Knitting Lesson 1 - Tying a SlipKnot

1:33 PM

The very very very first thing you do when you begin any knitting project is attach your yarn to your needle via a slipknot. This may be something very simple for you, but for some reason, every illustration I saw of one made me scratch my head in puzzlement. I eventually figured out that it wasn't that hard - you just make a pretzel. See what I mean in the following illustrations...

First, take your yarn and estimate how much yarn you'll need to cast on the needle (casting on is just your starter stitches). For example, if you have to cast on only 10 stitches, you won't need much yarn. If you're casting on 65 stitches, you may need several feet of yarn. Don't be alarmed by the amount of yarn you pull out to get you started.

If you fail to estimate the right amount of yarn, you'll end up going back, unraveling your stitches and starting over. Been there, done that. So it's better to over-estimate and have a tail of yarn left rather than have to start over.

As the picture above shows, you pull out the required amount of yarn you think you'll need to cast on and you fold it back to your left. The top strand of yarn is what you'll be pulling from the yarn ball. The bottom yarn will be what you end up casting on.
Next, take the curve you've made and twist it over once on the end, leaving a little bubble of about an inch or so. I always take the side closest to me and twist it over away from me.

Then, with your hand, pick up that bubble...

And fold it back over itself.

Like so...You want to fold it so that you leave it looking like a pretzel.

Then, take your knitting needle and insert the tip under the second strand of yarn from you. (not to complicate things, but if you made your initial twist opposite of the way I did, then you'll insert your needle through the strand just below the top strand instead of what I've shown).

Pick up that strand with the needle.

And grabbing the tail of your yarn, pull the yarn taut around your needle.

And you have just created a slipknot.
This is actually your FIRST cast on stitch. The next step is literally to cast on the rest of your "cast on" row and you're on your way.

I'm going to post my version of casting on hopefully later this evening.

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  1. Thanks Ashley--can't wait to go find some yarn and needles and try it. Any recommendations for a great first project? I know most people start with scarves:-)