I know it’s been a while, and I apologize, but I’ve been enjoying the summer!
Some people have asked me to do some knitting tutorials, similar to what I did for the Amigurumi tutorials. So here’ the first instalment: basic techniques. I tried to keep things as simple as possible. I chose a cast-on, increase and decreases that I thought would be very easy to someone trying to first learn how to knit.
Just keep in mind that I knit Contintental style, which means I hold the yarn on my left hand (non-dominant), unlike in the English way, where the yarn is held in the right hand. Also, I’m right handed, so if you are a lefty, you’d have to do things with the opposite hand. Here’s a video showing how to knit left handed.
The first thing you need to do is to cast on. The following video shows you the easiest way to cast on, the twisted loop cast on. This is a very flexible cast on (too flexible for some projects). I don’t usually cast-on this way, but all others require more practise, and I figured someone just learning would want to get started right away, and to see results fast. If you are interested, KnittingHelp has videos on other cast on methods.
The Knit and Purl Stitches
There are two basic stitches, the knit an the purl. If you do a row of knitting, and then a row of purling, you create stocking stitch.
Here’s how to do them:
Once you finished knitting all the stitches, you simply turn the work over, so all the stitches are now ready to be purled (to make the stocking stitch).
Tip: To have nice and even edges, cast on 2 extra stitches and at the begining of each row, pass the first stitch without knitting/purling it. Technitting has a great article about it.
Increases and Decreases
Unless you want to do nothing but squares, you’ll have to increase and decrease at some point to give your fabric some shape. There are many, many ways to increase and decrease. The following way to increase is my favourite (feel free to disagree). It doesn’t leave a gap, a bar or anything else:
To decrease, there are two main ways (although there are many more): k2tog (knit 2 together) and ssk (slip, slip, knit). Why the two? Because after decreasing, the resulting stitch will slant to the right or left, respectively. We’ll start with k2tog:
And here’s ssk:
Also known as cast off is he way to finish a project. Once you are done, you need to “close” your work. Here’s the most common way to do it:
In the next tutorial, I’ll explain how to follow patterns, but if you are itching to start, here’s a link with some easy dishcloths.