Knitting Stitches won't slide off needles

Hello…I’m new to knitting. I’m having trouble getting my stitches to move freely on the needles. I’m using alum. size 8 needles to try to make a scarf. When I cast on, the stitches slide up and down the needle however, once I start the knit stitch, I keep fighting the stitches to fall off the other needle. This makes the experience not as enjoyable and will take forever to finish a project. Is my gauge still to tight? Thank you all for the feedback.

You’re probably pulling on the yarn after you make each stitch because of the feeling that they’re going to come off the needle and therefore they end up too tight. So don’t pull the yarn tight, loosen up your grip on both the needles and yarn, and don’t worry about the sts falling off, they probably won’t. If one does, put it back on the needle.

I agree you dont want to strangle your yarn…Take a deep breath and relax this is supposed to be relaxing. I did the same thing when I first got started and even did it crocheting…Let up on the yarn and let it slide you will see they wont fall off and will make it so much more enjoyable…we are here for you!

Knitting too tightly is common at first. Practice knitting more loosely as Sue suggests and everything will be easier and your tension will get more even.

It occurred to me that maybe you need to try a different method of cast on if it’s that loose which may be why you’re overcompensating by trying to knit the rows tighter. Backward loop/thumb loop is one that many new knitters use because it’s easy, but it can be very loose. A knit cast on is loose, though not as much, and the edge is sturdier. Cable cast on is very stable and the sts are not so loose. Try another one or two and see if that makes it easier for you to work the next row.

Good music and a glass of wine would help you to relax while knitting.

Let’s use a illustration (and I use this with my new knitters):

The left-hand needle is like the high-diving board.
The stitches are the swimmers who are in line to dive.

This team of swimmers keeps moving up the ladder, and closer to the end of the diving board with each dive taken by each team member.

The act of moving up the ladder, and closer and closer to the end of the diving board is referred to as “queuing your stitches”.

New knitters commonly forget to “queue” their divers, I mean, stitches! The “end of the diving board” is that part of your needle that begins tapering. Only one person on the end of the board at a time.

When that diver takes the plunge, and gets knitted off the end of the needle…the next diver moves up to the end of the board! And all of the team members on the ladder and at the end of the board all step up one more rung, or take one more step closer.

Always remember to move your divers along the lefthand needle. This will result in your knitted stitched coming off the lefthand needle much easier. Never knit the stitch from way back on the diving board. No one dives from the middle of the board, do they? So too with knitted stitches. They should already be at the end of the diving board to take their plunge, that is, they should be positioned on the tapered part of the needle. One per customer. Not two divers. Just one.

Move along, move along everyone. Keep the line moving. Don’t dawdle. Close up the ranks!

Don’t ever use the righthand needle to pull the knitted stitch off the needle. After she’s knitted, gently coax her off the end of the diving board. If you knit her and [U]pull on her[/U] to get her off the needle, it’s like someone who is pushing the diver off the board. She resists being forced off. :wink:

From what I’ve seen, new knitters commonly forget to queue the stitches faithfully and consistently. The act of queuing your divers along will become natural…in the meantime…keep the illustration of our diving board and team of swimmers in mind so you don’t forget. :thumbsup:

A knitter after my own heart! :clink:

ArtLady is absolutely right about queueing stitches - it does help tension ease up quite nicely. I do still get some wonky stitches from time to time, but that may just be the wine talking…:teehee:

Make sure, too, that your stitches aren’t twisted–that you’re inserting your needle correctly and wrapping the yarn correctly.
Twisted stitches are tight.

Sometimes your needles just get dirty from your hands or dust in the air. It might help to clean them off really well with soap and water. I have wood needles. When mine begin to stick, I put a little bit of dusting spray (has to be the kind with the wax) on a rag and wipe it on them. I then clean the excess off with a clean rag and that does the trick. Not sure if that would work with metal needles or not. We don’t want your knitting flying off into the next room.