Thursday, June 7, 2012

Knit the first row.

Hooray for you.  You knit the cast on row.  Now you are ready to knit the first row.

You have a row of 20 stitches on the left needle.  Take your empty needle in your right hand and begin to knit.  Just like you did the cast on row.

In through the front - left to right.  Make your knitting needle shape like a "T"
Once around the back - wrap the yarn around the back of the "T" and set it down between the two needles.
Peak through the window - tuck the needle out of the stitch right to left and see the yarn you just wrapped pull up on the needle
Out jumps jack - You knit a stitch.

The new stitch will be on your right needle.  Try to keep your needles close together If you pull them apart you will get loopy stitches.  The first few rows are the trickiest.  Once you have about three rows knit up you will discover it gets a little easier to keep things even.

At first it is a little awkward.  Sometimes the stitches can slip off the needle.  I will tell you about what to do if the stitch slips off the needle in a little bit.  With practice you will get the hang of it and things will begin to  move along.

When you get to the end of the row you will notice all of your new stitches will be on your right needle. Switch hands and place the needle that has all the stitches into your left hand and the empty needle in your right.  You are ready to make row two.

I think you are beginning to get it.

Remember that in the beginning of knitting everyone makes mistakes.  Actually, I have been knitting for about forty years and I still make mistakes.  I figure it is a part of life.  No one is perfect.  Everyone makes mistakes.  What happens in knitting, just like in life, you try to learn from your mistakes.

Sometimes I think about little babies when they are first learning to walk.  They stand up and BOOM! they fall down.  Over and over again they try to stand up and then all of a sudden one day the little child is walking.  You will notice throughout your whole life that you will BOOM fall down.  Make a mistake.  And wonder.  "How did I get here?  I was just standing and now I am on the ground."  Just like a little child learn to walk just dust yourself off and up you get.

I think it is called daring to be a beginner.  Sometimes you might wish you were the best at doing something.  If only we all could be perfect at everything that we thought we wanted to do.   I wish I could play the piano or any musical instrument for that matter.  If I really wanted to learn how to play an instrument, I probably could but it is impossible for me to be able to play unless I practice, practice, practice.  What I am saying is be patient with yourself.  Enjoy the journey.  And you will learn to knit as we go along step by step.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Casting on is easy

You now know how to make a slip knot.   You are ready to learn how to cast on.  The words "casting on" means you are making the bottom row of knitting.  The cast on row is as important as the basement of a building.  You want it to be able to hold up what you are going to be building.  The cast on row is like setting the stage.  Getting ready to knit.

Slide the slip knot onto one of your needles.
Hold your needle that has the slip knot in your left hand.
Take the empty needle in your right hand.
Hold the needles so the points of the needle are pointing to each other.
The string to your ball will be dangling down off the slip knit.

Now, look at the slip knot.  The part of the stitch facing you is called the "front' of the stitch.  The backside of the stitch is called the back of the stitch.

TIP:  When you knit into the back of the stitch, the stitch will twist.  This is a fancy stitch that makes the cuff of the sleeve more elastic.  I will teach you more about that later.  For now always try to knit into the front of the stitch.

Okie dokie artichockie ready to cast on.
But before we do ...
Here is a little poem to help you remember how to knit

In through the front door
Once around the back
Peak through the window
Out Jumps jack

How the poem relates to making a stitch.

In through the front door.

Take your empty needle in your right hand and put it into the left front side of the stitch.  Poke it in left to right and make a "T" with the needles.

The "T" gets made with the right needle being pointing up behind the left needle.

Once around the back

Reach behind the needle and take hold of the yarn that hangs off the slip knot.  Lift it up a little and wrap it around the "T" up needle.  When you wrap it circle the yarn around the needle from the right over to the left and in between the two needles.  Give it a little pull ( not to tight)  to help the yarn settle into place.

Peak through the window.

This is kind of tricky at first.

Tuck the needle in your right hand down and back out of the slip knot loop.  When you do this you will naturally catch the piece of yarn you just looped around. Gently pull the needle towards you and There is your new stitch.

Out Jumps Jack!

You knit a stitch.  In order to do your first row you place the stitch that you just made that is sitting on your right needle back onto your left needle.  Take the left needle and pick the stitch off the right needle.  Slide it on and gently pull the piece of yarn that hangs from the ball and the stitch will snuggle in next to the slip knot.  Fantastic!  You have two stitches.

Tip:  Be careful to keep using the string that attaches to the ball of yarn.  Its easy in the beginning to grab the short tail.

Keep going.  Make another stitch by going into the new stitch that you just made.  In through the front door - needle goes into the new stitch left to right.  Once around the back -Wrap it around the back in a circle from the right to the left. Peak through the window - tuck the right needle back out of the stitch from the right to the left and catch the strand you just wrapped around.  Out jumps jack  you just made another stitch.  Put the new stitch onto the left needle.  And look - you have three stitches.  Keep going until you have twenty stitches.

Sit back and admire your work.
Look at what you have done twenty little stitches and the fun has just begun.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Slip knots

How do you make a slip knit?  To make a slip knot
1.  pick up the string with your left hand using your thumb and your pointer finger.
2.  Bring your right hand up under the string and lie the string over your pointer finger and middle  finger of your right hand.
3.  Scissor pinch the yarn tail that is hanging down using your left pointer finger and your middle finger.
4.  Now stretch the yarn open a little by tucking your thumb into the two strands of yarn.
As you look at your hands it looks a little like two little legs and you can open and close the legs by stretching your thumb towards you and away from you.  When you pinch your thumb and pointer finger together the yarn is straight down.  When you open your thumb away from your pointer finger you make a "V"   Its a little bit like doing jumping jacks in gym.
5.  Now with your right hand pointer finger and middle finger make a pretend scissor and open the scissor while you turn your wrist away from you.  You will see your middle finger coming around towards you.
6.  Excellent!  Ok now using your fingers on your right hand like a scissor grab the yarn strand that is by your thumb and pull the string  upwards and you will make a loop.

Hi name is ZAZA

Hi, I am so glad you are here.  My name is ZAZA.  Someone told me that you wanted to learn how to knit.  I am going to show you how.  Before to long you will know how to knit.  We will have fun together.  All you need is a pair of knitting needles and some yarn.  If you don't have knitting needles try using a pencil and if you don't have a piece of string try using your fingers.  If you don't have any yarn, find a long piece of string.  Let's get started.