Knitting for beginners #s 5 & 6

Firstly, I want  to apologise if this blog is getting too knitting-heavy for some...I realise the irony considering what name I chose! In all honesty though, the lead up to Christmas is always so busy for me and it leaves very little time for sewing - so if I wasn't doing this eight-week knitting course, I think my blogging would be pretty sparse! In any case, as a reassurance to those who were wondering, I have many personal sewing plans for the near future...including some Christmas-gift-sewing along the way!

Anyway, onto business - it appears that in my excitement to share
my snood last week, I forgot to post about my actual knitting lessons! Ooops, what a show off!

I think we’ve learned everything that our little beginner brains can handle for now, so for the last two lessons (7 & 8) we will get to work on a project of our choice. I’ve seen a really smart circular scarf thing that I’m itching to start next week, but right now, I’m working on my third snood (the second was identical to the one you’ve already seen). I’m using the same pattern, but this time I’m going for a more dramatic effect with moss stitch. I blame you entirely for this obsession by the way Karen!

I’m pretty pleased with how it’s looking so far! And look at all the delicious yarns that arrived in the post the other day – ordered for a bargain from here

Also, I’ve done a round-up of the skills I’ve learned over the last six weeks, as they might be helpful for any other beginner knitters out there. I’ve linked to tutorials from Knitting Help where possible, because I found this website really helpful! I’m still perplexed as to why there is a continental and an English way of knitting, but just so you know, I’ve linked to the English tutorials because this is the way I’ve been taught.

Basic Skills

Cable Cast On - a good basic way to get any beginner project started.

Basic cast off - again an easy way for beginners to finish off projects.

More advanced patterns which need shaping will require you to decrease:

Decreasing looks quite neat!

Similar patterns may also require you to increase:

  • I’ve been taught to Bar Increase which works for both the start and end of your rows.
A bit of moss stitch, followed by stockinette increase, followed by stockinette decrease

Types of Stitches

Knit Stitch - there’s a long tutorial and a short tutorial for this.

Purl Stitch – again, there’s a long tutorial and a short tutorial.

Garter Stitch – this stitch is achieved by knitting every row or purling every row and looks like this:

Stocking / Stockinette Stitch – this is achieved by alternating between knitting and purling rows (knit one row, purl the next) and looks like this:

Ribbed Stitch - this is achieved by alternating between knitting two stitches (or however many a pattern asks you to) and purling the same or a different amount (again, the pattern will specify this). A key thing to remember is that when you're knitting stitches you need to bring your yarn to the back of your needle and when you're purling you need to bring the yarn to the front of the needle.

Moss / Seed Stitch - for this stitch you literally just alternate between knit and purl stitches. When you start a new row, you've got to make sure that your stitches are the opposite to the ones directly below. For example if the first stitch of the last row is a purl, you've got to start your new row with a knit stitch. Again, you need to remember to bring your yarn to the back of your needle on a knit stitch and to the front of the needle on a purl stitch.

In case you hadn't realised, I couldn't be enjoying learning knitting more! Like sewing, it's such a brilliantly creative skill to develop, but I also like the un-sewing-like freedom it can pretty much take it anywhere with you if you just ignore the weird looks! 

Anyway, I hope this helps some people or is at least of a little interest to others!


  1. Your knitting samples look great! I've never really quite got my knitting skills off the ground -- like you say, there's only so much time, and picking up knitting means dropping something else I love! But you're tempting me to try again!

  2. I really like seeing a variety of posts and whatever you include is there for you to look back on. When you start knitting your first giant cable jacket you can remember the exciting first steps you took. I took up knitting last year and am so glad I did.

  3. This is a fabulous post. I have to bookmark it to send to friends who want to learn to knit.

  4. You are learning really quickly! Everything looks great.

    I'm in the middle of a big, cozy scarf knitted with moss stitch. I knit everywhere, who cares about the funny looks!

  5. Good luck with the knitting Marie! I've just got back into knitting myself after a long time away so this post is really handy for reminding me how to do things. :)


  6. More than happy to take the blame! You've learnt so much. The snood in moss stitch is an inspired idea. Go, go, go!

  7. Oh, I love moss stitch. I've now got some cheap wool to knit my first snood. If that works, I'll soon be making another!!

  8. I'm really jealous! I started a class right before the bub was born and didn't continue with it - all forgotten now! You've inspired me to have another go - thanks for the links!

  9. You're knitting BEAUTIFULLY! Had I only looked at the pictures without reading, I'd never have guessed you were a beginner! Your gauge is impressively even for someone who's been knitting less than two months! And, you already know a fantastic array of stitches! You'll be knitting sweaters in no time!

  10. Absolutely a work of art! Your knitting samples are much to consider beautifully made. A lot of knitting beginners would benefit in this. Much thanks to you for sharing this knitting pattern for beginners like me.