When I first learned to knit, I always asked my mom to do the casting on for me. I was still trying to master the difference between knits and purls, and the cast on somehow felt too complicated to even consider doing myself. Whenever I wanted to start a new project, I’d grab my yarn and needles, then chase down my mom and tell her how many stitches I needed. She would patiently oblige, but I think we both secretly knew this system could not last forever.
Posts by amandakeep
You won’t come across it in every knitting pattern, but sometimes it’s necessary to join together two sections of “live” stitches in your knitting. This process is often called grafting or Kitchener stitch, and though it might sound intimidating at first, it’s easy to master. Read more
Some knitting abbreviations seem pretty straightforward, like how K stands for “knit” and P stands for “purl,” but when multiple letters get involved, sometimes things get murky. Some of the leading offenders? Knitting terms like wyif and its equally sneaky cousin, wyib. To make matters worse, even after a knitter has deciphered what these terms stand for, putting them into practice can be confusing. We are here to help!
One summer when I was in high school, I knitted a little cotton vest to use in a yarn shop display. To complete it, I had to pick up stitches and work the edging in a contrasting color. I wasn’t very familiar with picking up stitches, but I understood the basic concept.
When I first started knitting, I made only scarves and I never used a pattern. In an effort to expand my knitting horizons, my mom bought me a pattern for a hat, along with the recommended yarn. It was a pretty simple pattern so it wasn’t too hard to decipher, until I got to the last part:
Back when I was still a new knitter, I came across a gorgeous hank of alpaca in a really pretty color. I knew it would make a beautiful sweater, but there was only one hank of the color I liked on the yarn shop’s shelf. When I took it up to the counter to ask if there were any more hanks hiding somewhere in storage, it turned out to be the last one. Luckily, the shop owner offered to order another bag of that color for me. I happily placed the order, but I couldn’t wait to start knitting with that yarn, so I decided to buy the single hank and start swatching right away. Of course, the shop owner pointed out that the dye lot of the new yarn probably wouldn’t match the dye lot of the single hank, but I didn’t think much of it.
One of my first design projects was a tank top knit with a beautiful blue bamboo yarn. I happily planned out the design, then knitted it. Once it was finally finished, I could hardly wait to try it on, but when I took a look in the mirror, I noticed that the armholes went down almost to my waist!
Counting rows in knitting can be a tricky business. I had a lot of trouble learning to do it accurately – I’d routinely count the number of rows over and over, ending up with different numbers every time! Learning to count rows will make any knitting project easier (Hami, the tank top pictured at the left, is a perfect example).