Monday, June 18, 2012

How to Mondays: How to cast on.

One just needs to do a search engine search to see that there are almost as many ways to cast on as knitters to cast on the yarn.

 I am a continental knitter.....if you don't know what that means, it means:

Knitting with the yarn in one's left hand is commonly referred to as Continental knitting, German knitting, European knitting, or left-hand knitting. Unlike English knitting, the yarn is held in the left hand; the motion of bringing the yarn forward with a needle held in the other hand is thus sometimes known as picking. Continental knitting can be done at a greater rate than English knitting, as the stitches are formed closer to the needle points and the yarn has a shorter travel.[1]
Continental-style knitting, being associated with Germany, fell out of favour in English-speaking countries during World War II; its reintroduction in the United States is often credited to Elizabeth Zimmerman. (source
I first taught myself to crochet & it felt more natural to learn to knit this way, opposed to trying to knit with the right hand. Just about the only think I do right handed is write (thanks to the public school system that made my life torment in 1st grade that felt a left handed child was a demon seed & must be changed to go along with the rest of the class). I honestly can not can not knit any other way. I've tried to teach myself what I call the 'normal' way that others knit and it feels backwards to me.

sometimes I even have to reverse the patterns to get my head wrapped around what they are saying sometimes.......

that being said, if you leave with only one understanding today it's what feels natural & makes sense to you. If you are tense or uptight your knitting stitches will be tight & no one has fun trying to stitch those off the needles.

Today is the first How to Monday so I thought I would review how to cast on. When I first started teaching myself to knit (there was NO ONE to teach me so I had to teach myself), I couldn't get the understanding of the pictures that showed how to cast on, so I created my own cast on technique. I will show you someday in a video how I do it, but I don't want to confuse anyone as to what I've adapted so...lets go with the general rule of thumb on how to cast on.

Lots of new knitters make the mistake of picking up needles and yarn in excitement of the thoughts of knitting without giving full complete thought as to the choice of needles and the choice of yarn. I know I was one such person. I went to our local Wally world & picked up a really small size needles and really thick yarn not understanding what I was getting myself into at that time.

I sat around trying to teach myself by reading books until I was in tears. Youtube was just starting to be on the mainstream (as far as I was concerned) and refused to give up until I 'got' it. You can ask my poor husband. Dishes were unwashed, clothes were not done,'s a thousand wonders I even left the screen to do anything..but I finally got it. Using the wrong yarns and everything.

My advice to new knitters is to relax. Have faith in yourself & it will all come. Take a deep breath.....grab your needles and yarn.....and have a go

how to cast on (knit on)

Step 1:  If starting work from the beginning, you will need to start with a slip knot.  Otherwise, you need to have at least one stitch already on the left needle. This holds the yarn steady for you to do the rest of the casting on that you need to do.

Step 2: Insert the right needle into the stitch on the left needle as if to knit and bring the yarn over knitwise.

Step 3:  Pull the yarn through to create a stitch on the right needle.

Step 4:  Slip the stitch from the right needle on to the left needle without twisting.

Step 5:  Do it again!  Insert the needle in the newly created stitch as if to knit and bring the yarn over knitwise.

Step 6:  Slip this newly-created stitch onto the left needle.

Step 7:  Keep repeating steps 5 & 6 until the desired number of stitches have been created.

I can not suggest enough to look at youtube until you find a cast on technique that works for you. How to cast on YOUTUBE style

You may find great luck in finding local yarn stores to go into to get the 'face to face' instruction and how to's from them. I have found 'face to face' teaching to be a great resource.

Local Yarn stores......let me google that for you...... (hope that type of link made you giggle...I know I did!)

have great fun learning to knit! I know you can do it! If I can learn anyone can learn!

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