Knitting Techniques for More Successful Knitting You Need to Know
Anyone can learn to knit. Most people learn the knit stitch first, and then the purl stitch. Then they might learn how to cast on and bind off, increase and decrease, cable and seed stitch, and other types of knitting techniques and stitches.
All of these things are knitting techniques, and knitters are constantly learning. With every project there are more and more techniques to learn, such as shaping, seaming, or even steeking, in which you cut your knitwear to make a sweater a cardigan or to open armholes or to insert a heel in a sock.
Knitting excites us. It puts us at ease. Knitting allows us to express our creativity and construct beauty. Knitting challenges us. No matter what drives you to pick up your knitting needles, no matter what your skill level, this free download is a must-have guide that all knitters will appreciate and enjoy.
We made sure this free download, Knitting Techniques for More Successful Knitting, covers basic knitting techniques, such as casting-on and blocking, plus other essential techniques such as short rows and I-cord edging. Knitting can be such a rewarding experience—especially with the use of these helpful knitting techniques in one free download.
Keep a copy in your project bag so you can always have a quick reference for casting on, cable knitting, stitches for embellishing, fixing errant colors, knitting finishing techniques, and more! Expert knitting tips will always be within reach once you download your free eBook.
Read on for a few fun knitting techniques for more successful knitting!
Wrap-and-Turn Method for Short Rows
With the knit side facing, knit the required number of stitches to the turning point, slip the next stitch purlwise to the right needle (Figure 1), bring the yarn to the front between the needles, return the slipped stitch to the left needle (Figure 2), bring the working yarn to the back between the needles, and turn the work so that the purl side is facing—one stitch has been wrapped and the yarn is correctly positioned to purl the next stitch. Eventually, you will knit across the wrapped stitch—maybe on the next row or maybe several short-rows later. When you do, hide the wrap (the horizontal bar of yarn across the wrapped stitch) on a knit row as follows: knit to the wrapped stitch, insert the tip of the right needle into both wrap and the wrapped stitch (Figure 3), and knit them together. This forces the turning yarn (the“wrap”) to the back (wrong-side) of the fabric.
Tracking Needle Size and Cable Rows
Tracking Your Project Needle Size: Take a very long piece of contrasting scrap yarn and tie the exact number of knots to represent the size of your knitting needle.
If you remove your needle for use on another project, you will always know what size needle you were working with on the unfinished project.
Tracking Your Cable Rows: Tie some scrap yarn with the cast-on yarn tail when working a cable.
Take the scrap yarn and flip it over the needle every four rows—it looks like a running stitch up the project. You will always know what row of the cable you’re on as you only have to count four rows.
Why do it every four rows? Because so many cables are based on a multiple of four rows.
Source: Knitting Daily TV, Getting Started segments
Unknitting—sometimes called “tinking” (“tink” is “knit” spelled backward)—is like seeing a reverse. slow-motion film of knitting errors as they happen. Undoing the mistake shows what went wrong, giving us the chance to learn.
Unknitting moves stitches in reverse, undoing each new stitch from the right needle and replacing the old stitch on the left. If you’re at the end of a row, leave the full right needle in your right hand, exactly the opposite of what you’d do normally. If you’re in the middle of a row, find your working yarn and hold the needle it’s attached to in your right hand. The working yarn comes off the back of knit stitches and off the front for purls.
The following illustrations show both unknitting and unpurling; the process is basically the same for both techniques.
- The trick to unknitting is to place the left needle tip into the stitch lying right underneath the live stitch next to the tip of your right needle. To do this, pull on the working yarn; the opening created in your stitches points to exactly where to place your left needle.
- Place your left needle in the opening from front to back (Figures 1 and 2). This captures the stitch from the previous row without twisting it.
- Slip this stitch from right needle to left needle. Pull the working yarn to unravel the stitch. The old stitch now sits on the left needle-one stitch has been unknitted (Above Figures 3 and 4).
- Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until you arrive at the mistake, and then fix it!
You’ll use this knitting technique all the time.
Source: Knit Fix by Lisa Karkus, Interweave Press, 2006.
Blocking takes your knitting from good to great. Add the finishing touches using these wet-blocking techniques:
By definition wet-blocking uses more moisture than steam-blocking, and can be used to stretch and enlarge a knitted piece (although loosely knitted pieces stretch more easily than tightly knitted ones, and any extra inches you gain in width, you may lose in length). There are three degrees of wet-blocking, depending on the amount of moisture added to the knitted fabric.
Spray-blocking is the mildest form of wet-blocking. It works equally well for all fibers—although silks and synthetics require more wetness than wool-and it allows for total control over temperature, dampness, and finished texture because you are not restricted to the temperature and amount of steam that comes out of your iron, and you can gently pat and shape the piece with your hands while you work. Pin the handknit to shape right side up on a padded surface placed away from direct sun or heat. Fill a spray bottle with cool tap water and spritz a fine, even mist over the piece. Use your hands to gently pat the moisture into the handknit, if desired, but be careful not to flatten any textured stitches.
Wet-wrapping imparts moisture deeper into the fibers and is appropriate for all types of yarn, especially cotton and acrylic, which are less resilient than wool and require more moisture penetration to reshape stitches. To wet-wrap, thoroughly soak a large bath towel in water, then put it through the spin cycle of a washing machine to remove excess moisture. Place the handknit on top of the towel, then roll the two together jelly-roll fashion. Let the bundle sit until the handknit is completely damp, overnight if necessary. Unroll the towel, remove the handknit, and pin it out to measurements on a padded surface away from direct sun or heat.
Immersion imparts moisture thoroughly through the fibers and allows complete reshaping. It is appropriate for all fiber types, and particularly ideal for heavily ribbed or cabled fabrics, or fabrics that have taken on a biased slant during knitting. It is also the method to use after washing a handknit. To immerse a handknit, turn it inside out and soak it in a basin of lukewarm water for about twenty minutes, or until thoroughly wet, gently squeezing water through the piece if necessary. Drain the water, carry the wet handknit in a bundle to the washing machine, and put it through the spin cycle (or roll it in dry towels) to remove excess moisture. Do not twist or wring the handknit. Shape the piece right side up on a padded surface, using pins (and blocking wires) as necessary.
More How-to Block Knitting Tips
- Experiment with blocking your gauge swatch before you block an actual knitted piece.
- Do not rub, twist, or wring a handknit. Doing so may distort the stitches beyond correction.
- Before blocking, weave in all loose ends-the blocking process will help secure the ends in place.
- It is preferable to block individual pieces before sewing them together. Blocking makes the sewing process easier and the results of blocking are more consistent when you work with a single layer of fabric. You can block a garment that has been sewed together, but the results may not be as good.
- Many experts warn against blocking ribbing, which will lose its natural elasticity if blocked while stretched open. However, ribbing can be successfully blocked if you squeeze it into its most contracted state (so that all the purl stitches recede behind the knit stitches) before you apply moisture.
- Allow the blocked handknit to air-dry completely before moving it.
Even More Knitting Techniques for Success
Read through this free eBook, Knitting Techniques for More Successful Knitting, to discover simple ways for blocking knitting, fantastic felting ideas, hints for easier cable knitting, finishing techniques, and more. Included in your FREE download are:
- Casting on for Ribbing
- Durable Cast-Ons
- Crochet Chain (Provisional) Cast-On
- Embroidery Stitches
- Short Rows
- Felting Basics
- Reverse Single Crochet
- I-cord and Applied I-Cord Edging
- Three-Needle Bind-Off
- Special Trims
There’s so much to love about this free download. If you’re like most knitters, you’re always on the lookout for ways to add durability to your knitting. Well, the cast-on knitting directions found in this free eBook, Knitting Techniques for More Successful Knitting, will help ensure the durable and stretchy outcome you’ve been looking for. Looking to jazz up your finished project? Check out the fun embellishment stitches we’ve included.
Having trouble recalling what size knitting needles you used for that sweater you started last year? There’s a simple tip that is sure to make your life so much easier. Can’t remember where you left off the last time you were cable knitting? No problem. These easy dilemmas have even easier solutions…you’ll wish you had this handy guide years ago! Free knitting help is always nice to have, and now you can refer to the experts whenever you’re a little puzzled on what to do next. Improve your knitting skills right away, and add this essential guide to your toolkit today!