Knitting lessons

Please note that the instructions below are all based on the continental knitting technique!

Never knitted before? No problem, with our easy to follow instructions you’ll be on your way in no time!

Knitting tension: Knitting tension is the number of stitches per cm. It will vary from person to person and depends on how you hold your needles and the yarn; the yarn quality and the needle size. We recommend that you knit a sample and measure your piece to see if your tension matches the tension in the pattern.

Pointed or circular needles: You may knit with pointed needles, circular needles or double pointed needles. Use pointed needles to knit flat pieces to be sewn together afterwards, circular needles to knit “tube” pieces (i.e. jumpers with no side seams) and double pointed needles for smaller “tube” pieces like socks, sleeves and necks. All our needle sizes are indicated in mm, the higher the number, the thicker the needle. The size of the needle determines your knitting tension. Our needles come in bamboo, plastic and metal.

Casting on (Back to top)

There are several ways to cast on stitches. We have chosen to show you the most common method which will give you an even, but at the same time elastic edge.

When casting on, the stitches should glide effortless along the needle. If you feel your stitches are too tight, use thicker needles or 2 needles, but remember to change back to the correct needle size when you start knitting.

Measure out a loose yarn end (the length will depend on the number of sts you need to cast on, the yarn quality and needles size). Hold the loose yarn end in the palm of your hand and twist the yarn round your index and middle finger.
Pull the yarn end from the yarn ball through the loop between your index and middle finger and make a loop.
Put the stitch on the needle and pull both yarn ends to tighten the stitch. You’re now ready to cast on.
Put the stitch on the needle and pull both yarn ends to tighten the stitch. You’re now ready to cast on.
Place the loose yarn end round your left thumb as shown in the illustration. Put the yarn end from the ball over your left index finger and keep both yarn ends in place in the palm of your hand using your ring and little finger.
Put the needle under the thread on your thumb and using the needle pull the thread from the yarn ball (the yarn end on your index finger) through the loop to create a stitch.
Remove your thumb from the loop and tighten the stitch. Cast on the number of stitches required.

Knitted stitches (Back to top)

Now on to the knitting! Here’s how you knit stitches:

Place the yarn round you left index finger and keep the yarn in place in the palm of your hand using your ring and little finger. The yarn is always kept behind your piece when knitting stitches.
Put the right needle through the first stitch on the left needle to create a new stitch.
Now place the yarn over the right needle.
Pull the yarn through the cast on stitch – use the point of the needle.
Lift the first new stitch off the left needle and onto the right needle. Repeat until all stitches have been switched from the left to the right needle. This is your first row! To continue, place the needle with the stitches in your left hand and repeat.

Purled stitches (Back to top)

Purled stitches are the opposite of knitted stitches. If you knit all rows you’re knitting in what’s refer to as garter stitch, if you knit 1 row and then purl 1 row you’re knitting in stocking stitch.

Hold the needle with the stitches in your left hand. Keep the yarn in front of your piece when purling stitches.
Put the right needle through the first stitch on the left needle from behind (from the top) and remember to keep the yarn in front of your piece.
Now put the yarn over the right needle and keep the yarn in place with your left index finger.
Put the right needle and the yarn through the stitch on the left needle from behind to create a loop on the right needle.
Slip the stitch off the left needle and tighten the new stitch on the right needle with your index finger. Repeat until the end of row. To continue, place the needle with the stitches in your left hand and repeat.

Different knitting techniques (Back to top)

Altering between knitted and purled stitches creates different knitting patterns. Below you’ll find an overview of these patterns.

When knitting stitches you keep the yarn behind your piece and when purling stitches you keep the yarn in front.

Altering between knitted and purled stitches on the same row creates a Rib – remember to switch the yarn from behind to the front as you go along.

Stocking stitch
Row 1 (the right side): knit all stitches
Row 2 (the wrong side): purl all stitches
Repeat row 1 and 2.
Garter stitches
Row 1: knit all stitches
Row 2: knit all stitches
Rib
Row 1 (RS):K 2 sts, P 2 sts, repeat to end of row.
Row 2 (WS): P 2 sts over P sets, K 2 sts over K sts, repeat to end of row.
Repeat row 1 and 2.
Moss stitch
You need an even number of sts.
Row 1 (RS): K 1 st, P 1 st.
Row 2 (WS): K 1 st over P st, P 1 st over K st.
Repeat row 2.

Increasing stitches (Back to top)

To shape and enlarge your knitting you increase stitches. Most increases are done from the right side. These are the various methods of increasing:

1. Knit 2 stitches in 1 stitch:
Put the right needle into the stitch to be knitted, pull yarn through but leave the stitch on the left needle. Now put the right needle through the back loop of the same stitch and pull yarn through. Lift the new stitch off left needle. You now have 2 new stitches on the right needle and have completed the increase.
2. Create a new stitch between 2 stitches:
Pick up the thread between 2 stitches as shown in the illustration and knit this.
3. Create new stitches by “the yarn over needle” method:
If you need to create several new stitches at the beginning or end of a row, you make the number of yarn over needle required and knit or purl the yo’s as new stitches on next row.

Decreasing stitches (Back to top)

To shape your knitting, i.e. armholes and necklines, you decrease stitches by knitting together 2 stitches. Most decreases are done from the right side, but you may need to decrease from the wrong side, e.g. when a pattern requires you to decrease on every row.

Put the needle into 2 stitches and knit these as 1 stitch.

Casting off (Back to top)

You cast off stitches to tie them together when they are no longer required in the pattern, e.g. when piece is finished and for armholes, necklines and shoulders.

It is important to ensure that the cast-off row is neither too tight nor too loose.

You may wish to use larger needles to cast off to ensure the edge becomes elastic.

To cast off from the right side:

Knit 2 stitches.
* Put the left needle into the first stitch on the right needle.
Pull the first stitch over the second stitch and off the right needle.
Now you are left with 1 stitch on the right needle. Knit the next stitch and repeat the above until the required number of stitches are cast off.

To cast off from the wrong side:

Purl 2 stitches.
* Put the left needle into the back of the first stitch on the right needle.
Pull the first stitch over the second stitch and off the right needle.
Now you are left with 1 stitch on the right needle. Purl the next stitch and repeat the above until the required number of stitches are cast off.

How to cast off the last stitch:

When you have cast off all your stitches and are left with 1 stitch on the right needle, cut the thread and pull this through the stitch. Leave quite a long yarn end to be used for sewing the pieces together.

Dropped stitches (Back to top)

When picking up a dropped stitch it is important not to twist it which is easily done if the yarn is in the wrong position or if you pick up the stitch from behind. Follow the instructions below and you should be fine!

How to pick up a knitted stitch:

1. Knit 2 stitches in 1 stitch:
Put the right needle into the stitch to be knitted, pull yarn through but leave the stitch on the left needle. Now put the right needle through the back loop of the same stitch and pull yarn through. Lift the new stitch off left needle. You now have 2 new stitches on the right needle and have completed the increase.
If you dropped a stitch in the previous row, knit towards the stitch, make sure the loose yarn is behind the dropped stitch.
Put the right needle through the dropped stitch and under the loose yarn behind.
Put the left needle into the back of the dropped stitch on the right needle and pull the stitch over the loose yarn.
Put the left needle into the back of the dropped stitch on the right needle. It is now back on the left needle and ready to knit.
If you dropped the stitch further down, use a crochet hook as shown in the illustration.

How to pick up a purled stitch:

If you dropped a stitch in the previous row, purl towards the stitch, make sure the loose yarn is in front of the dropped stitch.
Put the right needle through the dropped stitch from behind and under the loose yarn in front.
Put the dropped stitch on the left needle and use the right needle to pull through the loose yarn. Your dropped stitch is now recovered and sitting on the right needle.
Move the stitch to the left needle by putting the left needle through the stitch from the front and lift off the right needle.

Abbreviations (Back to top)

St stitch
K knit stitch
P purl stitch
K2 tog knit 2 together
P2 tog purl 2 together
Inc increase
Dec decrease
RS right side
WS wrong side
Sl slip
Psso pass slip stitch over
Yo yarn over needle
MT marking thread or marker
NB nota bene - Note