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

  • Laura - Afterglobe

    I LOVE THIS!! This reminded my of my own crochet-project. Maybe that’s how I should spend the weekend.

  • Leonie

    I’m so excited about this! I’ve often looked at the beautiful yarn Rebekka sells and thought I wasn’t nearly skilled enough to knit something to show it off. I’ll be following the lessons carefully.

  • Maria

    I’m very much looking forward to this series! I’ve been saving my mom’s old 60s-80s knitting patterns from the Soviet Union and Germany.. I’m really hoping my skills can improve enough to be able to make some of the beautiful designs, especially the children’s styles. This series is great motivation to get back into practice!

  • Muriel

    I love love love this. I’m excited to create things via this tutorial.

  • Dana

    Love this new series! I just started knitting at the end of November and am still learning some basics. Looking forward to this!

  • Torri

    Learning how to knit has definitely been on my radar. Great timing!

  • becca waterloo

    I’m so excited for this series! I literally just started learning how to
    Look forward to seeing more of this

    http://oolretaw.com/blog

  • Marianne

    This is perfect – I will by joining you from Denmark :0)

  • Ady

    Love this series! So great!

  • Amanda

    Could you post a link to where that yarn was purchased from? I LOVE it!!!!!!!!!!

  • Tori

    Oh my! This is new series so much fun!!! I learned how to knit in high school but never picked up back up again and have been wanting to lately. This is perfect. Also, I’m loving your little shop Rebekka. Hope it gets replenished soon with those pompom hats!

    Thanks James and Rebekka!!

    Much love, http://myomlife.com/

  • Mayra

    I do love knitting, so as cross stitch. Welcome Rebekka!

  • thislittlemum

    by pure coincidence, learning to knit is a new years resolution for me! so excited about this series! and the beautiful photography makes it all the more fun.

  • Heather

    I have always wanted to learn to knit!!! This is great! Can’t wait until the next post!!!!

    Heather
    southernnorth.com

  • Brittney S

    I’m so excited to learn from someone with your passion for knitting!

  • Amber

    This is such a great idea, I can’t wait to get into this as I am in desperate need of practise with knitting. How often will this series be up?

  • Mitali

    Love this post! So awesome! Makes me want to knit! And the wool is so beautiful, I wonder if I can find it somewhere in Germany.

  • Weekly Roundup: Jan. 10 | Pink & Black

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  • Gabrielle

    Such a good idea!! I’m so excited!

  • Lili

    hurray!! am learning to knit – visions of making toddler nordic sweaters!! how timely is this series THANK YOU!

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