Now that you have read a lot of the previous knitting articles (Knitting season: Intro, Abbreviations, Terms and Symbols, and Casting On), you are officially ready to begin learning and practicing the knit stitch. If you have notyet read any of the aforementioned articles, it’s definitely recommended that you read at least- Knitting season: casting on, before you attempt to learn any other stitches including the knit stitch. Once you have mastered that technique, feel free to move on to any of the articles at your leisure and continue learning more techniques.
For the purposes of this article, instructions will be given as if you are simply learning and practicing each technique individually. Please note: this article is not intended to be used as a starting point for any specific knitting pattern or project, but merely to build your skills by creating a small practice piece.
For the knit stitch, you begin by casting on your base row (at least 15 stitches). Once you are finished with that, hold the needle on which you have cast on your stitches in your left hand. With your free, right hand hold the other needle (currently empty). Also, in your right hand, hold the yarn string coming from your skein so that the yarn is behind your empty needle, running over and under the fingers of your right hand beginning with your index finger (over your index finger, under your middle finger, and so forth).
Important note: When creating a knit stitch, always be sure the yarn string from your skein is behindyour right needle and your work. Otherwise, the stitch will not come out right and may end up looking more like a purl stitch.
Next, slip the point of your right needle into the first cast on stitch (from front to the left through the center and to the back right). Pass the needle behind your left one. Now take the yarn you’re holding in your right hand and loop it counter clockwise around the back (right) needle, so that the yarn comes back around and lies between the two needles. Now pull the yarn through the same cast on stitch by bringing the right needle back under the left needle in a forward motion and pushing it up in front of the left needle. Your right needle should now have one loop on it. Slide the cast on stitch (that you just pulled the loop through) off of the left needle, maintaining the same loop on the right needle, creating your first knit stitch.
Repeat these steps over and over until you have created an entire (15 stitch) row of knit stitches and you no longer have any stitches on your left needle. At this point, you simply exchange the needles between your right and left hand so that the needle with all the stitches is back on the left, and the right needle is empty. Position your hands and yarn as described above once again, and begin a new row. Repeat as many rows of knit stitch as you’d like until you become comfortable with your technique.
By creating a series of rows where you utilize only knit stitch for the right and wrong side of your piece, you are creating what is known as the garter stitch. Garter stitch is often used as the basis of a lot of basic patterns, or as the borders/edges of your finished work.
If you would like, you can now begin creating simple, basic projects utilizing the garter stitch. If you wish to diversify your options and would like to be able to create more complicated and intricate patterns, be sure to continue reading the Knitting season series.