How To Knit – The Beginners Guide (TIPS & TECHNIQUES)
If you are looking for a hobby which is calming, productive and a lot of fun at the same time, then knitting is the one for you. While the popularity of knitting has taken a tumble over the last couple of decades, thanks to the development of exciting technology and gadgets, it’s roots are still firmly planted in our modern society, and if you believe the stereotypes that are surrounding this rewarding hobby, you will never get to experience how mentally demanding, yet incredibly rewarding knitting can be. Start reading this unique How To Knit Guide and learn some new skills to get into the knitting hobbie.
The hobby of knitting is not a straight forward one, and learning how to knit well has a long and steep learning learning curve. However, with the right guidance and tutoring, you can accelerate your progression through the different stages of creating a piece of woven material, and before you know it, you will be knitting clothes for the entire family.
There are several types of stitching that exist today, and each one of these techniques have been developed and perfected over hundreds of years. For the sake of getting started, we will be sticking with the knit stitch for now, which is essentially knitting in it’s purest form. Don’t worry, learning how to knit stitch can still teach you how to create brilliant pieces, but since the steps are just the bare bone essentials, it makes it considerably easier for newbies to pick up.
Before we jump into the knitting technique itself, it would be beneficial for you to get to grips with the knitting terminology, so you can understand this tutorial a little easier. Knitting terms are not hard to learn, so with a little practice, you will be ready to dive in to the world of knitting, fully confident in your abilities to learn.
Let’s get started, shall we…
Essential Knitting Terms For Beginners
Learning the entire knitting vocabulary is a life long venture, and unless you have decades of experience working the yarn, it can become extremely frustrating when trying to dive in at the deep end. Our aim is to make this tutorial as simple as possible, so that people of any age and experience can understand, and join in. Let’s take a look at a few of the bare essentials you will need to know before picking up your first pair of knitting needles.
Casting On: This is the very first step in knitting, and it’s the most important to learn how to do effectively. Casting on is basically how you get the yarn on to the needles, ready to start knitting.
Casting Off: Just as the stitching process has to start somewhere, it also has to end somewhere. This is where casting off comes in handy. When it’s time to dispose of your stitching, and your knitting work is done, casting off is the method used to finish the pattern, without leaving a bunch of yarn hanging over.
Increase (Inc.): The term used for working additional stitches into a piece. There are several methods to achieve this, and each instructor, or tutorial will show you different variations.
Decrease (Dec.): The opposite of an increase. This is the terms used for working fewer stitches into your piece, and it’s primarily used for shaping. Again, there are several methods for decreasing the stitches, but the most common method is by basically knitting two or more stitches together.
Knit (K): The act of knitting. When reading a pattern, the term knit is abbreviated as a K, and the number of stitches required is presented straight after it. For example, if the pattern requires 5 stitches, the instructions will read K5.
Slip (Sl): Transferring the stitch from one needle to the other, is called a slip.
Garter Stitch (G. St.): This is the most common knitting technique that is used today. It is a pattern that utilizes a knit for every stitch, and every row.
All new knitters will be following a pattern when they first get into the hobby, so it is important that you know how to understand one fully before picking up the needles. Each pattern, depending on it’s complexity will throw different knitting terms and abbreviations at you, but the few mentioned before will pop up on almost every single one. Knowing what each of these terms mean, and the abbreviations that correspond to each of them, will make your knitting experience a lot less stressful.
How To Knit – From Start To Finish
Now that you know a few of the most common terms used in the knitting hobby, it’s time to get started with our tutorial. The process of knitting can be as simple, or as complex as you want it to be, but the aim of this tutorial is to show you how to create your first piece, without any previous experience.
Holding The Needles & Yarn
The technique of holding knitting needles is completely personal, and suited to the individuals needs, and styles of knitting. However, when you are first getting started, it can be useful to know how to hold them effectively, if you have never held a pair before. In knitting, you use two needles, and they are simply named the right needle, and the left needle.
To correctly hold the right needle, simply hold it like you would a pencil. When you are casting on, and knitting your first few rows, you can pass the knitted piece over your hand, between the thumb and the index finger. In order to stop the piece from getting in the way, as your work progresses, you can simply allow the piece to sit on top of your hand, while your thumb slides underneath, allowing you to hold the needle from below.
Holding the left hand needle is slightly different, but still as simple. Hold the needle close the tip, using your thumb and your index finger to control it. That’s it! You now know how to hold both the right, and the left hand needles. Now it’s time to introduce the yarn…
Holding the yarn when knitting is something you will get used to over time. It may feel uncomfortable at first, like all aspects of knitting will, but with a little bit of patience and practice, you will hardly even notice it’s there. The simplest method for holding the yarn is to simply hold it in the right hand, while passing it under, and around your little finger, over your third finger, under your centre finger, and over your index finger. The tension of the yarn is controlled by the loop around your little finger, and to pass the yarn around the needle tip, simply use your index finger to allow it to pass.
Now that you know how to hold the needles, and the yarn, it’s time to start casting on, and stitching yourself a fine piece.
How To Cast On For Beginners
Casting on is the first step to any knitting process, and again, the more experienced knitters will have their own methods, and ways of doing this. For you beginners out there, we will get the ball rolling with just two of the most popular methods, which allows you to find one which feels the most comfortable for you.
Before you can begin casting on, you will need to make a slipknot. This is the first step, of the first step, so to speak, and it’s important that you learn how to do this well. It will make your experience a lot easier!
Making A Slipknot:
The first step when making a slipknot is to wind the yarn around two of your fingers, and then back around the same fingers to the start of the first thread. Then, you need to take a knitting needle, and pull the back thread through the front thread, creating a loop. To finish the process, simply pull the end of the loop to tighten the knot. You are now ready to cast on!
Casting On: The One Needle Method
- The first step is to make a slipknot, using the method we showed you before, about 1 meter from the end of your yarn ball. Place a needle inside the slipknot, and allow the ball end of the yarn to sit over your first finger. Repeat this process until the required amount of stitches are cast on. When you are ready to move on, simply wrap the loose end of the yarn around your left thumb, from front to back.
- Pass the needle in your right hand, through the yarn that is on your left thumb, then grab the yarn with the forefinger of your right hand, and hold it over the point of the needle.
- 3. Finally, remove the left thumb from the yarn, and pull on the loose end to tighten, and secure the stitch. Job done!
Casting On: The Two Needle Method
1. As always, you will need to make a slipknot before you proceed with this next method. When it’s complete, simply place it on the left needle, and insert the right needle through it, passing the yarn over the top of the right needle.
- Pull a loop through, and place it on the left hand needle.3. Next, you need to take the right hand needle, and place it between the two stitches that are on the left needle. Then, wind the hanging yarn around the point of the right hand needle.
- Finally, you need to draw a loop through, and place it on the left hand needle, repeating step 3 and 4 until you have the required amount of stitches cast on.How To Knit – The Knit Stitch
The easiest knitting technique to learn for beginners, is the knit stitch. Not only is this specific technique easy to learn, it is incredibly versatile, and can be used to create anything from a square handkerchief, to full blown Christmas sweater. While some advanced knitters prefer to use more advanced techniques, many still prefer to use the knit stitch technique because it’s easy, and comfortable.
So without further ado, let’s jump straight in and learn how to get your knitting journey started with the knit stitch.
- Providing you have already casted on to the point where you are ready to start stitching more rows, the first step is to insert the right hand needle through the front end of the first stitch on the left needle, from left to right. The yarn should be at the back of the work when you are doing this.
- Next, you need to wind the yarn back over the right hand needle, and pull it through a loop.
- Then, it’s just a case of slipping the original stitch off of the left hand needle, and you are done. Repeat the entire process until all of the stitches have been transferred from the left needle, to the right one.Sometimes, you may want to create a twisted rib effect with your piece, and to do so, you will need to learn how to knit into the back of the stitch. To do this, simply insert the needle into the back end of the stitch on the left needle, and follow the three steps we previously mentioned for the knit stitch. It’s as simple as that!
When the time comes to finish off your work, it’s time to start casting off. Learning how to cast off is crucial if you want your finished piece to be neat, and flat around the edges. Failing to cast off effectively would leave your piece ruined, so the time you spent knitting the piece would have been a complete waste. Let’s take a look at how to cast off effectively:
How To Cast Off Effectively
The first step, when casting off, is to knit two stitches. Secondly, you need to insert the left hand needle into the first stitch on the right needle. Next, you simply lift the first stitch over the second one, and pull out the left needle, making sure you leave the combined stitch on the right hand needle.
The next step is to knit another stitch, and repeat the entire process until there is only one stitch remaining on the right hand needle. The last step to casting off is to slip the needle out from the last loop, cutting the yarn with at least 6 inches to spare, and putting the cut end through the loop. Pull this tight, and viola, you have a finished piece what is neat around the edges.
So there you have it – Knitting 101 for you complete beginners out there. Whatever your opinions were on knitting, we hope you have left them at the door now that you have finished reading this tutorial. Knitting is not just for old women anymore; It’s a fun, therapeutic hobby which relaxes you, keeps you occupied, and helps to create a new piece of clothing, a tea cosy, or whatever else your heart desires.