We've all been through the frustration of dropped sts, uneven tension, holes, big mistakes, you name it. No one gets a free pass to knitting success without a pretty steep learning curve.
I like the idea of maybe a grippier needle and also perhaps less tension on the yarn. Try just a practice square instead of a project. When it looks ok, add in a cable or other stitch patterns.
You will get this to work, I'm sure.