Learn to Knit - Gauge
Gauge is the number of stitches (and spaces) per inch and the number of rows (or rounds) per inch. In many patterns, gauge is specified over 4".
Learn to Knit - Pattern Repeats and Multiples
Most stitch patterns are made up of sets of stitches that are repeated across the row, and a certain number of rows that are repeated throughout the length of the fabric. If the pattern is symmetrical, it is important that each row begins and ends in the same way to balance the row. For example, if the row begins "K5, P1, K3" it should end "K3, P1, K5". This ensures that when a seam is joined, the pattern matches on either side of the seam.
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 - Kitchener Stitch
Kitchener stitch invisibly grafts two pieces of knitting together through the live working stitches. This technique is frequently used to close the toe of socks or the tips of mittens.
Learn to Knit - Mattress Stitch Seam
Mattress stitch is worked with the right side side up and becomes invisible from the right side when finished.
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 - Picking up Stitches
When the main part of a project is finished, sometimes it is necessary to pick up stitches around an edge to create a border. This is frequently done around the neck of a sweater to create a neck band or around the edge of an afghan or throw to create a border.
Learn to Knit - Weave in Ends
The first step of finishing is weaving in the yarn ends. Securely woven ends will not unravel during washing and pop out on the front of your project. You will always have at least two ends to weave in—the excess yarn at the beginning cast on edge and the excess yarn after the bind off. If your project uses many colors or combines different types of yarn, you will have more ends to weave in.
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 - Cable 4 Front
On a right side row, work to the position of the cable panel and slip the next 2 stitches to the cable needle. Hold the stitches on the cable needle at the front of the work. Knit the next 2 stitches from left-hand needle.
Learn to Knit - Cable 4 Back
This basic cable usually consists of a certain number of stitches in stockinette stitch against a reverse stockinette stitch background. A Cable 4 Back twists to the right.
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 - Eyelet Increase or Yarn Overs
An extra stitch can also be formed by making a loop wrapped around the right needle between two stitches which is then knitted or purled on subsequent rows. This wrap forms a small hole that is used as a decorative touch, a small buttonhole and in knitted lace.