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How to teach Knitting

Updated on June 26, 2012

So you enjoy knitting and your little one wants to learn this wonderful hobby of yours. Or a friend asked you to teach them knitting as a pastime. Where do you start?

Basic Knitting Material

To begin with, your student needs to invest in knitting needles and yarn. They are not too expensive. You get various types of needles as well as yarn. Needles can be straight or circular in shape. Straight needles can be of metal, wood or plastic. Wool can be of various textures, colours and quality too.

Start with US Size 6 straight metal needles.

Pick a solid colour wool ball which is neither too thin nor too thick. You need to explain to your student why a medium textured yarn is better to start off with. Explain that the tiny stitches are easier to handle when the yarn is neither too thick nor too thin. You can also view better the difference between various stitches.

Knitting needles, Wool..


Starting Off

The best way to teach knitting is LIVE. Get together with your student and demonstrate how it is done. This is the most fun and interactive way to teach an art like knitting.

The first thing you need to do is learn how to cast on. Casting on is the process of putting in place the basic loops to commence knitting.

Depending on the number of stitches you need to cast on, you draw aside that much of yarn. So if we start with ten stitches, you count off 1inch for each stitch on the yarn and pull aside. This is also called the lon tailed method of casting on.

Based on the video demo, do you think you could do this on your own? Yes, of course, you can! So if you don’t have anybody to teach you live, all you need is the internet. There are innumerable You Tube videos and websites sharing videos on teaching the A-Z of knitting.

YouTube video teaching you to cast on..

What Comes After Casting On?

Next you need to teach two absolutely basic knitting stitches. Learn these two and you’re pretty good for a long time to come! They are called the Purl and Knit stitch. Watch the video to understand these stitches.

The purl stitch when done continuously for a couple of rows gives you a pattern that looks like bumps.

One row of the knit stitch followed by a row of the purl stitch and then back to the knit and so on gives a pattern called the Stockinette Stitch. This is one of the most common and simplest of knitting patterns.


A few more knit stitches

Learn the following stitches to start with-

Yarn over – this simple means take the yarn and put it around as if creating a stitch without actually knitting one.

Purl two together – this means your take two stitches in one go and purl them. (thus reducing one stitch). Also denoted as p2tog

Knit two together – take two stitches and knit them together. (thus reducing one stitch) Also denoted as k2tog

Slip Slip Knit – using the right needle tip, slip two stitches from the right to the left needle, then using the left needle knit them together onto the right needle. Also denoted as ssk

Using these basic stitches, one can make wonderful patterns. The host of designs that are out there in the knitting world seen infinite as creative people keep coming up with fancy patterns. So one has enough to pick and choose and learn as per your choice!

Binding Off

This is the method to close off your knitting and remove the knitted panel off your needles. This is very simple and can be taught via a live demo or via a video. It basically consists of the knit stitch and then looping the last stitch over to make a knot. The series of knots gives a smooth finished edge.


Lace Pattern

Let us attempt a simple lace pattern. (Source : The Berroco Website)

Cast on 8 stitches

Row 1 and all Wrong Side rows: Purl

Row 2: Knit

Row 4: K3 * yo, ssk, k6; repeat from *, end K3 instead of K6

Row 6: K1, *k2tog, yo, K1, yo, ssk, K3; repeat from *, end K2 instead of K3

Row 8: Repeat row 4

Row 10: Knit

Row 12: K7; repeat from * of row 4, end K1

Row 14: K5; repeat from * of row 6, end K3

Row 16: Repeat row 12

Repeat Row 1-16 for lace pattern

Picture C shows how the pattern comes out.

Reading Material & Guides

Vogue has its own Knitting edition!
Vogue has its own Knitting edition! | Source
You get Knitting Books with step by step instructions to work different stitches and patterns
You get Knitting Books with step by step instructions to work different stitches and patterns | Source


So basically you can teach knitting even by writing it all down and maybe supplement it with pictures.

It depends on what you prefer- attending a live class or Do IT Yourself.

You can teach yourself knitting too! My mother had taught me how to cast on, knit and purl when I was probably ten years old. Now so many years later, when I had the time, I found a renewed interest in knitting and took it up again. I taught myself so many patterns just by reading up, buying some books and magazines, browsing like crazy on the web (you won’t believe how much information is out there!) and just keep trying. Like I said earlier, if you follow a good pattern to the Tee, you can hardly go wrong.

You might be left with some sore finger tips and tired eyes, so make sure you massage your finger tips, use good quality needles and keep looking the distance during your knitting projects!


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    • Riverfish24 profile image

      Riverfish24 5 years ago from United States

      Thats fabolous lindacee! Thanks ...and yes, a scarf will be a great start back :). There are lovely spring-summer lacey scarf patterns out there. Good luck!

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 5 years ago from Arizona

      I did some knitting years ago. You have given me the "knitting bug" again! I would love to knit a sweater for myself, but I'm afraid I'll have to start with an easy scarf and then maybe a sweater for the dog. I will bookmark your Hub and use it as a reference. Thanks for the helpful Hub and inspiration!

    • Riverfish24 profile image

      Riverfish24 5 years ago from United States

      Great! Go for it! Thanks for the visit and votes Om!

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

      Lovely hub! Just like Simone, now I feel like I might want to take up knitting, too. Rated up and awesome!

    • Riverfish24 profile image

      Riverfish24 5 years ago from United States

      Thanks Simone! You should try it!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      What an awesome Hub! This really makes me want to take up knitting. You've made it seem quite manageable- and fun! Thanks for creating the useful resource.