Saturday, January 30, 2010

Learning to Knit 2 (Video) How to Cast on Stiches

In addition to the instructions below we have a video demonstration, so you can see the steps in motion. Enjoy! (Video Coming Soon) In the following few posts I'm going to introduce some of the basic steps in knitting. In this demonstration I'm using a thick store bought yarn so that the stitches are large, even and clear to see in the photographs and video. The needles are 10.5 bamboo needles. They are my favorite needles to use because they hold so comfortably in my hands. When you start working with patterns it will suggest a good size needle and yarn to use. You can check this by knitting a few rows and comparing the length you've knitted with the pattern's recomendation. To begin knitting you must start by pulling a good length of yarn from your skein. When I first started knitting I would always end up short so give yourself at least 24 inches. If your making a very large item like a quilt you'll need more yarn. This length of yarn is going to be what you use to cast stitches onto your needle. Which is really just small knots up your needle that will serve as the basic beginning size of your piece.
From this length of yarn you wll create a slip knot which is your first cast. Make a slip knot by making a loop, then slipping another loop around and underneath then through the original loop. Slip one of your needles through this knot and tighten. (Not too tight or the yarn won't move easily on your needles)
Taking the yarn you've pulled from your skein in your left hand, hold with your pinky, ring, and middle fingers. Wrap your thumb under and around the yarn creating a loop at the base of your thumb. Stick your needle through the loop going through the yarn that is crossed on the bottom, which should be resting at the base of your palm. Keep it there.
With your right hand wrap the yarn that is connected to the skein in a counter clockwise direction around the top of the needle.
With your left hand flip the yarn that is wrapped around your thumb over the top of the needle and over the yarn you wrapped counter clockwise. Pull slightly snug. You should have made a small knot above the first. This is your second cast stitch.
Continue this until you have casted on the amount of stitches that your pattern recomends. For this demonstration I will be using twenty stitches. Please check out the next post where I demonstrate how to move on from here in the Knitted Garter stitch.
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