Knitting for Beginners: Hints, Tips, and Lessons

How to do the Long Tail Cast On: Step by Step February 13 2015, 0 Comments, by Jen Hoang

Hi knitters,
Have you mastered casting on with two needles? The next stage of progression is try casting on with one needle, also referred to as Long Tail Cast on.

This technique is a much faster cast-on method and sturdier too. It may take a while to practice but once you've had a go it's just like playing cats cradle! The reason why this method is called 'Long-Tail' is because it uses up the yarn from the tail strand. This requires you to estimate the amount of yarn usage for casting on - as a gauge, we usually say however wide your intended knitting piece is multiply by four. So for example, if you knitting a hat and it's 22 cm wide, then try casting on with a 88cm long tail.

Beginners guide on knitting
How to cast on with one needle

Step 1
Make a slip knot. See our blog over here to learn how to make your first stitch.


Step 2

Grab both strands of yarn in the palm of your left hand and place your index finger and thumb through the strands by making an L-shape

Step 3

Bring the needle forward (1). Draw a loop through the strand of yarn on top of your thumb by going under and over (2) with the tip of your needle.

Step 4

Carrying that loop, draw another loop by going over and under the strand of yarn around your index finger (1). Bring the needle back under the yarn around your thumb and let the loop fall from under your thumb.

Step 5

Pull tight both ends of the yarn to tighten the stitch. You've made your stitch! Repeat steps 1-5 according to how many stitches you require.

 Need more help? Why not watch our video instead on how to cast on with one needle!

 


How to make a slip knot: your first stitch in knitting February 13 2015, 0 Comments, by Jennifer L

Your knitting journey starts with the slip knot, your first stitch! Here's how to make the slip knot in a few quick steps.

Step 1:
make a loop with the tail-end of the yarn on top

Step 2:
With your thumb and index finge
r, pass through the loop

Step 3:
Pinch the yarn end that is attach
ed to the ball

Step 4:
Now pull through the loop and pull again to tighten the knot

Voila you've made your first stitch! Simply place it onto your knitting needle and tighten it a bit so that it sits snug on the needle. Now you're all set to get knitting!



How to make quick pom poms from fork and yarn February 03 2015, 0 Comments, by Jen Hoang

Hi knitters,

There's no denying it...don't we all just love pom poms? Those little fluff balls of yarn look so cute whether it's on top of a beanie hat, slippers, or as tassels for a scarf, we love'em!

So here's a tutorial tip on how to create a fast pom pom with using just a fork and yarn - no cardboard required! Super easy, it's how we made the Lola Pom Slippers. This kit is perfect for knitters learning to knit as it teaches you all the basic in knitting include how to cast-on, cast off, increase and decrease, knit and purl! Grab your knit kit here.

Stitch & story knitted pom slippers coral

How to make a pom pom

how to make pom pom with fork and yarnStep 1.

Take an ordinary fork and wrap the yarn horizontally around it approximately 30-35 times.

Step 2.


Thread a scrap yarn through the bottom of the fork and tie off the wrap with a knot.

Step 3.


Pull the wrap off the fork and pull the knot tighter. Tie anther knot to secure.

Step 4.

Trim off the little loops around the pom to create a neat pom.

Voila!


Own your knitting! Top tips for beginners February 03 2015, 0 Comments, by Jennifer L

Hi Knitters,

Are you owning your knitting or is it owning you? Hopelessly tangled yarn, unravelling yarn ends, bumpy or loose tension, these could be just a few things that can make your knitting project not so fun! But don't worry - practice makes perfect and if you're a beginner knitter, here's some quick tips that I think every new knitter starting out should know - I sure wish someone had told me when I first started!

Stitch & story knitting tips yarn ballTip 1 - Stop your yarn ball from tangling easily by using the tail-end found inside the ball not the outside!

When starting a new ball, simply stick your fingers right inside the ball, dig around, and pull out the first clump of yarn - you'll find the tail end is tucked inside! Use this to start knitting and you'll never have a rolling ball ever again! It stays put and as your knitting grows, the ball will get smaller and look inflated! Total genius. :)


Tip 2 - Is your tail ends getting un-done even when you've sewed them in?

Try felting the tip of the tail or use your fingers to break up the strand after sewing. This will 'stick' better to the knitting and stop them from unravelling. After a little bit of wear your tail ends will become part and parcel of your finished item, no chance of them slipping loose!

Tip 3 - Get a stitch counter! Keep forgetting which row you're on? Or perhaps you're putting your knitting down and after a while, pick it up only to forget where you stopped last?

You can get these nifty row counters from any haberdashery counter. Every time you finish one row, change the number on the counter as you go along. If you're tech savvy, there are also a few stitch counter apps for your smart phone, or even the old fashion way of tally charts will help. Either way, you'll never forget where you last stopped!

 

Tip 4 - Always block your knitting.

This is to ensure your knitting is the correct measurement and also ensures you smooth out any lumps or bumps in your knitting. To 'block' simply means using a damp handkerchief or sheet of fabric and placing it over your knitted work and using a hot iron to press lightly on the work to relax the wool fibres.


Don't get into a terrible tangle - Yarn Bowl January 15 2015, 0 Comments, by Jennifer L

Getting into a terrible tangle is every knitter's nightmare but I find the best way to keep knitting tangle-free is using a yarn bowl. These are specifically made ceramic bowls with a clever little slot perfect for the yarn to glide through whilst you're knitting.

I love MaidOfClay bowls on Etsy, they come in various colours and can be personalised with your own name. And if you're like me and knit on the go, my travel version of a yarn bowl is an Ikea zip bag with a hole cut in one corner to thread the working yarn through. That way, there's less likelihood of the yarn getting everywhere in your handbag and getting tangled with your keys or purse.

But of course, never be afraid to cut the yarn if it gets too disastrous or you'll spend more time de-tangling than knitting!


Top: Hand-made bowl, Stitch & Story The Chunky Yarn
Bottom Right: : Ceramic Wool Yarn Bowl
Bottom Left: Knitting Yarn Bowl