Newbie Knitting | Long Tail Casting On

We have already learned the Backwards Loop Cast On method. That is a great technique to know if you need to cast on stitches in the middle of a project but it isn't generally the method you will want to use to start a project. It tends to create a loose cast on edge that is difficult to work with on the first row. It also does not stretch much... stretch is good especially on any type of cuffs (mittens, hats, sleeves, etc). I taught it first just because it is easier to teach and to get everyone knitting quickly.

Now I'm going to teach you a more versatile, more commonly used method of casting on called the Long Tail method. The Long Tail method creates a much nicer finished, stretchy edge. The trick here is just figuring out how long of a tail you need when you get started.

For this method of casting on, you need start by estimating how much yarn you will need to cast on all your stitches. For worsted weight yarn on size 8 needles 12 inches of yarn will give you approximately 20 stitches. Be sure to give yourself a little...Read more

Newbie Knitting | Knit & Purl Wash Clothes

To practice knitting and purling I have included 2 wash cloth patterns. These make a great gift when paired with a special bar of soap. When working in stockinette stitch (when you knit one side and purl the other) it helps if you can visualize how the knit side and the purl side should look.

After a couple rows of a pattern it should become pretty obvious if you are on a knit side or a purl side. On the knit side (when you are looking at the stitches on your left needle that you are getting ready to knit) you should see rows of Vs.

When you are working on the purl side you should see offset horizontal lines.

Take a look at a couple sweaters in your closet. The outside (unless it has fancy stitches) will probably have the Vs and the inside will have the horizontal lines. If you are able to see the difference in your sweater being inside out... then you should be able to see what type of stitch you...Read more

Newbie Knitting | The Purl Stitch

Lesson Five: The Purl Stitch

So now that you have been knitting for awhile, it is time to learn the purl stitch. You actually already know the mechanics... IN, AROUND, UNDER, OFF... but this time instead of working to the back, we will be working in the front. To get started cast on a bunch of stitches and knit one row. In the photos below I have already purled a few stitches trying to find a good spot in the variegated yarn for photos.

First off, when Purling always keep your live yarn in FRONT of your needles. So for knitting it is always in the back, for purling it is always in the front. Go into the stitch from the back to the front. It is more of a downward motion, rather than an upward one. (If you need more help seeing if you went IN the right way... scroll down... I have some more detailed photos).

Keeping the live yarn in front of your needles wrap it AROUND your right needle. It is the same counter-clockwise motion.

Just as before you...Read more

Making Pom Poms

Newbie Knitting Lesson Four : Making Pom-Poms

If you are following along with our Newbie Knitting series you will need to make two pom-poms to complete your Block-Work Hat.

There are a couple different ways you can make pom-poms. I've included a pattern and directions for using a cardboard homemade pom-pom maker or using the Susan Bates Easy Pom-pom tool. The homemade, cardboard version works ok if you just need to make one or two, if you want to make a lot of pom-poms I would suggest buying a tool.

 

 


Cardboard Pom-Pom Maker Directions

First print out the Pom-pom pattern (I used the medium template) or draw a circle about 1/2" to 3/4" larger than your desired Pom-pom. Draw a 3/4" circle in the middle and create a cut-away notch. Cut out two matching disks in cardboard. I used a cereal box but if you want to make several pom-poms you might want to use a more durable cardboard. (If you use corrugated cardboard, you can get away with using only one disk).

...Read more

Newbie Knitting : Block-Work Hat Project

Project Three : Block-work Hat

I designed this hat project to help us review everything we have learned so far. This hat requires you to complete casting on, knitting, binding off and seaming multiple times. For this project you will need to make 4 rectangular blocks. Two will be completed in a solid color yarn, two in a multi-colored yarn. The picture shows the hat before it has been finished... we will complete it in a couple weeks when everyone has finished their 4 blocks.

Materials:
One skein Deborah Norville Collection Everyday Soft Worsted Prints Yarn and
one skein Deborah Norville Collection Everyday Soft Worsted Solid Yarn in a color to match
or 2 skeins of worsted weight yarn
size 8 needles
Yarn needle

Directions:
Cast On 40 stitches.
Knit 4 and 1/2 inches.
Bind Off. Leave yourself a 18-24" tail for seaming later.
(make 4 total, 2 solid color, 2 multi-color)

When you have completed all 4 blocks, sew them long sides together in a solid, multi, solid, multi pattern. Then sew the outside two seams together to form a complete...Read more

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