Loose and stretched stitches...need help

I am a novice knitter and I am attempting using my first real pattern in the form of a dishcloth. The problem is that the first few and last few stitches are terribly loose and out of shape compared to the rest of the dishcloth…I have this problem with scarves as well but not to such a degree. I might add that I am experimenting with round needles. I would appreciate any help on this.
Happy Knitting.
Sister Susie

Hi Susie!
It sounds like your edge stitches are just a bit loose… that is totally natural when you’re just starting out! One thing that might help is to slip the first stitch of each row… that means thatyou put your needle in, but instead of wrapping the yarn and making a new stitch, just pass it from the left needle to the right w/o making a new stitch. That should help neaten up the edges. HTH!

Thanks for the help…do I count the slipped stitch as a regular stitch?
Thanks again.

Yep! That will count as your first stitch.

When I first started knitting, my edges were awful, loose, wavy, messy, etc… once i started slipping stitches, AND keeping my tension even, it went away. If that doesn’t work for you, we can try to figure out something else too!

one of the things i do in those situations is do the first stitch of the row, and then stick my needle in to the second stitch. at that point as i am pulling the yarn to wrap it around the needle i give it a little extra tug. the one thing you have to be very careful of though is that you don’t start doing it on every stitch. i also sometimes have to give my last stitches on the row a little bit of a tug downward to actually see them right. i found i had this problem more with cotton than with wool and such. there is no give to the cotton so it is harder to make it do what the other stuff seems to do so willingly. i started on a dish cloth when i first started knitting (cuz now that i have been knitting for 4 months i am fully an expert :roflhard: ) and had to put it away until i got better because i couldn’t really control the cotton well enough. just keep at it…you will see it come together!