Learning to Knit – Getting Started

You have your yarn and your needles, a comfortable chair, you’re relaxed, and you’re ready to get started knitting.  There are different ways to hold your knitting needles.  Some people hold their hands over the knitting needles like a table knife and some hold them like pencils.  See How to Hold Your Knitting Needles and Yarn for pictures of the different ways.  Try both and see what is most comfortable.  There is no right or wrong way.

Casting On

Casting on is the first step in knitting and is the process of getting stitches on the needle.  There are a number of different Cast On Methods. The Loop Cast On is an easy one for beginners.  It is quick and easy, but can be difficult to keep an even tension when knitting, so exploring other methods may be in order down the road. The Knitted Cast On is an easy method and you will learn the knit stitch at the same time.  It is fairly stretchy and a good choice for many sorts of projects.  KnitPicks has a good video and tutorial on this method.

 

Knit Stitch

There is more than one way to learn the Knit Stitch. The two most common ways to knit are the English knitting method and the Continental knitting method.  Try both and see what you like best.  You may feel awkward at first.  Like everything else, learning to knit takes some practice and patience, and so does learning to hold your knitting needles and yarn.  Just start knitting – you’ll get it.

Knitting is a 4-step process:

Insert the needle

Wrap the yarn

Pull through the loop

Pull off the new stitch

 

 

You will knit all the stitches on your needle and when you have finished, you will have knit your first row.  If counting rows, your first row including the cast-on counts as row one.

When you have finished the row, you will turn your work. Exchange the needle full of stitches in your right hand for the empty needle in your left hand, and start again.  Knitting every row creates fabric with a series of ridges, each ridge being created from two rows of knit stitches.  This is called the knit stitch or garter stitch.

Purl Stitch

The Purl Stitch is next, click below to watch the video or see the tutorial.

 

The process of alternating knit and purl rows creates the stockinette stitch. When you are knitting stockinette, the side that is smooth is considered to be the right side (abbreviated ‘RS’). The purl side with the bumps and ridges is considered to be the wrong side (abbreviated ‘WS’)

Sometimes projects will require multiple skeins of yarn, which will require joining a new skein of yarn.  If possible do this at the end of the row.

Casting Off

Your knitting project is finished, congratulations!   Now you need to get your knitting off the needles.  Some refer to this process as casting off, some call is binding off.  Click below to watch the Binding Off video, or see the tutorial.

Be sure to bind off loosely or the pattern will be “gathered” at that bound edge.  If you find the edge is too tight when binding off, use a larger needle to bind off.  Also, be sure to form the stitch on the straight part of the needle, not the tip.

Finishing

Next, you will want to weave in the ends and block your scarf.  Blocking is an integral part of finishing a knitted item.  It will even out your stitches and allow your fiber to bloom!

Be sure to check out The Ultimate FREE Finishing Knitting Guide below.

The Ultimate FREE Finishing Knitting Guide

Other good knitting resources:

Learning to Knit – What You’ll Need

Top 10 Yarn Questions

How to Read a Knitting Pattern

Knitting Stitches You Need to Know

Find Your Style: Battle of English vs Continental Knitting

You might also want to check out 10 Easy Scarf Knitting Patterns for Beginners.

Happy knitting!

Craftsy Online Classes you might enjoy:

Learn Essential Beginner Knitting Skills ins New Class | Craftsy Learn to knit a scarf ins My First Scarf class | Craftsy Learn how to knit a hat ins My First Hat | Craftsy

Free Knitting Pattern – Easy Mistake Stitch Scarf

This Easy Mistake Stitch Scarf is a pattern I like to use when teaching people how to knit.  This pattern is from the Purl Soho website.  I have adapted the pattern to use with our bulky Snuggle Yarn from the Alpaca Yarn Company, and big needles, so fewer stitches are needed when casting on than what is written in the original pattern.

Hand-Knit Ribbed Snuggle Scarf

SKILL LEVEL

Easy

NEEDLES

US 11 – 8.0 mm

MATERIALS

Two skeins of Snuggle Yarn

NOTE

Ribbing is the result of alternating knit and purl stitches within the same row.   Mistake rib is a multiple of 4+3

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

Approximately 60” long x 6” wide

easy_mistake_stitch_scarf_snuggle

DIRECTIONS

Cast on 19 stitches.

K2, p2, repeat to last 3 stitches, k2, p1.

  This scarf will take two skeins of yarn, which will require joining a new skein of yarn.  If possible do this at the end of the row.

Repeat the pattern for 60 inches or to desired length. That’s it!

If you plan to knit until you run out of yarn, you will need to be sure you will have enough yarn left to bind off.   Figure out how much yarn it takes you to knit one row, plus some extra.  You can measure off a few yards and then determine whether your row takes you more or less.  This will give you an approximate amount of yarn necessary to bind off.

Bind off stitches in stitch pattern.  Be sure to bind off loosely or the pattern will be “gathered” at the bound edge.  If you find the edge is too tight when binding off, use a larger needle to bind off.  Also, be sure to form the stitch on the straight part of the needle, not the tip.

Next, you will want to weave in the ends and block your scarf.  Blocking is an integral part of finishing a knitted item.  It will even out your stitches and allow your fiber to bloom!

easy_mistake_stitch_scarf_snuggle

Be sure to check out the FREE Knitting Tutorials from Craftsy!

Knitting Stitches You Need to Know

You might also want to check out 10 Easy Scarf Knitting Patterns for Beginners and more Free Knitting Patterns on this website.

Happy knitting!

 

Flowers, Flowers, Flowers

I love hats with flowers, maybe not on me, but a flower just sets off a hat, makes it so much more stylish!  I love flowers, and it is Spring, so thought I would share my Flowers, Flowers, Flowers Pinterest Board.  On it you will find crocheted, knitted, fiber, and felted flowers, some with instructions and some just for inspiration!  Be sure to check out our Classic Alpaca Yarn for many, many pretty colors of 100% alpaca yarn for flower making, and my favorite patterns for Knitting and Crocheting Flowers!

Follow Alpaca Meadows’s board Flowers, Flowers, Flowers on Pinterest.

There are also many FREE flower patterns for knit and crochet, or perhaps you can create your own!  Some of the flowers shown are knit, then felted by throwing them in the washing machine and dryer.  Some have been cut out of felt, others needle felted.  Our Bloomin’ Brites Needle Felted Flowers Kit uses a combination of both cutting flowers from felt and needle felting fiber onto them.

Our Felted Bouquet Kit uses another felting technique called wet felting. Check out How to Make Wet Felted Flowers!

Happy Spring!

 

Free Knitting Pattern – Seed Stitch Knit Scarf

Seed stitch, also known as moss stitch, is a basic texture stitch. It is made up of alternating knit and purl stitches.

Seed Stitch Knit Scarf

The fabric is firm, does not curl, and looks the same on both sides. It is ideal for small knits, scarves, cowls, mittens, gloves, and knits up into super cute baby items!   This is a stitch you will want to learn!

Textured Snuggle Scarf

For this scarf, I used big needles and our bulky Snuggle Yarn.  It is a very simple pattern and the texture is so pretty!

IMG_6022 (480x640)

SKILL LEVEL

Easy

NEEDLES

Size 15 (10.00 mm)

MATERIALS

157 Yards of Snuggle Yarn

NOTE

An odd number of stitches is required for seed stitch.  The trick to the seed stitch is knowing when to knit and when to purl.  You will be knitting the purl stitches and purling the knit stitches.  Starting with an odd number of stitches you will always be starting and ending the row with a knit stitch.

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

Approximately 6” wide x 60” long

IMG_6028 (446x640)

DIRECTIONS

Cast on 19 sts loosely.  Work in seed stitch, as described below, for 60 inches or to desired length. Bind off stitches.  Weave in ends.

Seed Stitch
Every Row: K1; *P1, K1; repeat from * to end of row

IMG_6029 (480x640)

 This scarf is available for purchase in any of the pretty Snuggle Yarn colors!  Click here to purchase.  To print pattern, click Seed Stitch Knit Scarf Pattern.

IMG_6034 (426x640)

Be sure to check out the FREE Knitting Tutorials from Craftsy!

Knitting Stitches You Need to Know
Knitting Stitches You Need to Know

from: Craftsy

You might also want to check out 10 Easy Scarf Knitting Patterns for Beginners and more Free Knitting Patterns on this website.

Private Lessons – Knitting and Crochet

Been wanting to come to a class, but your schedule never coincides with mine?  Or you’ve come to a beginner’s class and now you’re ready for more?  Perhaps a private lesson is in order.  Some people learn easier one-on-one.  Schedule the day and time that works best for you.  An hour lesson is just $20 and you get a one-on-one lesson focused on what you need the most.  Or bring a friend and share the cost.  Choose a project you’d like to start on, or I can make suggestions.  Bring your own yarn, or enjoy a 10% discount on any yarn in The Fiber Studio.  Fiber friends ages 7 and over are welcome.

Check your calendar then call or contact us to schedule your private lesson!

Beginner Knitting

Transfix Alpaca Shawl

Knitting is the new yoga!  You will learn to cast-on, knit, purl and bind-off.  Your private lesson also includes an overview of knitting vocabulary, materials, accessories and more.

Beginner Crochet

Bulky Ribbed Crochet Scarf

Crochet is is enjoying a renaissance and is my personal favorite.  This cherished fiber art is faster than knitting, and easier to correct mistakes.  Yes, I make them!  Learn to crochet or refresh your memory.  You will learn to create a foundation chain as well as single, half-double, double, and triple crochet stitches. Your lesson also includes an overview of crochet vocabulary, materials, accessories and more.

Back to Class Schedule.

Free Knitting Pattern – Drop Stitch Swizzle Alpaca Scarf

Scarf Crocheted with Swizzle Alpaca Yarn

I love how this scarf turned out!

Scarf Crocheted with Swizzle Alpaca Yarn

The yarn I used is 100% alpaca so of course it is soft and lovely!  This yarn is hand-dyed.  The color is Academy Blue, one of the nine beautiful shades in the Swizzle line from The Alpaca Yarn Company available at Alpaca Meadows.

Swizzle Alpaca Yarn Scarf

 The pattern is by Christine Vogel of Frazzled Knits.  She is right, it does look beautiful in a variegated yarn.  The horizontal drop stitch makes it fun to knit … as the yarn overs are dropped, the lacy design is created!

Swizzle Alpaca Yarn Scarf

Free Knitting Pattern – Transfix Lace Shawl

 Featuring an elongated pattern stitch, this easy lace shawl is a fun accessory for those cooler spring days that surely lie just ahead.  Adapted from a pattern by the Berroco Design Team, I’ve used our 100% alpaca Paca Paints Yarn and this shawl turned out lovely!  The color I chose is called Spiked Punch.

Transfix Alpaca Shawl

SKILL LEVEL

Easy

NEEDLES

Straight knitting needles, size 7 (4.50 mm) OR SIZE TO OBTAIN GAUGE gauge 14 sts = 4”; 16 rows = 4”

MATERIALS

2.5 skeins of Paca Paints Yarn

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

Approximately 18” wide x 70” long

:Transfix Alpaca Shawl

DIRECTIONS

Cast on 60 sts loosely. Work even in Elongated Pat St for 72”, end with Row 1 of Pat. Bind off loosely knitwise.

NOTE: When casting on and binding off loosely, if you prefer, use a larger size needle.

Transfix Alpaca Shawl

ELONGATED PATTERN STITCH

Row 1 (RS): Knit.

Row 2: Knit.

Row 3: K1, * yo twice, k1, rep from * across.

Row 4: Knit, dropping all yo’s. Rep these 4 rows for Elongated Pattern Stitch.

Transfix Alpaca ShawlEnjoy!

This shawl is available for purchase in any of the many pretty Paca Paints colors!  Click here.

FREE Knitting Pattern – Suri Art Yarn Cowl

Inspired by Ashley Martineau’s pattern and free video, I’ve created this cowl out of my own hand spun Suri Art Yarn.  Though the bulky, very textured yarn is a bit of a challenge, the results were well worth it!

Suri Art Yarn Cowl

NEEDLE

Circular 16″ Needles US Size 15 – 10.0 mm

MATERIALS

50 Yards of Hand Spun Suri Art Yarn

PATTERN NOTES

Roughly 30 inches around at neck edge, 8 inches wide, and 38 inches around bottom edge depending on how loosely or tightly you knit.

 

DIRECTIONS

 Make a Slip Knot, then cast on 30 stitches.  Knit in the round using the double elongated stitch until you’re reached the desired length.  Bind off loosely.

Very simple!

Fasten off, and weave in ends.

 

FREE Knit and Crochet Patterns – Go Green!

In the spirit of Saint Patrick’s Day I’ve made a few items out of the colorway Group of Greens – Snuggle Yarn by The Alpaca Yarn Company.  There are two FREE patterns below, one a crochet pattern and the other a knit pattern.

Snuggle-Alpaca-Yarn-Group-of-Greens-Bulky-Yarn

KNIT

 The pattern used for this scarf was adapted from Purl Soho’s Easy Mistake Stitch Scarf.

Knit Scarf - Group of Greens Snuggle Yarn

  Ribs do pull in and will make this scarf narrower than you might anticipate.  If you want to add additional stitches for a wider scarf,  just make sure your cast on is in multiples of four stitches.

NEEDLES

US Size 11

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

60-inches long by approximately 6-inches wide

PATTERN NOTE

Mistake rib is a multiple of 4+3

THE PATTERN

Cast on 29 stitches.

K2, p2, repeat to last 3 stitches, k2, p1.

Repeat this row until desired length. So easy!

Weave in ends, hand wash, block and let dry.

______________________________________________________

CROCHET

 

Ear Warmer Headband - Snuggle Yarn

FREE Simple Ear Warmer Pattern

Crocheted Ear Warmer Headband

 

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Found this recipe on Pinterest posted by Spoonful, so simple just had to share , in the spirit of Saint Patrick’s Day!

Ingredients

Canned refrigerated bread stick dough
Colored sugar
Cinnamon

Directions

1.  Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat it with cooking spray.
2.  To create the clover shape, mold 3 sections of bread sticks into hearts and press them together as shown. Attach a small stem, decorate, bake according to the package directions, and serve them up to your lucky guests.

Yards Per Ounce Calculations – Alpaca Yarn Company

I wish I would have written down how much yarn it took to make that …
Resolved to get better at keeping records, I’m adding this post to my blog for your reference and mine!

Alpaca Cowl Neck Warmer

 Using the formula from my previous post on Figuring the Yardage Used in A Finished Project,  I have come up with the following calculations for each line of yarn from The Alpaca Yarn Company.  Figuring the yardage used in a finished project made from any of these yarns, can be found by multiplying the weight of the item times the yards per ounce of that yarn.

Astral Yarn

Astral – Alpaca Blend Yarn
197 yards in a 3.5 ounce (100g) skein = 56 yards per ounce

Paca de Seda Yarn

Paca de Seda – Alpaca Blend Yarn
91 yards in a 1.76 ounce (50g) skein = 52 yards per ounce

Paca Peds Yarn

Paca Peds – Alpaca Blend Sock Yarn
360 yards in a 3.5 ounce (100g) skein = 103 yards per ounce

Paca Paints Yarn

Paca Paints – Alpaca Yarn
220 yards in a 3.5 ounce (100g) skein = 63 yards per ounce

Snuggle Yarn

Snuggle – Alpaca Blend Yarn
104 yards in a 3.5 ounce (100g) skein = 29.71 yards per ounce

Suri Elegance Yarn

Suri Elegance – Suri Alpaca Yarn
875 yards in a 3.5 ounce (100g) skein = 250 yards per ounce

Swizzle Alpaca Yarn

Swizzle – Alpaca Yarn
215 yards in a 3.5 ounce (100g) skein = 61 yards per ounce

I am in the process of creating Pinterest boards for each yarn, with links to FREE patterns for each and yardage required!  Be sure to check back!

 



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