Loose Knitting Stitches: Causes and Fixes

Knitters often have a problem with loose knitting stitches – they are either too tight or too loose. Loose knitting stitches can be caused by many things, including the type of yarn and needles you use. Luckily there are some ways to fix this problem without having to redo all of your work! This blog post will discuss the causes and fixes for loose knitting stitches in knit garments so that you can avoid these mistakes on your next project!

loose knitting stitches: causes and fixes

Why loose knitting stitches happen and what to do about them?

It can happen because of many reasons. It could be because the yarn is too thick, not enough stitches are used in a row, or even just because you knit at a looser gauge than normal.

loose stitches

If yarn tension is too tight, then it will pull the fabric inwards and make your stitches look tighter. If yarn tension is too loose, then this makes for a wavy line of loops across your row; these are called “ladders” or “wool-overs” which will happen because there is not enough pressure on the needle to keep the bottom loop from slipping over top.

It is important to use needles that match up with what you’re knitting so that they don’t catch stray strands of yarn. And if you notice any ladders happening, just weave them back into the stitch pattern!

Generally, loose knitting stitches can lead to holes and unsightly areas across your garment. They can also lead to areas that are more stretched out and not as firm.

Luckily, there are some ways to fix loose-knit stitches without having to redo all of your work! Read on for a few quick fixes you might try the next time this common problem occurs in your knitting.

Tips for fixing loose-knit stitches:

  • Check for loose stitches by pulling the thread from one side of the fabric to the other.
  • If you find a stitch that is not tight, pull it out with your fingers or use a needle and thread to tighten it up.
  • You can also try knitting in short rows instead of long ones – this will give you more time to see if your stitches are tight enough before moving on.
  • Finally, take a break every once in a while so that you don’t get too tired when working on your project and make mistakes.
  • Remember that tension is key! Make sure that all needles used have been oiled and are at the same height as each other.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to work on projects because rushing will only make things worse.

How to avoid loose knitting stitches in the future?

  • Make sure to use the right needle size for your project.
  • Always make sure you are knitting in the correct direction.
  • Keep a close eye on how tight or loose your stitches are and adjust accordingly.
  • If you find yourself with too many stitches, unravel some of them by taking one stitch from each row and pulling it out so that there is an even number of stitches again.
  • Practice makes perfect! Try knitting a few projects before beginning this one to get used to the process. 
  • Ask for help if needed! A good place to start is YouTube videos which can be found easily online.

What you can do if you have a project with too many tight or loose-knit stitches already?

  • If you have too many tight stitches, use a larger needle or go down a needle size.
  • If you have too many loose stitches, use a smaller needle or go up a needle size.
  • Try using the same weight of yarn but in different sizes to see if it helps with your tension. 
  • Use stitch markers to mark off sections so that each section is worked on separately and has its own tension. 
  • Take the time to make sure both sides of your work are looking even – this will help with any problems you might be having with tension.
  • Practice! It takes time and patience for everything we do in life (especially knitting!) but practicing will eventually lead to mastery over these skills! Make mistakes while learning new things instead of waiting until later when it’s harder to fix them! You’ll also learn how to fix mistakes as they happen which can save lots of frustration down the road!


Loose knitting stitches are one of the most common problems with inexperienced knitters as they try different techniques without understanding why they’re doing what they do while practicing. We hope this guide has helped empower you by giving you some loose stitch fixes! If not, we encourage you to read our other post on how to knit block knitting.


I’m Jane and I’m the editor of janesknittingkits.com! I am a long-time craft and clothing design fan who has been writing about these interests for years.

I have spent many hours studying knitting, weaving, sewing, embroidery, and quilting as well as learning about various brands and models of sewing gear and machines. In addition to this research, my work involves publishing information related to these topics in ways that will be informative for both amateur crafters like me and more experienced sewers!