Sunday, January 16, 2011

In Stitches - Casting On Stitches

Last week I posted about the materials you'll need for our first scarf project. This week we'll learn how to cast on stitches and start knitting. And I promise you that it's incredibly easy!

The first step in starting a knitting project is getting a slip knot onto one of your needles. I wrote and rewrote the instructions for this and then realized it would be much easier just to show you this video I found on Howcast. Be forewarned that we're going to use the Long Tail method for casting on stitches so leave a long tail on your yarn, about 24 inches to be on the safe side.

Simple right? And the slip knot counts as your first stitch which means you're practically knitting already ;)

Once you've got your slip knot on your needle you are ready to start casting on stitches. There are several methods but I have found that I like the Long Tail method because it keeps your first row stretchy which means it's more forgiving for beginner knitters who are still working out problems with tension. Once again, I think it's a lot easier to watch someone do this than to read instructions so I'm sharing this video tutorial I found on YouTube.

Really easy, right? For our scarf project you're going to want to cast on 24 stitches. If you've decided to use both the lace weight and the medium weight yarn then you'll want to work with both yarns at the same time when casting on your stitches. Once you've got 24 stitches cast on you are ready to knit!

I didn't find a great video demonstrating the basic knit stitch but I did find the following text and diagrams on Craft Yarn Council and found them really easy to follow. Hopefully you will too!

Step One:
Hold the needle with the cast-on stitches in your left hand. Insert the point of the right needle into the first stitch, from right to left.

Step Two: With right index finger, bring the yarn under and over the point of the right needle.

Step Three: With right needle, pull the yarn back through the stitch.

Step Four:
Slip the loop on the left needle off, so the new stitch is entirely on the right needle.

And that's it, you're knitting! If you don't get it right on the first try just remember that practice makes perfect. Working the needles will probably feel awkward and you'll work slowly at first but the movements will start to feel more natural before long.

For our scarf all you need to do it knit every row until your knitting measures 50". If you're using both types of wool then knit with them together throughout. If you're only using the one type then your project should start to look something like this...

This project knits up pretty fast since we're using such large needles. Have fun and check back next week when we'll learn together how to bind off the scarf and add the fringe!

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