NOTE: This tutorial is just one in our Learn To Knit series of tutorials. If you’re a beginner, be sure to visit these other helpful links…
Once you’ve cast on, it’s time to knit! A brief overview: there are only two stitches in knitting, the knit stitch and the purl stitch. Both are methods of pulling loops through loops to create a fabric, and both are worked in rows from right to left on your needle.
In general, there are two basic methods of knitting, English and Continental. The difference is that English knitters hold the working yarn in their right hand and Continental knitters hold it in their left. Here you’ll learn the English method. If you’re left handed, don’t fear. Righties and lefties are all the same when it comes to knitting! Let’s get started…
When you start a new row always hold the needle with the stitches on it in your left hand, with the working yarn at the right end of the needle. The needle that will make the stitches is in your right hand.
Insert the right needle through the first stitch on the left needle with an away-from-you motion.
Use your right hand to bring the working yarn up around the back of the right needle, wrapping it counter clockwise around the tip of the right needle.
Pull the loop that is on the right needle through the stitch on the left needle in a toward-you motion.
And with a new stitch on the right needle, allow the stitch to fall off the left needle.
To knit the next stitch, make sure the working yarn is coming from the side of the needle that is away from you (i.e. from behind the work) and repeat the above steps. Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle.
Wrap the yarn counter clockwise around the right needle.
Pull the loop on the right needle through the stitch on the left needle.
Remove the stitch from the left needle, and observe a new stitch on the right needle!
Continue to knit in this manner across the whole row of stitches.
When you’ve knit all of the stitches from the left needle, place it in your left hand with the working yarn at the right end of the needle.
Start the new row with the usual knit stitch, inserting the right needle into the first stitch of the left needle. Keep in mind that the first stitch on the needle is always a bit loose. That’s okay, just don’t mistake it for two stitches!
Working every stitch of every row in knit stitch results in a stitch pattern called “garter stitch.” It is the easiest stitch to learn, but it is also one of our favorites! It looks the same on both sides, lies very flat, and has a lovely, lofty texture, making it an ideal stitch for scarves, blankets, collars, and button bands.