Hi there, welcome to my blog! and thankyou for stopping by. I have designed this blog to share with you knitting patterns that are my favourites and, i'll be trying out some new ones along the way. I also hope to help knitters new and old (i don't mean your age LOL) by sharing information, handy hints and tips, answering quieries and helping solve your knitting problems. Before you go, please help me by making a comment and suggest any knitting project you'd like to see.

Thanks again. Have a nice day!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Beginers Knitting part 2. Cast on and first stitches.

Slip knot and Cast On:

The slip knot is the stitch to start all stitches, the one that anchors the yarn to the needles and makes it possible to cast on. Before starting the slip knot, decide which method of casting on you want to try. If you choose the long-tail cast-on method, leave approximately an inch for every stitch that you’re about to place on the needle. For the knitted cast-on, leave eight to ten inches between the end of the yarn and the slip knot.The knit cast on is an easy way to get stitches on the needle to begin to knit. It's one of the first cast on methods I teach because it basically teaches you how to form the knit stitch at the same time that you're learning to cast on. This cast on isn't just useful for beginners, though; it's also a great choice when you're casting on a lot of stitches and don't want to risk having too short of a long tail, or when you're adding stitches in the middle of a row.
Like all cast ons, the knit cast on begins with a slip knot.

Leave about a 4″ tail and flip the tail over the yarn coming off of the yarn ball.
Flip the tail under the loop that was created so that it is going down the center of the loop from behind.

Pull the tail slightly through the loop.

Place one if your needles into the new top loop created (the smaller of the two loops).

Pull the loop tightly around the needle and this is your slip knot, ready to cast on the first row.
Once you've made your slip knot, put the needle with the slip knot in your left hand and the empty needle in your right.

To begin the cast on: Holding the needle with your slip knot on it in your left hand, push the needle in your right hand through the slip knot and behind the other needle.

Wrap the yarn coming from the yarn ball around the right hand needle and between the needles.Hold the yarn loosely in your right hand as you do this. This is known as English knitting, right-hand knitting or "throwing," which is different from Continental or left-hand knitting, in which the yarn is held in the left hand. Be careful not to loop the yarn over both needles, and don't pull too tightly or your stitches will be hard to work. Your loops should be tight enough to stay on the needle, but loose enough to slide the second needle through with ease. This is a concept known as tension, and like in other parts of life, too much tension is bad. As you become a more experienced knitter, you'll learn what feels like the right amount of tension in your work.

Here's the only tricky part in mastering the knitted cast on and knitting, push the right hand needle against the left hand needle and pull the yarn you just wraped around through the slip knot loop.

Now you should have the slip knot loop still in the left hand, and another loop around the right hand needle (so one loop on each needle).

Push both loops to the top of the needle by keeping hold of the yarn with your right hand so it doesn't get away from you. Slowly slide the right-hand needle down so the loop gets close to the tip of the needle, but does not slide off. At the same time the right-hand needle will be coming out from behind the left-hand needle. When the right-hand needle just comes out from behind the left-hand needle, give the right needle a little push with your left index finger to push the needle in front of the left needle.

 You're almost done! Now all you have to do is slide the loop that's on the right-hand needle onto the left-hand needle, above the slip knot loop. 

Now you should have two loops on the left hand needle.

For the next loop, wrap the yarn around the right hand needle again.

Pull the yarn through the first loop on the left hand needle again so that you have one loop on the right hand needle.

Transfer the right hand loop to the left needle so you now have three loops on the left hand needle.

Continue doing this until you have casted on as many stitches across as you would like. For this tutorial I have casted on 20 stitches (not including the slip knot).

Knit Stitch:
    After you have casted on your first row, you pretty much have just been knitting already, but it is slightly different after you get the loop on the right needle so I’ll go through the first regular row.

    The first step in forming the knit stitch is called opening the loop. With the needle with the stitches on it in your left hand and the empty needle in your right hand, the working yarn should be to the back of the work. The stitches are facing you, with the bumpy part of the loops facing in toward you body. Make sure you're working through the single loop, and not the bumpy part, when you form your stitches.Slip the tip of the right-hand needle into the first loop, from front to back, just like you did in the knitted cast on.

    Once you've got the needle in place, simply carry the working yarn over the right-hand needle, going counter-clockwise around the needle and making sure the working yarn slides between the two needles. It is this yarn that makes the new loop that enables your knitting to become a full project. What you're doing is sliding the right-hand needle from the back to the front of the left-hand needle, keeping the loop of yarn on the left-hand needle for now but punching through with the working yarn so that it makes a loop on the right-hand needle.To do this, just slide the right-hand needle down so that the loop gets close to the tip of the needle but doesn't slide off. When the tip of the needle gets close to the edge of the left-handle needle, give the right-hand needle a little push so it can move in front of the left-hand needle. 

    Pull the yarn through the loop so it is on the right needle (like above).

    Once you've gotten this far, actually finishing the knit stitch is easy. All you have to do is slide the right-hand needle up so that the first loop on the left-hand needle slides off. That stitch is now "worked."

    Now you’ll have less stitches on the left needle, and one on the right.

    Now move on to the next loop on the left-hand needle and do the exact same thing, repeating until you are out of stitches.

    Once all of the stitches are off of the left needle and on the right needle, that row is done.You just knitted your first row!
    One of the biggest questions people who teach themselves how to knit often have is: how do I keep going once I've finished the first row?
    When all the stitches are gone from the left-hand needle, how do you continue? Actually, it's very easy and it's a concept called turning the work.

     All you have to do is literally flip the work over. The side that you just had in front of you becomes the back temporarily. Move this needle from your right hand back to your left hand and you'll see you're right where you started again.

    Continue stitching the next row as you did the first.

    When you have the next row done, you will begin to see the pattern forming.
Purl Stitch:
    For the next row I’ll be showing you how to do a purl stitch. You can alternate between knitting and purling in the same row as well as in different rows to form different patterns.

    The main difference between a purl stitch and a knit stitch is that the right needle is put in front of the left needle instead of behind. So to start, hook the right needle into the first loop on the left needle, but in front of the left needle this time.

    Wrap the yarn around the right needle counter clockwise , but this time in front of the back needle and around the front one. Just remember that you will always be wrapping the yarn counter clockwise around the needle in your right hand.

    Pull the yarn through the first loop in the left needle, creating a new loop on the right needle.
    Continue this same technique down the row.

    When all of the stitches are off of the left needle, that row is done.

    Continue stitching, rotating between the knit and purl stitch as you’d like so you can see the patterns they will form.
Knitting is a wonderful craft because even when you are first starting to learn to knit, you can make projects.
Even if all you know is how to make a knit stitch (and cast on and cast off, of course) then you can make a project. Don't believe me? Try this.
Get some worsted weight yarn, or whatever kind of yarn you've got lying around the house. If it has a label, find some knitting needles close to the size recommended on the label. If not, pick up some needles somewhere in the range of size 4mm to 6mm.
Cast on 30 stitches. Knit every row until you've got basically a square (it should be about six inches all around). Bind off.
Congratulations! You've just made your first ever knit project! And what can you do with it? Use it as a washcloth or a hot pad, send to Lily,or make a bunch of them and stitch them together into an afghan.
This tiny project might not seem very impressive until you learn that this "pattern" (knit every row) is so popular it actually has a name: garter stitch. So now whenever you see "garter stitch" in the title or instructions for a pattern, you know that's just a fancy way of saying knit every row.

Tomorrow we'll learn to cast off and follow our first pattern.

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