Today I spent the morning with a lovely new knitter named Nicole who learned how to knit, to purl and bind off all in one session.  She already knew how to crochet and I think that initial dexterity helped her along; whatever else, she was great.  We also talked about Garter Stitch (knit every row or purl every row) and Stockinette Stitch (knit on one side=the right side and purl on the other side=the wrong side).  It occured to me you might know someone who wants to learn or be a new knitter yourself, so with a little help from a nice man named Scott, I turned the handouts I wrote this morning into pdf documents for you to download.  Here is a synopsis:

There are four steps to the knit stitch.  First, you have two needles…your left hand needle all loaded with new stitches and your right hand needle which begins empty.  The first step is to put the right hand needle into the first stitch on the lefthand needle.  One way is to put the needle straight in point-to -point but we are not there yet.  Instead put the needle through the stitch so both needle points are facing the same direction, as below:


Next, wrap the yarn coming from you ball of yarn around the right hand needle HUG-WISE (like you are drawing a person near to you).


 Step Three is usually the hardest, because you want to pull the wrap through the stitch (soon to be the old stitch)-thus creating a new stitch which will be on the right-hand needle.  Here is a diagram:


close up of this step

The last step is the easiest one of all:  just drop the old stitch off the left-hand needle.  Really.  You have a new stitch on the right-hand needle and that takes the place of the old stitch.  Here is a diagram of the last step:


Notice that all the time you were doing these steps your yarn was coming from the BACK of your work.  The only thing that really changes with the Purl Stitch is how your needle goes into the stitch (point-to-point this time) and that your yarn is held near you, at the front of your work.  Here are the two pdf files with all the illustrations and guidance.

How To Knit and Purl just click on those highlighted words there to the left  and the file will open for you to print (it is just one page).

How To Knit and Purl part two these directions illustrate the purl stitch and how to wrap your yarn whether you are knitting a stitch or purling a stitch.  Just click on the highlighted words at the beginning of this paragraph and the file will open for you to print.

Here is a photo of what Nicole was able to do during this morning’s class; it represents quite a bit of intense labor on her part:

If you do not have someone to cast on for you just do the BACKWARDS LOOP or THUMB CAST ON to get yourself started.  Once you get the knit stitch then you can proceed to the KNIT CAST ON, and save the LONG-TAIL CAST ON for last.  Vogue’s Knitting Book is a great reference.  Here is one last doodle from today, this is a friend of mine who will not allow me to photograph her, so a sketch will have to suffice:  Woolamina…she doesn’t like my cats too much…they nibble on her wool:

My friend Woolamina!

Here is a photo of the completed cowl, Encompass.  I really enjoyed knitting this, maybe because it was fairly mindless and it did go quickly (just three days).

Encompass Cowl

I also was able to finish my own Kerchief, designed by Keran Foley over the weekend.  I very carefull soaked it, pinned it to the floor and shut it in my room.  The cats very carefully broke into my room, don’t ask me how, and unpinned my shawl…had to fold my eyes back into my head after that little shocker.  Here it was before the slaughter:

Kerchief in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran

That’s it.  It’s after five and I need to go find the…nevermind.  Have a lovely evening and remember to stop knitting once you get tired!xox