April 18, 2009

Tutorial: How to Knit English

I am an English knitter. No, it doesn't mean I have tea with cream and scones when I knit. ;) it just means the way I knit, which uses my right hand to wrap the yarn around the needles, is called the English method. The other popular method is called Continental, which I will cover at another time. Most beginners will find out which they prefer soon after starting their first knitting project. As a personal observation, right-handed people usually knit in English and left-handed people in Continental, but it should be whichever you feel most comfortable with.

 Take your nicely cast-on work in your left hand and pick up the ball-end yarn with your right hand (Figure A).

Insert the needle into the first loop from left to right, front to back (Figure B).

 Take the yarn with your right hand, and loop it counter-clockwise (from back to front) around the needle you just inserted into the loop (Figure C). 

This part takes a bit of practice. Pull the yarn straight (but not tight!) with your right index finger. Use the right needle and slide it down and out so it picks up the loop you just made. Slide the right needle to the right and pull the old loop off of the tip of the left needle (Figure D). Voila, you've just made your first knit stitch.

Repeat until you finish the whole row (i.e. transfer all the loops from your left needle to your right needle), then turn the work over and start from the left side again.

When you use only the knit stitch to make a garment, it is also called the garter stitch.

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