Problems with My First Row


I’m having a serious problem with the first row. Everytime I knit my first row it comes out really messed up. It looks like the stitches are loose (I’ve attached a picture of what it looks like) I use the same tension for the rest of the rows and they turn out fine. Is there a trick to getting the first row to look as good as the rest of the project? This is very discouraging! I’m afraid all of my projects will be ruined because I can’t get the first row right. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

Your Knitting Friend,
Terrie :knitting:

How are you casting on? If you’re just looping the yarn around your finger, it can cause first row problems. The long-tail cast on shoud solve it, because it’s like casting on and knitting the first row at the same time. Even then, my first rows are always tighter than the rest of my knitting, so after the 2nd row, I stretch my knitting out as far as it will go, which sort of “pops” the first row into place. That only works with smooth yarns and simple patterns, however. Hopefully you’ll get some more answers from the experts, here. :hug:

You probably are using the backward loop or maybe knit cast on and they can be loose and loopy. The long tail is good, even though I don’t subscribe to the idea that it ‘knits your first row’, it is a lot firmer. So is the cable cast on.

LOL! You sent me to my yarn and needles to test my theory, and you’re right it’s not exactly like “knitting your first row,” it’s actually better. I’m not sure exactly what it does, but it definitely makes the cast on and first row look better and gives a lot more control.
Here’s another interesting cast-on, like a cross between long-tail and backward loop.

Is there a name for this one? (I’m gonna look up the cable cast-on, now.

The Long tail actually uses a backward loop for the thumb yarn, it’s just not so evident when you use one hand for it. This one is listed in the CO videos as the LT ‘thumb variation’ and is also known as the English Cast on. It’s the one I use cause I could never figure out the one handed way, and discovered that if I ‘knit’ the yarn with my right hand it comes out the same. I’m not nearly as awkward as the person who put up this video though. It’s quite fast to cast on and you tend to have a more even tension and the sts are not as tight.