How To: Knitting | Part 1 Casting on and the Knit Stitch

HI! I realize it has been months and months since I last posted. I really needed a long break so I could figure out what direction I want to take this blog in. I haven’t quite decided but I am going to try to post things I truly¬†care about and like. That leads me to a series I am going to start about… knitting (yes, I know you already know because of the title, but I like the suspense the ellipsis give). I am going to break it into different sections so if you are a first time knitter, you aren’t to overwhelmed with info.

Now some background about me as a knitter. The first time I knit was at camp with 2 pens and some yarn. A lot of knitting patterns have specifics about needle size, but I personally ignore them. Even though it may not be exactly like the pictures in the pattern, you still knit something! So, keep in mind that even though I use knitting needles in the photos, you can just as easily use pens or borrow a pair of random knitting needles.If you end up doing really fancy projects in the future, you may decide to pay more attention to the details.

In this post, you will learn 3 things: casting on, the knit stitch and casting off. At the end you will have a square of knitting! You can make it bigger to make a wash cloth or a pot holder (but you need yarn that is safe for hot dishes). Your square will be in garter stitch, which means it’s made of only knit stitches, not a combination of knit and purl stitches. The next post will be on purling.

You will need….

Knitting Needles (or pens/pencils)





Now let’s get started! The first thing you are going to learn is how to cast on. This is basically how you get the yarn on the needle in the first place.

Step 1: You first need to tie a slip knot that has a tail that is about 3-4 inches and put it on one of your needles.


Step 2: Then tighten it around the needle so it is as small as possible while still being able to move easily up and down the needle. That is your first stitch! Only the first stitch is a slip knot.

Step 3: To make the next stitch, hold the needle that has the slip knot in your left hand. Pinch the yarn (not the tail of the slip knot, but the yarn directly connected to the ball) in your right hand between your thumb and index finger. Your thumb should be on top.


Step 4: Rotate your fingers so they are now pointing down. You should have created a “P” shape with the yarn. The horizontal piece should be on top.


Step 5: Next, move the P over the needle, keeping the horizontal piece of yarn on top. This is a bit awkward to explain, but look at the pictures to see how to do it.


Step 6: Then tighten. You now have 2 stitches on your needle.


Step 7: Continue adding more using the “P” method until you have cast on 10 total.



Now, I am going to explain how to do a knit stitch. There are 2 types of stitches: knitting and purling. I am going to explain purling in the next post in this series. Using different patterns of these stitches (ribbing) are going to create a different texture of your project.

Step 1: Insert the empty needle (I’ll refer to this needle as the right needle) into the top stitch and behind the needle with the stitches (I’ll call this the left needle). The right and left needle should make an X.


Step 2: Take the yarn and put it in-between the two needles from left to right. It should be sandwiched between the needles


Step 3: Back out the right needle so the yarn is a little over a centimeter (roughly) away from the tip. I didn’t do this in the photo, but I usually keep a finger tip on the tip of the right needle so the yarn doesn’t accidentally fall off.


Step 4: This is the trickiest part. At this point the top stitch¬†is a basically a circle of yarn on two needles with a piece of yarn dividing it in two. Take the right needle and put it over the dividing piece of yarn in into the ‘left part’ of the circle. If you are confused, look at the pictures or leave a comment!



Step 5: Now just lift the stitch off the left needle and you have knit your first stitch!!


Step 6: Keep going until you finish the row – all of the stitches are on the other needle. Now the needles with the yarn is the left needle and the empty one is the right needle.


Step 7: Keep knitting until you make a square (or a rectangle if you want)




Now, to finish off your project, you have to cast off.

Step 1: Knit 2 stitches


Step 2: Pull the bottom stitch – aka the first stitch you knit in that row – over the top stitch and off the needle




Step 3: You now have 1 stitch on the right needle, so knit another and then lift the bottom one over again.


Step 4: Continue until you only have 1 stitch left total (it will be on the right needle). Now cut your project from the yarn ball, leaving a 4 ish inch tail.


Step 5: Take the lone stitch off the needle, but make sure it stays intact as a stitch/circle.


Step 6: Take the tail and put it through the stitch through the bottom.


Step 7: Tighten!



Step 8: You have now made a square of knitting! I didn’t take any photos of this, but if you want to use your square for something, just take a darning needle and sew the tails (1 from the beginning and 1 from the end) into your square.