A beginner's question

I taught myself to knit using borrowed books from the library, along with a few videos online. My question is very elementary, but needs to be answered by someone! Does everyone have to “pull” their work after every row to get the stitches in place or am I doing something wrong? I never see anyone having to do this when they knit on the videos, but after every row, I have to pull along the bottom edge to get the stitches to tighten and settle in their nook. I very well could be doing something odd since I taught myself and have never knitted in front of an experienced knitter to get feedback. Thank you in advance for your advice.


I think I know what you mean. I only really do that to a garter stitch (knitting every row) for anything else I don’t do that. I stop once in a while to look at it but I don’t think I pull it. My daughter is learning to knit and I’m doing it for her to make sure they’re no holes.

I think in the long run the yarn will relax and get washed and all that fun stuff and it’ll pull it self. I’m not sure if that helps

I should have mentioned that I knit every row. I am not comfortable enough with purling yet to incorporate it. By the time I finish whatever I am making (usually a scarf or square) it is all stretched out from me pulling it. I really need to find someone in my area to watch me knit in person to critique my method! Thanks so much for your reply.

I pull my work onnce in a while just to look at it or just to make it look good.So,I don’t think you are doing anything wrong.Good luck!Happy Crafting!:happydance:

Yes, everyone’s right. It’s likely a matter of tension - and that will resolve itself as you get more comfortable knitting.

BTW, knitting every row is called the Garter Stitch. Very useful! Makes great scrubby hand-cloths and wonderfully fluffy scarves.

Congrats on getting over the biggest hurdle of them all - learning the knit stitch! You’ll find that purling isn’t that bad - it’s just the opposite of the knit stitch.

All in good time. Settle back and enjoy your new craft!


Try not to get into the habit of pulling on your knitting; you can end up stretching and distorting it. It’s normal for the first couple of rows to look wonky, but as you continue, things begin to even out and your knitting looks better.

Also, garter stitch (knitting every row) shouldn’t look tight and stretched; it’s a rather compressed stitch with a lot of texture to it – sort of rounded rather than flat.

For now, just concentrate on relaxing and knitting until it becomes easy, comfortable and second nature. BTW, if you have a knitting shop in the vicinity, you might want to stop in, introduce yourself as a beginner and ask if you’re doing it right.

Hi, When I first started knitting, I started with scarves and knit every row. I would “pull” the stitches after each row so that they were all nice and tight. I don’t find myself doing that anymore so I think once you become more comfortable with your knitting, you won’t tend to pull at your stitches.

As the others have said- it’s just a matter of comfort. :slight_smile: As you get more practice, you’ll get better at keeping your tension even. Where are you in Texas?

I agree that it’s probably your tension. I remember when I first started knitting I would have to stop and pull every row because my stitches were so tight that they would barely move on the needles.

I was very nervous when I first started because I was afraid I’d mess up, but as I practiced and got more comfortable eventually the stitches would just fall into place where they should be.

I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong - I’m sure you’re doing a great job. Just keep knitting and you’ll get to the point where everything just works on its own.

And welcome! :yay:

Welcome to knitting! As others have said, Garter Stitch is very versatile, easy, and useful. I think you will find yourself going back to it even as you learn more.

For me, I definitely have to adjust my work a lot of times when I finish a row. I often find that, when I am knitting something flat, my stitches start to wrap themselves around the needle as I work. So, when I finish a row, I do try to flatten my work out so that it “hangs” from the needle in a neater way. This is hardest to do when you haven’t knit very many rows yet (I find that I need at least 3 rows before I can really adjust it properly).

As someone else mentioned, just be carful of how much you are actually “pulling” on it. It doesn’t matter so much with Garter Stitch, but as you progress in skill, you’ll want to be careful. Some stitches (patterns that make lace, for example) can be damaged if you actually pull on them. However, as has also been mentioned. Much of this is probably to do with your tension as well, which should resolve itself into being comfortable for you as you practice knitting even more. Remember that knitting shouldn’t be hard–you shouldn’t be pulling the working yarn super tight with each stitch and you shouldn’t be forcing the needle into the next loop. Likewise if things are too loose.

You’ll get it–keep going! :cheering: :cheering:

I was picturing this in my mind and thought it might be helpful to learing the purl stitch on your own.

I would say a purl is the “back side view” (WS view) of a knit stitch. Try it! (If you can knit without having to look at your work.) Stand in front on a mirror, knit the RS but glance in the mirror and you will see yourself purling on the WS of the work.

Now that sounds cool to me. :cool: (When I get home I’m going to try some knits and purls in front of the mirror, just to streach my mind. :thumbsup: )

… of course I’m the kind of (right handed) person that tries to also knit left handed to avoid needing to turn and purl on a two handed fair isle project (knit flat on straight needles). :eyebrow2: Who would do that? :aww:

Welcome to the Knitting Help Forum!


Thanks for the encouragement! I live just North of The Woodlands.

I’m in Austin- if you’re ever headed this way, let me know and maybe we can get together to knit! :slight_smile: