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...

Casting off

This method makes a raised edge that had good elasticity. It is especially useful for edges that are to be stitched together as seams. Knit two together (k2tog) through the back of the stitches. You will now have one stitch on the right needle. Slip it back onto the left needle and k2 tog with the next stitch, into the back of the stitches as before. Continue in this way until just one stitch remains, then break the yarn and thread the end through the loop and pull it up firmly.

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.

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....

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...

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 Online ordering of yarns, patterns and equipment Website features the latest and the best quality yarns and accessories Website Rowan Yarns Quality natural yarns in gorgeous colours Online knitting club and suppliers' information Tel 01484 681881 Website Hand knitting and specialist yarns General enquiries enquiries 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.

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...

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...