Stitches Don't Move Freely

When I knit, my stitches don’t slide freely up/down the needles. Instead they bunch up on the right needle and hang out at the bottom of the left needle. So I have to stop every so often and slide my stitches up/down. It is really getting on my nerves and it can’t be good for my already not-so-even gauge. Is this normal? Is there something I’m doing wrong? Am I knitting too tight? Is it the needles I’m using (circular bamboo)?

You might want to try some aluminum or plastic needles. Bamboo or wood needles are designed to grip so the stitches won’t slide off. I prefer bamboo but just because there is less noise when using them and they give and I have less wrist strain.

It might be a combination of both the needles and your tension (tightness). I’ve never used bamboo needles, but I’ve read on this site that one of the advantages of bamboo is that your stitches don’t slip as easily – keeps them from slipping off, especially when you’re using dpns. In your case, this isn’t such an advantage!

You might try loosen up a little, but I always find that so difficult to do and still maintain an even tension. As for the needles, I would think you could treat them like regular wood in that you could try sanding them very lightly with a 0000 grade sandpaper. Or you might even try a light coat of wax. But, again, I’ve never dealt with bamboo needles, so you might want to wait and see if someone more familiar with them has any ideas.

Spokaloo’s suggestion could be slightly altered by rubbing down the needles with waxed paper. I’ve tried that before and it’s worked out pretty well.

I have bamboo double-pointed needles and like them. I don’t use my other bamboos often. I prefer my Addi Turbos and Knit Picks interchangables (metal). The reason I like the DPNs in bamboo is because my stitches DON’T slide. Otherwise, my preference is not using bamboo.

I would not either sand bamboo or wax them. They usually are verathaned before you purchase them.

My personal opinion (more knowledgable persons might disagree) is that you should try some aluminum needles. If that doesn`t completely do the trick, then try loosening up your knitting a bit. Between the two things your knitting should go more smoothly.

Good luck!