April 12, 2013

Knitting Basics: How to Cast Off

 Things have been busy around here getting ready for baby. Less than a month until the due date and we are slowly but surely trying to cross things off the nesting list. I'm at the very exhausted and uncomfortable stage, so I'm starting to count down the days!

 This is the third part of the "Knitting Basics" series. Casting off is the final step to bind off your project and keep it from unraveling. 

 I knit a few rows just for the purpose of demonstration. 

1. When you've knit all your rows, knit two stitches onto your right hand needle.

2. Slide the tip of your left hand needle under the second stitch from the tip of the right hand needle. 

3. Using the tip of your left needle, pull the stitch over the first stitch on your right needle.

4. Let the second stitch fall off the right needle. Pull the string from your ball of yarn to tighten. Now you will be left with one stitch on your right needle. Knit another stitch onto the right needle and repeat steps 2-4 until you reach the last stitch. 

Half-way through the row. 

Pull the stitch off the needle, and pull the string from the ball of yarn to form a larger loop. 

Cut a tail of yarn from the ball. Knot the strand through the final stitch to secure your work. 

Weave the tail through a few rows of stitches, and then have a cup of tea. Mission complete!

April 4, 2013

Knitting Basics: How to Knit a Stitch

 If you are just learning how to knit, be sure to check out the last post on how to cast on before mastering the next step, which is, the basic knit stitch. Most patterns abbreviate a knit stitch with a "k".

So, at this point you should have cast-on the number of stitches needed for your pattern. To create your first row of  knit stitches, hold your cast-on needle in your left hand.

 Insert your other needle's tip under the first cast-on stitch. 

Wrap the strand from the ball of yarn behind and over the needle in your right hand, coming between the two needles.

This next step only sounds tricky when you read it in print, but don't let it intimidate you. When you hold your work in your hands it will hopefully make sense.
Bring the right needle tip under the first cast-on stitch on your left needle. Then insert the tip of your right needle in front of the first cast-on stitch on the left needle. 

Now slide the stitch off the left needle onto the right. Pull the tail from the ball to tighten the stitch.

That's it! You've completed your first knit stitch. Continue knitting until all the cast on stitches are on your right needle. When you finish the row, hold your needle with all your newly knit stitches in your left hand and knit those stitches like you just knit your cast-on stitches. Repeat until your project reaches the desired length.

Thanks for following along. Let me know if you have any questions. The last step for a basic knit pattern is casting off. I'll show you how next time!