(Disclaimer: I've tried for two hours Googling and checking older posts for info about this to little avail. I'm sure it's been asked somewhere before, but obviously I haven't found it. Feel free to point me in the right direction and smack me with something, preferably blunt, if I am being repetitive and tiresome.)
I'm just reteaching myself how to knit--I knew nothing past casting on and the knit stitch at one point, but at least then I had a teacher. My teacher's since passed on and I've moved away, so I don't have any real-life knitters that I know nearby to model.
So, I need help on the following, pretty please:
1. Tension. How tight should my cast-on stitches be against the needles? Should they slide really easily, or be fairly snug? I know about gauge and all (I crochet), but as a general rule--is there one?
2. Circular needles. I'm starting on them, because I want to do some really warm scarves as starting projects and I've heard good things. I just went to Joann tonight and got a set of US8 needles, in the only size/appropriate style they had (Susan Bates silvalume, I can't stand plastic). I am casting on 70 stitches and in all the pictures I see of circular needles the stitches fill the whole cable and the needles. Mine don't. Is this a tension problem (my stitches need to be looser so they fill up more space), a needle problem (need to somehow find a shorter set/shorter cable) or not a problem at all? If the latter, what do I need to do with the stitches I've got so that I can... er, continue?
3. The cable itself--it's really twisty and it's hard to keep the work flat like I know I should. I already have laid a lot of heavy books on it for several hours to try to alter its memory, but it didn't do much good. Is there a fix, or do I just need to spring for better needles?
4. How in heck do I "take out" stitches? I never was taught this and it's impractically difficult to Google. I know it's not like frogging crochet. Website or something that tells me, maybe?
Thank you so much, wise knitters, for potentially rescuing my ambition to learn