Everything you need to know to begin knitting

There are all kinds of videos out there that you can watch to learn how to knit. While I thought about creating my own knitting videos, I ultimately decided there was no reason to reinvent the wheel. I have compiled what I feel are the best videos for beginners to watch in order to start their knitting journey. These are the same videos that I watched to learn how to knit, a few years ago.

While these videos will teach you all the basics of knitting, we do need to start with some pre-knitting basics like: understanding yarn weight, how to read a yarn label, knitting needles sizes and gauge swatches. You can find all this info in my Understanding Yarn Weight and How to Read a Yarn Label post.

Slip Knot & Cast On

First you need to start with a slip knot.

Watch – Slip Knot

After sliding the slip knot onto your needle you need to cast on stitches. There are 2 different cast on methods. The Simple Cast On and the Long Tail Cast On. The best cast on to the learn if you want to get serious about knitting is the Long Tail Cast On. But if you just want a very easy, introductory cast on, then I recommend the Simple Cast On.

Watch – Simple Cast On

When sliding the slip knot onto your needle, make sure that the working yarn (yarn attached to your ball of yarn) is facing you.

If you want to learn the long tail cast on there are 2 different ways to do it. There is the Thumb Method which is the easiest for beginners and there is the Traditional Method, which is more challenging to learn but a faster way to cast on, once you get the hang of it.

Watch – Long Tail Cast On Thumb Method

Watch – Long Tail Cast On Traditional Method

When using the long tail cast on (either the thumb or traditional method) make sure that the tail is facing you when sliding your slip knot onto your needle.

Knitting Stitches

There are 2 types of stitches to learn, the Knit Stitch and the Purl Stitch. You can knit with all knit stitches or knit with all purl stitches or knit with a combination of both to create different designs and ribbing.

Watch – The Knit Stitch

Watch – The Purl Stitch

Watch – How to Join in the Round

Watch – The 2×1 Rib Stitch

There are all different kinds of rib stitching. Rib stitching creates a textured vertical stripe in your knitting. It is accomplished by alternating knit and purl stitches and then doing those same alternating knit and purl stitches in each round or row. You can do 1×1 rib (knit then purl) or 2×1 rib (knit, knit, purl) or 2×2 (knit, knit, purl, purl) and the list goes on and on. I used a 2×1 Rib stitch in my Pumpkin Knitting Pattern.

Watch – How to Bind Off/Cast Off

The typical way to end your knitting (i.e. get the stitches off your needle) is to do a bind off/cast off. However, sometimes you may want to simply pass the live stitches off your knitting needle onto a threaded tapestry needle, like I do in my Pumpkin Knitting Pattern. If you want to see how to do this instead, watch this video, starting at the 3:11 mark.

Videos to help you fix mistakes

As a beginner you will make mistakes. A lot of them. This is to be expected. Don’t let it get you down. It takes a lot of practice to get the hand coordination down. After watching you first video you might feel like giving up, but don’t do it! You just need to keep working at it and you WILL get it.

Watch – How to Unravel Knitting

In this video you will see 3 different ways to unravel your knitting. It’s a very good video that I recommend you watch in entirety. However, in the first method (which starts at the 2:23 mark) you’ll see how to undo a knit stitch. But if you have a purl stitch that needs to be undone then you need to do it slightly different. So you’ll want to check out this How to Un-knit or Un-Purl video (watch), which will show you how to unravel both types of stitches.

Watch – How to Fix Tight Knitting

Watch – How to Fix Extra Stitches

This video shows the stitches on straight needles. As you will see in the video, it is very easy to see when you have added stitches because your knitting begins to angle/slant outward. If you are knitting in the round (using circular needles) it is not as apparent. As a beginner, I would recommend that each time you complete a round (end up back at your stitch marker) count the number of live stitches (the stitches currently on your circular needles) and make sure it’s the same number that you cast on with. If it’s more (or less) than you cast on with, then you know you need to make a correction in the next round.

Watch – How to Fix a Dropped Stitch

While there are tons of other videos out there for things like how to increase or decrease stitches, use magic loop, use double pointed needles, etc. those are not what I consider to be beginner videos, so I have not included them in this list of videos to watch.

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Author: Nicole Bolin