Once you learn the basics of knitting you can create magic. With the basic stitches (knit and purl) you can basically create anything. From there you can take it one step at a time building your knitting knowledge by learning how to increase/decrease, join in a new colour, cable, knit in the round etc etc.
All the stitches and methods that are used in my knit kits are included here to give you a helping hand there's also plenty of helpful videos on You Tube if you'd like to see it in action (while I slowly work on my own videos)
I'm excited to say I now have a Facebook Group which I've set up to share your knits with me and others! Please note this group is only for those who have purchased kits or patterns from me, but if you would like to join my knitting community please do so here.
build the basics
For the knitting basics you can click the button below to learn how to Cast On, Cast off, Knit and Purl. I've also got a How to Knit a Blanket video available here.
A, B, C Yarn Colours ie "Using Col A"
C4B Cable 4 (or number stated) stitches at the back
C4F Cable 4 (or number stated) stitches at the front
K2tog Knit two stitches together
LH Left hand (needle)
P2tog Purl two stitches together
RH Right Hand (needle)
RS Right Side of knitting
KPO Slip one stitch, knit one stitch, pass the slipped stitch over the knitted stitch
SSK Slip one stitch, Slip one stitch, knit slipped stitches together
St St Stockinette Stitch (1 row knit, 1 row purl)
WS Wrong side of knitting
All patterns have a gauge to help you make the item the same size. It tells you how many stitches and rows fit into 10cm so you can make sure your knitting matches. If you have more stitches/rows then you need to loosen your tension (how tight you're knitting) and if you have less stitches/rows then you need to tighten your tension (by pulling the yarn tighter when you create a stitch. It's always best to cast on more stitches than the gauge and knit more rows so that when you measure you can really see how many you have. Lay your sample flat and place your ruler on it to see where 10cm sits and count how many stitches/rows you have within that measurement.
knit all knit stitches
Some patterns might use the term 'knit all knit stitches & purl all purl stitches' (or abbreviated to ‘K all K sts, P all P sts’) this sounds more complicated that it really is - basically you just do the opposite of the previous row.
As your knitting you'll see that the back of your knit stitches are purls and the back of the purl stitches are knits, so if you're knitting all knits and purling all purls, on the row that you're on see which they look like and do that... if row 8 says 'k all k sts & p all p sts' and row 7 was K5, P10, K5 then for row 8 you would do the opposite and 'P5, K10, P5'
Increasing is used in lots of patterns to shape your knitting. It's a nice easy technique:
1. When you reach the stitch you need to increase: knit the stitch as normal but do not drop it off the left hand needle.
2. Keeping that stitch on the RH needles, knit the same stitch (from the LH needle) again by putting your RH needling into the back of the stitch
3. Drop that stitch off the needle in the usual way.
There's a few different ways to decrease depending on the pattern but again, they're all simple to do:
To knit 2 stitches together simple place your RH needle through the 2 next stitches and knit as usual.
To purl 2 stitches together (used on a purl row) place your RH needle through the 2 next stitches and purl as usual.
The great SSK & SKPO debate... (i'm sure you've heard of it!)
Generally it seems to be personal preference as to which of these methods you use. I tend to go with SKPO but lots of people like SSK...
1. Slip one stitch knitwise (to do this - place your RH needle into the stitch as if you're going to knit it then before you knit it slip it off the LH needle onto the RH needle)
2. Slip the next stitch knitwise (so both stitches are unknitted and on the RH needle)
3. Insert the LH needle from left to right through the front loops of both the slipped stitches and knit them the usual way
1. Slip one stitch knitwise
2. knit the next stitch
3. Using your LH needle, pick up the first, slipped stitch and bring it over the knitted stitch and off the RH needle
Cables always look and sound a lot harder than they actually are, as soon as you've got the hang of knit and purl stitches, cables really are an easy step, basically all you're doing is swapping the placement of some stitches so it creates a twist in the fabric. To do this you just introduce a third needle to 'store' stitches on for a minute. The number of stitches is determined by the digit in the middle of the instruction, so below we will cable 4...
C= Cable, 4 = the number of stitches 'involved', B = where you hold them
The only bit that isn't immediately obvious is how many stitches you're actually placing on the needle, cables effectively split a section of stitches in half and swap their position so in this case there's 4 stitches 'involved' so when you reach the instruction you slide 2 stitches onto the cable needle, leave the cable needle at the back of the work, knit 2 stitches then knit the 2 stitches from the cable needle.
As above but when you've put the 2 stitches on the cable needle you would hold them at the front of the work - where you hold them (front or back) determines which direction the cable will twist and will be indicated in the pattern.
Exactly the same as we've done but you'll put 5 stitches on the cable needle, hold them at the back of the work, knit 5 then knit the stitches from the cable needle.
Pick up and knit
Pick up and knit stitches are sometimes used in a pattern - on a neckline you may need to cast off then pick the stitched back up so you can carry on knitting or for a Christmas stocking for instance it may be used as a way to increase the shape a lot.
You need to put your needle into the knitting from the front through to the back - either on the cast off edge or between two stitches depending on the pattern - wrap your yarn around, like you would with a normal knit stitch and bring the needle through, again as you would with a normal stitch. (have you noticed that everything in knitting sounds scarier that it really is? Once you get the hang of it - it’s simple really :D )
Mattress Stitch is a lovely neat way to sew up your knitted garments. I use it a lot for the Cardigan as it's the best way to hide your seam. You're essentially mimicking the shape of the knitted stitches so it blends in. There's not really an easy way to write about it but I've made some basic videos, they aren't fancy but I hope they'll help...
(let's not talk about my terrible nail polish in the side seam video! Top Tip: never buy mushroom coloured nail polish if you’re fair skinned like me, here’s why…. :p )
Blocking your finished garment can help it retain its shape as you wear it - in theory it helps eliminates the curled up hems or droopy sleeves!
Blocking is simply a technique where you wet and reshape your finished knitted project, then let it dry and it will hold its form. It can also help reduce the amount of pilling of your garments.
It is mostly used on more structured garments or finer yarn, so we don’t tend to block our items here at LAD, but we know that some of you like to before you wear them. Because of the delicacy of the yarn we don’t recommend fully submerging your item in water but instead we would recommend the following instructions:
Lay down a towel on your floor. Place your item on top of the towel, flat out and stretch to the desired shape. Spray (spritz) with water all over the item until it is damp all over. Place another towel on top of your item and leave until completely dry.
Some people use blocking mats, but we don’t find we need them when blocking as the chunkiness of the garments mean they stay in place well.
For more advice and thoughts from other LAD knitters, do ask the question in our Facebook Knitting Group as there are lots of experienced blockers & non-blockers in there!