Where To Begin
So you want to learn to knit? Well, first off, there are a few knitting supplies you're going to need. At minimum, you should probably get:
- A pair of Knitting needles. A Needle size of US 8 (5.0 mm) is a good starting size, made out of whatever material you prefer.
- Some yarn! Made out of any fiber you like. A cheap ball of Acrylic Worsted weight will do the trick and only cost you a couple bucks.
Okay, with that out of the way, it's time to begin!
- Start off by learning to Cast on. This is how the initial row of loops is created. There's a wide variety of techniques for casting on, some decorative, some more practical, but one of the most common techniques first learned is the Double cast-on. Of course, feel free to try out different methods and find the one that suits you best. Try casting on around 12 stitches.
- Alright, you're ready to start knitting! There are two types of primary stitches in knitting. The first one to learn is the Knit stitch. Now, there are a few different knitting methods to choose from and which one you use is generally a matter of preference. Just pick the one that's most comfortable for you. Make sure you try to knit a full row.
- Stop swearing. You'll get it eventually....
- Once you have the knit stitch mastered, you can now try your hand at the other major stitch in knitting, the Purl stitch. Note, you must use the same method for both the knit and purl stitch (okay, that's not strictly true, but switching methods would be quite cumbersome). Hopefully this one will be a little easier. Again, do the full row.
- Try switching between knit and purl stitches in the same row. When switching from knit to purl, bring the yarn forward between the needles and over the piece. When switching from purl to knit, do the opposite.
- Last but not least, you must Cast off, which is the process of binding the stitches so they don't become unravelled. Again, there are a ton of techniques here. One of the easiest is the Plain cast-off.
At this stage, you've learned enough to make some simple knitted materials. For example, if you knit or purl all your rows you will get Garter stitch material. If you alternate between knit and purl rows, you'll get Stockinette stitch. And by switching between knit and purl stitches in the same row, you can make Seed stitch, Ribbing, and many other fabrics.
Alright, where to from here? Well, in all probability you'll want to actually make something. So, you'll need to learn about:
In addition, you could go on to expand your knitting skill set:
- Learn about Increasing and Decreasing.
- Learn to create a Slipped stitch.
- Learn about Correcting errors.
- Read about Blocking your finished pieces, which evens out Gauge and gives the piece a more finished look.
- And if you've gotten this far, you might want to start looking at some of the other techniques, such as Circular knitting or Cables.