Beginner completely confused

Okay just to give some basic background information that might be helpful. I’m only 18 & a freshmen in college. I am trying to learn how to knit. I have knitted once before about 2 or so years ago & stopped for some reason & don’t really remember anything about it. I recently had this urge to start knitting again. I have some books on how to knit but I’m confused because of my learning disability. First question is are you supposed to wrap the yarn into a ball?


I believe that depens on the yarn. Is your yarn in a ball now or is it screwed?

I didn’t understand your question sorry.
This is what it looks like.

You do not need to make it a ball. I never did with yarn like this. But you’ll be punished by moderators for posting images not links or thumbnails here :wink:

How do you do the slip knot?

If you look at the videos on this site, you’ll probably find most of your questions answered. I spent hours here when I was first learning to knit.

If you’ve bought a “hank” or a “skein” of yarn that is simply in a big loop and twisted into itself, then yes, you’ll need to wind it into a ball—otherwise it will tangle very easily.

If you’ve bought a ball or skein that is already wound, you can knit straight from it. (Places like Michael’s and JoAnn sell skeins you can knit directly from…a local yarn shop (LYS) may sell more expensive yarn that needs winding.

First of all, be patient with yourself. It will come. Take a look at different ways things are taught - your books, the videos here, and maybe a live person at a yarn store near you. Or maybe one of the people in your residence hall knows how to knit and can help you. Try different ways of learning until you find the one that works the best with your learning differences.

Yarn comes in hanks (big huge circles of yarn twisted so they’re in a neat little package) and skeins (sometimes they’re flat like flying saucers and sometimes they’re long and skinny cylinders). You usually don’t have to rewind the skeins into balls, but it can be helpful to wind the hanks into balls. Remember not to wind too tightly - your ball should be squishy. (Winding tightly isn’t terrible, but it can stretch out your yarn.)

How to make a slip knot - I’ll try to put it into words, but check the videos, too:

  1. holding the tail of the yarn in your left hand, make a small circle in the yarn. It will look something like this

(end of yarn is here) _O-- (ball is over here)

The ball end of the yarn should be the top layer of your circle.

  1. Take the ball end of the yarn and wrap it under the O you just made so it looks like you’re dividing the O in half. The ball end of your yarn should be at the bottom of your O now.

  2. With your knitting needle, pick up the bit of yarn that is dividing your O in half and, holding onto both the end of the yarn and the ball, pull it into a loop on your needle. Tighten it so it’s snug, but not so snug you can’t move it up and down the needle.

The videos here teach this a little bit differently, but this is the way my mom taught me a million years ago. So there are at least 2 ways to do this right!

Good luck!

I did it thanks!! So then I have to cast off next right? How many casts do I make for a scarf?

I can only recommend the video-section. There is even a video to demonstrate “a small project” from cast on (creating of stitches), through the knitting (knit and purl stitches), to cast off (that is when you end your work and get it off the needles).

Of course no one ever makes such a small straight piece, really. But it walks you through the steps in one video from beginning to end.

Just take it easy. Knitting and learning how to knit can not be forced. By time it will all come together.

If you have a chance to take a class with an acutal teacher, try it out! Yarn shops sometimes have these classes or at least know where there will be some. Community centers or chruches might have that, too.

Have fun with this hobby. It is calling you, obviously.

I think AIR meant hank. When the yarn is twisted rather than a skein it’s called a hank. You have to wind those to knit with them.

So then I have to cast off next right? How many casts do I make for a scarf?

No, cast off is when you finish, you start by casting on. To cast on for a scarf it sorta depends on how thick your yarn is and how large your needles are. Start with about 24 stitches - if you have a medium weight yarn that should be enough.

It will of course also depend on how big you want your scarf to be. How wide, I mean.

There is an easy way to find out:

cast on 24 stitches (good middle of the road for a scarf in decent yarn) and work a few rows (until it is a few inches long). Then you can see how wide the scarf turns out. Look at the end furthest away from the needles (they may bunch of stretch your work in that spot).

If it is what you want, keep knitting. If you want it wider or less wide, rip it out and start over. Just then: how much do you want it wider? maybe 50 % wider? Take 50 % more stitches (24 was there before, 50 % is 12, so 24 + 12 is 36 and like this with just simple math for all other changes) This will work (leave all minimal deviations aside, this is just a scarf so the fit is not the most important.

Have fun knitting the scarf.

Hi, Music! :waving:

I can highly recommend the videos available on Knitting Help for learning to knit.

They helped me beyond anything and the folks on this forum are wonderfully generous with their time and knowledge.

Good luck and let us know how it goes! We’d all like to see your first finished piece!!!

Happy knitting, :knitting:

Ruthie :hug: