Knit stitch

Hold the needle with the cast-on stitches in your left 1 Insert the tip of the right needle through the first stitch from front to back. Take the yarn round the back and under the right needle then over between the needles. Raise your right index finger to keep the yarn's tension as you do this. 2 Retract the right needle, helping it with a little push from the tip of your left index finger. Dip the right needle under the stitch taking the loop of yarn with it. Slide the original stitch to the...

Beachbag or large shopper

This large bag is knitted using mesh stitch with cotton tape on big needles. Decide on a shopping or beach trip and knit the bag you need in a couple of days. The openwork style makes this particularly good for carrying damp beach clothes and towels. This number of stitches makes a big 40cm x 40cm bag but the same pattern can be used to make a smaller version - simply cast on fewer stitches and follow the same instructions. The bag is very easy to line. Simply cut two pieces of fabric to match...

Castingon tips

1 Check that you keep the same tension as you cast on by pulling the yarn to firm up each stitch. Not too tight, though - remember you want a snug fit when you slide the other needle in to knit another cast-on stitch. If you have to force the needle into the loop it is too tight and if it drops out easily it is too loose. 2 It is worth being ruthless about the quality of your casting on. If your cast-on row looks uneven or too loopy then start again. You may be desperate to get on with your...

Making the pompom

Cut out two circles of card measuring 12cm across (diameter). Cut a 3cm circle out of the middle of each one to make two rings. Cut several 2m lengths of pink and white yarn and use the needle to thread the yarn double. Hold the two rings together as you wind the yarn evenly around them until the hole in the middle fills up. Insert the point of the scissors at the edge between the two pieces of card and cut through the yarn all around the outside edge. Pull the two circles just slightly apart...

Blending the hem into the garment

When you have worked to the same depth as the hem, at the end of a knit row, fold the hem up and pick up and purl a stitch from the cast-on edge with each stitch from the left needle. Alternatively, finish off the hem by turning it up and using the same wool to slip stitch it to the back of the work, as shown in Figure 3.9.

Eyelet buttonholes

These are most usually used for baby clothes. They are small, neat round holes made by wrapping the yarn round the needle (yrn), then knitting the following two stitches together (kltog). See Figure 3.11 for more explanation of thr two manoevres. The following row is worked as normal.

The English method

The English method is used to demonstrate the stitches in this book. Hold the needle with the cast-on stitches in the palm of your left hand with your thumb across the stitches. Keep the stitches 10-15cm from the needle point too near the point you risk losing them too far away you will need to stretch the yarn as you knit. Wind the yarn around the fingers of your right hand as shown in Figure 2.1. Hold the right needle between your thumb and index finger so that the needle lies on top of your...

Siesta pillow

Use this whenever you want to take a catnap. This little cushion would make a perfect gift for a friend who is inclined to take a little siesta after lunch. The pattern is easy to knit and the alphabet is a very simple one suitable for a beginner. The two colours used here create a vibrant contrast (a bit more fiesta than siesta) but the effect can be softened by choosing softer harmonizing colours like pink and lilac. Two 50g balls of main colour red 4 ply mercerized cotton One 50g ball of...

Casting on with four needles

When you knit in the round using four double-pointed needles, the stitches are divided equally across three of them and the fourth is the working needle. In some countries, it is more common to knit in the round with five needles. This method is only suitable for knitting tubes, where it has two advantages that there are no seams to be sewn and, for stocking stitch, that you only need to work in knit stitch not purl. Fairisle patterns with lots of colour changes are done this way. Cast on using...

Figure Picot hem method

At the beginning of the row, cast on an extra two stitches. Cast off these two stitches knitting into them as you would in a normal cast off. Cast off one or two or more stitches in the normal way depending on the gaps you want between the picots. Return the remaining stitch on the right needle to the left needle and cast on two stitches. Cast off these two stitches and repeat to the end of the row. Method 2 Worked at the beginning of the knitting Cast on and work 2.5cm in stocking stitch. Make...

Garter stitch scarf

As soon as you have learned to hold the wool and the needles comfortably and can do the basic knit stitch you are ready to knit a scarf. Plain knit garter stitch is ideal for scarves because it knits up flat and has plenty of stretch. A simple hand-knitted scarf is comforting in a way that a bought one could never be and if you make a nice long one you will be practising and improving your knitting rhythm and making something at the same time. The more you knit in each knitting session the...

Decreasing on the outside edge

Simple decreasing at the start of the outside edge is done by slipping the first stitch then knitting the second and passing the slipped stitch over it. To decrease more than one stitch, slip the first, knit the next two or three together then pass the slipped stitch If the edge is to be sewn up as a seam then the last two stitches in the row can simply be knitted together. If a neater edge is required use this method instead at the end of the row, do not work the last stitch but slip it onto...

Sewing up seams Sewing up edgetoedge seams

This is the method to use for lightweight garments as it forms no ridge and if done carefully, it will be virtually invisible. Lie the two sections face down, side by side so that the rows and stitches are aligned. Thread the needle with a single strand of matching yarn and sew through the centre of adjacent stitches, taking the needle back to complete the stitch then a matching length forward to make a new stitch. Keep the stitches the same size and do not pull the yarn too tight. Thread a...

Holding the yarn

Looping the yarn around the fingers of your right hand creates a controlled tension for feeding the wool through to the needles as you knit. Mastering this will help you to produce neat, even tensioned knitting. Weave the wool around your little finger (the pinkie) then under your ring and middle fingers and over your index finger. Use your pinkie to feed and adjust the tension of the wool. Persevere so that this comes naturally and your knitting will be faster, more even and more rhythmic...

Making the cord

Fold the cord in half and fasten the folded end to a surface with the drawing pin. Roll the other two thread ends together in the same direction until they twist together and begin to curl up. Keeping the twisted yarn taut, fold it firmly in half and join the end you are holding to the pinned end. The cord will twist and wind around itself. Fasten the ends with a knot. This is where you take the applause. Bravo

Picking up stitches to knit

This is the neatest way to add collars, cuffs or an edging band without the tedious business of knitting a narrow band and sewing it on later. Knit the first and last stitches of every row. figure 3.3 Picking up stitches from an edge Divide the edge into equal sections, marking their position with pins. This will enable you to pick up evenly along the edge. Knit the first and last stitches of every row. figure 3.3 Picking up stitches from an edge Divide the edge into equal sections, marking...

Figure A vertical buttonhole

Knit to the point where the buttonhole opening is required. Move the stitches that remain on the left needle onto a stitch holder. Turn the work and knit several rows using the remaining stitches. When your buttonhole is deep enough, finish at the edge of the work and break the yarn. Place this section on a stitch holder or safety pin until you need the stitches again. Transfer the stitches that are being rested on the stitch holder back onto a needle and work with them until the two sides are...

Knitting on four needles

Starting off is the most awkward part. Cast the stitches onto a single needle first, then divide them equally between three needles. Alternatively, cast a third onto one needle then move to a second needle and then a third, casting an equal number of stitches onto each one. Form the needles into a triangle with the first and last stitch adjacent. Make sure that none of the cast-on edges has become twisted on the needles. Knit the first stitch keeping the yarn as tight as possible then continue...

Making the fringe

Measure the length to be fringed and divide it into equal sections marked with pins. Decide on the number of tassels per section. Fold the strands in half and use the crochet hook to pull the folded loops through to the other side of the knitting along the cast-off row. Now draw the long strands through this loop and pull up tightly to the top. Repeat along the edge making the same number of tassels per section and always working from the same side. Trim the fringe with sharp scissors. In this...

The twoneedle method

1 Hold the needle with the first slip-knot stitch in your left hand. Hold the right-hand needle as if you were holding a pen with the wool feeding over between the knuckles of your right hand. Insert the right needle through the stitch on the left. 2 Wrap the yarn under the right needle. 3 Slide the needle back drawing the yarn through the stitch. You have now knitted your first cast-on stitch and can repeat this procedure to make as many stitches as you need.

Knitting needles

Choose from plastic, aluminium or bamboo needles. We all prefer one sort to another and you need to knit with them to make your mind up. Needles are sold in a range of different sizes and lengths. These are lightweight and slightly bendy. Buy high-quality named brands because cheaper needles have too much 'give' in them. The small plastic needles do not suit heavyweight garments but the larger sized needles are tubular and very strong. They come in a range of bright colours - especially the...

The basics

Being a beginner is always frustrating. You see the possibilities and want to progress as quickly as possible. A short time spent learning how to hold the needles and the wool at this stage will make you a much more efficient knitter for life. It may seem uncomfortable at first but if you hold the needles and the wool properly your knitting will develop a rhythm and grow much faster. Once you have a confident rhythm going you will be able to relax and take your eye off the ball. Watch...

How to follow a pattern

Knitting patterns are set out in a standard way. The key ingredients at the start of the pattern are sizing, yarn requirements, needle size, tension and abbreviations. The pattern has been designed to fit an average size for an adult or an average aged child. This measurement will appear first in the pattern followed by another square-bracketed series of numbers referring to gradual increases Double knitting wool Number of balls required 6 6 Tension 22 stitches and 28 rows per 10cm square...

Using bobbins

When working on a multicoloured design with patches of colour, it is more practical and easier to use small lengths of yarn wound onto bobbins kept at the back of the work, as opposed to using separate balls, which inevitably become intertwined. Plastic butterfly-shaped bobbins are specifically made for this purpose and can be bought from any wool supplier or you could cut them out of cardboard. The yarn is stranded loosely across the back of the work, worked over multiples of four stitches....

Making up

Thread a length of green cotton onto a wide-eyed needle and sew up the bag beginning at the top and working down the side seam and across the base. Secure the yarn and weave it into the work. Stitch the strap securely to the top of the bag so that it sits across the side seam. Weave the remaining thread into the knitting on the inside of the bag. The bag will be even more useful if you make a cotton lining. Add 4cm both ways to the actual measurements of the bag. Cut out two pieces of fabric...

Using markers

When you knit in the round, it is sometimes difficult to see where the rounds begin and this is, of course, important when you come to count them. The simplest way to keep track is to place a coloured marker in front of the first stitch and move it up the work as you knit. If you are knitting the body of a sweater it is also useful to place a marker at the halfway point so that you can distinguish the 'front' from the 'back' of the work.

Casting off

This is the most common way to cast off stitches. If you are working in rib, remember to keep knitting the plain and purl stitches for the cast-off row. See the diagram below. 1 Work the first two stitches as usual then use the point of the left needle to lift the first stitch over the second and off the end of the needle. 2 Now, knit one more stitch and do the same again, working just one stitch each time until a single stitch remains. Break the yarn and thread the end through this stitch and...

Most familiar yarns

2, 3 and 4 ply - fine yarn, 2-3.5mm needles Sock wool - ultrafine yarn, 2-3mm needles Double-knitting (DK) - versatile medium weight easy knitting yarn, 4-5mm needles Chunky - about double the weight of DK, 6-8mm Super-chunky - double the weight of chunky size, 10-15mm needles. how to make the first stitch how to knit various stitches how to knit a tension square.

Tasselled hat for a new baby

Many of us first feel the urge to knit when we or our friends have babies. It is a fact that people who have never given knitting a thought before suddenly feel the urge to pick up a pair of needles and knit hats and booties. It must be something vaguely biological that precedes the urge to push Few can resist the lure of knitting in miniature as everything takes less time, less yarn and earns the most applause. Babies also look incredibly cute in beanie hats. The instructions here are for a...

Tension

20 stitches x 32 rows to make a 10cm square. Pattern Cast on 90 stitches. The thumb method will give a neat elastic edge. Divide these evenly onto three needles so that each has 30 stitches. Hold the needles in a triangle and use the fourth needle to begin knitting. Pull the wool quite firmly when making the first stitch to avoid any loop forming at the join. The beginning of the round can be marked with a coloured marker ring or by noting the position of the cast-on tail end. The hat is shaped...

Jeansstyle hat

The denim yarn used for this hat is designed to fade the way jeans do and the orange cotton detail of the hat mimics the seam stitching of blue jeans. The pattern is knitted on two needles with a back seam but four double-pointed needles or a circular needle could be substituted if you prefer not to do any sewing up. This hat is a beanie style with a rolled edge that doesn't cover the ears. For those whose ears are prone to feel the cold, work the straight section at least 10cm longer before...

Designing your own chart

Once you have experimented and have become familiar with chart reading you may want to have a go at designing something of your own. You will need a sheet of tracing paper, a rule, pencil and your pattern motif, letter or numeral to be translated into knitting. You will also need to relate the design to your knitting. Knit a tension square using rhe same yarn and needle size to be used for the design. Count the knitted stitches and relate them to the squares on the chart to get a clear idea of...

Adding a fringe

Cut multiple strands of yarn into twice the depth you want for the fringe. These are 40cm in length to create a 20cm fringe. Divide them into groups of three strands and fold these in half. Use the crochet hook to draw the folded ends through spaces between stitches in the row above the cast-off edge and make a loop. Use the crochet hook to draw the long strands through this loop. Pull them up firmly to make a knot at the top. Repeat this at regular intervals along the same side of the work....

Crochet casting off

A crochet hook of the same gauge as the needles is used to cast off in a chain stitch, which gives a neat, firm and decorative edge to the work. It can be worked in a contrasting colour to finish off a hat or a blanket. 1 Begin by using the crochet hook as you would the right knitting needle and knit the first two stitches from the left needle. 2 Now, use the crochet hook in its conventional way to draw the yarn through those two stitches. 3 You now have one new stitch on the crochet hook. Knit...

Backstitching side seams

This method is better for chunkier garments, rib stitch and where you have added a special selvedge edge that is different from the main body of the garment pattern. This is most similar to the seams you make when working with fabrics. Place the two pieces together with their right sides facing. Line up the needles holding the two sections in your left hand with the needle points facing the same way. Use the spare needle in your right hand to knit through a stitch from both needles at the same...

To make a rightsloping decrease

Slip one knitwise, knit the second, then pass the slipped stitch over it. Then move the stitch back to the left needle and pass the next left stitch over it before moving it onto the right needle. Be assured that these initially perplexing instructions will soon become familiar as they form the basis of all shaping and most decorative openwork patterns in knitting.

Working from a chart

A chart is used to make a picture of the pattern or motif to be knitted. This is the easiest way to explain colour changes and to count stitches. Knitting charts are direct descendants of tapestry or Berlin workcharts where each square represented a stitch embroidered on a framed canvas. When knitting, each square of the grid represents a stitch. The pattern is marked out in colours or alphabetically labelled with a key to relate the colours to the letters. Charts are read from the bottom...

The ball

Six different coloured balls of cotton DK yarn Washable toy filling Pair size 3.75mm needles Pair of scissors Sewing-up needle figure 5.9 Simple shapes for baby's hands Row 2 cast on 1 k2 cast on 1 (4 stitches). Row 3 p. Row 4 cast on 1 k4 cast on 1 (6 stitches). Row 5 p. Row 6 cast on 1 k6 cast on 1 (8 stitches). Row 7 p. Row 8 cast on 1 k8 cast on 1 (10 stitches). Row 9 p. Row 10 cast on 1 klO cast on 1 (12 stitches). Work eight rows in st st (k one row p one row). Continue in stocking stitch...

How to measure

Pattern dimensions will be listed but it is also a good idea to take the measurements of the lucky person you are knitting for - and that includes yourself. Chest straight across the back under the arms and across the fullest part of the chest. Shoulder from the tip of the shoulder to the base of the neck. Neck around the neck at collar level. Armhole depth from top of shoulder to 2.5cm below the armhole. Underarm to waist from 2.5cm below armpit to natural waistline. Hip around the fullest...

Changing needle size

The size of the needles used with the same yam will change the size of the sample quite dramatically. The examples show three yarn weights knitted on fine 2mm needles and again on large 6mm needles. If your tension sample has more stitches than the stated number per 10cm, try knitting another sample on needles that are one size larger. If you have fewer stitches than the stated number, then try knitting another sample on needles that are one size smaller. Fine weight Medium weight Double...

How to weave the yarn in knit and purl rows

This method is best used when you are working over a larger number of stitches per colour. Instead of stranding the wool straight across behind the row, it is caught by the working yarn after three or four stitches at the back of the work and carried along with it to be taken up in the right place for the next colour change. It is easier to work with two hands. The knitting is done with yarn held in the right hand as usual and the weaving is done with yarn from the left hand. Insert the right...

Slipped chain edge

This is used with garter stitch where the edges are to be sewn together as a seam or when stitches are to be picked up and knitted as a border. The terms 'knitwise' and 'purlwise' explain the direction to insert the needle when you slip a stitch. Hold the yarn at the front of the work and slip the first stitch in every row purlwise, then take the yarn to the back and knit in the usual way.

Knitting tips and how to progress

Once you feel comfortable with your knitting and have practised a variety of stitches, you will be ready to branch out and choose a pattern, buy the yarn and make something wonderful. Caution is urged This is a make-or-break phase in your knitting future. It will be far more satisfying (and also less expensive) to knit simple garments successfully than to struggle with an over-ambitious pattern. Having to abandon a project is demoralizing but we have all done it - put it on top of the wardrobe...

Figure The thumb method of casting on

1 The first slip-knot stitch is made approximately lm along the length of the yarn, although the length you need depends on the number of stitches being cast on. As a rough guide use lm for every 100 stitches. 2 Holding the short end of the yarn in your left hand, wrap it round your thumb and keep its tension using your fingers against your palm. 3 Knit into the loop on your thumb using the yarn from the ball to make a stitch on the right needle. 4 Now make another loop on your thumb and knit...

Making the tassel

Wind the yarn around the card to get the thickness you want. Thread the needle with a length of matching yarn and slip it under the loops at one end of the card and tie a knot to hold all the loops together. Remove the card and wind the yarn neatly around the top quarter of the tassel length then take the thread up through the middle and out the top. Hold the tassel in one hand and cut through the looped ends and trim into shape.

Rib stitches

Ribbing is worked by alternating sets of knit and purl stitches. This gives the work elasticity, and 20 single rib stitches will appear half the width of 20 worked in stocking stitch. The rib can be stretched width wise to match the stocking stitch but it will spring back on release. Traditionally, jumpers have a ribbed neck opening, cuffs and welt, which is a term used to describe the band at the lower edge on the waist or hip. There are also plenty of distinctive ribbing styles that are used...

Ski hat with a pompom

There is something undeniably cute about a knitted hat with a pompom - especially when the pompom is as large and sassy as this one. The hat is knitted on four needles, which can seem a bit unwieldy at the beginning but using chunky wool ensures that it grows quickly. Four-needle knitting is easier once you have knitted a few rows so don't give up, persevere and you will soon get into the rhythm of it. One ball chunky bright pink wool One ball chunky white wool Set of four double-pointed 6mm...

Fishermans rib

Fisherman Rib

A new variation known as 'knitting below', abbreviated as klb, is added for this rib stitch. To do this, the right needle is inserted into the bar of the stitch below the next one on the left needle. Knit, then allow both 'stitches' to drop off the needle in the usual way. Fisherman's rib creates a very warm, lightweight and stretchy fabric, much beloved by action-loving outdoorsy types who need maximum freedom of movement while keeping the elements at bay. Row 2 kl klb to last 2 stitches k2....

Lace rib

This is a lovely stitch for a baby blanket or a throw. It has the appearance of expert knitting but all the hard work of the pattern in done in a single row alternated by a straight purl row that gives you time relax and speed up. Once you have completed several pattern rows your fingers seem to pick up the sequence and it becomes a lot easier. Row 1 kl yrn k3 sll k2tog psso k2 yrn kl . Repeat to the end. Repeat these two rows to make this lovely pattern. Abbreviations reminder k2tog knit two...

Garter stitch pot holder

Protect your hands when lifting something hot in the kitchen by using one of these thick cotton pot holders. The yarn is used double here to add bulk to the knitting. One ball of dishcloth cotton Equipment Pair 4-5mm needles the smaller size makes a denser fabric Unwind half the cotton ball and rewind to give you two smaller balls. Cast on 30 stitches using both balls to double the yarn thickness. Knit 24 rows in garter stitch then cast off.

Chunky knit cushion cover

Super Chunky Knitted Cushions

Big needles and super chunky wool mean that one of these stylish cushion covers can be made in an evening. The pure wool used here creates an invitingly soft and luxurious place to rest your head. Simple stocking stitch gives a smooth finish and the garter stitch flap adds a textural contrast. Make sure the buttons are large enough to suit the cushion proportions. Three 100g balls of super chunky wool in a rust colour 3 large buttons

Single eyelet patternMesh stitch

This is a pretty stitch best worked in fine yarn and This is a wide mesh worked as a single repeated pattern particularly suited to baby clothes in multiples of eight. Row 2 and every alternate row p. Row 3 k6 yon k2tog k6 . Row 5 k. Row 7 k2 yon k2tog k6 to last four stitches k4. row, on an even number of stitches. Row 1 ym sll kl psso . Repeat as required.

History of knitting

Amazing but true - there was life on earth before knitting It is impossible to tell who had the idea first but we can assume that it was nomadic tribes who herded animals and spun yarn from their fleeces. Everyday knitted garments would have been worn until they fell apart, so all ancient fragments that remain are those of fine ceremonial relics and we can only guess the real history of domestic knitting. There is evidence to suggest that knitting originated in Arab countries as knitted items...

Pattern

Use the thumb method to cast on 72 stitches. Try to master the thumb method as it makes a firm but stretchy edging ideal for hats. Repeat these rows working in st st until the work measures 14cm from the start, ending on a knit row. Break the yarn. Work the p row using the orange cotton then break the yarn. Work a further five rows st st ending with a k row. Break the yarn. Repeat - . K five rows of st st ending with a p row. Shaping Row 1 kl kl2 k2tog x5 kl 67 stitches remain . Row 2 p. Row 3...

Circular needles

Circular Knitting Needles

These are actually short rigid plastic or metal needles joined together with a length of bendable plastic. The needles come in a range of five length sizes, from 40cm to 100cm, and in the usual range of needle width sizes. They are used to knit garments in the round and their only limitation is that the garment has to have a 40cm or wider circumference anything smaller will need to stretch to meet up and will be better suited to knitting on a set of four needles. Examples of this would be...

Single rib

This is the simplest rib stitch and has the appearance of vertical lines of knit stitches. The purl stitches are set back and revealed when the work is stretched widthways. The work is identical on both sides. Single rib can be worked on an odd or even number of stitches in straight knitting but only on an even number in circular knitting where the same stitches are knitted and purled for every round. It is done by working a knit and purl stitch alternately the end of the row. On the following...

Dishcloth patterns

You want me to knit a dishcloth 'Life's too short' I hear you cry I say, give it a try. All of us get through mountains of washing-up cloths, sponges and brushes in the course of our lifetime, using them everyday with little or no thought to what they look like or how long they last. Knitted cotton cloths are different. They do the job really well because they are absorbent rough cotton is strong and mildly abrasive they can be put through the washing machine to freshen up and the openwork...

Yarn suppliers

Online suppliers of interesting pure wool ranges such as British breeds and Bolivian alpacas Website www.dragonyams.co.uk Online ordering of yarns, patterns and equipment Website features the latest and the best quality yarns and accessories Website www.laughinghens.com Rowan Yarns Quality natural yarns in gorgeous colours Online knitting club and suppliers' information Tel 01484 681881 Website www.knitrowan.com Hand knitting and specialist yarns General enquiries enquiries sirdar.co. uk...

The Continental method

History Hand Stitching

This seems to suit those who have learned to crochet before they learned to knit and experts find it much faster. It also minimizes the movements you make when knitting. Hold the needles with the cast-on stitches in your left hand. Wind the yarn around the fingers of your left hand and twice around the index finger, keeping the ball of wool on the left. The left hand is held still with the yarn tension created between the knitting, the index finger and the pinkie. The right hand holds the...

Increasing on the inside edge

Knit into the stitch in the usual way but before it is slipped off the left-hand needle bring the yarn forward and work a purl stitch into the same loop. This makes one extra stitch. figure 2.16 Increasing on the inside edge figure 2.16 Increasing on the inside edge To create a symmetrical width increase, use this method on the third stitch from the beginning of the row and then again on the third stitch from the end of the row.

Cellular stitch

How Knit Cellular Stitch

This is a plain open mesh stitch useful for babies' cotton blankets, string bags or beachwear. It features a single repeated pattern row that can be worked on any number of stitches. For best effect, knit this stitch on medium to large needles. It has a tendency to stretch diagonally and will benefit from being blocked. If used for a baby blanket, a satin ribbon border will help keep the corners square. See Chapter 3 for an explanation of blocking. Row 1 kl yfwd k2tog to last stitch kl.

Turkish openwork cloth

This is also known as Turkish faggoting. The pattern is very simple and is worked over one row that is repeated until the required length is reached. Bands of garter stitch worked within the cloth help to keep the square shape. figure 5.14 Practise your openwork knitting stitches This makes a very pretty patterned cloth with a scalloped edge. It would also make a nice facecloth but it would need to be knitted in a softer DK cotton yarn. Once again, and surprisingly as it appears very complex,...

Trinity or blackberry stitch

The trinity refers to the method of knitting three stitches into one and then one stitch into three. The second name is more picturesque as the small bobbles resemble a mass of blackberries. The stitch is one of the traditional Aran patterns worked in panels alongside cables and reverse stocking stitch. Cast on stitches in multiples of four. The pattern appears complicated but take it one stage at a time and you will discover that it is actually quite simple. The kl...

The pyramid

One square and four triangles are knitted to make a sturdy pyramid. The sides can either be worked on stitches picked up from the edges of the square base or they can be knitted as individual triangles to be sewn to the base afterwards. The individual method is described here. The cube's sides measure 12cm x 12cm. Cast on 24 stitches. Row 1 k. Row 2 p. Repeat these two rows 16-18 more times, depending on your tension. Break the yarn, leaving it long enough for sewing up the side, thread it...

Twisted or coiled rope stitch

This is a bold spiral with a twist to the right. Cast on in multiples of nine plus three. Rows 1 and 3 p3 k6 p3. Rows 2, 4 and 6 k3 p6 k3. Row 5 p3 slip 3 onto cable needle and leave at the back of the work k3 then k3 stitches from the cable needle P3. iJl amp if PZ lit WJ T- l gt ' V J9 - V V

Babys blanket

Keep a newborn baby snug and warm by knitting this simple cover that can be used on a pram, crib or tucked around a buggy. The pattern has a moss stitch border and a patchwork of stocking stitch and reverse stocking stitch, all knitted as one piece. A handmade blanket makes a lovely gift and can be made in advance as you don't have to consider the baby's size or to colour code it for a boy or a girl. This one was knitted in a cream DK wool on a size 5 circular needle used in the conventional...

The tension square

Measuring Knitted Tension Square

Most beginners are impatient to begin and it is difficult to persuade them to knit a 10cm square before the main event. However, it is important - it makes you a better knitter and it makes sure you don't spend weeks knitting something that doesn't fit. To make a tension square follow the guidelines in the pattern for knitting a 10cm square. Cast on the stated number of stitches and knit the stated number of rows. Now pin your square out flat and use a rule to take measurements. If your square...

Openwork stitches

There was a time when all the babies in the land were dressed in similar lacy knitted outfits lovingly made by their grandmothers. Fashions change and lacy patterns were dropped in favour of plainer more linear styles. Now that retro and vintage have allowed the past back into our lives, an old-fashioned baby shawl or a lacy cashmere cardigan will be given the respect it deserves. The stitches are more challenging because rows have to be counted, but not all lacework demands the same amount of...

Adding a ribbon facing

A ribbon facing will prevent a buttoned edge from pulling out of shape and stop buttonholes from stretching. A sewing machine will make the neatest buttonholes but they can also be sewn by hand Cut two lengths of tape or ribbon to fit along the edges of the garment. Slipstitch the one that will hold the buttons in place. Tack the second length to the other edge and mark the positions for the buttonholes. Remove the tape and oversew the buttonholes either by hand or machine. Pin it to the...

Knitting Abbreviations K3b

Work 4cm in st st, beginning with a k row finishing on a p row. Row 1 Rs klA klB . Repeat to end of row. Row 2 plB pi A. Repeat to end of row. Row 3 klA k3B. Repeat to end of row. Row 4 plB plA p3B . Repeat to end of row. Use the chart for the following nine rows to knit 4zzz SIESTA zzz'. Each square represents one stitch. Work four rows in st st in B. Row 17 p3A plB. Repeat to end of row. Row 18 klB klA k3B . Repeat to end of row. Row 19 pi A plB. Repeat to end of row. Row 20 klB klA. Repeat...

Unpicking mistakes

If you spot a mistake earlier in the row or the previous row do not despair. You need to work in reverse and unknit to the point of your mistake. Hold the work in your right hand and insert the left needle into the row below. Transfer this stitch back onto the left needle and allow the top stitch to drop off. Keep doing this until you reach the mistake, rework it, then continue knitting. Picking up a dropped stitch - purl side figure 2.13 Picking up a dropped stitch

Knitting abbreviations

If you are unfamiliar with knitting abbreviations, they can be extremely offputting. Patterns can resemble complex mathematical equations at a first and even a second glance. Abbreviations were introduced to compress long patterns but in doing so it seemed a whole new language had to be invented. I hope that this book will help give you the confidence to unravel the mystery and to understand knitting patterns. The important thing to remember is that all knitting is basically plain and purl with...

Figure Slipped garter edge Borders

These can be either be incorporated into the main body of the knitting by working a band of garter or moss stitch along the pattern edge or by picking up stitches from the selvedge edge and knitting a border. They can also be worked as separate button bands to be sewn on when the garment is made up. Hold the work in your left hand with the right side facing and a needle in your right hand. Insert the needle under the edge stitch and knit the first stitch. You now have one stitch on the right...