What is the best way to get past the basics


I’m new here and a new knitter. All I can do is knit… regular old knit stitch. What is the best way to learn to purl, increase, decrease etc? Sometimes when I watch videos the person is not knitting like I do in the first place so its totally confusing. I’m also left handed.

Any suggestions?

How do you knit? There are some things we may be able to point you to for specific styles.

I have no clue how to explain it actually lol… I think its not continental… and my mother in law says I do it ‘weird’

LOL That doesn’t give us a lot to go on. In the video section Amy Sheldon presents 2 different ways. Is it either of them? Do you knit with the stitches resting on the left hand or right hand needle? I mean the one you are knitting the stitches off of?

Yes on the left hand needle! :slight_smile:

Knit dishcloths. They’re an inexpensive way to practice.
Grandma’s Favorite Dishcloth will help you with yarn overs and k2tog a right leaning decrease. Peruse the other dishcloths to see which ones you like and can help you practice other decreases and increases.

Ok, I’ve watched the videos and I do some strange combo I think. I hold the yarn in my left hand but I also wrap it with my left hand, I don’t do that funky thing that they do with Continental… so I guess that I do knit weird. :slight_smile:

Wildflower - thanks for the link… I’ll take a look

Okay, it sounds like you are doing a version of Continental, but you wrap the yarn instead of just grabbing it with the needle and pulling it through. That is basically Continental, but it may give you fits when you try to learn to purl. :slight_smile: People knit all kinds of ways and if it works for you it is fine.

I’d suggest you watch the videos (the ones here and others if you want) and learn to purl. Once you have found a way to do both of those basic stitches in a way that is comfortable for you and produces stitches that are properly formed you will be able to learn the other things. Depending on the purl style you choose techniques may vary for some of the other stuff.

My orginal thought about how to progress in your knitting is similar to what the other gal said. You can just experiment for a while or pick a project that interests you that involves something you have not done before but does mostly things you know how to do. Then pick another project the same way. A lot of people like the dishcloth idea. There are a lot of things that can be learned that way. But they have never appealed to me and in my whole knitting career (42 years) I have never made one. LOL Doing things that interest you personally is the way to go.

Thank you… I’m thinking I want to try to make some simple gauntlets… or arm covers.

Jamilah, do you know about the knitting (and crochet) community called Ravelry? If you don’t you ought to check it out. You have to join to use it, but it is free and has a lot of neat features. A lot of people belong and you can look at each others things. A lot of people have made wristlets, fingerless mittens and that sort of thing. You can search through the patterns section for things others have made and look for things that look simple. There are a lot of free patterns there too and more that you can find that you have to purchase online.

It is not hard at all to knit in the round and you can tackle something that would go over the arms either in the round (my choice) or flat and seam them. As soon as you know how to knit and purl and can do ribbing, change from knit to purl in the same row, you could make something like that. Of course, how to cast on and bind off as well.

I taught my husband to knit and the first thing he made (only thing really, but he made a lot of them) was a hat in the round. There are several techniques for knitting small things in the round. You can see videos about all of them in the “Advanced Techniques” section. They are not really advanced although some people seem to fear them. See double pointed needles, two circulars and Magic Loop.

Sounds like you do what I do - hold the yarn in your left, using your index finger to loop it, then guide the tip of the right needle with right index… no?

I purl by holding my left needle with the last three fingers of my left hand, with the tip sticking out between my index and middle fingers. My left index finger and thumb hold the yarn, and loop it over the right needle. I’m slow as heck at it, but am getting better.

I’m sure people would say I “knit funny” but it works, and I’ve never had any problems with tension or my knit stitches and purls being a different tension. Kind of like the people who hold their left needles completely still, wedged - if it works, it ain’t wrong!