Knitting designs and garments out of mere yarn is an extremely admirable and skill-based craft. Learning that skill and implementing it may seem harder than it actually is. The process involves just a handful of tools and a simple yarn, which combine to create magic on a whole different scale. However, before you can begin knitting designs, you need to understand exactly what it entails.
To begin knitting designs, you need to get hold of some yarn, and then use the rating on that wool to find the right needles for it. Once you have these elements, you can then start thinking about the putting these two together to create your own designs.
Using the Tools
There aren't too many things that you can be taught about using the tools because every person has their own style and unique way of holding these tools and using them.
The right needle, or the needle that is held by the right hand, is held as if holding a pen. As you begin working, you need to pass the outcome of your knitting process, whatever little there is, between your thumb and index finger. As you go on, the grip changes slightly to allow your thumb to slide under the piece, allowing you to hold on to the needle from underneath.
The left needle, or the needle held by the left hand, is grasped with the thumb and index finger, although the grip comes from the top rather than like a pen. The idea is to use your fingers to simply control the tip of the needle. If you are left handed, you should be able to handle the needles in the same way, simply by changing hands.
As for the yarn, you need to hold it in your leading hand (right in the above case) and pass the yarn under your little finger before rounding the yarn around that finger. Then it passes over your ring finger, under your middle finger, and over the index finger before passing around the tip of your needle. Every time the yarn needs to pass around the needle tip, you need to use your index finger to throw things around it.
The other technique for using the yarn is by passing it under your little finger, over your ring finger, under the middle finger, and over the index finger. The difference in the two techniques is that in the former, the tension is controlled by the loop around the little finger while in the latter, the little finger has to grip the yarn with a crooked form.
Casting the Yarn
When you begin knitting patterns, you start off by putting down the first row of stitches. There are many different ways of casting on and, as you become more experienced, you will probably find your own method. The one needle or thumb method is one of the most basic techniques that gives you an elastic edge that is hardly noticeable. It is extremely important to get this bit right because this forms the basis for the remainder of your garment. The second method is called a two needle technique or the Between Needles method. This is all about ending up with a smooth finish that's firm and is ideal to create a ribbing of some sort.
The process of casting the yarn requires you to use a slip knot to start things off. By winding the thread around two fingers and passing it over the two fingers to take it back to the first thread, you begin creating a slip knot. That's when the knitting needle comes into play, when it is used to pull the back thread through the front to form a loop, before pulling it to tighten and complete the loop.
When you need to complete your stitches or dispose off stitches, you need to cast them off. The process of casting off is all about shaping the garment, like you would normally do on the shoulders. It is usually the last thing you would do on a row of stitches to complete it and casting off should always be done in a particular pattern. Ribbing is something that is a common way of casting off and involves creating a rib-like pattern using the same stitching pattern that you've used all over.
Knitting patterns are part and parcel of this wonderful craft and acquiring the right skills will help you enjoy this hobby completely. Pick up the needle and yarn, learn the basic stitches and get cracking - you will never regret it!