>How to Knit

>One of my blog readers sent me an e-mail the other day saying that they’d been out and bought needles and wool and wanted to learn to knit having been inspired by what I write about it.  They wanted to know if I knew any good websites.

knittinghelp.com has great videos which show different techniques.  Not all have sound which can make things a little difficult.  A friend and my mum both helped me to learn – my first project they did the casting on, the adding of yarn and the casting off and I did the actual knitting.   They both cast on for me several times as I messed up repeatedly.  And then the final time that scarf got cast on it wasn’t because of a mistake but because i’d gotten it so much that my later stitches were much neater than the earlier ones and I wanted that the whole way through.  My second project I did the lot.  And having the opportunity to watch those videos again and again whenever I wanted was great.

I also really like Ravelry (my username on there is funkyfairy22).  You have to request a (free) invite to join but it’s usually only a few days wait.  I’ve found some great patterns on there that I’ve enjoyed and you can always find pictures of stuff and lots of inspiration.  The forums are something I occasionally lurk on and don’t post to often but when I do I find helpful answers from friendly people.  I keep thinking I should make more use of it.

If you go onto You Tube and search for knitting there are a lot of instructional videos.  But it can take some looking to find exactly what you want as some videos are shot from too far away to make techniques particularly clear or go too fast etc.

Knitty is a fab and fun online knitting zine.  I intend to attempt the knitted earrings in the last issue during Thing a Day.

I used to really enjoy listening to the Cast On podcast.  But for no real reason haven’t listened to the last several episodes.  I must as they are fun!  I particularly like the “Pick up your pointy sticks it’s time to cast on…” at the beginning.

Livejournal also has several different knitting communities some of which are aimed at different abilities etc.  In fact if you think of any subject at all there will more than likely be a community for it over there.  Do a search (site&user or interest are probably the searches to use).  I’m rarely on livejournal comms as more than a lurker (I post more on people’s blogs on there) but my user name is cyberpurple.

I’ve also had a go at writing some basic “how to cast on, knit and add yarn” instructions.  I’m not sure how clear or correct they are (they work for me!) but they are under the cut.

Leaving a small tail, make a knot in your yarn.  A slip knot is best but I suck at making them so I usually just make a regular knot.  


Insert one needle into the middle of this knot


Holding this needle in your left hand, take the second needle in your right hand and insert the tip into the knot.  (or hold both needles together and tie the knot round before before holding them as described).


Wrap the wool around your needles once (you’re supposed to go anticlockwise but whatever works for you, I go clockwise) then pull back through the stitch on left needle.


This is the knit stitch.  When casting on you then transfer the stitch on right needle onto the left and continue as described above until you have sufficient stitches on the left needle.  When you have finished casting on there should be no stitches on the right needle.


When you have finished casting on you continue as described from the last stitch cast on.  However instead of transferring it to your right needle you drop the stitch you’ve just knitted into off of the left needle.  When you reach the end of the row and the left needle is empty you switch needles so the full needle is again in your left hand and the empty in the right and keep going.


A good rhyme that’s used to teach how to make the knit stitch is


In through the front door

Run around the back

Out through the window

And off jumps jack.


About 20 stitches (depends how thick the yarn is and how wide you want the piece) and knit every row makes a good scarf.  Keep going until you think it’s long enough.  If you finish a ball of yarn you can knot the ends of the old one and a new one together but it’s best to do so at the end of a row to avoid a bump in your work.  I tend to misjudge this more often than I would like however!

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