KNIT 101 / SUPPLIES AND CASTING ON

01/10/2014

I am thrilled to welcome and introduce the beautifully talented Rebekka Seale of Camilla Fiber Company as a regular contributor to Bleubird. I have been a long time fan of Rebekka’s work and having her here is such a treat. I have also always wanted to learn how to knit, so this new series is pretty perfect for me and hopefully for many of you. Please show Rebekka a warm welcome. – James 

Hi everyone! Rebekka Seale here. I am super excited to be teaming up with my friend James on this series! Quite often, I get emails and questions about good resources for beginning knitters, and I’m looking forward to sharing a hobby that has brought me so much joy. I actually learned to knit several years ago via a few Skype chat sessions with a friend 2,000 miles away, and supplemented that with a lot of online video tutorials. So I’m pretty confident that knitting is a skill that can be learned online! My goal for this series is to take you through the basics of knitting, step-by-step, from the very beginning. The lessons will build on each other, and by the end of the series you will have a few precious handmade wearables to keep or share.

 

First, let’s talk supplies. For your very first project, all you will need is a ball of yarn and two needles. Yarn comes in several different weights…I learned using extra-bulky yarn, and love how easy it is to work with. The yarn pictured here is handspun alpaca from my shop, and I also like Wool Ease Thick & Quick for a first project. You can also go to your local craft store or yarn shop and just ask for bulky or extra bulky yarn.  For needles, you can choose between metal and wooden. It’s really a matter of feel…metal needles are slippery and the yarn glides over them quickly. But wooden needles are warmer and a little easier to control, so I recommend them for your first project. Needles come in different sizes, too, and you want to pick the size that works best with your yarn. For this project, you will need US size 13 (9mm) single-point wooden needles. These bamboo needles are inexpensive and available in most craft stores, as well as online.

 

Now, we can get started! To demystify the process a little, knitting is basically transferring stitches from one needle to the other and back again, over and over. For our first project, we’ll be making a cozy scarf. Our first step will be to “cast on” stitches to one of the needles. There are several different cast-on methods, but we are going to use what I call the “thumb cast-on”. Unroll a few feet of yarn from your ball, and make a simple loop about ten inches from the end of the yarn (these ten inches will be our “tail”…we will weave it in at the end). Make this loop into a slip knot by bringing the yarn attached to the ball up through the loop. It will look sort of like a pretzel.

 

Pick up your needle, slip it through the second loop you just created, and pull on the tail to tighten. This is the slip knot that attaches the yarn to the needle, and it also counts as your first cast-on stitch.

 

Now we need to cast on 19 more stitches! To do this, hold the needle in your right hand, and drape the yarn attached to the ball over your left thumb as shown. Take the point of your needle up under the yarn on your thumb, then take your thumb out of the loop.

 

Pull on the yarn to tighten the loop around the needle. Now you have two stitches cast on! Repeat casting on with the thumb loop 18 more times, for a total of 20 cast-on stitches.

 

This is what it should look like! Kind of a mess, but it’s the beginning of something awesome. Next time we will learn the basic knit stitch, and start working on the body of our scarf!

Photos and Knit 101 by Rebekka Seale for Bleubird.

107 comments

  • Britt

    Loving this series! Such a beautiful display and so informative. Looking forward for more of these posts.

    x Britt

  • Rosie

    This is so great! I recently taught myself to crochet and was interested in finding a tutorial on knitting. I also recently (like days ago) discovered this blog and I LOVE it and am so thrilled to see this Knit 101. Thank you James and Rebekka!

  • Jesse

    i’m really excited for this series! i only know how to make a scarf and i want to learn something new. i was looking at some patterns for hats this weekend, i just need a circular needle.

    http://semiweeklyeats.blogspot.com/2014/01/weekend-randomness.html

    • Rebekka

      Hi Jesse! So glad you’re excited for this series! After this scarf is finished, our next project will be a hat knit on circular needles. Fun!

  • Rebecca

    I am so excited about this series! Learning to knit is on my “to do” list for 2014. Thanks Bleubird and Rebekka!

  • Sarah

    Lovely! Can I ask what your nail polish color/brand is? Looks like a great light gray.

  • Juliette Laura

    OH my goodness, I’ve just wanted to start knitting, and this is just what I needed. Thanks!

    xo, Juliette Laura
    http://juliettelaura.blogspot.com

  • OnceLostBoutique

    Thank you so much for the first steps ) Love the photo tutorial. BTW what an adorable bird tattoo ))

  • Cassie

    I taught myself to knit a couple of years ago (from a book, and then online tutorials for the more complicated stitches,) and have fallen in love with the craft. I look forward to this series and learning some new tips and tricks!

  • michelle

    fantastic! gorgeous photos…love the skein & can’t wait to check out the shop.

    i have been knitting for 10 years and i continue to learn as the days/years go by. when i teach friends, i always tell them this is the trickiest part of learning (casting on). newbies…keep practicing and you’ll get it!

  • Diana

    I love this so far! Beautiful instructions and photographs — definitely hope to see more of this! For those of us who procrastinate on getting supplies…about how often will this series pop up? Thanks for sharing!

  • Allison

    What a great post!! Love it!

  • petal and plume

    thank you so much for the beginning tips of knitting! cannot wait for all that this series will offer!
    xx

  • Alia (Simple Savvy)

    this is so cool! i like to crochet but have always been intimidated by knitting so im excited to follow along with this new series!!

  • EMILY

    I already want more!!

  • Ashlee

    This is wonderful! Have ALWAYS wanted to learn and this looks like so much fun. Really looking forward to more.

    somethingus.blogspot.com

  • Fernand et Firmin

    I learnt the basic of knitting with my mom. And decided to go back to it a few months ago after moving to Amsterdam in prevention of the super cold months to come, I thought a wool blanket would be perfect but … my problem is I am so slowwww … The blanket will have to wait until next winter I guess… haha

  • Kara

    Where did you get those specific needles from in the photos? I love the yarn!

  • J.

    Oh I think I’ll really like this series! I’ve been wanting to learn how to knit for so long. I tried teaching myself once but I was just bad, bad, bad so I just stuck with crocheting lol. I’ll have to try again.

    J.

  • Anie

    Already a knitter-love the yarn and the nail polish!! What color is that :-) ???
    Great tutorial as well-looking forward to the rest of the series. Always something new to learn!

  • Kaylan

    Love it! I recently learned to crochet by online tutorials. Any needlework project is so much fun and is such a good activity for down time. Thanks for a great new series to enjoy on your blog!

Leave a Comment

Please be respectful. Bleubird is a place for positivity, inspiration, constructive criticism and healthy debate. Comments are moderated. Those that are deemed inappropriate, including general or self-promotional spam, untruths, offensive or harassing statements, profanity or comments unrelated to the post will be deleted.

All Content © 2014 Bleubird. All Rights Reserved.
Site designed by Jane Reaction + Developed by Brandi Bernoskie