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Knitting 101: Essential tips and tricks

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How to knit (Photo: Shutterstock)
  • How to knit: The basics.
  • Start a new hobby.
  • Knitting is a great way to de-stress.

To begin your knitting journey, it’s essential to choose the right materials.

Start with soft, medium-weight yarn and appropriate knitting needles. The yarn label typically recommends the needle size to use.

A pair of scissors, a tapestry needle and stitch markers are also handy tools to have in your knitting kit.

These basic materials will set you on the path to creating beautiful handcrafted items

How to knit: Casting on is the foundation of your project

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Casting on is the first step in any knitting project.

It creates the initial row of stitches on your needle.

The long-tail cast-on method is a great choice for beginners.

Leave a tail of yarn before making your slipknot, and remember to keep it loose to ensure flexibility in your knitting.

Mastering the knit stitch

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The first step in learning how to knit is the knit stitch.

Insert your right needle into the first stitch on the left needle from front to back, then wrap the yarn around the right needle.

Pull the right needle through the stitch, creating a new loop on the right needle.

Slip the old stitch off the left needle. Practice this motion until you feel comfortable with the knit stitch.

Purling adds texture and variety to your knitting

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The purl stitch is another essential knitting skill.

To purl, insert your right needle into the first stitch on the left needle from right to left, then wrap the yarn around the right needle.

Pull the right needle through the stitch, creating a new loop on the right needle.

Slip the old stitch off the left needle. Purling creates a bumpy texture, adding depth and variety to your knitting.

Reading patterns is key for learning how to knit

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Knitting patterns may seem intimidating at first, but they are your guide to creating beautiful projects.

Start with simple patterns labeled as «beginner» or «easy.»

Pay close attention to abbreviations and symbols.

Understanding these will help you follow instructions and make your knitting journey more enjoyable.

Shaping your work by increasing or decreasing

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To create various shapes in your knitting, you’ll need to know how to increase and decrease stitches.

For an increase, simply knit or purl into the same stitch twice.

To decrease, follow pattern instructions like «k2tog» (knit two stitches together) or «p2tog» (purl two stitches together).

These techniques allow you to shape sleeves, necklines, and more.

Don’t panic if you make a mistake

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Mistakes happen to every knitter, even experienced ones.

The key is knowing how to fix them. For a dropped stitch, use a crochet hook or your knitting needle to catch the stitch and work it back up to your needles.

If you make an error in your pattern, don’t be afraid to «frog» (rip out) a few rows and start again.

It’s all part of the learning process.

Binding off and weaving in ends

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Once your knitting project is complete, you’ll need to bind off to secure the stitches.

Start by knitting the first two stitches, then pass the first stitch over the second.

Continue this process until you have one stitch left, then cut your yarn and pull it through.

Don’t forget to weave in any loose ends with a tapestry needle for a polished look.

Exploring beyond the basics

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Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can explore more advanced techniques like lace knitting, cables and colorwork.

Knitting opens up a world of creative possibilities, allowing you to craft unique garments and accessories.

Whether you’re making cozy scarves, warm blankets or intricate sweaters, knitting offers a world of creativity and relaxation.

Start with simple projects, practice regularly, and watch your skills grow as you create beautiful handmade items for yourself and loved ones.

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