In the First Segment of this series, we talked about the different types of yarn, and what needle sizes they should be used with. Your homework was to go out and get your first set of straight knitting needles and the yarn you need for one of the three projects I listed (or to decide on making a washcloth of scarf instead of starting with a hat).
The next step to becoming an expert knitter (which I know you will someday be!) is to learn how to cast on. Casting on is basically creating a set of stitches (or loops) on your needles that you will start knitting with. There are quite a few different cast on methods (there never seems to be just one of anything with knitting! Ha). I personally prefer what is called a crochet cast on method. It uses a crochet hook to create a beautiful edge that matches a traditional knitting bind off (something we will learn a little later on). I’ve included a video below to show you how to do this method. How to make a slip-knot (which you will need to know for any cast-on method) is also included in this video:
If you prefer to use a cast-on method that doesn’t use a crochet hook (which you might because I forgot to include a hook in our shopping list…I’m Sorry!!), there are many options available to you. There are different merits to any cast-on method you use, and the edge of each one also has different qualities….some will be stretchy, some will be stiff, and some will look more finished than others. It is important to try a few methods and find one that suits YOU. Every knitter is different, and thus, every knitter finds a different technique more manageable than another. www.craft.tutsplus.com has an amazing run down of all the Different Cast On Methods that I recommend you check out. For a beginner, I recommend starting with the Single Cast-On, which is the first method demonstrated on the page.
Your homework for this segment is to practice! And practice….and practice…and practice some more. Experiment with the different methods, and find one you like. Then get comfortable with this. Repeat the method so many times that you could do it with your eyes closed (extra bonus points to those of you who dream about casting on before moving on to the next segment!).
The next segment will be on how to do a knit stitch and I will try to have it out in the next few days….I know by then you will be itching to move on to a new technique!
Please come over to my Facebook Page and show off your awesome supplies and cast ons 🙂 It would make me very happy!
Also, if you want a place where you can ask questions any hour of the day (and chances are there is some knitter online to help)…or to just be part of a wonderful community, request to join the Melody’s Makings Facebook Group. We love sharing projects, helping each other, and those who know how to knit even get free patterns in exchange for testing.
Comment below and tell me what cast-on method you like best!