The best thing to do when preparing to start the first project is to find a comfortable and quiet place to knit. When learning a new technique, nothing is worse than being confused and uncomfortable. To avoid tangling the yarn, most knitters find it helpful to place the yarn on a table to the front or side. Some knitters will ball the skein of yarn, but beginners to knitting should not worry about doing that. Some actually find it easier to leave the yarn in a skein than to ball it. The knitting pattern and directions should be reviewed before beginning; it is best to have a good knowledge of what will be required. There are many abbreviations used in knitting and memorizing them may take a little while, but beginners should review them before starting a project. A great reference guide of knitting instructions for beginners may be found online at: knitting.about.com
There are a few basic techniques and stitches to remember. It takes practice to learn to knit, so it is important to remember not to hurry. During the first two steps, the slip knot and knit stitch, only one needle is used; the second needle will be incorporated in the third step when a stitching style is started. The following lessons include basic knitting instructions with videos attached to get you started:
This simple technique is the first step of the actual knitting process and is done by bringing the knitting yarn over the front of the needle toward the back, then around the yarn again, then pulling the yarn through the loop. It is important to pull the yarn tight enough against the needle to ensure it won’t slip easily, but still loose enough that it will be able to move when lightly guided.
Hold the knitting needle with the right hand and wrap the end around the left thumb and loose yarn around the first finger. Carefully bring the knitting needle up through the loop created by the thumb, then pull a loop of working yarn through that loop. Take the thumb out of the loop and adjust it against the needle. Just like the slip knot, it is important to remember always to adjust stitches to the needle so that they have a bit of room to move, but not too loose.
●Basic Knit Stitch
Also commonly called “knitting”, this is the most simple and common beginning stitch. A knit stitch is accomplished by holding the looped needle in the left hand and using the right hand to bring the other needle through. Once this is done, the yarn should be wrapped around it and pulled through to make a stitch. Once the stitch has been completed, it should be transferred to the right needle.
The process of creating this stitch is often called “purling” and is accomplished best by keeping the yarn source in front of work. With the stitches on the left needle, bring the right needle down through the top of the first stitch. Wrap the wool toward the left hand around the right needle, then push the right needle back through the stitch to complete the purl stitch.
To end or bind off the stitching, the knitter will need to stitch two fairly loose loops. Using the left needle, move the first stitch over the second one and then over the tip of the right needle. This will transfer the stitch to the right needle. Knit the following stitch and then repeat until only one stitch remains unbound; cut the yarn and pull the end through the last remaining loop.
There are also a few stitching techniques which are very easy for beginners to practice and use. Once these have been mastered, the novice knitter may move on to more challenging stitching patterns. The three most common techniques to gain skills are these:
This technique is meant to give a clear distinguishable difference between the front and back of what is being knitted. The stockinette technique also gives the item a slightly thicker feel than only one stitch type. Stockinette stitching combines purling and basic knitting. This is accomplished by first knitting one row of stitches and then purling the second row and subsequently repeating this pattern. Sometimes this stitch will be referred to as the “stocking stitch”.
●Reverse Stockinette Stitching
Also called the “reverse stocking”, this stitching pattern is completely opposite of the stockinette pattern. Rather than knitting and then purling, to complete the reverse stockinette, the knitter must first purl one row, then knit the second row.
This is perhaps the most simple stitching technique to create a uniform look. Garter stitching simply includes the knit stitch for every row. Some of the most common items to make with this technique are scarves and pot holders.
Books and further information:
There is a wealth of books and information available for the novice knitter. Amazon offers a wide range of instructional books and dvds, offering step by step instructions which will help you move to the next level of knitting in no time. There are also a number of online products providing e-books and expanded information. Knitting essentials offers a wealth of information to help get you started and Knit Easy provides an even more comprehensive range of knitting instructions for novices and also for more advanced knitters. Both online products come with a 100% money back guarantee and also offer a free course to try before you buy if you provide them with your email address. Knitting for profit provides a wealth of information about how to make money from your new found knitting passion! Knitting for Profit also comes with a money back guarantee which is redeemable for a full 60 days.