Knits and Needles

Hello to all my frosty Fellowers! ‘Tis the season for cold weather. Do you know what my favorite thing to do during these frigid temps? You may have guessed baking… which I also love, but as a woman of many talents knitting is also at the top of my list. So, I am going to show off a few of my favorite projects for the season, but also give you the basics on a knit and a purl stitch.

The knit stitch is simple to learn but does take some practicing. I started knitting my freshman year of undergraduate studies, and it took me at least a week and many failed attempts to learn the basics. First things first! You must learn to cast on before you even begin your knitting pattern. The best way to cast on as a beginner is to use the backward loop. This is what I have used since the beginning and it is extremely simple. There are two additional ways to cast on using the long-tail or a provisional cast that requires you to crochet a chain first. Personally, stick with the easiest method, the backward loop and learn the others with more experience (http://www.wikihow.com/Cast-On).

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Now back to the knit stitch. Here are the steps to create your perfect knit stitch:

  1.  In you left hand, place the needle with your cast-on stitches. The other needle will go in your right hand.
  2. Push the tip of the right needle under the first loop of the left needle. Your needles should look like an x, and make sure that the yarn is lying behind the needles.
  3. Hold the yarn tightly, and wrap it around the tip of the right needle in a counterclockwise motion. The yarn should sit between both your needles.
  4. Pull the tip of your right needle back through the first loop going towards you. You will take the yarn with it through this motion.
  5. Pull the right needle all the way through and bring the needle upward. The right needle should now be sitting in tip of the left needle.
  6. You will now pull the new lop on the right needle to the tip of the left needle. Do this carefully but keep the yarn tight enough so that it stays close to the needle (not so tight that you can’t slide the needles into the loops). Your first kit stitch should be on the right needle.
  7. Now complete the first row and repeat the same process for each subsequent row. This is the garter stitch.

The purl stitch. I love the look of the purl stitch but it is a little more complicated to learn then the knit stitch. Once you have mastered both of these stitches you will be able to do any type of knit pattern you please (for the most part).

Again, steps to create your purl stitch:

  1. Remember to cast on first!
  2. In you left hand, place the needle with your cast-on stitches. The other needle will go in your right hand.
  3. Push the tip of your right needle into the front of the loop on your left needle. Your needles should look like an x, but the right needle will be on top of the left needle. The yarn should be in front.
  4. Wrap the yarn around the left needle in a counterclockwise motion from between the needles to the front of the loop
  5. Pull the tip of your right needle back through the first loop going towards you. You will take the yarn with it through this motion.
  6. You will now be able to carefully place the knitted purl stitch on the right needle. You should be able to see the stitch on the right needle.
  7. Purl the remaining cast stitches the same way and continue the same process with each subsequent row.

Knitting is fantastic and not only creates warm little beauties but is also a huge stress reliever. So, cozy up with a nice cup of hot tea and get a knittin’! Note: If you would like step by step instructions with pictures/videos, wikihow.com has great tutorials on both the knit and purl stitch.

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As always, share your opinions and some of the projects that you are working on. We love to hear from our Fellowers. Happy  knitting!

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