Knitting too tight?

Hey everyone,

I literally, just started knitting today. I’m a crocheter by nature… but I’ve been working at it for about 6 hours now (off and on, as my fingers allow) and all i have to show for it is a little swatch of knitted rows. I cast on 10, and have like 5 or 6 rows.

But the issue I have that I think might be slowing me down is that its really really tight. I’m using the only needles I could find, and they seem to be the same width as my size G crochet hook. I’m using RH SS yarn.

What am I doing wrong? It gets so hard sometimes that I have to work the right in a twisting motion just to get it into the stitch.

Its frustrating. In the same time it’s taken me to do this little 1.5in x .5in thing… I could have done 12 more rows on my ripple afghan in crochet. :slight_smile:




Try to relax your forearms, hands…breathe!..and don’t hold the yarn and/or needles too tight. (Common with new knitters.) This will come with practice (you just started today!).


Well, you could try going up a needle size. Since you said it’s about the same width as a G I would say you are using a size 7 needle give or take. I don’t recognize that yarn tho. Do you know the weight? If it is a worsted weight or higher you could try a size 8-10 needle to help loosen the stitches. Or, try a lighter yarn to go with the needles.

I have never crocheted myself, but I have learned how to knit less than a year ago, and I totally get how frustrating it can be. Probably more so for you tho since you are used to zipping through with crotchet. All you can do is stick with it, eventually you will create your own nook and comfort zone with knitting.

good luck.

Loosening up comes with practice, but there’s a few tips. Don’t tug on the yarn after you’ve made a stitch; try different ways of threading it through your fingers. If you’re holding the yarn the same way you crochet, that could be pretty tight - it is for me.

Its Red Heart Super Saver, worsted medium weight. I’m kind of at a disadvantage because these are the only needles I have (somehow i’ve inherited like 10 pairs of the same size needles). I’d go out and get some, but I can’t drive thanks to a lovely broken leg. But i’m planning on going to AC Moore tonight. So I should try larger needles? Is it easier to learn using a thicker yarn? :slight_smile: I just wanna soak it all up… but its going so slow that is frustrating. :stuck_out_tongue:

I am impressed that you are taking on knitting, don’t get too frustrated, it took me a few years to stop knitting so tight. I knit more cotton dishclothes than a person can use in a lifetime. I found I did better with smaller projects that I could complete and change colors often enough that I didn’t get bored. Plus, dishcloths don’t reeaaalllyyy have to be on gauge.

If I remember red heart is a size 8 needle so that may help a little, when in doubt go large and let it drape. I’m going to guess that as you pull your loop over you are pulling too tight.

Just keep practicing.

It is easier to learn to knit with larger needles and easier to see the stitches too. I’d suggest buying a size 9 or 10.

That’s too bad about the lack of mobility. I am stuck till pay day simply because I don’t drive at all, so going out shopping only happens once every 2 weeks here.

But red heart typically uses an 8 or larger needle, with practice you can work the smaller needle size and not have it be as tight.

They recommended learning knitting on a size 10 needle with a worsted weight yarn. That wasn’t true for me, or the girl I taught. I found a size 7 needle with a lighter yarn was really easy, or even still the size 10 needles with a bulky yarn.

Maybe it was because the yarn was such a mess because of the bulk I wasn’t so concerned with how it knitted up, but the very first thing I knitted was a bulky scarf.

You guys are so awesome… Thank you so much for your responses…

I’ve put up some pictures on my blog if you wanna see…

I guess I’ll have to pick up some size 10 needles and a chunkier yarn. I have tons of cotton yarn too… I think I’m going to try that next… :slight_smile:

Wait no! Use the 10s with the RH. Even though it’s not the `recommended yarn’ it will still knit up fine and not be too loose. If you use a bulky yarn with the 10s, it’ll be tight. Oh and don’t keep starting over and over again, that’s a sure way to get frustrated and may cause you to knit even tighter. Just let it go if you goof, and keep on with it. After a few more rows you may begin to relax and your stitches will loosen up. Just do a sampler for your first time. Knit a few inches in garter (knit or purl every row), then add a purl rows alternating with a knit row (that’s stockinette) and then go back to knitting every row.

giggles okay :slight_smile: I’ve set the red one aside, and have started one with my awesome lime green cotton yarn (I got 2lbs of it at AC moore one night for $8…) and I’m thinking with every stitch “Slow, light, easy, breathe…” And its starting to get a little easier. I’ll just keep at it. :slight_smile:

I’m glad that your relaxing mantras seem to be working! The biggest thing I notice switching from knit to crochet is that with crochet, you need a little more tension on the yarn in your left hand as you’re pulling it through the hook than you do with knitting (where the yarn comes through the right hand). Essentially, you control the tension more with your hand in crochet, and the needles do a bit more of the tension control in knitting. “Don’t wrap so tight” sounds trite, but it’s the best advice I can add to what’s already been said.

(Also, when you use a too-small hook in crochet, you can’t grab the yarn too well. When you use too-small needles in knitting, you knit a nice bullet-proof swatch. If the stitches in your swatch aren’t moving and you can’t see some light between the stitches, you probably need a bigger needle. So, it’s easier and quicker to know you have the wrong hook size than needle size - don’t beat yourself up about having to learn this.)

Its like a constant mind game i’m playing with my hand. With crochet, I’d hold the yarn with my pinky finger against my palm, but with knitting, I really have no choice but to wrap it around the pinky and up and over the pointer finger. Its like learning how to write left handed or something. :slight_smile:

But i’m still picking away… I refuse to give up! If my 12 year old brother can knit… then I can too! :smiley:

When I first started knitting, I was knitting in to the back of my stitch and twisting all of my stitches. It made my knitting very tight. Not long ago, my knitting inspiration who has been knitting for quite a bit longer than I have (which isn’t saying much) found out that she had been knitting into the back of the stitch the whole time. From what I understand, it’s a pretty common mistake. You might check to see if you’re knitting in the front of your stitch if your knitting is still tight.

Personally, I’d not recommend knitting with the cotton at this stage as it has NO elasticity. (The RH might not be the softest yarn but it allows a bit of stretch.) 100% cotton is hard on the hands (fatigue) if you’re not accustomed to how to work with it. If you’re frustrated with the RH my guess is the cotton will up the angst.

Having said that, the second pic in your blog wasn’t too bad. As noted, avoid ripping out over and over (that takes its toll on the yarn, as well). Just keep adding to what you’ve done and you’ll see improvement (if you keep frogging you have no ref point).

When I crochet I use completely diff muscles, stitch/yarn tension than when knitting. Once you acquaint yourself with the rhythm of knitting it’ll be second nature.


Just got back from AC Moore. I picked up some Takumi Bamboo Size 10 needles. They’re not only nice on the hands, and light, they’re easily one of the most simply beautiful things i’ve ever owned. :slight_smile:

Anyway, I switched to the cotton because it’s really clear what the stitches are doing, and where the 4 strands of it are. I love crocheting with it, for the technicality of it (i can see where everything is…)

But anyway, the bf wants the computer so I’m going to start once again… with the new needles and the RH yarn (purple this time :slight_smile: )

Wish me luck!

Hmmmmm. Everyone I know who knits IRL seems to say “I knit tight” - myself included. However the sweater I am making for my son in a size 6 - he will be 4 but he’s tall and I want this to fit a while - is so far looking ginormous and I fear he will be wearing it until he is 12. So maybe you do loosen up with time and I just think of myself as a tight knitter because I used to be.

At any rate, I know for a fact I cast on too tight and I think that once you start tight it is hard to loosen up - it’s like you think well if I make the next row loose it will look dumb. So because of this and because I don’t want an edge that won’t stretch enough, I usually cast on with a needle 1-2 sizes larger than the needle I will be using to knit. I find a loose cast-on row puts me in a loose state of mind.

Sorry if this has been said - I didn’t see it said but I may have missed it.

And I agree don’t use cotton now! Cotton is easier to crochet with than to knit, IMO. I can crochet with cotton but knitting with it, I always end up with stubborn tight stitches that won’t move.

I don’t know about the bamboo… I think most people find yarn to not slide as well on wood so it could be a problem. Personally I will only use metal needles.

Oh - and don’t knit when you are hot! If it is hot sit near a fan - I find the sweatier my hands the tighter my stitches get.

Summary - give yourself time, cast on big, don’t use cotton, stay cool and dry.

Oh - and have fun. Don’t forget to have fun. :slight_smile:

You’re right, no one said anything about a tight caston. I know that if I have a row that’s tight for some reason, I do find myself working the next row tight too. Not because it’ll look weird, just subconsciously trying to match it somehow.

Bamboo and cotton don’t always get along, that’s true. Try the new needles on some of the RH and that may work out well.

I think i’m finally successful. I’ve been working with the knew big needles and the RH yarn. Its working really well so far. I think Knit1Drop1 is right, that i’m casting on too tight. I never thought to regulate how tight that is, and that it would in turn make me think tight for the rest of the rows. I’ll be sure to post pictures tomorow morning (its getting late here and I have to get to bed…)

To cure the too tight caston, hold both a size 7 and a 10 together, and cast on over both at the same time. Then pull out the 7 and continue on…