Newbie Question: Loose stitches

Hey there!
This is my first knitting question on a forum (ever!)


I have a problem knitting in that my stitches are the right height, but my work comes out too wide. I’m careful to work my stitches tightly around the width of the needle, but my work between the stitches comes out too loose.

I’m thinking that it is something about how far apart I am holding the points of the needles? :??

Any ideas to help with this?

Welcome to the world of knitting and forums–watch out, though, they both can be addictive!

It could very well be that you’re keeping the stitches too spread out on your needles. Let them bunch up on the left needle toward the tip, and knit with them as close to the tips as you can without feeling like they’re going to slip off.

The main thing, though, is to just keep knitting. You’ll get better and better.

My guess is that you’re using a needle that’s too large.

The needle size listed in your pattern is just a suggestion – it’s the one the designer used to get the correct gauge. If your knitting is coming out too wide, try a smaller needle. Don’t be afraid to go down two or three sizes.

Most very new knitters tend to knit either too loosely or so tightly that they can hardly force a needle through their stitches. Don’t worry – you will eventually develop your own personal degree of looseness or tightness. The important thing is to keep practicing. Make something that takes a LOT of plain knitting, either garter or stockinette stitch. A shawl, for instance, or a baby blanket. By the time you finish, your knitting will be much more even and a lot neater.

By the way, it doesn’t make any difference if you turn out to be a loose or a tight knitter. The important thing is getting the right gauge by fiddling with the size of your needles. You really can’t force yourself to knit in a way that’s not natural to you. I’m a loose knitter, which means I almost always have to use needles 2 or 3 sizes down from the ones listed in a pattern. That gives me the correct gauge and lets me knit in a relaxed, enjoyable way. Hope this helps.

And to stress Knitasha’s point, I always have to go up a needle size to get the proper gauge (stitches per inch) in a pattern. It’s like handwriting–very individual.

… for the quick replies ladies, they are quite appreciated.

I’ve worked on a few projects actually. A scarf for a friend (all stockinette stitching) using size 8 needles, and a poncho (for myself) using size 15 circular needles. That project had a lot of drop stitches . . . and aside from maybe dropping a few places where I wasn’t suppose to =) the stitches were nice and even.

My trouble right now is knitting a 9 inch square wash cloth! That’s the rub though isn’t it? It seems the proportions really do matter now.

I have tried going down as much as three needle sizes as suggested. But that doesn’t seem to affect it much. And although I feel quite comfortable with the yarn tension, and holding the stitches close together on the needles, it just seems to be that I’m feeding too much thread between the work that is already sitting on my right needle, and the stitch I’m about to create.

By the way, I knit using the continental method that I learned from this website (which is awesome because it is the way I hold my thread for crocheting . . . something I have much more experience at doing.) This means that my feeder yarn is coming from the opposite hand of where my work is sitting. I noticed that when I was first tyring to learn to knit using the english/throw method, the stitches were much tighter, but I hated, I mean DETESTED, having to use my left hand to feed the thread around the needles. This took way too long. The continental method seems more natural.

Perhaps this all means I need more tension on the yarn?

Anyway, I will continue to practice.
Thanks again for the suggestions, and for the warm welcome.

And I have to say, I really admire you knitters! :thumbsup:
I have been crotcheting for more than 20 years (I learned as a teenager), and it took numerous trial and errors :frog: over the years to finally learn how to knit enough to even try a few projects. I owe it to this website for having taught me the continental method :balloons: . I don’t think i would have attempted it again otherwise.


They are correct knit with your stitches bunched and closer to the tip of you needles, without them falling off, will help you to knit tighter. People just starting out knit in either of two ways first one being too loose and the other too tight, as you get more confident in your knitting and are knitting more you will be able to gauge the corect tension for your knitting. Just keep practicing and don’t give up. Happy :XX: to you