By Crafts-a lot Contributor, Mable who is an avid reader of craft blogs & magazines and is always looking to improve her crafting skills. Join Mable on Facebook to socialize and share with other crafters!
From Knitted Cuff Bracelet
Are you ready to learn how to knit but don’t know where to start? Take some time to get to learn about everything to make your first knitting project a success. I’ll share the basic tools and terms you’ll need to know about to get started.
What You Need
All you need to start knitting are knitting needles and yarn. It is very important, though to make sure that your knitting needles are the right size for your yarn. The thicker the yarn, the bigger the needle needs to be. Craft Yarn Council has a great yarn weight chart to match your needles to your yarn. As a beginner, you’ll want to be able to see how your stitches are being created and more visibly see any mistakes you may encounter along the way. I always recommend a thicker, bulky weight yarn for beginners because it knits up quickly and you can see exactly what you’re doing every step of the way. Bulky weight yarns tend to use size 13 or size 15 needles. Check the packaging of the yarn or the product description online for the exact needle size you will want.
For information on knitting needle sizes and types, visit the Knitting Needles Buying Guide.
Straight vs. Circular Needles
The type of knitting needle you choose depends largely on your personal preference. Straight needles, or single point needles are considered the “classic” needles, with points at each end and some sort of wider end at the other side. They are very easy to use, typically cheaper than other needle types, and come in a wide variety of materials. Circular needles are more versatile than straight needles. In addition to flat knitting, they can also be used to “knit in the round” to create hats, sweaters, and more.
Point Protectors: If you want to travel with your knitting and you are using straight needles, you might need a way to ensure that your stitches do not fall off the end of your needle when you are not knitting. A point protector can be placed on the pointed end of the needle to keep the stitches from sliding off.
Yarn Needles: Yarn needles are important tools to make your projects appear more professional. They can be used to weave in your ends as well as sew pieces together.
Knit stitch: a knit stitch is the most commonly used stitch. It is formed by pulling the strand of yarn through the back of a stitch.
Purl Stitch: a purl stitch is a backward knit stitch. It is created when the strand of yarn is pulled through the front of a stitch.
“Right” and “Wrong” side: The right side of a material is the outside of a finished product, or the side that will be seen the most. When knitting cables or patterns, it is very important to establish which is the right and which is the wrong side as only one side will have the design.
Gauge: Gauge is the amount of stitches and rows create an inch of material with a given needle and yarn. Gauge can vary based on the knitter, some people knit tighter or looser than others, so it is important to find your gauge when knitting a pattern. The best way to find your gauge is to knit a swatch or a 4 by 4 inch sample. Count the stitches and rows used and divide by 4 to find your 1 x 1 inch gauge.
Learning to knit
Design Sponge’s How to Knit the Basics article is perfect for beginning knitters with clear diagrams for casting on, the knit stitch, and casting off. It’s a great way to learn how to make your first knitting project.
Once you gain experience, Martha Stewart’s How to Knit series includes the purl stitch, cabling, color changing, and more helpful information with easy to follow diagrams.
For community support, patterns, and more, join the Ravelry Community.