Very Beginning Knitter--Confused

:thinking: :oops:

Hi! My name is Jamie; I’m a university student in Pennsylvania (US).

I am just learning how to knit. I am new to the point that I am not even sure what terms to use to describe my problems. But, I think that I describe it OK below.

By new, I mean that I learned how to do a slip knot onto my needle two days ago, and yesterday I got my very first “row” of stitches onto the needle. Aka, I have my pretty golden orange needle, which has a number 8 on the silver round end. This needle now has a series of twenty navy blue loops around it which I believe are correct stitches. Based on the videos on the website, I have done “Double Cast-On,” aka “Long-Tail Cast-On,” aka “Continental Cast-On.”

Now… I have no idea what to do. I have tried to look at other videos, but there are so many and don’t know where to go. Also, in the videos, the knitter already seems to have a few rows. I just have yarn stitched, or cast onto, or whatever, my needle. Nothing more, nothing less.

I am trying to use some books, too. They recommend a knit stitch. My one book, to be precise, says: “Lesson 2: Knit stitch (k).”

I’m sorry for being so confusing. I may just post again in a bit, but hopefully, someone can at least point me to the proper video.

I have joined some knitting groups in my area, but none of them meet for about a week, and I am incredibly eager to learn something on my own.

Thank you all for your patience!!!


A “cast on” stitch is basically a fountation… a way to get loops onto the needles. From there you will knit!

I would look under basic techniques at a “knit” stitch. You will need to watch either continential or english style. Both have same result… just a different style.

After you have mastered that work on “purl”.

Oh! Hi there and welcome to knitting and to the site!!! :cheering:

Thank you. Which of those two would you recommend that I start with, though? I tend to be a very literal person, and am afraid of picking the “wrong” one, or one that will end up making knitting more difficult for myself in the long run.


Honestly… I would learn Continental! I just swiched from English to continental and I LOVE it! I think it is easier and (eventually!) faster!

Hi Jamie,

Welcome! This is a very friendly place, with lots of new knitters. I’d check out Amy’s videos first. They’re in the basic techniques section on this site.

I like English myself (probably because that was how I was taught), but I’m working on learning continental knitting for two color work - a few steps down the road for you.

Watch the video a few times, then try a few stitches along with Amy. If you have any questions we’re here for you! :thumbsup:



Why thank you! I think that I will use continental, then. Actually, that probably makes a lot of sense, since I think I used contintental cast on.

Another silly question, if you please… I am at work, and don’t have sound. I’m watching the continental knitting video, and can’t tell if she is holding the tail in her left hand or not. If that’s not the tail, where do I put it? :frowning: My tail is about six inches too long.

Should I cut it off? Just make more cast ons (is that a word) until it’s shorter?


I am surprised ANYONE has written back so quickly.

I’m not sure what’s gotten into me, but I am so excited and really want to do this.


I can’t tell from the video (of Amy?) …

On my cast on, I have… well, this: I have my needle. On one side of the needle is a ridge, almost, of yarn. It almost looks like a neat little braid running along the needle.

On the other side is just single loops wrapped around the needle.

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ loops
------------------ needle
************* braidy-type ridge

So now… which side shuld I be trying to make my stitches on? On the simple loops, or on the tight little braidy side?


Hi Jamie,

Amy’s holding the working yarn in her left hand. The tail just hangs there until you’re done with the object, then gets woven in on the wrong side of the knitting.

I wouldn’t cut the tail any shorter than 4 " at this point. If you’re making an object that’s going to be seamed up like a sweater at the sides, you can sometimes leaving an intentionally loooong tail, and use it to sew the side seams.

Good luck!


Make your new stitches on the loops.

You put the right hand needle into the first loop on the left hand needle, wrap the yarn around the right needle point and pull it through the left hand loop, then you drop the left hand loop off the needle and you now have a new stitch on the right hand needle.

The cast on ridge will be the bottom edge of your knitting.

Keep trying!


The “braidy type ridge” will end up being a border for your work. You should have that needle in your left hand with the cast on edge hanging down. As you knit, your work will “grow” downward. Don’t panic! We are here for you.

And to anticipate your next question: When you work with just the knit stitch, the pattern is called “garter stitch”. It wil be very ridgey and bumpy.

When you have a little spare time, I recommend watching this video – Amy does a small project from cast-on to bind-off, so you can see the whole project. :smiley:

:doh: I forgot she added that! I agree… watch that!

Welcome to the site and the forums Jamie. It’s good to have you here. Take it from someone who is using this site (and it’s members) to learn knitting (I only started back in April).

FYI… You can do an English knit with a “continental” cast on. It doesn’t make any difference.

The advantage to learn English knitting is: it is the more common way of knitting. Many people find it easier to learn tension control doing English knitting.

The advantage to learning Continental knitting, is movement reduction. It’s a little harder to learn because of learning tension (for most people) but in the long run, Continental Knitting is supposed to be faster because there is less movement. You aren’t letting go of the needles like you would with English knitting.

The truth is this: which ever way best works for you is what you should be learning. I went to a local knitting group for the first time last week and one girl there, was doing English knitting faster than some of the people doing Continental. By the same token, for most people, Continental is faster. Personally, after trying out both, I chose to concentrate on learning the Continental style of knitting and yes, I’m still dealing with tension issues. So there are a lot of English knitters that are still faster than I am.

Anyway, at this stage, you have a couple of options I would personally suggest.

One, learn how to knit. Take a look at the continental video if that’s your choice. Watch it over and over. Then continue doing exactly what you have been doing, reading other sources and asking questions.

Two, you have a couple of great intro projects you can use to practice. Most people, to learn the Knit stitch, make a scarf. A project you can do to practice Cast On and Bind Off is this.

Welcome and good luck. :slight_smile:


I cast on. Then I knitted a ROW. Now I am on my SECOND ROW!

It umm… it looks really bad. Some stitches look neat. But some, um… look very fat and lumpy.

I think I am learning what is meant by “tension.” It feels very strange to type after using my hands to knit.

I need to make a journal somewhere or something so I can record what has confused me, what has helped, etc.

:happydance: :happydance: :happydance:

That sounds about right! My first few projects were far from pretty :shock: But so cool! YAY you! Welcome to the adiction we call knitting :inlove:


As for the journal… :slight_smile: Go check out the Blogs on this site and start one of your own. That’s what they are… weBlogs (online journals) and it will be in a convenient place that you’re gonna wanna visit often anyway. :slight_smile:

[size=7][/size]CONGRATULATIONS!! :cheering: :cheering:

[size=3][/size]You are now OFFICIALLY a knitter! :happydance:

Now comes the obsession :XX: :XX: :XX: :XX: :XX:


Yay Jamie! So glad you found Amy’s site. If it’s not already too late, I vote for learning continental. It’s faster in the long run and really no more difficult than learning english. It’s all just what you get use to.

RE blog thread…you can also do an offsite blog through many different services. There are TONS of knitting blogs out there :slight_smile: some of which are very helpful to a beginner.

In one hour, I get off of work. I have been knitting (sort of) here AT work.

I have a bag of sorts, but what is the best way to carry my knitting? Of course, one needle will be empty, but the other will have stitches on it.

Is there an easy way to keep the stitches there? Should I just use a baggie clip or something?