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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.
knitting technique

2. Twist your fingers clockwise to form a loop.
knitting technique

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

3. Using your fingers in the loop, grab the standing yarn and partially pull it through.
knitting technique

4. Pull the tail and tight knot halfway.
knitting technique

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


  • 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.

knit and purl image

Photo from 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 Simpleknitting.com 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 Mercantileis a community of passionate and zealous crafters. They cater a wide array of items which include yarns, 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 arts and craft. Visit MakersMercantile.com and checkout the latest classes and events that they’ve got!





Creating a slip knot - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dENvo4huOe0

WikiHow - http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Slip-Knot

Casting on - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_WddlKqUUw

Single Cast On - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntY1Mexfyso

Long Tail Cast On - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNHGvkJDdak

Knitted Cast On - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HAiQpYpi1w

Knit Stitch - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9d1yt5UmwiA

Purl Stitch - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvL4v_yBs5o

Continental - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkLHN3Mujw8

English - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rh2zzUdLhKA

Stockinette Stitch - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fse7UsMfL7w

Stockinette Stitch – click here - http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-knit-the-stockinette-stitch.html

Ribbing Stitch ­- http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-knit-a-ribbing-stitch.html

Seed Stitch -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHCYucDpiCA

Casting Off - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4V4DSJ9hUE

Casting Off – here - http://www.wikihow.com/Cast-Off

Simpleknitting.com - http://www.simple-knitting.com/

Knitted Hat - http://www.simple-knitting.com/support-files/garterstitchhat-easiesteverhatpattern.pdf

Neck Warmer - http://www.simple-knitting.com/support-files/neckwarmerpattern.pdf

Scarf - http://www.simple-knitting.com/support-files/easyscarfpattern.pdf

Ruffle Wrist Warmers - http://www.simple-knitting.com/support-files/rufflewristwarmers.pdf

Shawl - http://www.simple-knitting.com/support-files/knitshawlpattern.pdf

Dropped Stitches - http://www.simple-knitting.com/dropped-stitch.html

Dropped Stitches – click here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eliQ0MXID0M

Twisted Stitches - http://www.simple-knitting.com/twisted-stitch.html

Twisted Stitches – click here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRxqwXV-7l8

MakersMercantile.com - http://www.makersmercantile.com/classes.html



1 – CSK, CSK.1, CSK.2, CSK.3, CSK.4, CSK.5 - http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Slip-Knot

2 - Knit and Purl - https://www.lionbrand.com/faqImages/learnToKnit19b.jpg