Newbie: Avoiding "The Loose Loop"

Hey all

I just started learning how to knit and I keep having problems with the last loop of a row being extra loose. I found a couple of posts asking about this, but it seems that the loop I’m getting isn’t coming from the source yarn, but the from the yarn I’m knitting onto — maybe when I stretch the yarn to reinsert the needle into the next cast-on loop.

Here’s a pic of a just finished row:

What am I doing wrong, and what do you guys say I should do to keep from having loose ends? They’re making my edges all ugly!


That loop is loose on everyone’s knitting because it’s only anchored on one side. When you knit the next row, you can pull that first stitch tight, and keep your yarn tight for the next st as well, or what many people do is slip that first stitch. This way it only gets knit every other row when it’s the last stitch in the row, and that helps to tighten up the end.

Thanks for the quick reply! I’ll give that a go this evening — but I’m not sure what you mean by “slip the first stitch.”

I’m brand-new to knitting and I’m a 32 year old guy, so I’m kinda slow. :slight_smile:


yeah another guy! Ladies we are converting them…one knitter at a time!

basically what it means to slip the stitch is to insert your needle like you are going to knit/purl it but don’t actually make the new stitch. just move the loop from one needle to another.

you can slip a stitch knitwise (insert the needle like you are going to do a knit stitch) or purlwise (insert the needle like you are going to do a purl stitch.) Usually a pattern will tell you if it wants you to do it knitwise because it will actually turn the stitch. if it doesn’t tell you how to slip it, then your best bet is to slip it purlwise because it doesn’t change the orientation of the stitch.

hope that helps!

(who wants to take bets that Ingrid got this answered faster than I could type my answer up! :wink: ) :rofling:

:rofling: :cheering: :happydance:

I’m at work (so no yarn-in-hand), but let me see if I can wrap my brain around this…

In the picture I posted, to “slip” the loose bit I would just pop the loose bit over to the other needle but not “stitch” (wrap the source yarn around the tip of the other needle and pull it through/whatever) it?

Wouldn’t that leave a gap or something undone looking since there’d be no stitch?

Of course, I’m sure it would make sense if I had yarn in my hands, so the answer to my comments may be “try it when you get home and it’ll make sense.” :slight_smile:

And yes, I’m quite enjoying the knitting and I’m looking forward to having my first scarf made one of these years. :thumbsup:


well it won’t on the ends because you are just going to knit it when you get back around anyway. when you slip in the middle of a row it can but there is usually a reason for why you would do that (design element)

yeah try it when you get home…you’ll see…

what are you doing leaving the house without your knitting? :shock:

Your tension becomes more consistent the more you practice, but as Ingrid said that loose stitch is normal.

As for slipping the first stitch…it makes nice even edges! Great for scarves!

Thanks for the quick replies! I can already tell I’ll be mining the minds of all you experts as I take on this new hobby. What a great resource this site will be!

I’ll give it a go when I get home — I’m looking forward to seeing how the edges will look. I’ve only knitted about 30 rows (I think), so hopefully the new method won’t look too odd next to the old one.

Thanks again!

Thanks everyone! I just got home and knitted 3 rows doing as you described, and the edge DOES look good. Slipping the loop helps disguise the “extra” yarn that may be left over.

I hope I’m doing it correctly, too: it’s sort of making a horizontal stitch at the edges kinda sorta.


Yup! That’s the way my scarves look–like a little wrap around the edge.

lol…does anybody else imagine that Maury left work early so he could hurry home and try this technique out? :rofling:

aaaaah the addiction begins! :thumbsup:


Welcome Maury! :waving: [size=2]for some reason I’m imagining you are also Brittish[/size]

I didn’t leave early, per se — but that was the first thing I did when I got home! :slight_smile:

And Heavens no, I’m not British — I’m from South Texas! :thumbsup:


:rofling: :rofling:

While we’re on it…I have a quick question about slipping the first stitch, is there any instance where it’s not a good idea to do this? Or can you basically do it for most patterns?

I don’t think there are too many instances when it would be a problem. I don’t do it on edges that are to be seamed. Over the years I’ve managed to avoid that loose stitch, and I prefer to have one row for each seaming stitch.