When you’re first starting out as a knitter, you’re excited, nervous and kind of happy! Knitting is fun, after all!
But sometimes the nervous side takes over and you start gripping your needles and pulling at the yarn. You’re nervous your stitches will fall off, so you’re being extra careful.
The problem is this: the knitting becomes so tight that you can barely get the needles into the stitches. You’re going to pull a muscle if you don’t take it easy! So what to do?
Here are three ways to loosen up your knitting:
1. Change your gear, change your game
Your knitting game, that is! First, try switching to a larger pair of needles. This should loosen up the knitting considerably. Try going up by 0.5mm increments.
Another option is to use needles made of bamboo or wood. Wood or bamboo needles are not as slippery as steel or plastic needles, so they’ll help your stitches stay put.
They’re both a “grippier” material, so you might be less inclined to grip the yarn tightly when the needles feel secure.
Avoid using tiny steel needles (a beginner’s worst nightmare!) and/or light weight yarn. The combination is too finicky for beginners and your hands will be wrapped around them like claws. Not good.
2. Give the whole needle some love
A lot of the times, tight knitters will knit into their stitches using the tip of the needle without letting the stitch slide all the way onto the needle.
This doesn’t expand the stitch to the full width of the needle – only a fraction of its width! That’s why the stitches are so tight. So, let those stitches get all up on the needle!
3. Practice makes perfect
Knitting is a bit like learning a new language for your hands. In the same way that it takes time and practice to be fluent, it also takes time for your hands to learn the language of knitting.
So give it some time!
Try to relax and knit without pressure. If you drop a stitch. Whatevs. Just keep going. Treat this time as a practice session. You’re not working towards a project. You’re just trying to get your hands comfortable around the needle and yarn.
Once your hands become more comfortable knitting, they will naturally loosen up and relax.