Learn How to Knit Part 1: Cast on, Knit, Purl and Garter Stitch


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I am just starting to learn how to knit.  I am taking a class and we are learning how to make mittens.  I have been using online resources to help me in between class, so I thought I'd share all the cool resources I found that have been helping me learn.  Enjoy!


image by erasofcharm
Cast on

 First things first you have to learn how to cast on.  There are lots of different ways to cast on.  Casting on creates the end stitches  so some ways can be decorative, I've just listed the basics here though..

Here is a great article I found at knitty that covers the basic cast ons

long tail, cable, and slip knot





Here's a great video I found for long tail cast on, which is the method I have learned with. I especially liked how she points out that you let the loose yarn hang over your finger.  This helped me a lot.  My teacher also calls it bunny ears, which may sound funny but I found helpful.

 Long Tail Cast on 3min

First Basic Stitches

 Knit and purl are the first basic stitches you will learn.  What is really cool is once you learn these stitches you can do different combinations of them to create lots of cool other stitches (which we'll get into in our part 2).
  
Knit Stitch 
Front of Knit stitch via the Compassionknitter

Back of knit stitch looks the same as purl  stitch image via Just A Lady Who Loves...

If you see this on a pattern it will be abbreviated with a k.  If you do all rows in only knit stitch it will be called the garter stitch pictured above.  Interestingly if you do all rows in the purl stitch it will also create the grater stitch.  Below is a great video I found that shows the contiential method, (one style of knitting), of the knit stitch.  I also found a great article from Lion Brand  on the knit stitch with drawings and a video


                                                                                Knit Stitch Contiential method



Purl Stitch 
garter stitch image via Just A Lady Who Loves...

If you see this on a pattern it will be abbreviated with a p.  If you do all rows in only the purl stitch it will be called the garter stitch pictured to the left.  Interestingly if you do all rows in the knit stitch it will also create the grater stitch
 

The purl stitch is the opposite of the knit stitch. If you look at the backside of a knit stitch, you're looking at a purl stitch. If you look at the backside of a purl stitch, you're looking at a knit stitch. 

Below is a great video I found that shows how to do the purl stitch and here are some great tutorials I found on the purl stitch.  

Lion Brand video and article Purl Stitch
Article on Purl stitch with very helpful pictures


The Purl Stitch (contiential style) video (3 min)


You can buy these buttons on Etsy
I hope this helps you in your journey 

in starting to knit!  I will be posting a part 2 to this post soon, so stay tuned.  In the meanwhile I would suggest checking if you local library system has good book on learning to knit and put it on reserve to pick up at your closet library.  I'm waiting for mine right now! 

 I'm hoping I can learn enough to make high end fashion pieces and cool stuff for our home. If you want inspiration for what to make check out my pinterest knitting projects board with lost of free patterns.  .  Right now I'm being adventurous and making a cowl out of bulky wool yarn with a seed stitch (knit and purl stitch alternating).  I'm not using a pattern, even though I'm just learning.  Crazy?  Maybe, we'll see.  I just think I learn better creating a project myself.  I'll post when I finish! 

Check out more of our knitting posts.

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