Welcome to my Blog!

Hi there, nice to have you visiting! I'm Heidi and this is the blog for Heidi Bears. Here is where I post all the happenings in my work and daily life. Here and there you'll find info on things that have caught my attention as well as the odd tutorial. I hope you enjoy your visits. I love to have feedback, so leave me a comment!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

How to Knit: Tutorial 1, Casting-on and The Knit Stitch

Hello all! Happy Sunday :)

I am so touched by your kind and generous comments...thank you to everyone who took time to comment! And I have taken note of all the suggestions and ideas you made...so ta-da!!!!! here is the first Tutorial about knitting. I intended to post a phototgraphy tutorial, but I think we'll leave that 'til a bit later...more interest exists for knitting it appears :)

A note to all the knitters out there...I have prepared the tutorial for ABSOLUTE beginners, and beg your forgiveness if it is over-redundant, and experienced knitters find it boring...I promise that I will build on this and add some fun and easy patterns for different purposes. Mostly, I like knitting things that are fairly quick and easy... sweaters and the like, are fabulous projects, but I get a bit bored, (I hope the Yarn Police aren't going to come for me :0 ), so I tend to knit smaller, practical items. Things I can use or gift to someone... I will also try to design some toy patterns, and quick gifts...

I will do the Knit Stitch today, and (if work isn't wildly busy tomorrow!!!!), will post a tutorial on the Purl Stitch tomorrow. This is all you will need to know in order to make the first pattern I will post during next week. It is really quite cute, and I have found that kids (and if I have to be honest ;) ), adults (ie, ME) are mesmerised by this toy. I hope you will enjoy it...

Right, down to work... :)

Step 1. You will need a pair of 3mm knitting needles (circular, as seen in the pics, or straight needles), a ball of double knit yarn, and a pair of scissors. I only use circular needles, but it makes no difference if you use straight needles. The yarn I have used here, and for the toy project, is a pure merino wool, which is hand-dyed by my friend Dana. If you would like to purchase some (and I tell you, it is gorgeous and comes in stunning bright colours!), you can contact Linda or Dana directly.

Step 2. Make a slip knot as shown in the pics above and below. (I have shown the same process in my Crochet tutorial).

Step 3. Slide your knitting needle through the loop you've just made, and pull the working yarn (this is the end that comes off the ball of wool, we call it the working yarn, because it is the end used to make all the new stitches), until a stitch is formed on your needle. I refer to the other end as the tail.

Step 4. You will now do a thumb cast-on. I prefer to use this cast-on for the toy project, because it gives a neat tightish edge, which is what you will need when you sew up the toy. You loop the working yarn over the left edge of your thumb, as shown.

Step 5. Bring your needle over to the left of the working yarn as shown.

Step 6. Slide your needle from left to right under the working yarn as shown.

Step 7. Again, pull the working yarn gently to form your second cast-on stitch.

Step 8. Needle to the left of the working yarn again...

Step 9. Slide under from left to right as before... and pull the working yarn to form the third stitch on your needle...

Step 10. Repeat the process until you have 13 stitches on your needle. You are now ready to start knitting! Well done :)

Step 11. I'll show you now, how I like to hold my yarn. This is NOT the only way to do this, but it works for me... place the working yarn over your little finger as shown.

Step 12. Wrap the working yarn around your little finger again, as seen above.

Step 13. Gently close your hand. You will hold the yarn with a little pressure, allowing it to feed evenly as you knit. It takes some practice to get used to how hard to hold the yarn... it really gets easier the more you knit. Don't be discouraged if your tension isn't perfect at first, I promise it will come right with practice.... :)

Step 14. Take your right needle, and push it through the first stitch on your left needle as seen above. You always go from front to back when you are making a "knit" stitch.
Remember the rule: ALL knitting (the craft) is made of stitches, but NOT ALL stitches are "knit" stitches. I know...it's a bit confusing...just remember that "knit" stitches are always performed from front to back...
In patterns, "knit" stitches are abbreviated as "K"

Step 15. You are still holding the working yarn to the right of your needles. Bring the yarn backwards, behind your work, and around the tip of the right needle, as seen above, ending with the yarn between the two needles.
See the pics below.

Step 16. Keeping the slight tension on your working yarn, pull the yarn through the first stitch. See the pic below.

Step 17. The working yarn has been pulled though, but you still have the remains of the first stitch on your left needle. You need to let this slip off of your left needle. Don't worry, this is right, you won't "drop" a stitch...

Step 18. Let the first stitch slip off...

Step 19. Repeat exactly as before. Finish by knitting the last stitch. All of the stitches will now be on your right needle. Cool, you're a knitter !!!! :)

As I said, tomorrow I will try to post the Tutorial on the Purl stitch.

And now! For the giveaway... I randomly drew the winner, at 10pm (SA time!), and she is...

Honey Pumpkin Mama!

Congrats! Please send me an email with your postal address, and I will get your parcel off to you asap!

I am so happy that all of the other people left comments, that I have decided to send a small gift to each of you as well (it's a surprise....), so if you would like to receive a little present, please send me your postal addresses as well :) and your parcels will too be winging their ways across the earth...
You can send a mail to heidibearscreativeblog@gmail.com

I am seriously stiff after yesterday's over activity, so I am off to slumberland! Good night all, sleep well :)

Lots of Love,

Heidi :)


K said...

Your photos are lovely and clear. I love a straight ahead tutorial. One thing I'd like to see, after doing Linda's Easter Egg, is how you change colors and not get great sloppy stitches at the juncture when you're doing Magic Loop. It's not like you can get to the back side of the work once you start decreasing and finishing the egg - so you can't weave in the ends.

I'd LOVE to be taught how to handle that.

Heidi said...

Hi K, thanks for your compliment :)
I am only now getting around to responding to comments...I must say it's been a bit hectic in the last week! I will definitely do a Magic Loop tutorial, and will include some suggestions re your question. I LOVE Magic Loop , it's the most awesome technique, and I try to use it for as much as possible. I am currently working on a Fair Isle teddy bear that has (up to now...) no seaming involved at all. It's all Magic Loop!! As I get time, I will add all these little things :) I appreciate your kindness, I hope you have a fabulous day! Warm regards
Heidi :)

Grammie G. said...

i just discovered your website. I
am so excited! I am just starting to knit, and have been crocheting for a couple of years. I know I missed some basics on crochet. I look forward to learning to knit with your instructions, and hopefully picking up the basics of crochet that I missed such that my patterns will come out right!! Thank you, Thank you!!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial. I am teaching myelf to knit and this is great.

Unknown said...

What a lovely blog. I enjoyed visiting today, and found your tuts very helpful.

Anonymous said...

I read a lot of blogs and websites, trying to find some straightforward instructions to help me knit my mum a jumper for Christmas. Yours was the first blog that actually helped! Clear and concise instructions. Thank you so much!

BHsiaLei (Chalet) said...

Thank you so much for such clear instructions. I am now enjoying to knit and purl.