Knitting Basics for New Knitters
By Sarah E. White, About.com Guide
There are many different methods of getting stitches on the needles, and every knitter seems to have her or his favorite. If you've never knit before, this is where you need to start. Knitters with more experience will find information on a variety of cast on methods.
Basic Knitting Stitches
There are two basic stitches involved in knitting: the knit stitch and the purl stitch. Learn how to form these stitches like a pro and you'll be knitting your first project in no time.
- The Knit Stitch in English Method
- The Purl Stitch in English Method
- The Knit Stitch in Continental Knitting
- The Purl Stitch in Continental Knitting
- Stitch Pattern Glossary
Increasing and Decreasing
Once you've got the basics of straight knitting and purling down, there will come a time when you want to add or subtract stitches to add shape to a project. There are many different ways of increasing and decreasing stitches.
- Knit in the Front and Back
- Yarn Over
- Purl in the Front and Back
- Make One
- Knit Two Together
- Knit Two Together Through Back Loop
- Slip, Slip, Knit
- Purl Two Together
- Purl Two Together Through Back Loop
- Slip 1, Knit 1, Pass Slipped Stitch Over
- Slip 2, Knit 1, Pass Slipped Stitches Over
Now that you know how to cast on, knit and purl, you have to get those stitches off the needles to enjoy your knit projects. Learn how to bind off and other helpful finishing touches.
Now that your knitting is done, learn how to make it a little fancier with pom-poms, tassels, and other fun embellishments.
Tips for Beginners
Take some advice from knitters with more experience as you begin your knitting journey. Here you'll find some tips and tricks to make learning to knit a little easier.
- Knitting Glossary
- Reading a Pattern
- Understanding Yarn Weights
- Knitting Abbreviations
- Winding a Ball from a Hank of Yarn
- Making a Center-Pull Ball by Hand
- Choosing the Right Knitting Needles
- Knitting Gauge
- Knitting a Gauge Swatch
- Following a Complex Pattern
Help with Knitting Problems
Every knitter has problems from time to time, not just new knitters. Here are some tips for the most common knitting problems, as well as some answers to nagging knitting questions.
- What Do I Do if I Drop a Stitch?
- What if My Stitches Fall Off My Needle?
- How Do I Know Where I am in a Pattern?
- What is Tension?
- Why Are there Holes in my Knitting?
- Fixing Mistakes in Your Knitting
- Why Does Stockinette Stitch Curl?
- How Long Should a Long Tail Be?
Felting, Spinning, Dyeing
Once you have the basics of knitting down (knit, purl, increase, decrease, casting on, binding off, etc.) it's time to move on to the fanciful worlds of felting, spinning and dyeing. In this section you will learn how to take a knitted work and make it into the fabric-like wool material known as felt. You will also find information on spinning and dyeing your own yarn. Be sure to check the "Reviews" tab to find the best books on these techniques.
- How to Felt
- Felting Tips
- Needle Felting
- Felting by Hand
- Felted Join: Adding a New Ball of Yarn
- Felting in a Front-loading/HE Washer
- Felting Pattern: Bowl
- Felting Pattern: Bag
- Felting Pattern: Satchel