A few beginner questions

I just figured out how to do the casting on of stitches and how to knit (continental since I’m left-handed) from the videos on this site.

However, I’m bit confused about starting a row and finishing a row. So here are my questions:

  1. When you are casting on the stitches (long tail cast on) does the 1st one count as 2 stitches (since there are 2 loops around your needle after you do the 1st )?

  2. If the answer to question 1 is yes, then when you start with the knitting (after all the stiches are casted on) then how do you knit that last loop (the 1st cast on stitch) when there is no knot underneath it? Am I making any sense?

  3. I also have a problem with the 1st stitch. In one of the videos it said to just transfer that 1st loop to the other needle , but then over time a really loose hangin loop develops on my project. Is this how it is supposed to be?

thanks a lot. I’m sure all this would be a lot easier if I had someone to help me out in person, but I don’t, since everyone I know knits in that other style (the english).

All loops on the needle count as a stitch, so the beginning loop is the 1st one, then when you make a new stitch, that’s the 2nd one. It doesn’t matter whether the 1st CO st has a knot or not, you knit into the loop.

Some people like to slip the first edge st of each row, but you don’t have to, especially if it’s garter stitch (knit all stitches in the row). I’d just practice knitting every stitch for a while, then later you can see if you want to slip the first stitch.

I slip that last stitch if it’s really droopy because a messy edge drives me nuts. You don’t always need to do it - it depends on the yarn, the gauge, and the tension of the piece (looser pieces with bigger stitches mean droopy edges, at least for me). The edge that happens when you slip the last stitches does look a little strange, so you might not like to use that technique. It’s a matter of preference.

ok, so I solved the issue with the 1st stitch (thank you), but now I have an issue with the last stitch.
It is way way too loose. Whenever I knit the last stitch of the row (I’m only on row 2) the last stitch is just extremely loose. I mean there is a big loop of yarn just hanging there and it does not tighten if you pool on the yarn.
What am I doing wrong ? (I’m using the continental method of knitting)

Last stitch/first stitch are affected the same way. When you pull on the first stitch, it tightens the last one a bit. When you slip the first stitch, it pulls on the last stitch.