It can be one of the most frustrating things, getting started on knitting only to find at some point that you've dropped a stitch, or accidentally cast on extra stitches. As a new knitter it can seem difficult if not insurmountable to try to fix these knitting mistakes. After all you're in your knitting infancy. Such mistakes can make quitting seem rather appealing, but part of becoming a great knitter is learning to perservere through the mistakes. Over time fixing mistakes will become easier, but it's still tough to have to spend the time having to fix them all the same.
It is hard to be a new knitter. Just when you think you've got the hang of knitting you end up with a dropped stitch, or way more stitches that you started with and suddenly you have to figure out a way to get your knitting project back on track. It can be frustrating to encounter problems in your knitting, especially as a new knitter. It's hard to work backwards and get to a point where you can even know where to look in fixing knitting problems. Check out these common mistakes that new knitters make and you'll be back to your knitting in no time.
Knitting too tightly
From the very beginning before you even have the time to make any mistakes one of the biggest challenges to new knitters is having a tight grip on your needles and stitches. It's true, when learning to knit, you're teaching your brain to have new muscle memories and your wrists do not know the best tension at which to grip the needles. Plus many knitters feel like they're less likely to lose a stitch if they hold on for dear life. However all this tight gripping is tough on the wrists. Once you get used to the knitting, after a row or three the knitting will even out and you would be grasping so hard at your needles. If you find that you are still gripping rather tightly take a deep breath and shake your hands at the wrists and give your arms a stretch before going back to your knitting.
Dropping a stitch
Yes there is such a thing as dropping a stitch. If you happen to let a stitch fall off your needle it's called "dropping a stitch" because the unknitted stitch will unravel itself down to the cast on row, leaving behind a series of horizontal unknitted stitches. The good news is that this is something that is relatively easy to fix. If you're lucky enough you've just caught the dropped stitch within a row or two of dropping it can be easy enough to remedy. Here are a few good youtube videos that show you how to fix a dropped stitch. Before then be sure to get a small crochet hook ready, you're going to need it.
Check out these Youtube videos that show you how to fix a dropped stitch:
Accidentally creating too many stitches (or accidentally decreasing too many stitches)
When you're new to knitting it's very easy to drop stitches because you haven't mastered the rhythm of knitting. Even if you're paying close attention you're still getting used to the mechanics of knitting and it can be just as easy to create new stitches as it is to drop them. You might find when you've finished a few rows that your scarf has gone a little wobbly, by which it seems to get wider. Do yourself a favor, count your stitches. If you have more stitches than what you originally cast one then you've accidentally added some stitches.
If it's only one stitch it's easy enough to knit two stitches together and continue on your way, but if you're have added two or three it's probably best to tink back (that is undo your stitches one by one), or remove your needle and frog back a few rows and then reinsert your needle into the whole row of stitches to knit again, hopefully this time without adding more stitches. It can be a little scary to frog back your knitting, but with patience (and sometimes a smaller knitting needle than the one you were working with) you can easily remove the knitting needle, pull back the knitting, put the needle back and continue on.
Learn more about how to undo your knitting (aka frogging)
Here's a youtube tutorial on how to tink back your knitting:
Adding a new ball of yarn
It's one of the best things and worst things to happen to a beginning knitter, when you've gotten far enough along to have to add another ball of yarn. It seems like it could be complicated, but guess what it's not. The main rule: do not tie a knot. There are no knots in knitting, never. You might have the urge, but those knots are going to f-up your knitting and make it look like amature hour, so have the strength of mind to allow your newly added ball of yarn with it loosely attached at the edge until it gets more and more secured.
Check out this youtube video on how to add a new ball of yarn:
Hopefully now you'll feel a lot more confident as a new knitter whenever you are faced with a knitting mistake. It's also super helpful to have a knitting book or two to reference whenever you encounter something new in your knitting that you don't know how to fix. Check out our page of Best Books for Beginner Knitters here.