy Drew in The Clue of the Velvet Mask

Styyna

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Re: Beginner Knitter needing help!
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2016, 10:46:03 PM »
I agree, the weekend is a good time to hunker down with a big storm. Good knitting time, too.

As you decrease are you planning to switch to DPNs? Once you start decreasing you'll have to find a way to get the hat off the 16" circular as it will be too long and the stitches that are left won't fill all the way around the needle. DPNs are probably the most common way of finishing a hat. There is another method (magic loop) that I believe can be used but I don't know how to do it that way.

As you said, we can chat more tomorrow. Stay warm and cozy tonight!
  • Complexion: NW10; slight rosacea; dry
  • Eyes: Blue-gray
  • Hair: Dark blonde with slight gray, thick, wavy, dry
To be kind to all, to like many and love a few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness. - Mary Stuart

milla

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Re: Beginner Knitter needing help!
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2016, 04:14:00 AM »
Hope you are well and the electricity is on!!
Please tell me how many cast-on stitches you have on the needles as I would like to try it for myself...
I have heard of the 'magic loop' but I have never used it.

ILuvLucy

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Re: Beginner Knitter needing help!
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2016, 09:09:43 AM »
Styyna & Milla, Thanks, I am hoping to try the magic loop.  I've a few video tutorials, & plan to give it a try.  (If we don't lose internet connection today). I don't have any dpns.  This will be my "learning" hat.  :lol:

All is ok right now, though I don't know where my son is.  I'm assuming he is at his friend's house (which is typical).  Lights have been flickering a bit, & the wind is so terrible that I can't see much out the window.  The snow had drifted up over a foot against the door where I let the dogs go out - so it took a little maneuvering, & snow still ended up inside!  But the rest of the family is still asleep, so I sit with my coffee & TTB friends.

I have 25 stitches left on my needles.  Started with 108.  I will try to link the free pattern, so you can see.  It's a simple one, I believe.  If my link doesn't work, it's on Ravelry & called Be Loving.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/be-loving
  • Complexion: Light/Medium
  • Eyes: Blue
  • Hair: Blonde/Thin/Straight
"A mysterious expression will add a lovely sheen to your complexion" --Nancy Drew in The Clue of the Velvet Mask

Styyna

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Re: Beginner Knitter needing help!
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2016, 09:58:35 AM »
You have 25 stitches left on your 16" needle? If so, that's the problem. As you begin decreasing you reach a point where the number of stitches isn't sufficient to fully circle around the needle. It's at that point (actually shortly before) that you want to switch to DPNs or magic loop. Good luck with magic loop. Many knitters swear by it and say it's much easier than DPNs. I think, in truth, it probably depends on what one is used to doing.

I love the pattern and am going to use it to knit a hat for my niece's daughter. Thanks for sharing.

I'm glad that you still have power and hope that it holds through the storm. Drifted door with dogs champing at the bit to get out - quite the picture. Do your dogs like the snow? I wish your DS would call to let you know where he is but he's a young man now and probably resists doing that. I'm sure you're right that he's at a friend's house, probably sleeping soundly. Are you enjoying the peace and quiet that comes with a big snowstorm? When it's coming down and there's no traffic and all the sounds are muted is the perfect time to have a cup of coffee or tea and pull out knitting or crochet. Enjoy your morning. :)
  • Complexion: NW10; slight rosacea; dry
  • Eyes: Blue-gray
  • Hair: Dark blonde with slight gray, thick, wavy, dry
To be kind to all, to like many and love a few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness. - Mary Stuart

ILuvLucy

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Re: Beginner Knitter needing help!
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2016, 11:46:35 AM »
Ok, I removed my hat from the 16" cable & connected a 40" cable in preparation to try magic loop.  I think I'm going to do a trial on a different set of needles.  All of the tutorials I've seen start at cast on, & since I'm at the end of my project, I don't know if the method would be a little different.  So I'm going to do a trial on a different set of needles, following the tutorial exactly, starting with cast on.

By the way, I measured my needles & cable.  The cable is a tad over 8", & the needles are 4" each, so I guess the 16" was correct.

My dogs love the snow!
  • Complexion: Light/Medium
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"A mysterious expression will add a lovely sheen to your complexion" --Nancy Drew in The Clue of the Velvet Mask

milla

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Re: Beginner Knitter needing help!
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2016, 03:29:38 AM »
As Styyna has already said what I was going to say, I will not add any suggestions. Thanks for sharing the project and the link. Sometimes sifting through all the patterns in Ravelry can take quite long. At the moment I am looking for a good pattern for a nice little fitted cardi.
I wish we could have some snow here , just a little. I love the silence of the snow…
Hope your son has contacted you by now. My daughter used to give us such frights; she used to go to gigs and to parties and then she would turn up when we were frantic with worry and tell us off for worrying.
I heard the news of the bad weather in the US on BBC Radio, it sounds awful. Hope you still have power.

ILuvLucy

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Re: Beginner Knitter needing help!
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2016, 02:58:33 PM »
Thanks, Milla.  I did hear from my son,  and he was at his friend's house as I had thought.  I think we ended up with about 28" of snow.  I'm happy to say (& very surprised too) that we did not lose power. :)

Also happy to say that I finished my hat!  It is not very pretty, & way too big, but it is done, & I will wear it.  :grin:
I am posting a few photos.  I'm most happy that I was able to (somewhat) learn the magic loop, so that I was able to complete the hat.
I totally agree with you about searching for a pattern on Ravelry.  Occasionally I will lose chunks of time just browsing because a Raveler's project has caught my eye. 
  • Complexion: Light/Medium
  • Eyes: Blue
  • Hair: Blonde/Thin/Straight
"A mysterious expression will add a lovely sheen to your complexion" --Nancy Drew in The Clue of the Velvet Mask

milla

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Re: Beginner Knitter needing help!
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2016, 05:00:58 PM »
Phew! Your boy is safe and you have got power… now you can enjoy the knitting! Unfortunately I cannot see the pictures but I am sure it is a lovely hat.  If it is a bit on the big side, you can always felt it (provided it is wool not acrylic). I have felted a couple of hats and they turned out really nice.