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Knitting Essentials

Learn about knitting and share what you know about knitting. See how much fun knitting can be and go beyond the knitting essentials.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Knitting Essentials

Knitting Essentials

For those that need to get right back to knitting essentials here it is. Knitting uses basically two stitches, the knit stitch and the purl stitch. Once you know these two knitting essentials you will be able to develop other knitting patterns which are just combinations or variations of these two knitting stitches.

The Knit Stitch
Once you have cast on, hold the knitting needle with the cast on stitches in your left hand. Push the point of the right knitting needle in between the front of the first and second stitches, pointing the knitting needle to the right to feed the point through the first stitch keeping it under the left needle. The knitting yarn should be at the back of the work. Loop the knitting yarn around the right knitting needle from back to front, letting the knitting yarn rest between the needles. Catch the knitting yarn on the end on the right knitting needle and pull it through the first stitch to the front of the work. Slip the old stitch off the left needle. The new stitch is now on the right needle. This is knitting. It is a good idea to keep the knitting yarn draped over the right forefinger, this keeps it to the back of the work too. Repeat this process until all stitches are on the right knitting needle. Now count the stitches, if they are all there, turn the right knitting needle around and put it in the left hand. The knitting yarn will look like it is at the front and you will now take it to the back and start the second row of transferring stitches to the empty right needle.

The Purl Stitch
Start with the knitting needle with the cast on stitches in your left hand. Your knitting yarn will be hanging in front. Push point of right knitting needle into the front of the first stitch from right to left. Wrap the knitting yarn around the tip of the right knitting needle, crossing over the two needles and hanging once again in front. Slide the right knitting needle down and back taking the new loop of knitting yarn from front to back, through the old stitch. Slip the old stitch off the left knitting needle. You now have a stitch on purl on the right knitting needle and the yarn is hanging, once again, in the front. This is knitting. Repeat this process until all stitches are on the right knitting needle. Now count the stitches to make sure you haven't dropped any and turn the work around putting the knitting needle with the stitches on in your left hand to start the next row.

Well, this is my attempt to teach you the knitting essentials but I have found that it is very hard to learn knitting from a few knitting instructions. I have found a great book on the subject, much more in depth than I can be. It really helped me improve my knitting and taught my daughter all the knitting essentials. You can find it by clicking here. I really suggest you take a look Good luck with your knitting.
Knitting Essentials

Knitting Essentials

Knitting Essentials

Gauge Counts
Even though you may want to jump right in there and start knitting it is a good idea to make a knitting gauge swatch. Don't skip this step, you will be sorry and it's not worth it. Half a stitch in one inch can end up making a big difference to the overall size of your knitting a sweater. Always knit the swatch in the stitch that you will use. Obviously different patterns end up with different sizes so this matters. I always try to make my swatch big enough to make it a good test. I usually go for at least 4" x 4". Surround the swatch with a few rows of seed stitch knitting (knit or purl the opposite stitch of what you see facing you on odd number rows). Begin and end each row with four seed stitches as well. This stitch lies very flat and will help you measure accurately.
Needle size is much less important than tension of knitting. Some people are loose at knitting while others are tight at knitting. This can also vary from day to day with some people. You can deliberately adapt you tension to create a different knitting look. Loose knitting for a light open feel and tighter knitting for a warmer feel. The tighter weave may feel stiffer while the more loose knitting piece may feel softer.
When you have finished the swatch let it sit for awhile. The yarn needs to relax and even out any tight spots. Now count the stitches and measure the rows per inch of knitting with a cloth tape. Remember to try a measurement in a few different places. Another way is to just calculate how big the total knitting swatch should be. If 16 stitches were cast on for the pattern and the gauge is 4st=1" the swatch should measure 4" (don't measure the seed stitches on each end). If you are too large, try needles that are a size smaller. Or if you are too small, try larger needles. Now you have finished you can start knitting with confidence knowing that the product of your labors will actually find you!
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Knitting Essentials