Learn to Knit - Abbreviations
These are standard abbreviations that may appear in patterns on redheart.com. Any abbreviations specific to a pattern will be given at the beginning of the pattern.
Learn to Knit - Working from a Pattern
Before picking up needles and yarn, sit down and read through the pattern you will be using. Patterns are written in a language of their own, and this will help you become familiar with special stitches and abbreviations. Although not all publications use the same abbreviations, the terminology will become familiar with a read-through.
Learn to Knit - Assembly
When assembling finished project pieces, use a large-eye, blunt-tip yarn needle and the same yarn you have used for knitting the project to sew the seams. If the yarn is very bulky or textured, use a finer, smooth yarn in a matching color for sewing. The Mattress Stitch is perfect for joining seams. The Kitchener Stitch (grafting) is used to join the toe of a sock to avoid a seam
Learn to Knit - Finishing
The importance of proper finishing should never be overlooked. The time and care it takes to knit a garment or blanket will be wasted if necklines are sloppy or if blocking isn't done when the piece needs it; and good finishing is the difference between "homemade" and "hand-made."
Learn to Knit - Dropped Stitches
A dropped stitch need not be devastating—it's an easy problem to fix if you catch it within a few rows of the drop. If you don't see it until several inches have been worked, there will not be enough yarn around the dropped stitches to fix the problem, and the best solution is to unravel the knitting back to the dropped stitch and reknit these rows.
Learn to Knit - Knitting with 4 Needles
Knitting with four double-point needles forms a seamless piece in areas that are too small for circular needles, such as socks and mittens. Double-point needles have points on both ends, allowing the stitches to slide off either end so that you can knit in the round.
Learn to Knit - Joining New Yarn
To prevent unsightly knots, join new yarn at the beginning of a row wherever possible. To make a perfect join at the end of a row, simply drop the old yarn, tie the new yarn around it and start the next row with the new yarn (see illustration). Untie the knot and securely weave in the yarn ends at finishing. If it is impossible to avoid joining new yarn in the middle of a row, try one of these methods.
Learn to Knit - Cables
Whether simple or complex, cable patterns add depth and texture to your knitting, and they are not hard to learn. Use a cable needle to cross one group of stitches over the front another, or move them across the background fabric. The pattern will provide details on where to place and and how to cross the cables. The Cable 4 instructions following are an example.
Learn to Knit - Bind Off
When your knitted piece is finished, binding off closes the stitches so that they do not unravel when taken off the needles.
Learn to Knit - Knit Increases
There are several ways to increase, and each method adds extra stitches to the row unless they are paired with compensating decreases. Increasing is used whenever a knitted piece needs to be wider, such as sleeve shaping. Unless the pattern specifies otherwise, knit into the front and back of a stitch to increase, as both Make 1 Stitch and Yarn Over methods of increasing can leave small holes in the work.
Learn to Knit - Knit Decreases
Decreasing stitches makes your knitted piece narrower. Decreases are used for sleeve caps, neckline shaping, shaping the crown of a hat, etc., and are paired with yarn over increases in lace knitting.
Learn to Knit - Ribbing
Ribbing forms a stretchy band and is usually found at the bottoms of sweaters, sleeves, neckbands, hat brims and mitten cuffs, and at the tops of socks. When worked as an edging, ribbing is generally worked with smaller needles than the main body of the garment to keep the edges firm and elastic.
Learn to Knit - Slip Stitch
It is often necessary to slip (sl) a stitch from one needle to the other without actually knitting or purling it. This method is often used in shaping or within a stitch pattern. The pattern will specify whether to slip the stitch knitwise (as if to knit) or purlwise (as if to purl). The working yarn should be held behind the work in both cases unless the pattern specifies otherwise.
Learn to Knit - Stockinette Stitch
In stockinette stitch, the knit rows are the right side of the work and each stitch resembles a "V". In reverse stockinette stitch, the purl rows are the right side of the work.
Learn to Knit - Purl Stitch
When all the stitches on the left-hand needle have been transferred to the right-hand needle, turn the work and place the needle with the stitches on it to the left hand to start the next row.
Learn to Knit - Cast On
Broken down in very simple terms, knitting is just a matter of transferring loops from one needle to another. To get started, you'll need to put loops on one needle, and that process of creating loops is called casting on.
Learn How to Knit - Slip Knot
A slip knit is the starting point of everything you do in knitting and is the basis for the cast on.