How to Bind Off In Knitting

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Learn the Basic Binding Off or Casting Off Method to End Your Knitting Projects

Knitting by Itchin' for some Stitchin'

 

Hello fellow knitters!  Today’s tutorial is part of my beginner knitting series.  If you’ve followed along then you should be familiar with the knitting basics and now be comfortable with how to make a slip knot, how to cast on, how to knit the knit stitch, and how to knit the purl stitch.

Now it’s time to learn how to bind off, also called casting off. Binding off is the process of securing the last row of stitches to create an edge that will not unravel.  This is also known as finishing the edge.  There are many ways to bind off and each method produces a different edge on your knitting project.

When I was a knitting beginner, my first project sat, finished, but untouched for weeks before I learned how to bind off.  This is because binding off sounded complicated to me.  I am not ashamed to admit that knitting was and sometimes still is difficult for me.  Knitting doesn’t come as naturally to me as crochet or sewing does.

Despite this, I love it and continue to work hard to improve my knitting skills.  Thus, in the beginning, learning to bind off my knitting projects was intimidating.  If you find yourself in a similar situation, don’t worry!

I am going to guide you through the Basic or Standard Binding Off method, the most common binding off technique, because it is the one that most knitting beginners learn first. And believe it or not, this binding off method turned out to be super easy!  If I can master it, so can you.  ūüôā

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Knitting for Beginners: All About Needles

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Beginner Knitting: All About Needles. http:/www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

 

Hi folks! This post is for all you knitters out there, especially if you are a newbie knitter. Knowing how to cast on, make stitches, and deciding on a pattern are not the only important things you need to do when starting a knitting project. You need to make sure that you are picking the correct yarn and needles as well.

When I started knitting I went to the craft store and stood in the aisle staring at all the needle choices. Long ones, short ones, shiny ones, thick ones, round ones, plastic ones, wood ones… it went on and on. I had no idea which ones I needed. As a beginner the array was overwhelming.

So today I want to review the different types of knitting needles available so you can pick the right tool for your project and hopefully save you some of the frustration I suffered as a knitting newbie.

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Knitting 101: Lesson Three

Basic Knitting Stitches

 

Knitting Methods

Knitting is the art of creating a fabric by using yarn to make consecutive rows of interlocking loops. These interlocking loops are called ‘stitches’.  The active or working stitches are held on a needle in the left hand.  The right hand holds the working needle.

There are different ways to hold the yarn and needles. In the ‘English’ or ‘American’ method, also called throwing,  the yarn is controlled and ‘thrown’ (looped) with the right hand to create stitches. In ‘Continental’ or ‘German’ knitting, also called picking, the yarn is controlled in the left hand and the stitches are made by ‘picking’ loops off the left needle with the needle held in the right hand.

Some knitters consider the Continental method to be faster because there is less motion. Also, since the yarn is controlled in the left hand, this method may be a little easier for left-handed knitters and somewhat more difficult for right-handed ones. However, I am a right-handed knitter and find the Continental method easier than the English method.  Thus, all knitting tutorials shown on this website are done in the Continental style and you should try both methods to find the one that works best for you.

There are two basic knitting stitches, the ‘knit’ stitch and the ‘purl’ stitch.   Once you know these stitches, you’ll be able to make almost any combination of stitches.  If you use only one of these basic stitches for every stitch of the fabric you are creating, it is called a garter stitch.

The Knit Stitch

The knit stitch is the first stitch that I learned and I created my first two prayer shawls from a garter stitch of the knit stitch.

The knit stitch is produced by inserting the working needle through the bottom of an existing active loop and pulling a new loop down and through the first loop with the yarn in the back.   This is called ‘working through the back loop’.  Knit stitches look like a “V” stacked vertically.

The Purl Stitch

The purl stitch is the second stitch I learned, but I did not create anything using just the purl stitch.

The purl stitch creates a wavy horizontal line across the fabric, but if you look at it from reverse side, it looks exactly like the knit stitch.  It is created by inserting the working needle from the top of an existing active loop, with your yarn in the front, and pulling a new loop up and through the first stitch. This is called ‘working through the front loop’.

The texture and pattern of a knitted fabric is created by combining kit or purled stitches and changing whether the stitch is worked through the front or back loops.  This literally creates an infinite number of stitch and pattern possibilities!

If you are struggling with the Continental method, knitting.about.com has tutorials on how to knit and purl in the English style.  Be sure  to check out both methods for holding the yarn and needles so you can find the technique that suits you best and get started knitting!

Until next time… Happy Knitting!

http://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

How to Cast On in Knitting

Casting on

The second step in knitting, casting on, is slightly more involved that the first step, the slip-knot.  Which brings me back to the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Needlework. I would love to show the detailed images from this book, which were so good that I was able to easily, if not quickly,  learn two of the five illustrated methods.  However, copyright laws prevent me from photocopying and displaying the pages.  So, I created photo/video tutorials of these two techniques to share with you.

Additionally, since my first days of knitting, I have learned that there are many more casting on methods.  I have listed all the techniques I have found and will add image/video tutorials as I learn them.

 

Casting on Methods (found in Reader’s Digest)

  1. Two-needle method
  2. Cable cast-on
  3. Single cast-on (“backward loop cast-on”,”e-wrap”, “e-loop”)
  4. Double cast-on (“long-tail cast-on” or “knit half-hitch cast on‚ÄĚ)
  5. Looped cast-on

Additional Casting on Methods

  1. Knit on cast-on
  2. Tubular cast-on
  3. Provisional cast-on (“invisible cast-on”)
  4. Braided cast-on
  5. Chain cast-on
  6. Crochet chain cast-on
  7. Turkish cast-on
  8. Magic cast-on
  9. Circular cast-on
  10. Old Norwegian cast-on
  11. Picot cast-on
  12. Guernsey cast-on
  13. Rib cable cast-on

Each of these methods is best suited to a particular type of knit or situation, depending on the flexibility or firmness needed, and on how simple or elaborate you want the project to appear.    So far I have learned the single and double cast-on techniques, as demonstrated in the videos below.

 

Single cast-on

This technique is quick and easy to carry out, making it a favorite for children and beginners.  It creates a delicate, flexible border that is particularly good for a hem edge or lace.

Double cast-on

This popular method creates a firm, yet stretchy, edge making it suitable for any pattern that does not need a delicate border.  However, it takes some practice because you have to estimate the length of the “tail” of yarn.  If the tail is too short, you will run out of yarn before all the stitches have been cast on and you will need to pull everything out, reposition the slip-knot, leave a longer tail, and start again.  I usually estimate 2-3 inches of yarn for each cast-on.

Well, folks, that’s two casting on techniques down and 16+ to go, as there are even variations of each method listed!  So stay tuned.  I’ll post about them as soon as I learn them.

Until next time… Happy Knitting!

http://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

How to Make a Slip-Knot

Making a Slip-Knot:

The First Step in Crochet & Knitting

 

Hi folks! ¬†If you’ve been following along, ¬†you know that my fabric arts journey began with learning to knit as part of the Prayer Shawl Ministry, but I have yet to¬†tell¬†you how I actually learned to knit. ¬†Well, ultimately, I taught myself. ¬†Betty Jo, the lady with all the true knitting “know how” went on vacation for the summer and, as it turns, everyone else in the group were newbies too. ¬†So no one really knew what they were doing and I didn’t want to wait four months to start. ¬†I was too dim-witted to think of the internet as a resource. ¬†Hahahaha…. ¬† Instead, I pulled out my 1979 copy of Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Needlework, gifted to me by Marianne, who had apparently decided to give up knitting and very kindly passed on some of her materials to me. ¬†Anyway, ¬†I opened the book and skipped straight to the knitting section where I found myself completely overwhelmed by the five illustrated¬†methods for casting on.

As I studied these techniques, I realized that I had to back up. ¬†Casting on was not the first step in knitting. ¬†Before I could learn to these methods, I¬†had to learn the essential first step. ¬†How to make a¬†slip-knot. A slip-knot is a knot tied so that it can¬†slip along the rope which it is made and can easily be undone¬†or “slipped” by pulling on the free¬†end. ¬†Of course, there are several ways to do this. ¬†Let me show you¬†mine.

 

 

I learned this technique quickly and I am sure you have too! ¬†So let’s¬†move to the second step in knitting, casting on. ¬†Check out Knitting 101: Lesson 2–Casting on to learn some of the most common ways to cast on and start your knitting project.

 

Until next time… ¬†Happy Knitting!

 

http://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com