Beginner help with my yarn!

hello everbody im martin. i am completely new to knitting only been knitting since yesterday but i really like it. i knitted with chopsticks and string for my first day but i now have a proper needle and yarn thank goodness.
oh well i have inserted a picture of something i done. very basic i guess. i was curious. if u look at my picture the left string is towards the ball of yarn and on the right side my string which i use to loop around my second needle when knitting. i am wondering say if i was making a scarf, how much string do i need on the right hand side?
before this i knitted like a very small piece then i was about to bind it off. i binded half of my piece then i had no yarn left on my ‘right’ side. So say if i was to make a scarf, how much yarn would i need on my ‘right’ side? is there a way to know how much yarn needed or is it just a estimate?

also for a scarf how many stitches am i looking to put on?

thank you for reading!

Welcome to KH. Your knitting looks great!

I think you’re knitting with the yarn tail and you should be knitting with the yarn that’s coming from the ball. Which cast on did you use?

For knitting a scarf if you’re going to use the same yarn and needles then I’d say get a pretty good idea of how many stitches per inch you have then multiply the by how many inches wide you want your scarf. If you get, say, 4 stitches/in, and want the scarf 6 in. wide, then cast on 24 stitches. That’s just an example, use your real numbers.

Haha yeah your right im knitting with the wrong side.

Ok so my cast on… Im not sure what it is called but its from this

If i was to bind off my piece then cut off my yarn from the ball, is there a method to recast my yarn so i can continue knitting or would i have to keep the piece in my needle at all time when not working it?


That’s the long tail cast on. Very popular. It’s a good one to start with is why Amy uses it in the video, I’m sure. Don’t feel too bad about knitting with the tail, I did it earlier today and sometimes I almost think I know what I’m doing. :teehee:

Are you wanting to keep knitting the piece you have started? I suppose you could cut the yarn at the start of the piece leaving about a 6 in. tail to weave in and just start knitting with the new end of yarn. No bind off needed.

thanks for the great response.
yes say for example i was to keep that piece but i then wanted to attach a new colour, there is a method to cast on your yarn?

i have started on a scarf now. i put on 27 stitches thought it was going to be to small because i thought my yarn was small but it seems like its a bit big but still good! couple of mistakes where i was trying to go too fast but i am getting the hang of knitting which is awesome. for my scarf say i made 25% of it would it be possible to add a new colour?

Also please if you can do, advise me on what i should learn next. what areas of knitting should a beginner like me go onto?

Hi Martin

I think your knitting looks ever so neat for a beginner!

I think you have chosen a hobby that you are going to become very good at. :slight_smile:

I always add in a new colour at the side of my knitting rather than the middle of a row. I just tie the new colour onto the previous. You don’t have to cast on again you just keep knitting with the new colour. The ends can be darned in when you sew up your seams - or brought down the sides if it is a scarf by using a yarn needle.

You thread a yarn needle by putting the yarn over the needle and pinching it between your finger and thumb. Then you push the ‘fold’ through the hole. Don’t try to thread it like a needle used for sewing thread.

As Gemini said you just start knitting with the new color at the beginning of the row. If you’re changing colors again be sure to do it on the same side as color changes will look different on the back. Your piece is all knits, have you worked on purling yet? You’ll want to learn to purl if you haven’t already. Alternating knits and purls is something you’ll want to get used to. Rib stitch is knits and purls and used a lot.

I agree. Learning how to purl is definitely the next step.

Then I think learning what some of the abbreviations mean, otherwise a pattern is going to look very scary! :wink:

Increasing and decreasing might be the next step after that.

When decreasing you knit into the back of your two stitches on a knit row and the front of your two stitches on a purl row.

And a couple of tips you may find useful…

I always use sticky notes when I am following a pattern. They won’t slip like a ruler will. Then you won’t get lost when you are carefully concentrating on one section of a knitting pattern at a time.

You might like to buy a pack for your knitting bag Martin. :slight_smile:

Another thing you might like to know is that if you leave your knitting on a needle for a long time you will get a mark across your work. I am talking about weeks, not overnight. You will need to leave it on a stitch holder or a smaller size of knitting needle for this not to happen.

However, you seem to be speeding along so fast I don’t think this a problem you are going to have any time soon!

thanks everyone for the swift respones. i guess i will look into purling and changing colours next. i’ll try find some youtube videos. i ideadly would like a book since i cannot understand what they say on youtube very well but i will try!

Gemini: sorry for my ignorance but what do you mean by “what some of the abbreviations mean, otherwise a pattern is going to look very scary”?

another question… can anyone list the things i might need in future when knitting that i can buy? shall i get a pair of circular needles? right now all i have is yarn and straight 6 1/2 needles

You could wait to buy some extra needles until you need them for a pattern or for the weight of yarn you’d like to use. Experiment with different kinds of needles, wood, bamboo, metal, plastic until you find the kind you like to work with. This kind of needle may also change with different types of yarn. You can always consider a set of circular needles with replaceable tips sometime in the future.
Markers, row counters, stitch holders are all things you can pick up as you need them.

Hi again Martin

I mean like:


(I hope this is all okay for US patterns.)

Slip means taking a stitch over without knitting it. This is especially important when you knit scarves otherwise you won’t get neat sides. You should slip a stitch over at the beginnning of every row.

Knitting needles are really a matter of personal preference as already said.

I often put one needle under my armpit because I can knit faster like that which means that I like long needles. I have never been able to get on with circular needles - but I have found that very few patterns that I have come across really need them.

You can use them for socks that don’t have a back seam and sweaters that have a yoke that goes right around your shoulders. But I just avoid patterns like that. Of course other knitters manage just fine; it is just me.

You might also like to get yourself a folder or box to keep your patterns in when you start using them. I use plastic pages to keep each pattern in. This keeps them in nice condition.

thanks for the tip i have started slip stitching the first stitch which i never did before.

im a bit confused atm, are you supposed to slip stitch first stitch and purl last stitch? if so is there a good video showing the transition from last purl stitch to next stitch which would be slip stitch if im correct



Edge stitches and what to do about them can get contentious. :wink: This is another area of knitter’s preference. I personally don’t often slip the first stitch, I don’t like how it makes the second stitch look, so I’ll do something different. When I do slip it, I purl the last stitch and slip the first stitch purlwise wyif (with yarn in front). There are other ways of doing it too.

I think the biggest difference between U.S. and UK patterns is how they tell you to do a yo. You’ll encounter that soon enough.

There are videos for everything. Do Amy’s beginner videos cover changing from knit to purl? Which style are you knitting? English, holding yarn in right hand. Continental, holding yarn in left hand.

arghhhh disspointed… messed up a little halfway through my first ever scarf. was practicing purling and purled wrong and now that i have watched videos over and over i know where!! a little bit of yarn hanging out in the middle of the scarf!
i was just practicising changing between knit then purl then knit…

can somebody give me a good pattern? i only know knit and purl at the moment.


What kind of scarf would you like to make, one with knit and purl ribbing? Any preferred yarn weight?
If you haven’t joined Ravelry, it’s worthwhile to do so. There are loads of patterns and you can tailor your search to the yarn weight or needle size that you have.

Knitting is very relaxing when it goes well and exasperating when you mess up!

Believe me, even the most experienced knitter goes wrong sometimes.

Whatever you do Martin, don’t give up!

Maybe other people would disagree with me, but I shouldn’t think that most people’s first attempt at knitting was wearable.

Most knitters don’t start with a scarf - probably something much smaller.

Haven’t you got anyone to help you?

A pair of experienced hands can be very welcome when you start.

Do you have a class or group nearby that you can join?

I do admire your enthusiasm - but you’re not trying to run before you can walk are you?

I think most of us are probably content to just knit a few things in garter stitch before moving on.

One of the most important things at the beginning is to just get used to getting your fingers working in the right way.

If I were you, I would get equipment as and when you need it and feel competent with one skill before moving onto the next.

For example, I have never used a stitch counter but I know people who can’t manage without one on some patterns. I have found stitch holders useful (they look like giant safety pins) and other people never use them, they just use spare needles.

I would advise you though, not to use black or very dark yarn like navy blue when you are starting because if you drop a stitch, it will be very hard to see it.

Hello everybody back. Yeah im kind of making a scarf. Im just practising my knitting, purling and slip stitching. I havent seen any patterns but will do soon since i dont have any books to find out but ill try find some patterns online if i can.
I didnt intend to make a scarf but i was knitting a small piece and thinking how awesome it would be to turn that into a scarf!

No i dont have people to help. I want to attend some classes but im on a tight budget so i will have to be self taught for the time being. Im around 35% through the scarf. Doing knurl stitch at the moment then purl then knit and so on…

Practicing this way is so worthwhile. You don’t have to worry so much about mistakes or you can go back and learn how to fix mistakes. One thing that may help is to count the stitches on the needle to make sure you aren’t gaining or losing any as you knit. That happens sometimes and if it’s a systematic mistake you’ll want to figure out why.
Good luck with it. What’s a knurl stitch?

If you are on a budget and you don’t have a grandma or aunt or friendly neighbour to help you, could you do a skills swap with someone? You know, like you do some gardening for them and they help you with your knitting?

Or there might be a lonely, older neighbour who would love to teach you in order to have some company and a chat over a cup of tea?

Might there be a knitting circle at the local church or community centre?