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Basic Knitting Techniques for Beginners

As you begin with knitting, you may find it difficult to consistently follow the given patterns. Creating the first set of stitches might feel awkward at the start, but don’t give up. Just think of the beautifully mastered items that you aim to create, and believe that you definitely can! To make it easier, we’ve prepared for you these step-by-step videos and guidelines about the basic techniques to use in knitting.

How to hold your needles and yarn?

It actually depends upon one’s personal preference. Once you’ve started developing your skills in this activity, you’ll eventually discover the style in handling the yarn and needles that work for you. However, there are two different ways on how knitters wrap the yarn around the needles. Such styles are classified as the Continental and the English method.

The Basics of Hand Knitting:

  Creating a slip knot– is the first step to begin knitting. A knot is the very first stitch a knitter creates in order to come up with a number of stitches. It fastens the yarn to your needles so you can cast on the rest of the stitches. Here’s a step-by-step guide from WikiHow:

1. Pick up the yarn 6-8” from the end.

2. Twist your fingers clockwise to form a loop.

3. Expand the loop as you place your two fingers inside.

4. Pull the tail and tight knot halfway.

5. Insert your knitting needle inside the loop and pull both ends to create a tight knot.

Casting on – the second step in knitting. When you cast on, you create a series of stitches in order to create your chosen craft. There are three methods in casting:

  •   Single Cast On– Also called the thumb cast on or backward loop cast on. This style is ideal for the beginners since it is the easiest way of casting stitches.
  •   Long Tail Cast On– Also called the double cast. One of the most popular and quickest cast on methods. It creates a sturdy yet flexible set of stitches for most knitted projects. The only challenge for this type is the proper measurement. You have to make sure that you leave enough of the tail to cast all your stitches.
  •   Knitted Cast On– Also known as two-needle cast on. This method of casting creates two stitches out of one. It’s a great technique to try since you’ll eventually learn the other steps in knitting once you get used to this style. Through knitted cast on, you can add extra stitches in the middle of a row. If you had problems in measuring the long tail cast on, this method can serve as your alternative as well.
  •   Knit Stitch- Also known as the garter stitch. It is the process of pulling up a yarn through an existing loop on a needle and pulling it through on the back.
  •   Purl Stitch- It is the method of inserting the needle from the top of a loop and pulling a new loop up and through the first stitch. It’s almost the same with knit a stitch, yet they differ with some of the motions. A purl stitch simply looks like the back of a knit stitch. Each row that a knitter purls will create a bumpy texture.

Photo courtesy Lion Brand

  • Stockinette Stitch - Simply alternating a knit row with a purl row. Usually applicable in knitting scarves, socks, sweaters, blankets, and hats. (To learn the step-by-step process in knitting a stockinette stitch, click here.)
  •  Ribbing Stitch– Purling back and forth within the same row creates this kind of technique. Because of its flexibility and ability to bounce back, ribbing is widely used to make up hems, necks, and cuffs of sweaters. It is also used to create a slim, body-hugging effect in most garments.
  •  Seed Stitch– A sequence of alternating knit and purl stitches done horizontally and vertically. The purl bumps look like scattered seeds in the fabric, making it more creative in texture and in pattern.
  •  Cable Stitch– Creating a cable row is also known as the turning row. This method is usually applied on a stockinette stitch background. It is not necessarily made on every row. For instance, a 4-stitch cable will have plain rows of knitting before a cable row, and so on.
  • Casting Off – also known as Binding Off, this method is the last step in knitting. Its main purpose is to make an edge so the stitches that you’ve knitted won’t unravel. (Check out the step-by-step process on casting off, here.)

Fixing Common Mistakes

As a beginner, of course, there’s a possibility that you’ll commit some mistakes in creating your first few stitches. But don’t worry. We’re here to help you out.

Dropped Stitches – A very common mistake in knitting. It happens when a stitch just slips of your needle without you even recognizing it. This causes a run in the knitted material like a run in a pair of stockings. Fortunately, we’ve got a solution for this! Click here.

  Twisted Stitches– Twisting stitches can either be done by accident or for a creative purpose. To know how to fix a twisted stitch, click here.

We’ve got you some knitting patterns from that you’ll surely enjoy working on. So grab your needles and yarn now. Let’s try this!

*Note: It is also very important to know and understand the different abbreviations and symbols being used in knitting. Only then, we can follow the patterns for our desired craft. Also, kindly take time to learn about the knitting gauges. It is considered by a lot of knitters as one of the most important parts in knitting.

Join Us!

Makers Mercantile is a community of passionate and zealous crafters. We carry a wide array of items, including yarn, needles, accessories, fabric, organizers, and project kits that can be used for knitting, weaving, crocheting, sewing, and embroidery. Get motivated and inspired in the world of craft. Visit and checkout the latest classes and events that they’ve got!



Creating a slip knot -

WikiHow -

Casting on -

Single Cast On -

Long Tail Cast On -

Knitted Cast On -

Knit Stitch -

Purl Stitch -

Continental -

English -

Stockinette Stitch -

Stockinette Stitch – click here -

Ribbing Stitch ­-

Seed Stitch -

Casting Off -

Casting Off – here - -

Knitted Hat -

Neck Warmer -

Scarf -

Ruffle Wrist Warmers -

Shawl -

Dropped Stitches -

Dropped Stitches – click here -

Twisted Stitches -

Twisted Stitches – click here - -


1 – CSK, CSK.1, CSK.2, CSK.3, CSK.4, CSK.5 -

2 - Knit and Purl -