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You know that scene in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince where Dumbledore takes Harry to find Professor Slughorn? A whole thing happens.. Dumbledore goes to the loo, and returns waving a magazine around. Then he exclaims, “Horace! Mind if I take this? I do love knitting patterns!”
Same, Dumbledore, Same. And If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I insist that you watch this clip for yourself:
“Oh, there you are, Albus,’ he said. ‘You’ve been a very long time. Upset stomach?’– J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
‘No, I was merely reading the Muggle magazines,’ said Dumbledore. ‘I do love knitting patterns.”
Ah, Harry Potter makes my heart so happy!
So now that you’ve been enlightened– or maybe delightfully reminded– please understand that the Harry Potter reference is here to segue into today’s blog post: an easy step-by-step knitting tutorial
I know, I know. This post might seem a little unorthodox coming from me. After all, this blog usually focuses on digital art & graphic design.
But if you read my last post, you’ll know that I’m fully embracing my weird maker niche, and that means ya’ll are gettin’ a knittin’ tutorial.
How I Learned to Knit
Today I’m going to give you a complete beginners guide to knitting. Once you finish reading this post and watching these short video tutorials, you should have the basic knowledge of knitting and be ready to try out your first project.
I won’t be offended if you are eager to learn. Click Here to skip ahead to the good stuff. Otherwise..
Are you ready to learn how to knit?
I sure was.
I love knitting! But fun fact: I actually taught myself how to crochet before I learned how to knit. And I was so proud of my first little granny square. For the next few months my life consisted of: work, then come home and crochet on the couch while binge-watching LOST on Netflix. Oh, the good ol’ days.
I used to be all over the crochet blogs in 2008, but I quickly realized that crochet wasn’t gonna cut it for me. The charm of those bright, colorful granny squares quickly wore off and I needed to learn how to knit.
The fabric created from knitting was so much drapey-er and simpler and prettier. And wearable. (No hate on crochet– it’s just that once I learned how to knit, my desire for crochet went out the window. It does have it’s structural advantages over knitting and is easy to figure out/make up as you go along, which I greatly appreciate!)
But teaching myself how to knit wasn’t that easy. I tried, but the tutorials on Youtube weren’t as good nor as plentiful back then. So I enlisted the help of my then-coworker from Starbucks (shoutout Amanda!).
At first, knitting was awkward. It felt like the needles were not meant to move together that way, and the resulting fabric was twisted, knotted, and plagued with dropped stitches. I couldn’t fathom how Amanda had managed to make a pair of gorgeous, delicate mittens with individual fingers holes and the little pull-over mitten part attached with a button (sorry if you totally don’t know what I’m describing..). And to be perfectly honest– I’m still not sure how she managed it, because I–for one–still don’t have the patience for a project that tedious. To each their own.
But I didn’t give up! I kept practicing until I got a knack for knitting. Eventually the needles started to feel more natural, and I learned how to do things like picking up dropped stitches instead of having to pull out my entire work every time I made a mistake – yay! I also started to teach knitting to some of my family and friends – double yay!
Are you feeling hyped for this knitting tutorial yet?
I used to have a blog called Plum Elephant, and my most popular post was a knitting pattern I made up! It went as viral as I’ve ever gone. To be honest I could (and might one day) have a separate blog dedicated entirely to knitting. I know it’s a niche topic, but it’s also just a great skill to have in your arsenal.
Knitting Community Online
It might surprise you to learn that there is a large and active knitting community online already, especially over at Ravelry, but also on Instagram (#knittersofinstagram). And even though the knitting scene seems to be exploding with celebrity pattern designers (like Drea Renee Knits or Westknits) and indie dyers (such as Hedgehog Fibers), it somehow still feels close-knit (tee hee hee). So I definitely encourage you to explore the knitting community- it might be your tribe!
But the thing that keeps knitting constant in my life is that it’s a challenge! The way I like to approach it makes me feel like I’m a little knitting engineer (true story: I often wonder if I missed my true calling as an engineer). I like to dissect knitwear to figure out how it’s constructed. I often look at knit designs and then attempt to recreate them without a pattern. If I can’t find exactly what I want – I research & write my own patterns!
And the craziest part? I rarely ever wear the things I knit. For one it’s way too hot for all that in Georgia, but also– I don’t knit for the end result. I knit so I know how to knit. The knowledge I gain is what brings me joy, and bonus– I can share it with you! So hit me up if you want some free knitwear (seriously)!
And finally – let’s learn how to knit!
I’ve broken this tutorial into 6 different videos that cover all the basics of knitting in an easy step-by-step format. You’ll be learning how to cast on using the long tail cast on method, how to knit (stitch), how to purl (stitch), and then how to combine those stitches to create two different fabrics: stockinette and garter. Finally, I’ll teach you how to bind off your knitting.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Knitting Needles (any size)
- Yarn (any weight, just make sure it’s a good match for your needle size. The paper wrap on the skein usually indicates the best size needle to use with the yarn)
- Scissors ( to cut the yarn after binding off)
*A quick note on the tools & supplies I’m using in these videos: I am using size 13 bamboo needles. Bamboo needles aren’t as slick as metal needles, so the stitches won’t slide around much. I personally prefer metal, but these needles are a good match for the bulky yarn I’m using.
I am using Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick Yarn in the color Spice. This is a bulky weight and very popular yarn that’s available in most craft stores.
My needles are double pointed (meant for knitting in the round, which is a post for another day), but you can use straight needles.*
And without further ado, let’s get knitting!
Easy Knitting Tutorial Video 1: Long Tail Cast On Method
Easy Knitting Tutorial Video 2: Knit Stitch
Easy Knitting Tutorial Video 3: Purl Stitch
Easy Knitting Tutorial Video 4: Stockinette
Easy Knitting Tutorial Video 5: Garter Stitch
Easy Knitting Tutorial Video 6: Binding Off
If you made it through all of these videos, congratulations! You’re a knitter. Maybe not the best.. yet! But I promise you will be a pro-knitter in no time if you keep practicing. Be sure to comment below & let me know how many mistakes you made, because #relatable.
If you’re feeling confident and ready to dive into your first project, why not try this Garter Stitch Scarf by Sapphires-n-Purls? Don’t forget to sign up for a free account on Ravelry, where you can explore tons of knitting patterns.
Also, if you enjoyed this tutorial, pin this image to share with your friends!
And if you want to learn more about knitting, stay tuned! Part 2- which will include more knitting stitch patterns, troubleshooting, tools, and techniques- is coming!