Methods of Knitting
The two main techniques of knitting are called Continental – where the yarn is held in the left hand, and English – where the yarn is held in the right hand. Both methods produce knitted fabric. I am most comfortable with the English method, so I have demonstrated that.
Yarn hold for knitting
My daughter is a violin teacher. She often has to take students back to basics, before they can learn more complex techniques. They need the correct bow hold, and alignment of the violin to progress.
Good technique in knitting – how you hold the yarn and needles, and tension the yarn – will enable you to achieve great results. It will be easier on your hands, and allow you to knit faster. This is why I showed the way I hold the yarn and needles.
Knitting Essentials for Beginners
- Circular knitting needles are suitable for most knitting projects. They sit comfortably in your hands. Buy the best you can afford.
Ensure that the cable is flexible, and that there are no bumps where the cable joins.
- Also buy a needle sizer with both US and mm sizes on it.
- A ball of good quality wool yarn dk (double knitting) weight or 8 ply in a light color
To begin a piece of knitting, we first have to put the correct number of stitches on the needles. There are many different ways of achieving this. The video shows the cable cast on, which is a good, all purpose cast on. It is strong and flexible, and looks similar on each side. It is good for beginners, as it is very similar to the knit stitch.
After you are comfortable with one type of cast on, it is good to experiment with others. It depends on the effect you want to achieve. Some techniques give a firm, stable cast on edge while others have a more elastic edge. There are also decorative cast ons.
Cast on tip
When I cast on a large number of stitches, I place a stitch marker after every 20 stitches. Then I recount just that section to make sure the number is correct. It saves losing track when you are trying to count the entire row. Stitch markers are inexpensive, and come in several styles.
Cable Cast on
The cable cast on is a good, all purpose cast on. It is strong and flexible, and looks similar on each side. It is good for beginners, as it is very similar to the knit stitch.
The Knitted Cast on is similar to the Cable Cast on, except you put the needle into the stitch knitwise, instead of between the stitches. It can be put directly on to the needle, or twisted on, as in the Cable Cast on.
The Long Tail Cast on is a very popular method. It involves picking up the yarn stranded between your fingers in a certain way. It results in a very even cast on which is quite elastic, and works well with stocking stitch and ribbing. The difficulty with this cast on is leaving an adequate yarn tail for the number of stitches you need.
This article in Knitty – online knitting magazine shows the three methods.
On my needles
Not a lot to report, slow progress on the three cardigans, though the second is up to the armholes. Next time I will knit baby cardigans. These are size three to four years, and there is a lot of knitting.
The main reason, this website has been a bit neglected is because my son became engaged, and we had a party for them last week. We are very happy and excited. They are a lovely couple.