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Knitting 101: Class 2

November 7, 2010

Over the next several weeks, I, along with several of my friends, will be sharing tips, tricks, and how-to guides for some of our favorite gifts to give for Handmade Christmas 2010.  Today’s guest post is from my dear friend Kelly who blogs about her recipe trials at Brownies and Zucchini. Today Kelly will be sharing part 2 of Knitting 101.  Be sure to check out Knitting 101: Class 1 to get the know-how on what you need before you start your knitting project!

Now that you have all of your supplies, it is time to learn how to knit! Get out your pattern and get ready to go.

Note:  If you are ever confused – and I don’t blame you, its confusing – there are many, many “how-to” knitting videos out on the internet.  If you do a simple Google search for what you are looking for (ex: how to knit stitch) you will find lots of videos of people showing and explaining how to do it.  A great site for all of your knitting problems is knittinghelp.com.

Casting On
The first step to any knitting project is “casting on” stitches.  There are many different ways to cast on, but my preferred method is called the Long Tail Cast On.  (Also known as Double Cast On or Continental Cast On.)

To start, you want to make sure that the “tail” of your yarn is long enough.  A rule of thumb is to leave about one inch for each stitch.  As you knit more and more, you will get better at estimating this length. Keep in mind that it is always better to have a longer tail than to run out of yarn!

Create a slip knot with your yarn – making sure to leave enough length on your tail.  Holding the yarn in your left hand, you want to have your “tail” (the end of the yarn) dangling over your thumb and the other end over your index finger.  Grasp the two strands of yarn with your other three fingers.  It should look like the photo below:caston

With needle in right hand, put the needle under far left loop (1), over right loop (3) and then pull through – let go of thumb. Pull snug to needle. Repeat this until you have as many stitches on your needle as your pattern instructions require.

Knit Stitch
Hold the needle with the stitches on it in your left hand.

knitstart

 

Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle.
knit1

Wrap the yarn around the back of the new needle.  Put new needle through new wrapped yarn and slip old stitch off old needle.  If that sounds confusing, check out this video from knittinghelp.com:

Repeat the knit stitch until all of the stitches have moved from your left to right needle.  At this point, switch the needles in your hands and start the next row.  Continue doing this until you have knit as many rows as your pattern suggests.  If I am knitting s scarf without a pattern, I often try to knit it so it is long enough that it stretches from hand to hand when I have my arms out to a T.

Now that you know how to cast on and knit, everything else is a piece of cake!
Follow the instructions that your pattern gives about how many rows to knit.
Once the scarf is knit to your desired length, it is time to cast off.

Casting Off
To start the casting off, hold your needles as you would normally hold them to begin knitting a new row. 

Knit the first two stitches as you would normally do. 
castoff1

 

Insert the left needle into the first stitch you knit (now on your right needle) and pull over the second stitch and off the needle.
castoff2

Knit another stitch as normal.
Pull the second stitch over the third and off the needle.
Continue this pattern until you are down to one stitch left on your right needle.
[In case you are confused, there is a video explanation of it here.)

 

Cut yarn away from ball.  Make sure you leave a long enough tail so that you can weave it in to finish.  I suggest not any less than 6 inches. 

Carefully take the last stitch off of the needle.  Be sure to keep it loose so that you can still see the loop.  Using a sewing needle – or possibly just your fingers, depending on how small your loop is – put the cut end of the yarn through the loop.  Pull the yarn snug.

The VERY last step that you have left is to weave in your loose ends.  Using a sewing needle (make sure it has a large enough “eye” to fit your yarn through) thread the loose yarn end through. Weave needle in and out of knitting a couple of times to secure end.  Cut off remainder yarn.

 
Bravo, you just finished your first knitting project!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Jenn permalink
    November 8, 2010 6:29 pm

    Thank You! I couldn’t remember how to cast off my project!!

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