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How to Cast-On (Instructional Knitting Videos)

  • Types of Needles for Knitting

    Straight double pointed needles are the oldest type of knitting needles used. The needles have points at each end which will enable you to knit from either end. They are used for knitting a seamless tube. They are shorter than the straight needles and circular needles.

    They are used in sets of five. Two are active, creating new stitches, while the others are used to hold the remaining stitches.

    In the 1350’s, oil paintings were found in Northern Italy near Spain showing the Virgin Mary knitting with this type of needle. Later in the 1400’s other paintings were found near Germany. The name of “Knitting Madonna’s” was given to these particular types of paintings.

    There is a special type of double pointed needles called a cable needle. They are very short with a U-shape in the center of the needle or they are U-shaped themselves.

    The most popular needles are straight needles, also called single pointed needles. They are straight slender sticks tapered at one end. The tapered end is used for creating the new stitch. The other end has a knob to prevent the stitches from falling off. They are between 10 and 16 inches in length. Straight needles are always used in pairs.

    In the 1930’s, this type of needle became very popular. The simplicity of their use made knitting easy and fun.

    The most modern needles are circular needles. They are made with two double points connected by a flexible plastic cable. They are used for both flat and circular knitting.Their length can be between 9 and 60 inches. There are kits made that allow the knitter to customize their needles. The two ends can be of different diameters and are screwed to a cable of various lengths. They are the most convenient to knit large blankets. Circular needles allow the material weight to be evenly distributed, making the work easier on the knitter’s arms and wrists. It also makes maneuvering the material around much easier without fear of the stitches falling off.

    One of the techniques used for tubular knitting is known as the “Magic Loop”. Instead of using two needles the knitter will use one circular needle that is much longer than the circumference of the object being knitted.

    There are some very lovely needles available. They are made from materials anywhere from glass to bamboo. A long time ago, bone, ivory and tortoiseshell was used.

    Some materials are smoother than others to allow the yarn to slide easily. The material used for the knitting needles chosen by a knitter can be very personal as well as functional.

    Source: Nancy Queen
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  • Abbreviations & Notations

    Abbreviation Meaning
    approx approximate(ly)
    beg begin(ning)
    bet between
    bo bind off
    CC contrasting color
    cm centimeters
    cn cable needle
    co cast on
    col color
    con continue
    dbl double
    dec(s) decrease(s)
    diam diameter
    dp or dpn double pointed needle(s)
    g or gr grams
    inc(s) increase(s)
    in(s) or inch(es)
    k knit
    k2tog knit 2 stitches together
    k-wise knit-wise or as though to knit
    lh left hand needle
    lp(s) loop(s)
    m1 make one
    m meter(s)
    mm milimeter(s)
    MC main color
    oz ounce(s)
    p purl
    p2tog purl 2 stitches together
    p-wise purl-wise or as though to purl
    pm place marker
    prev previous
    psso pass slipped stitch over
    rem remain(ing)
    rep repeat(ing)
    rh right hand needle
    rnd(s) round(s)
    rs “right” side
    sk skip
    sl slip
    skp (sl1, k1, psso) slip 1 stitch, knit 1 stitch, and pass the slipped stitch over the knit stitch.
    ssk (sl1, sl1, k2tog) Slip first st. Slip next st. Knit these 2 stitches together from left to right.
    st(s) stitch(es)
    st st stockinette stitch
    tbl through the back loop
    ws “wrong” side
    wyib with yarn in back
    wyif with yarn in front
    yd(s) yard(s)
    yo yarn over
    Notation Meaning
    Is used to mark the beginning of a portion of instructions which will be worked more than once; thus, rep from * means, repeat pattern from * as many times as it takes to the end of the row.
    Are used to enclose instructions which should be worked the exact number of times specified immediately following the parentheses, such as: (k1 , p1) twice.
    They are also used to list the garment sizes and to provide additional information
    to clarify instructions.
    Can be used in the same way as parentheses, but are usually used in combination with them to further clarify instructions.
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