Is your machine level? Is the yarn free enough so you don't have to tug it away from the ball? Is the keyplate too small for the type of yarn you are using? What type of yarn is it? I found that hemp only works if I am very patient and curse at it, it is not flexible enough I think, and will drop stitches and skip stitches very easily, so if your yarn isn't very flexible, that might be a problem? I've had excellent results with many kinds of yarn,
Rowan Summer Tweed, Cotton glace, Filatura di Crosa porto en jeans, kid classic, the smooth noro yarns, rowan cork, etc, so you can definitely use "designer" yarns with beautiful results, and I use dk weight yarn mostly.
Are you using claw weights at the edges instead of the tension bands? Once I started using claw weights, my dropped edge stitches reduced almost COMPLETELY, the only time I might drop an edge stitch now is when i don't move the claw weight up far enough after knitting many rows.
That's all that I can think of, but yep, be patient with it, put it away after a while, try again, buy a shorter hem from bond.com for practice (it is 30 stitches and easier to try smaller pieces on) buy some claw weights!!! There is a big learning curve with this thing.