Beginner Knitting Classes by Lee Tea - Part 3 of 3
Beginner Knitting - Class 3
Welcome back! Our final class in the "Beginner Knitting" series focuses on three more hands-on lessons designed to get the bookmark we knitted in "Beginner Knitting Classes...Part 2" off the needles and ready to use! In this lesson we'll cover:
- Binding off
- Darning (weaving in) loose ends
- Purl Stitch
So grab your bookmark from Class 2 and let's begin - or rather, let's finish!
(If this is your first time joining us, you'll want to start with "Beginner Knitting by Lee Tea: Part 1 of 3.")
Lesson 5: Binding Off
Binding off is the method used for securing the end of your knitted piece so that it doesn't unravel when we pull it off the needles.
- Knit 2 stitches onto the right hand needle.
- Insert the point of the left hand needle into the first stitch you knitted (the stitch on the right side of the right hand needles), pick it up, pull it over the second stitch you knitted and off the point of the right hand needle. This is just like "Lesson 4: Finger Knitting" from "Beginner Knitting...Part 2". Use your fingers to hold that second stitch on the right hand needle so it doesn't fall off too!
- Drop the stitch you just dropped from the right hand needle off the left hand needle as well. You now have 1 stitch on your right hand needle.
- Knit 1 more stitch onto your right hand needle. Now there's 2 stitches on your right hand needle.
- Repeat steps 2-4 until all the stitches have been bound off. You will be left with just 1 loop left.
Bind off until you can't possibly bind off anymore, because there is only 1 stitch left to work. Now we'll fasten off the end.
Lesson 6: Fastening Off
Cut the yarn off the skein a few inches from your project, leaving a tail. Pull this tail through the last stitch tightly, but not so tightly that you break the yarn. Our project is now fastened off!
To secure the fastening, we weave the dangling ends of our yarn back into our fabric.
Binding Off and Fastening Off
Lesson 7: Weaving In the Ends
We're almost done - how exciting! But before running off to break in our new bookmark, there's one more step to completion: darning.
Darning is the process of weaving the ends of yarn dangling from our project back neatly into the piece so that they are no longer noticeable. To further secure our fastening, and to complete our project neatly and cleanly, we simply need to weave in our loose ends.
- Thread the loose end onto a yarn (tapestry) needle.
- Weave the loose end through a few stitches on the backside of the piece for about 1 1/2", following the pattern of the fabric.
- Weave one or two stitches back the other way. Trim yarn close to the piece, and stretch the piece gently to make the end of the yarn disappear into the project.
Darn the tail of yarn from the beginning of the project too, and any other loose ends you may have on future projects.
Congratulations! You've completed your first knitted piece!! Knot your ribbon from "Lesson 4: Finger Knitting" onto one side, and go mark some books!
What a beautiful keepsake of your first knitting lesson.
Weaving in Loose Ends
A Surprise Warning about Potholders!
While we're now able to knit basically anything in a rectangular shape, there is one square item that demands special attention: potholders.
Potholders must be knitted from 100% wool or 100% cotton yarns only. No wool or cotton BLENDS. The reason for this is that blends and other types of yarn often contain acrylic yarn. While acrylic yarn is fantastic for items we want to machine wash and dry, it is a huge hazard for making potholders with. The heat of the pan we're grabbing with the potholder may be hot enough to melt the acrylic, causing serious injury.
So knit washcloths, scarves, and blankets to use or as gifts - but do some research before knitting your first set of potholders!
The First of Many More to Come
One of the best parts of learning how to knit is that no effort is ever wasted. Every stitch we practice goes towards the creation of something new, something that didn't exist before we tried. By practicing our knitting, we participate in the action. After just one class, we are knitters! Officially - the proof is in the books!
So we close this chapter of "Beginner Knitting Classes" not only on a charming bookmark, but with genuine satisfaction and excitement. We've learned:
- How to twist our yarn onto the needles by "Casting On"
- How to knit every stitch for as many rows as we choose, creating a length of fabric textured in "Garter Stitch"
- How to remove our project from the needle by "Binding Off" and "Fastening Off"
- How to neatly finish our project.
And a few fun finger games, too!
With these lessons we can knit anything rectangular in the garter stitch. This not only means bookmarks, washcloths, and blankets, but tube-shaped pieces like headbands and legwarmers - flat pieces folded in half and sewn together at the seam to make a tube! If you learned nothing else about knitting after today, you'd still know enough to knit for a lifetime.
Have fun with this. Knit away! Dive right into projects, make mistakes, unravel holes just to see the process go down, experiment. Every single thing you do and undo will teach you something new.