3 Easy Ways to Join a New Skein of Yarn in Knitting


It’s just a fact folks.  Whether you are a knitting beginner or an experienced knitter, at some point in your knitting journey, you are going to have to join a new skein of yarn while working on a project.

This can happen when you come to the end of your first skein of yarn or your project calls for a color change.  Your project may even require a change of color in the middle of a row!

Regardless,  the same technique is used in all three cases.  Thus,  this is an extremely important skill to master.

Adding new yarn might seem scary.  I know I was terrified the first time my project called for a color change.  I actually broke out in a cold sweat!  But, truthfully, there’s no need to panic.

Joining a new skein of yarn to your knitting project is much easier than you think.  Let me show you how!

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Beginner Knitting: The Easiest Way to Cast Off

How to Cast Off in Knitting

Knitting by Itchin' for some Stitchin'

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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.  🙂

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Beginner Knitting: How to Knit the Knit and Purl Stitches

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.

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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”)
  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!


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!