Knitting 101

My pretend in-laws recently taught me the art of knitting and I have been, ahem… hooked ever since.  Initially I just wanted to learn how to knit to curb my smoking habit.  If my hands are busy I can’t use them to light up.  However, since then I have become obsessed with knitting.  What blew my mind was the fact that pretty much all knitting patterns are based on two different stitches, kind of like how all things digital are based on 0’s and 1’s.  It all depends on the permutations and combinations of the knit and purl stitches over columns and rows.  It is the bloody Matrix on two sticks, mate.  

Another boon of knitting is that it is a relatively cheap hobby.  Knitting needles can be bought for R20 and a ball of wool will set you back about R25, depending of course on what type of wool you buy.  For beginners I would suggest a cheap double knit wool and 4.0 mm to 4.5 mm knitting needles.   I also bought a cable needle, for when I get to knitting cables one day, but for now I use it a lot for picking up stitches when I have to undo rows.  Which still happens quite regularly…

There are a myriad of knitting videos on youtube, but I have found the knittingtipsbyjudy to be the best ones, mostly because she demonstrates things very slowly and repeats it.  That is my kind of instruction video.  First off, you need to learn how to cast on stitches.  You can either knit them on or use the butterfly method to do it.

Here is how to cast stitches on by knitting.

Here the butterfly method is used.

You can use either one, I just find that the butterfly method goes much faster.

Now for the actual knitting.  Here Judy demonstrates the knit stitch.

When you knit every row you end up with a garter stitch.Garter stitch Watch the garter stich video

Next up is the purl stitch.

When you alternate knit rows and purl rows you end up with stocking or stockinette stitch.Stocking stitch

Lastly you need to be able to cast off and here is how you do it.

And that is the basics of knitting.  I have started a once a month (last Saturday of every month) knitting circle in Snor City, hoping to knit a couple of blankets that we can give to charity.  If you are interested to join us, please email me at vidao[at] to get the details.

Next week I will start posting the patterns that we are using to knit our charity blankets.