Monday, January 14, 2013

Beginner's Notes

Simple Notes for Beginners:

I taught myself how to knit from scratch, so it took me a while. Here are a few suggestions:

To find the right knitting needle size, you can either go to the store and find one that says it on there (make sure it is a length you like) or you can go through your needles and measure which one is right and fits within the right slot of a "knitting needle guage." I prefer metal, because I like the "clank" sound, but you may prefer plastic. I think metal ones are smoother and faster. I would recommend the short needles over the long ones.

"CO" = Can mean "Cast on," meaning this is the number of stitches you should cast on. It took me a long time to learn how to cast on stitches, so watch a few youtube.com videos until you figure it out; find what is best and easiest for you. This also means learning how to tie a "slip knot;" again something I would look up to see what is easiest. I found wrapping it around my finger and pulling it around to be easiest after trying many methods.

The "tapestry needle" that I use is a big plastic needle that you can weave in and out all over the item to sew in the ends. It's very simple to use, but if you have any questions, check out "how to weave in” on youtube.com.

"Worsted weight" is the type of weight used for my patterns. I find for beginners, worsted weight is easier to handle and learn on. (And much cheaper to buy).

K = "Knitting" which requires you to "cast on" the number of stitches required. Knitting is the most basic stitch.

P = "Purling" is the second most basic stitch. It can be difficult to learn to do when you know nothing about knitting.

Garter Stitch = This just means "Knit across."

Stockinette Stitch = Knit one row and then Purl the next row. Repeat.

BO = "Bind off" - meaning end the piece. This involves a special technique that is hard to explain without just reading from a book on how to knit. Check it out online. This also involves trimming the edges when you are ready to knit the item, but don't trim too much (discussed in next sentence).

"Weave in edges" means using the tapestry needle to weave the ends (as mentioned in the last statement) after the piece is done. You don't want knots; it's better to weave the ends in and out through the item until you are sure it won't come untangled when it is washed.

"Blocking" is more complicated. From what I have learned, you get a bowl; fill it with water; dunk the part you want blocked until it's wet; twist out the water; lay flat on a large towel; fold along towel and press down hard to get as much of the water out as possible; then, clip with thumb tacks to a corkboard how you want it to look. This will help it dry flat and in the shape you want it.

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