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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Knitting 101: Lesson Three {The Knit Stitch}

I guess the video on the last two posts wasn't working, so I fixed them.  Anyway, here is the next step in your knitting education.  There are two stitches you need to learn if you want to be able to knit in different patterns: the knit stitch, and the pearl stitch.  The knit stitch creates a knot on the back of the project you are working on.  The pearl stitch creates a knot on the front of your project.  Today we are going to tackle the knit stitch.  Before you start knitting, you need to tie a slipknot and then cast the appropriate number of stitches onto one of your needles.  I like to practice with 16 stitches (which I did in this example).
  1. Hold the needle with your cast on stitches in your left hand (remember to hold it in your right if you are left-handed).  When learning I recommend placing the other needle between your knees so you don't have to hold it (it's one less thing to have to deal with).  Hold the working thread in your right hand, just like you held the tail when you cast your stitches onto the needle--wrap the yarn above your pointer finger, under the next two, and over the pinky.
  2. Put the tip of the right needle under the first loop of your cast-on stitches.  The two needles should be facing roughly the same direction, and the bottom needle (the one between your knees) should be behind the one in your left hand.  ***Note--when you knit, your thread should always be behind the needle before you begin creating your stitch***
  3. Take the working yarn and wrap it around the bottom needle counter-clockwise.
  4. Hold the yarn you just wrapped around the needle so it doesn't slip off the tip, then take the top needle and lift it so that the cast-on loop lifts off the bottom needle. 
  5. Slide the loop off the top needle.  You have just knitted your first stitch!
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 for each stitch on the top needle.  When you have transferred the entire project to the bottom needle, move the bottom needle to your left hand, and the free needle to your knees.  If you repeat knitting, you will create the garter pattern that looks like:
  7. Keep practicing, and tomorrow...the pearl stitch!

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