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Thursday, January 26, 2012

How to Knit & Purl

I volunteered to help with a crafting MeetUp earlier this month. I want to teach some classes but this came along first. A good practice and pre run.

The first thing you need to do is learn to make a slip knot.

Once that is done cast on about a dozen and a half stitches. (18)

Now you are ready to knit!

Knitting is worked normally from right side of the work to left side of the work. This is opposite of the way your work moves on the needles.

*Your right needle enters a stitch on the left needles and pulls another stitch through onto itself.

Repeat this until your 18 stitches have moved from the left needle to your right needle.

Now turn the needle in our right hand around and place it in your left hand.

Repeat from the * above. This is very basic knitting. It will produce a little swatch or sample of stitches.
After a few rows you should be able to see them and understand better what you are doing.

I suggest a scarf as a first project. It is simple and they work up quick. You can make it as long as you want. 

For the purposes of a beginner trying to master new skills this might be the time to also learn a few of the next skills needed to have a full range of knowledge to knit anything from hats to sweaters and socks.
Let’s Purl!

On the next row of your now swatch or about 8 rows in when you switch the needles bring the yarn to the front of your work. 

Insert the right needle into the front of the first stitch. Grab the yarn there and pull it through as usual. This might be a tad tricky but take your time.

Repeat. You are purling. Knit stitches make V’s that lay flat. Purl stitches make wavy bumps ~. 

They are the reverse of each other so sometimes knitting is thought of as the front of work and purling the back. 

When you knit every row there is no noticeable front or back. Different people like the look of all these variations and more. 

You have seen what we call ribbing, a mixture of the two stitches facing the same way in a piece of fabric. Most often used on cuffs, bottom or top edges of garments and hats.

That will be our 3rd adventure if there is time in our session together. Meanwhile you are purling about 8 rows to get a feel for it. Assess yourself at the end of these 16 rows. Assess your work. How does it look and how do you feel?

Are you making a lot of mistakes? Are there any random holes in your work? How are your edges?

Answering these questions will tell us what we need to work on next. What other things do you want to learn how to do? 



Knitting in the round

Aran patterns

What are you finding most challenging? 

How to hold the yarn? Knitting? Purling?

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