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Beginners Knitting. How To Knit

Updated on October 25, 2015

The Simple (English) Knit Stitch

In this hub you will see photos demonstrating the English, called "American" method in the U.S., Knit Stitch. I am using extra large knitting needles in the photos to make it easier to see what is actually going on. If you have not yet learned how to cast on CLICK HERE.

#1 After Casting on Do Your First Knit Stitch


After Casting on, begin to Knit

After you have cast on the desired number of stitches necessary for your project, you may begin the knit stitch. If you need to brush up on casting on click here.

Insert the first stitch in the cast on loop that is closest to the point of the needle. See picture #2



Hold the Cast on Needle in Your Left Hand

It does not matter whether or not you are right handed. In the English style of knitting you will hold the worked stitches in the left needle and you will be adding stitches onto the right needle.

Poke the right needle up through the first loop, making sure it goes behind the left needle.


Wrap the long end of the yarn around the right needle....


Pull it down between the tow needles...


.....then slide the right needle down and pull the new loop of yarn through the first one.


Turn the right needle so it points up, and pull the first loop all the way off the left needle.


Continue pulling the needle through. Your goal here will be to transfer the work from the left needle to the right.


Continue pulling up until you have the work transferred from the left needle to the right. Keep light tension with the right hand so that the yarn does not become too loose.


You'll end up with one loop on the right needle and the other cast on stitches on the left.


Tips For Buying Yarn

  1. Check yarn labels for the dye lot number and purchase all yarn of one color from the same dye lot. Each number represents a diferent dye bath and may differ slightly from one to another.
  2. Buy enough yarn of the same dye lot to complete the project. Many stores will accept the return of unused skeins within a reasonable time. Be sure to ask before purchase.
  3. Check the yarn label for wash ability and other care information If none is given, you should wash and block your gauge swatch to see how the yarn responds to these procedures.
  4. If a yarn label gives gauge information, the needle size mentioned is the one recommended for that particular yarn. It is wise to stay within two sizes of the recommendation.
  5. To duplicate the appearance and fit of your chosen pattern, you should always buy the yarn recommended for it.
  6. If you choose to substitute another yarn for the one recommended, select yarn as close as possible to the original in weight and type.
  7. Should you need to convert ounces to grams or vice versa, use this formula: 100 grams =3.52 ounces. for example if 16 ounces of yarn are called for, and you are substituting a yarn weighed in grams, devide 16 by 3.52 and multiply times 100. The quantity is 454 grams.
  8. Before each purchase, check a yarn's recovery. Stretch and release a 6" length. If it does not return to its original size, you cannot expect the kitted article to hold its shape.

Knittng Supplies


There are three basic types of knitting needles-single pointed, double-pointed, and circular,

Needle thickness is signified by number . The higher a number, the thicker the needle and the larger the stitch. While there are no precise rules for needle and yarn relationship. generally, thicker yarns should be worked with large needles, thinner yarns with small ones. If a needle is too large for the yarn, knit structure will be flimsy; if too small, texture will be too compact and inelastic; Yarn labels often include a recommended needle size; a safe approach is to stay within tow sizes of this number.

Needle length should be chosen according to a project's dimensions, and only has to be sufficient to hold all stitches comfortably. In general, shorter ones are easier to manipulate. A circular needle should be at least two inches less than the circumference of the knitting

Choice of needle material, plastic, metal, wood, is largely a matter of personal preference and availability. Plastic is quieter and somewhat easier for beginners to manage. Metal is noisier but stitches slide more readily, and advantage for the fast knitter. Wood is esthetically pleasing, but weed needles are scarce and more trouble to maintain.

In caring for needles, it is best to store then flat with their points protected. An occasional rub with waxed paper helps retain a slick surface.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Just found your blog via MakemineMindCentury and really ennoyijg your crochet design skills. I have just learnt for the first time a few weeks ago and am also inspired by 70's patterns and manhole covers- but I prefer the round ones. Once while backpacking through Europe I took crayon rubbings of manholes in every country but alas the tube containing them all was left on a Qantas flight and never seen again. My posts are just a little wordier than yours but I do have some great 70's inspiration to share over at

    • Skarlet profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from California

      Thank you for your comments.

      @creativelycc- I am sure you will get it. The purl feels awkward to me even though I have been knitting for a long time..

      Thanks again for visiting and good luck with your future projects.

    • creativelycc profile image

      Carrie L Cronkite 

      5 years ago from Maine

      Excellent instructions with great visuals, I just started learning how to knit, I love it. I'm still having problems with the purl stitch. I feels so awkward when I do it. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it one day!

    • misslong123 profile image

      Michele Kelsey 

      6 years ago from Edmond, Oklahoma

      Wow, you did a really great job in explaining how to knit. I taught myself how by the use of books, and it took me months to learn just to knit. Then, it took me months to figure out how to purl. I didn't understand you had to pull the yarn in front of the needle before poking it down to grab the next stitch. Great job! I'm sure this will truly help some beginners. Michele

    • Nicole S profile image

      Nicole S Hanson 

      6 years ago from Minnesota

      Very cool, this was helpful!

    • Ann1Az2 profile image


      7 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Being a knitter for about 51 years, I found this hub interesting because I had someone ask me one time if I was left handed. I told her no. She said I knitted left handed. Looking at your pictures, I realize what she meant. I put the right hand needle into the stitch from the left side, rather than the right side. I suppose I learned that way because I watched the lady who taught me from the front.

      I also didn't know how to convert ounces into grams so I'm saving this hub in my book marks.

      One other thing. I've noticed in recent years that they've done away with a lot of the dye lot numbers. Now, they're making yarn that is so textured, it doesn't matter, I guess.


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