Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Conventions Used in This Book 2

What You're Not to Read 3

Foolish Assumptions 3

How This Book Is Organized 3

Part I: Getting Ready to Knit 3

Part II: Knitting Primer 4

Part III: Techniques for the More Experienced Knitter 4

Part IV: Making Garments 4

Part V: The Part of Tens 5

Part VI: Appendixes 5

Icons Used in This Book 5

Where to Go from Here 6

Part I: Getting Ready to Knit 7

Chapter 1: Two Needles, a Ball of Yarn, and a Little Know-how 9

Why Knit? 9

Knitting up good karma 10

A feeling of accomplishment 10

Keeping your mind and hands occupied 10

Creating a one-of-a-kind piece 11

What Knitter's Need 11

The tools 12

An understanding of the basics 13

An understanding of knitterese 14

Teaching Yourself to Knit from a Book 15

Swatching 15

Putting it into practice 16

Chapter 2: Tools of the Trade 17

Yarn: The (Quick) Consumer's Guide 17

Fiber fundamentals 18

A weighty matter 21

Looking at yarn packaging 23

Choosing yarn for a project 26

Knitting Needles 28

Exploring needles 28

Sizing them up 30

The stuff they're made of 31

Gizmos and Gadgets 33

The essentials 33

Not necessary but nice to have 36

Blocking Equipment 38

Organizing Your Equipment 39

Chapter 3: Taking the Mystery Out of Patterns and Gauge 41

Reading Stitch Patterns 41

Deciphering Knitterese: Common abbreviations and shorthand 42

Following written stitch patterns 45

Reading charted stitch patterns 46

Gauge: Getting the Size Right 48

Things that affect gauge 49

Making a gauge swatch 51

Measuring your gauge 52

Matching your pattern's gauge 53

Designing with gauge in mind 53

Part U: Knitting Primer 55

Chapter 4: The Fundamentals: Casting On,

Knitting, Purling, and Binding Off 57

Casting On 58

Two-strand (or long-tail) cast-on 58

Cable cast-on (cable co) 61

Thumb (or e-loop) cast-on 63

Now You're Knitting and Purling 64

Knitting know-how 64

Perfect purling 67

Knitting and purling, Continental-style 68

Binding (or Casting) Off 73

Chapter 5: Basic Stitches You'll Use Again and Again 75

Stitches Every Knitter Should Know: Garter,

Stockinette, and Seed Stitches 75

Garter stitch 76

Stockinette stitch 77

Seed stitch 79

Ribbed Stitches 80

1 x 1 ribbing 80

2 x 2 ribbing 81

4 x 4 ribbing 83

Chapter 6: Techniques Every Knitter Should Know 85

Slipping Stitches 85

Making a Yarn Over 86

Between 2 knit stitches 87

Between a knit and a purl stitch 88

Between 2 purl stitches 88

Between a purl stitch and a knit stitch 89

Twisting Stitches: Knitting through the Back Loop 90

Working Increases 91

Bar increase 92

Working a make 1 92

Knitting into the stitch below 94

Making a double increase 95

Increasing at several points in a single row 96

Doing Decreases 97

Knitting 2 stitches together 97

Purling 2 stitches together 98

Slip, slip, knit 99

Pass slipped stitch over 100

Making double decreases 101

Chapter 7: Oops! Fixing Common Mistakes 103

Stopping Mistakes or Catching Them Early 103

Dealing with Dropped Stitches 104

Finding and securing a dropped stitch 105

Rescuing a dropped stitch in the row below 106

Rescuing a dropped stitch from several rows below 109

Ripping (Your Heart) Out 111

Ripping out stitch by stitch 112

Ripping out row by row 113

Chapter 8: Knitting in the Round 115

How Going in Circles Can Be a Good Thing 115

Choosing Needles for Circular Knitting 116

Casting On for Circular Knitting 117

Joining the Round 118

Joining on a circular needle 119

Joining on double-pointed needles 119

Tidying up the first and last stitches 120

Working Common Stitches in the Round 120

Using Steeks for a Clean Break 121

Sewing in a steek 121

Crocheting a steek 122

Cutting your fabric after you steek 122

Measuring Gauge in the Round 123

Chapter 9: Practicing with Simple Projects 125

Everywhere Bag in Garter Stitch 125

Materials and vital statistics 126

Directions 127

Variations 128

Wavy Scarf 130

Materials and vital statistics 131

Directions 131

Scalloped Scarf 132

Materials and vital statistics 132

Directions 132

Variations 133

Button Pillow 133

Materials and vital statistics 134

Directions 134

Variations 134

In-the-Round Projects 135

Modified Messenger Bag 135

Natasha Scarf 136

Three-way Hat 137

Part JJJ: Techniques for the More Experienced Knitter 141

Chapter 10: Stripes — Yipes! 143

The Story on Stripes 143

Textured Stripes, or How to Stand Out in a Crowd 144

Reverse stockinette stitch stripes 145

Garter stitch stripes 146

Knitting Colorful Stripes 147

Picking colors for your project 147

Counting rows 148

Joining colors 148

Dealing with old colors and loose ends 149

Stirring Up Stripes: Combining Texture and Color 151

Varying your stitch pattern 151

Making waves 152

Stripe any which way 152

Practice Projects 152

Bold and Bright Scarf 153

Garter Ridge Scarf 154

Wristlets 156

Knit-in-the-Round Bag 157

Chapter 11: Cable Musings and Interesting Twists 159

Cable Basics 159

Twisting to the right or left 160

Reading cable charts 160

Checking gauge in a cable pattern 162

A Cornucopia of Cables 162

Standard (rope) cable 163

Open cable 164

Double cable 166

Wave cable 167

Chain cable 168

Honeycomb cable 168

Braid cable 169

Varying a cable 170

Making Twists 170

Twisting to the right 171

Twisting to the left 172

Practice Cable Projects 174

Cable Hat with Pompoms 174

Horseshoe Cable Hand Warmers 176

Lengthwise Cable Scarf 177

Chapter 12: Let the Sun Shine In: Knitting Lace 179

Reading Lace Charts 180

Yarn-over increase and decrease symbols 180

No-stitch symbol 181

Knitting Different Kinds of Lace 182

Eyelet patterns 184

Open lace patterns 185

Faggot lace 187

Incorporating Lace into Other Pieces 188

Lace insertions 188

Lace edgings 190

Avoiding and Correcting Mistakes When Working Lace Patterns 190

Finding the error 191

Ripping out lace 192

Blocking Lace 193

Practice Lace Projects 193

Scarf with Faggot Lace 193

Felted Scarf in Horseshoe Lace 194

Chapter 13: Fair Isle and Intarsia Techniques 197

Knitting Fair Isle 197

Charting the Fair Isles 198

General rules for successful Fair Isle knitting 201

One handed or two? Ways to work Fair Isle 202

Catching floats 205

Getting into Intarsia 206

Charting intarsia 206

Knitting intarsia 207

Using intarsia in motifs 209

Ending the Ends 209

Weaving as you go: The quick method 210

Weaving in later: The slow method 210

Practice Projects 210

Everyday Bag in Triangle Pattern 210

Intarsia Pillow 213

Part IV: Making Garments 215

Chapter 14: Anatomy of a Sweater Pattern 217

Picture This: Studying the Garment Photo 217

The Pattern at a Glance 218

How hard is "easy"? Level of difficulty 219

How big is "big"? Knitted measurements 219

Materials 220

Gauge 221

Special pattern stitches 221

Schematics and charts 222

Knitting instructions 224

Finishing 224

Chapter 15: How to Knit a Sweater, Step by Step 225

Gathering Your Materials 226

Picking a pattern 226

Yarn 226

Needles 227

Other supplies to have handy 227

Before You Cast On 228

Step 1: Pick a size, any size 228

Step 2: Find your gauge 229

Knitting the back 231

Knitting the front 234

Putting the front and back together 236

Knitting sleeves 236

The Big Picture: Keeping Track of Where You Are 238

Chapter 16: Getting It Together: Blocking and

Assembling Your Pieces 241

Tying Up Loose Ends 242

Weaving them up the sides 242

Weaving the ends horizontally 243

Weaving ends into a bound-off edge 245

Better Blocking 246

Getting your blocking equipment together 247

Steam, dunk, or spray? Deciding which blocking method to use 248

Wet blocking 249

Wet blocking identical pieces 251

Spray blocking 252

Steam blocking 252

Three-dimensional blocking 253

Basic Techniques for Joining Pieces 253

Three-needle bind-off (head to head) 254

Grafting stitches (the Kitchener stitch) 256

Mattress stitch 261

Sewing seams with backstitch 263

Determining the Order of Sweater Assembly 265

Joining back to front at the shoulder 265

Attaching a sleeve to a sweater body 266

Making side and sleeve seams 267

Chapter 17: Finishing Touches: Neckbands,

Edging, Buttonholes, and More 269

Pick Up and Go 269

Picking up stitches along a horizontal edge 270

Picking up stitches on a vertical edge 271

Picking up stitches on a diagonal or curved edge 272

Picking up: A reality check 273

Bring on the Bands 274

Bottoms up! Vertical bands 274

Horizontal picked-up bands 275

Hole in One: Buttonholes 277

All-purpose horizontal buttonhole 277

Simple vertical buttonhole 279

Round (eyelet) buttonhole 280

Button Up! 282

Plotting button placement 282

So happy together: Keeping your buttons buttoned 283

Sewing on buttons 283

Chapter 18: Starter Garments 285

Your First Sweater: Easy Top-Down Raglan 285

Materials and vital statistics 286

Directions 286

Finishing 287

Baby's Layette 287

Cardigan 288

Booties 290

Hat 291

Blanket 292

Toggle Jacket 293

Materials and vital statistics 294

Directions 295

Variations 300

Part V: The Part of Tens 303

Chapter 19: Ten (Plus One) Unkinking Exercises for Knitters 305

One Way to Relax Your Neck Muscles 305

Five Ways to Slough Stress from Your Shoulders and Arms 306

Five Ways to Relax Your Hands and Wrists 306

Chapter 20: Ten Quick Knitting Projects and Gift Ideas 309

Large-Gauge Wrist Warmers 309

Materials 309

Directions 310

Log Cabin Swatch Pot Holder 310

Materials 310

Directions 310

Swatch Scarf 311

Materials 311

Directions 312

Braided Novelty Yarn Scarf 312

Materials 312

Directions 312

Make Your Own Knit Journal 313

Materials 313

Directions 314

Recycled Sweater Mittens 315

Materials 315

Directions 315

Thrift Store Sweater Bag 316

Materials 316

Directions 316

Drink Cozy 317

Materials 317

Directions 317

Felted Checkbook Cover 318

Knitted Flower Pin 318

Materials 319

Directions 319

Part VI: Appendixes 321

Appendix A: More Stitches and Cool Effects 323

Moss Stitch 323

Double Seed Stitch 324

Basketweave Stitch 324

Double Basket Pattern 325

Twisted Rib and Garter Stitch Check 327

Ripple Stitch 327

Diamond Brocade 328

Guernsey Knit-Purl Pattern 329

Bobbles 330

Chevron 332

Fancy Ribs 333

Mistake stitch ribbing 333

Interrupted rib 334

Diagonal ribbing 334

Fisherman's rib 335

Appendix B: Knitting Resources 337

Online Resources 337

Beginner Web sites 337

Yarn, supplies, patterns, and more 338

Online sites for knitting magazines 338

Online audiobooks and technique demonstrations 338

Software 339

Magazines 339

Knitting Supply Sources 340

Index 341

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