Everyone Makes Mistakes. Stop Freaking Out.
Q: I finished my row, counted my stitches and I am missing one. What happened?
A: You probably dropped it. Don't worry. Just cast on another one. No big deal. Everyone does this in the beginning.
Q: I finished my row, counted my stitches and I have too many. What happened?
A: Either you wrapped the yarn around the needle more than once (don't do that) or, more likely, you stuck your needle in funny. Watch what you are doing and only go through the FRONT LOOP. Not the back. Not the knot. Only the front loop. On your next row, knit two stitches together until you have the right number of stitches.
Q: My stitches are wrapping around the needle! What do I do?
A: They do that for the first two rows or so. When you finish your row, tidy them up -- making sure that all knots are below the needle. No big deal.
Q: My stitches are so tight, I'm having to fight to get my needle in!
A: OK, that's not really in question format but, fine. STOP YANKING ON YOUR YARN WHEN YOU KNIT. I know, it seems like you should tighten after every stitch to "tidy up." Don't do it. Fight the urge. Don't yank your needles apart like you are sewing. Hold your needles like a tee-pee, like a capital letter "A" (without the bar between them). See how that looks? Keep it that way. When you get the urge to pull them apart from each other, DON'T!!!!!!! Everyone does this in the beginning. You'll learn not to.
Q: I keep making mistakes!
A: Again, not exactly a question. But, OK. Here's the deal. Everyone makes mistakes in knitting. Everyone. In fact, you are supposed to knit a mistake into your work for good luck.
In the beginning, don't stop and talk to people in the middle of a stitch. You will forget what you are doing. Complete your stitch before you say a word. This helps more than you can imagine.
Still stuck? Stop by your local yarn store or send me an email. Alaskamy at hotmail dot com.