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How to knit

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How to knit
By Freddie Patmore 6 years ago

Whether you’re new to knitting, or your skills simply need a re-fresh, we've put together an easy-to-follow guide on how to knit.

We'll tell you all the basics, discussing everything from tying a slip knot to getting to grips with purl stitch.

Our handy list then covers the thumb and cable methods of casting on, explains casting off and the technique behind invisible seaming. 

We'll also run through the steps needed to master knit stitch, before finishing with increasing and decreasing stitches using skpo, k2tog, kfb and up1. 

Slip knot

1 Loop the yarn with the ball end on top (the ball end is shown with a straight edge).

How to knit - slip knot 1

2 Dip the needle into the loop, catch the ball end and pull it through the loop.

How to knit - slip knot 2

3 Pull both ends to tighten the knot.

How to knit - slip knot 3

4 Pull the ball end to bring the knot up to the needle.

How to knit - slip knot 4

Casting on by thumb method

1 Leaving a long end, hold the yarn in the left hand and take the left thumb under the yarn and upwards.

How to knit - casting on by thumb method 1

2 Knit one without slipping the stitch off.

How to knit - casting on by thumb method 2

3 Insert the right-hand needle between the last 2 stitches, yarn round needle and pull the loop through.

How to knit - casting on by thumb method 3

4 Slip the new stitch onto left needle. Continue making stitches as step 3, until you have right amount.

How to knit - casting on by thumb method 4

Casting on by cable method

1 Make a slip knot, then hold the needle in your left hand.

How to knit - casting on by cable method 1

2 Knit one without slipping the stitch off.

How to knit - casting on by cable method 2

3 Use the tip of the right-hand needle to pull the yarn through.

How to knit - casting on by cable method 3

4 Slip the stitch off the left-hand needle to complete the new stitch on the right-hand needle. Continue as steps 1-4.

How to knit - casting on by cable method 4

Knit stitch (k)

1 Turn the cast-on so that it’s in the left hand and insert the right-hand needle from left to right in the front of the first stitch.

How to knit - knit stitch 1

2 Take the yarn from behind to bring it under, up and over the right-hand needle.

How to knit - knit stitch 2

3 Use the tip of the right-hand needle to pull the yarn through.

How to knit - knit stitch 3

4 Slip the stitch off the left-hand needle to complete the new stitch on the right-hand needle. Continue as steps 1-4.

How to knit - knit stitch 4

 

Purl stitch (p)

1 With the yarn to the front, insert the right-hand needle from right to left in the front of the first stitch.

How to knit - purl stitch 1

2 Take the yarn up and around the right-hand needle.

How to knit - purl stitch 2

3 Use the tip of the right-hand needle to pull the yarn through.

How to knit - purl stitch 3

4 Slip the stitch off the left-hand needle to complete the new stitch on the right-hand needle.

How to knit - purl stitch 4

Casting off

Knit two stitches, then * use the left-hand needle to lift the first stitch over the second. Knit the next stitch, then repeat from * until one stitch is left. Break the yarn, take it through this stitch and draw up.

How to knit - casting off

Invisible seaming

Sometimes called ladder or mattress stitch, this method of sewing up gives the neatest seams.

Place the two edges together, right sides upwards and starting at the cast-on edge, take the yarn underneath the strand beside the edge stitch at one side and then the other. After a few stitches pull up the yarn to tension the seam.

How to knit - invisible seaming

Decrease

…by knitting two stitches together (k2tog)

1 Insert the needle in the next two stitches knitwise (that is, through the front of the loops).

How to knit - decrease 1 k2tog

2 Yarn round needle, pull through both stitches and slip these stitches off together. The resulting decrease has the top stitch slanting to the right.

How to knit - decrease 2 k2tog

Decrease

…by slipping one stitch over the next (skpo)

1 Insert the needle in the next stitch knitwise (through the front of the loop) to slip it on to the right-hand needle.

How to knit - decrease 1 skpo

2 Knit the next stitch, then use the left-hand needle to lift the slipped stitch over the knitted one. The resulting decrease has the top stitch slanting to the left.

How to knit - decrease 2 skpo

Increase

…by knitting in the front and then the back of one stitch (kfb)

1 Knit the stitch in the usual way, but without slipping it off.

How to knit - increase 1 kfb

2 Take the right-hand needle to the back and knit the stitch again.

How to knit - increase 2 kfb

Decrease

…by working into the strand between needles (up1)

1 Pick up the strand lying between needles and knit in the back of it.

How to knit - decrease 1 up1

2 This makes a new stitch that fits closely between existing stitches.

How to knit - decrease 2 up1

 

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