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How to Start a Knitting Project: Everything You Need to Know to Start a New Knitting Project

Apr.24.2021
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How to Start a Knitting Project

If you have always wanted to learn to knit but didn’t know how to get started, this article is the place to read up on how to get started in a fun and easy way. To begin your very first knitting project will require a little bit of patience and acceptance that what you make might not come out perfect, but it will be the first step of many in creating beautiful pieces of knitted clothing, accessories, or items that you and your loved ones will adore. We will give you a step by step guide on how to learn knitting and create your very first knitting project. For a first knitting project, we suggest that you make something simple that allows you to practice all of the steps of knitting so that you can then move on to bigger and better things. For this tutorial, you will learn to knit a small square which can be used for many purposes or simply used as a practice tool for improving your knitting skills.

Knitting Terms Explained

There are a few very important knitting terms that you will need to know and understand in order to begin knitting as a hobby. Casting on is the first. “Casting on” is the process of starting your knitting project by literally casting your yarn onto your knitting needle in order to begin knitting any project you wish to create. Knitting is a method of weaving yarn using knitting needles, which is slightly different from pearling, another knitting method, and crocheting which is different from knitting altogether. “Casting off” or binging off is the process that you must do in order to remove your knitting from the needles for it to be complete. Finally, weaving in the ends is the way to incorporate any loose or remaining bits of yarn from your casting off into the piece you’ve created so there are no loose ends.

What Do You Need to Start Knitting:

first knitting project

To begin your very first knitting project you are going to need a few materials that you can purchase from any craft store or order online. For the first project, we suggest that you try knitting a simple knit square. This will be a small piece of knitted work that can be used as a coaster or a patch to add to a blanket or any number of things once you’ve completed one you’re happy with. A simple knit square will require:

  • knitting needles, we recommend about 10-inch needles
  • Yarn (either synthetic or wool yarn)
  • Scissors
  • A crochet hook or blunt-ended large sewing needle for the final step

How to Start Knitting

The first thing you will need to know how to do if you want to know how to begin knitting is learning how to cast on. Learning how to cast on isn’t too difficult, but it is very important and you will need to know how to do it for every knitting project you undertake. There are lots of videos on the internet that can be extremely helpful guides on how to cast on knitting for beginners. The best thing to do to learn how to cast on is to watch a video like this one on how to cast on for complete beginners and practice it with your yarn and needles. First, you will need to make a slipknot, which will be the first stitch of the 12 that you should create for the first row of your knitting project. Once you have made the slipknot, take up some of the slack yarn and form a loop over your left hand. Then, using the tip of the needle in your right hand (the one that has the slip knot on it) put the needle through the loop in your left hand and then pull the loop and the slack yarn so that the loop becomes a small and tight loop on the needle in your right hand. Repeat this step 11 times for a total of 12 castings on stitches with the inclusion of the first slipknot. This will be the foundation of your knitting project, so be as vigilant and concentrated as you can for this first step. There are several different methods of casting on, but the easiest way and what is considered to be the best for beginners is the knit cast-on technique. This will be helpful for learning how to cast on as well as how to knit stitch.

Beginning Instructions on How to Knit the First Row:

Now that you know how to start the first row of knitting by casting on, you are ready to learn how to knit the first row. To knit the first row, you will want to hold the needle with the casting on stitches in your non-dominant hand so that you can use your dominant hand to do the knit stitching. To begin knitting from your casting on stitches, the process will be similar to the process you took to make the casting on stitches. You will simply need to take the needle in your dominant hand and send it through the top loop of your casting off stitches to pick up that stitch. Pick up the stitch from front to back. Then you will want to wrap the slack yarn around that stitch in a counter-clockwise direction. Once you have done that, pull the needle through the loop you just made and let the original casting on stitch slide onto your non-dominant hand’s needle.

Beginning Instructions on How to Knit the Second Row

Now that you’ve got the first row down, you might be wondering how to knit the second row. Knitting the second row and continuing to knit more rows will be essentially the same process as knitting the first row, the only thing you need to make sure of is that you switch your needles to be able to use your dominant hand to knit stitch which your non-dominant hand does more of the secure holding of the needle with the rest of your work on it. After each row, simply turn your project so that you can begin a new row of stitches until you have reached the length or size of fabric that you desire.

Knitting How to Cast Off:

how to begin knitting

Once you have knit your first project to your desired length, it is time to bind off or cast off. Learning How to bind off knitting or How to cast off knitting is almost the last step in your very first knitting process. Learning how to bind off in knitting takes a tiny bit more concentration than regular knitting, but you will pick the pattern up quickly, and then it will become super easy. First, you will want to knit two stitches as you have been. Then you take the non-dominant hand’s needle and pick up the first stitch and slide it over the second stitch, leaving only one stitch on the dominant hand’s needle. Continue with this pattern until you are down to just one stitch on the dominant hand’s needle. Cut off some excess yarn from the ball and tie up that last stitch so that your project is just about finished and all that you have left to do is weave in the ends.

How to Weave in the Ends of Knitting:

The final thing you will need to know how to do for your first project is to learn how to weave the ends in knitting. To weave in the ends you will need your crochet hook or your blunt-ended sewing needle from the materials list. Weaving in the ends will make your final product look neat, tidy, and professional. To do this you simply need to take your needle or your crochet hook to sew the loose piece of yarn into the stitches so that no threads are left hanging and looking unkempt. Once you have done that you should have a perfect neat square or rectangle.

What If My First Project Doesn’t Look Perfectly Neat?

The fact of the matter is if this is your very first project, so it might not turn out perfectly or look exactly how you expected it to when you set off on your first knitting adventure. The only thing that will improve the quality of your knitting and the neatness of your end results is practice. This is why we start off with a small project such as a square or a small rectangle for beginners so that we don’t waste too much material but we get the hang of what knitting is like so that there can be improvements in the future.

There are many things that you can create or embellish using this square that you just made. You could make a lot more squares and knit the squares together to make a scarf or a bag or even a quilt. You could make a baby blanket, a dishcloth, a pillow cover and so much more. If you want to use the square as it is you could use it as a coaster or sew it onto something as a colorful patch or pop of texture.

Once you know the knitting basics you will be able to keep knitting in more and more advanced ways. You can take on big knitting projects with many different knitting patterns and complete them with ease and enjoyment. You can learn how to purl as well as how to knit so that you can make more complex and intricate patterns including hats, socks, different kinds of quilts, sweaters and so much more. If you want to really get into knitting as a hobby or if you just like to do it as a relaxing pass time there can be a lot of joy and cool creations to be derived from learning how to knit. Now that you’ve taken on this first project, you are on your way to becoming a skilled knitter and being able to knit anything you could dream about. All it takes is a bit of yarn and practice. Happy knitting!

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