New knitter whose yarn keeps sliding off needle during knit stitch

Wise ones,

I’m a brand new knitter and was taught Continental style. I have learned to cast on and can awkwardly manage the knit stitch. The problem is that when I move back and forth between needles I sometimes lose the loops on the left needle and don’t know what to do. I’m just practicing right now, not doing a project, but so far I’ve cut the yarn and started over four times and am feeling very frustrated! Is there an easy way to reattach the yarn or keep going?

Thanks so much!

It really just takes practice. But, try using the fingers of your left hand to hold them and feed them down the needle. They don’t need to be on the tip either. You don’t want them back too far and stretched, but they don’t need to be on the end.

I just learned to knit in May 2011, also Continental style. Have you watched the video tutorials here at Knitting Help? Many of them show basic techniques in both the Continental and the English style. Take a look at the demonstrator’s hands/fingers, even if she’s trying to direct your attention elsewhere.

Another thing to consider is the needles themselves. Metal needles have a reputation for being “slippery” and letting stitches slide off; bamboo and other woody-type needles have a reputation for being “sticky” and holding the stitches close to them. Maybe you’d like to try bamboo if you’re working with metal needles, and maybe larger ones if you’re already working with bamboo?

See if any of these ideas help. My speed is still dreadfully slow, but it didn’t take too long (maybe a few weeks?) for Contintal knit/purl to become quite comfortable, so stick to it! :slight_smile:


Here’s another video from KnittingHelp on fixing dropped stitches that may help too. Good luck with your knitting and welcome to KH!

You don’t have to cut the yarn to start over, just unravel to begin again. You might try a wood needle, it’s a little ‘grabbier’ on the yarn so the sts might not slide off as easily. You can go to youtube and look at hundreds of videos on knitters who knit continental, and see different ways to hold your yarn and needlels that may help as well.

Thank you so much for the responses. I finally made some progress this morning. I am using medal needles and will look into buying some wooden/bamboo ones this week.

Salmonmac, if the loops/yarn comes off the needle, is that considered a dropped stitch?

Suzeeq, I unravel it but then I just have one big loop and don’t know what to do with it! I tried twisting it to make little loops but that isn’t right.

Thanks!! I’m determined to learn this!

Yes, if the stitch comes off the needle, that’s a dropped stitch. It can sit there or it can ladder down as it does in the video. (You’ll laugh when you eventually get to a pattern that calls for [I]deliberate[/I] dropped sts as part of the pattern.)

When you completely unravel the yarn to start over, it should come out in a straight piece. You can wind it into a little ball or a figure 8 butterfly.