How to knit, purl and cast off

Once you have cast on the required number of stitches, you can start to make your knitted fabric. To knit, you transfer stitches from the left-hand needle to the right-hand needle. When you come to the end of the row, you put the needle with the stitches into your left hand and work on the reverse side to knit, or purl, the next row.

 

Knit (k)

Knitting every stitch on every row will give you a texture called garter stitch.

 

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Hold the needles using the English method. From front to back, insert the tip of the right-hand needle into the first stitch on the left-hand needle.

 

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Bring the yarn you are holding in your right hand under the tip of the right-hand needle.

 

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Wrap the yarn over the needle.

 

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Bring the tip of the right-hand needle, and the yarn wrapped around it, through the stitch on the left-hand needle.

 

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Pull the loop of yarn through to make a new stitch on the right-hand needle.

 

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Slip the original stitch off of the left-hand needle. The knitted stitch is now complete.

 

Purl (p)


Most knitting designs are made up of both knit and purl stitches. Once you have mastered the purl stitch you are able to go forward and try any design. It's best to practise the knit stitch until you are confident with it and then move on to purl stitch.

 

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For purl stitch, you need the yarn at the front of the work as shown. From back to front, put the tip of the right-hand needle into the first stitch on the left-hand needle.

 

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Bring the yarn forward and then take it over the tip of the right-hand needle.

 

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Wrap it under and around the tip of the needle.

 

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Bring the tip of the right-hand needle, and the yarn wrapped around it, backwards through the stitch on the left-hand needle, making sure that this stitch remains on the needle.

 

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Pull the loop completely through the stitch, creating a new stitch on the right-hand needle.

 

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When it's safely through, slip the original stitch off the left-hand needle. The purl stitch is now complete.


Basic finishing

Once you have completed your piece of work you need to finish the stitches so you can take out the needles without the knitting unravelling. This is called casting (binding) off.

When casting (binding) off you use the same yarn and needles as for the work and either a knit stitch or a purl stitch, depending on whether the row would have been knitted or purled if the work was continued.

  • Casting off knitwise

This is the first, and most straightforward, way of casting (binding) off that you need to learn.

 

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Knit the first two stitches in the usual way.

 

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Slip the tip of the left-hand needle into the first stitch you knitted onto the right-hand needle. Lift it over the second stitch you knitted and drop it off the needle. You now have only one stitch on the right-hand needle.

 

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Knit another stitch from the left-hand needle and then pass the previous stitch you knitted over it. Continue in this way until you have one stitch remaining on right-hand needle.

 

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Cut the yarn leaving a 15cm (6in) tail to sew in later. Put the cut end through the remaining stitch and pull it tight. 

  • Casting off purlwise

This is essentially the same as casting (binding) off knitwise, but you are working with purl stitches.

 

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Purl the first two stitches in the usual way.

 

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Take the yarn to the back. Slip the tip of the left-hand needle into the first stitch you purled onto the right-hand needle. Lift it over the second stitch you purled and drop it off the needle. You now have only one stitch on the right-hand needle. Continue in this way until you have one stitch remaining. Cut the yarn, leaving a 15cm (6in) tail to sew in later. Put the cut end through the remaining stitch and pull it tight.


Casting-off tips

  • You may find that the last stitch on the cast (bound) off row forms an ugly, baggy point. To avoid this, when casting (binding) off knitwise, work to the last stitch to be cast (bound) off: you will have one stitch on the right-hand needle and one stitch on left-hand needle.
  • When you come to knit the last stitch, put the tip of the needle through the same stitch on the row below. Wrap the yarn around the tip of the right-hand needle and pull the loop through the stitch, slipping the original off the needle in the usual way. Cast (bind) off the last stitch then cut the yarn and put it through the loop in the usual way.
  • As you pull it tight, give a little wiggle and you will see that you are not left with that unsightly point. The same principle applies when casting (binding) off purlwise.

 

Darning in ends

  • To darn in use a tapestry needle to weave each end invisibly into nearby stitches. End with a back stitch and snip off the end close to the knitting.

 

First Knits

 

The content on this page is taken from First Knits, published by LoveCrafts. 

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Last updated: 11-Jul-2013 at 9:58 AM