too tight

dindraneNovember 16, 2007

Does anyone have any tips for how to keep my cast-ons and subsequent stitches from being way too tight? I'm a newbie knitter, and my stitches are quite literally so tight after even a short row, that I can't even slide them off the needles. I've tried doing the cast-on using two needles, but even so, they quickly tighten up after the first row.

Is this just a learning experience thing that I'll have to just practice myself over and over, while concentrating on not being so very tight?

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Dindrane, there are several things you can try to keep your cast-on stitches a bit looser. I don't know which cast-on you are using, but I would suggest not using the longtail cast-on. You might try using the "knitted on" cast-on, or another one shown here:

You might also use a needle one or two sizes larger just for casting on and then use the needle size called for in the pattern to finish knitting with. Make sure to switch to the smaller needle after your first row so you don't end up using two different size needles (sometimes desirable, but that's another episode, LOL).

As for your knitting being too tight, that is just going to take practice. The one thing I can think of that might make a difference is in the way you hold your yarn. Be careful not to crimp your little finger too tightly if your yarn is wrapped around that finger. Maybe try a different hold:

Just knit. And keep knitting. It will eventually loosen up.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 11:22AM
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When I first started to knit, I had the same problem, but now it is just the opposite. I have to go down at least one size in my needles to hit gauge. It really does just come with practice. Donna's hints are really good. Just keep trying.


    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 12:33PM
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New knitters usually knit too tightly. Be sure you do not tug the yarn as you knit a stitch. Learn how to hold the yarn in your hand AS YOU KNIT so that you do not make the stitches so tight. Again, never tug the yarn as you knit, which is what beginners like to do. Just place the yarn over the needle and knit, no tugging.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 1:33PM
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Thank you all so very much for your suggestions and encouragement! I have printed them out and stashed the copy in my knitting bag, so I'll have the ideas right in front of me each time I pick up my needles.

I do think all of you have helped, and I will just keep trying (and trying to be patient!).

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 6:34PM
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i am a newbie, also, and i seem to knit at the very tip of the needle and then push it back which makes it tight. when i try to knit farther back on the needle the loop that moves from left to right needle seems so long that i am affraid the knitting will be too loose. i have started over 3x. where should i be knitting on the needle?
also, the boucle yarn i am knitting with keeps getting stuck at the nub part of the yarn. it has been really hard to work with. any suggestions. thanks

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 2:27PM
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Most of it was practice for me, but also, when I switched from English to continental style knitting, my stitches immediately became a lot looser. You've gotten some good tips; the only one I would add is to try to go slowly for now. I used to cast on and knit fast and found that when I slowed down, my tension got better... then with experience, I was able to speed up and still keep the right tension. Just keep at it! It'll get easier and your stitches will get looser.

As maxiblu points out, *where* you knit on the needle makes a big difference, too. If you knit on the tips your knitting will be a lot tighter. I have a tendency to knit farther back (just beyond the tips, where the shaft of the needle straightens out) and my knitting can be too loose and I have to go down a needle size or two to get gauge. There's a good compromise point in there for me somewhere! :)

maxiblu, if you're a beginning knitter, you might want to practice with a smoother yarn for awhile, like a wool or wool blend. Some of the fun yarns, like boucle, can be harder to knit with and aren't good to learn on. Do try knitting a little bit further back from the tips and see how that works for you, too. You'll find the right place and the right way -- just keep at it!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 9:02AM
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carol, thanks for taking the time to answer me.
i started knitting slower and make a point of knitting further back as you said and it really helps.
Regarding the Boucle...unfortunately i bought 12 skeins
for an afghan and am just trying to work with it and not get too frustrated. i am staying calm and working slow with it. I just have to pull hard when the "nub" is large and doesn't want to go thru the loop. this yarn is unusually hard to work with, it is Lions Brand ColorWaves.
enjoy your knitting everyone. thanks again

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 2:03PM
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How loose is too loose? On every how-to video I've watched the person showing how to knit seems to be holding it tight with each stitch close and snug... every time I try to knit (even when I'm intentionally making VERY loose stitches), I can't even get to the second row without it getting so tight I can't even move the needles. I'm so discouraged...

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 12:11AM
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