Sunday, January 2, 2011

Knitting 101: Lesson One {Slipknot}

One of my loves in this world is knitting.  I love the soft yarns, the stretchiness, and the many different designs I can create with a few simple stitches.  This week, I am going to post several tutorials to teach you to knit, so you can share my love of this skill.  I apologize to anyone who is left-handed; I am right-handed, and all of my pictures/videos show knitting right-handed.

There are a couple items to pick up to get you started:
  • I suggest beginning with a set of large needles (size 10 or 11).  I don't have any real preference about metal, plastic, or bamboo, the only thing to note is that if you tend to knit really tightly, you might want metal (the yarn will slide more easily), and if you knit loosely, you might want bamboo (the yarn will stick a little more to the needle).  Also, start with two straight needles, not round needles.
  • Pick up a skein of yarn.  I like a thick yarn to learn with (worsted or chunky).
The very first thing you need to learn to knit is how to tie a slipknot (this will also come in handy when you learn to crotchet).  Once you master how to hold the yarn and twist you hands, you will be tying these knots in your sleep.  Watch the video below; then use the directions and pictures to match your hands to mine.
  1. Pull about 3 feet of yarn off the skein.  Hold the yarn between your thumb and pointer finger on your right hand (the tail, or free end, of the yarn should hand down towards your wrist).
  2. Trace a circle around your left hand with the yarn.  Begin at the outside of your hand rotating counter-clockwise.  If you did this correctly, you should have a circular shape of yarn around your hand with a cross near the outside.  The yarn between your fingers should cross over the yarn going to the skein, the working yarn.
  3. Leaving the yarn around your left hand, reach down and grab the working yarn between your thumb and pointer finger on your left hand.
  4. Pull the yarn you just pinched through the loop on your hand (you will slide the loop off your hand).
  5. Pull both sides of the yarn to create the slipknot.  The small loop you created will slide onto the needle to begin your stitching.
  6. Practice, practice, practice, and come back tomorrow for casting on.


  1. I am so happy I found your blog. I came by way of WhipperBerry. I have been wanting to learn to knit for so long and have not had any luck finding someone local to teach me. So I am going to invest in the items you suggest and see what happens. I will post pictures on my website and give you all the good credit and take the blame for all the mistakes!! Look forward to learning and seeing what happens.

  2. Yay! I'm so glad you are trying this. Please let me know if you have any questions. I will watch your site for updates.

  3. oh, bless your heart.

    <3 just what I needed.

  4. Thank you so much for these tutorials. I have wanted to start knitting, but didn't know where to even start!I am now a follower. I would love for you to come check out my blog as well!



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