Learn To Knit

Hat Photo

Welcome

Hello, and welcome to my video knitting lessons. The intention of this page is to teach you how to knit. You will be making a hat similar to the one pictured above. The intention is to show you how to make something that will be done in a relatively short period of time, so that you will see the magic happen on your own needles and so that you will develop confidence. Along the way, you'll learn to cast on and bind off. You'll learn the knit stitch and the purl stitch -- the foundation stitches of knitting -- and you'll learn how to sew up a seam.

A Note About the Videos

These files take a long time to load, especially on a slow connection. The browser may say "Done" even while the file is loading. Please be patient.

What you will need.

Another advantage of making a hat as a first project is that you won't have to invest a lot of money to get started. I've tried to stay with the most commonly available products for knitters. You will need a pair of size 8 knitting needles and four ounces or worsted weight yarn.

If you're coming at this with some experience, you may be wondering why I'm not talking about gauge yet. The truth is, gauge is very important, but for now, I'd rather get the beginning knitter off and knitting. Then later that person can learn how to measure gauge and how to do a swatch. Hats are small enough that the permutations from knitter to knitter shouldn't be a big deal, but if your hat turns out way too small, give it to a child. If it's too big, give it to a tall man. The path of a knitter is one of life-long learning. Let's just get started.

Casting On

The first thing I'm going to teach you is how to cast on. You're going to cast on 96 stitches. Watch the video. Keep casting on, until you have 96 loops on your needle.

A few points to notice. First, you need to remember to cast on loosely. Some knitters will use a pair of needles one size larger than they will be working with, just to cast on. The method I've shown you is only one of many different ways to cast on.

In a knitting pattern, what you've just done will be abbreviated as CO 96 for Cast On 96.

Knits and Purls

Ribbing

Now you're going to get into the meat of the matter, knits and purls. Watch this video to see how the two stitches are done.

The first thing you are going to be doing is called ribbing. This would be written in a pattern as
K2P2 across for Knit 2 Purl 2 across.
You are going to do 2 knit stitches, followed by 2 purl stitches, then repeat these sets of 2 all the way across the row. Do this, going back and forth, until your hat measures 2 inches or so long.

Stockinette

You will still be using the same basic knit and purl stitches, but varying the pattern. The resulting fabric will look very different. In a pattern this will be written as
Next Row K across
Next Row P across
Repeat until hat is 7 inches long ending on a Purl row
What this means is to knit the next row all the way across, no purls. Then purl the next row all the way across. Repeat these two rows until the hat is about 7 inches long, from the beginning.

Congratulations! You've just knit the bulk of your hat.

Decreases -- Knit 2 together

The next part would be abbreviated as:
Next Row: *K6, K2Tog Rep from * to end of row
What that means is to knit 6 stitches, as you always have (remember, you ended on a Purl row, so you should be working knit on what would be a knit row) and then knit two stitches together. Watch the video to see how to do that.
I'm going to give the next part as it would appear in a pattern. You know how to do this now.

Next Row: P
Next Row: *K5, K2Tog Rep from * to end of row
Next Row: P
Next Row: *K4, K2Tog Rep from * to end of row
Next Row: P
Next Row: *K3, K2Tog Rep from * to end of row
Next Row: P
Next Row: *K2, K2Tog Rep from * to end of row
Next Row: P
Next Row: *K1, K2Tog Rep from * to end of row
Next Row: K2Tog to end of row

Binding off

For some reason this is never abbreviated in a pattern. It just says Bind Off. It's not too hard, just remember to keep it loose. Watch the video to see how it is done.

Sewing the seam

It might be hard to see the stitches in this video. If you can't see the stitches, don't worry. It really isn't that important. Just pick up a little bit of your fabric. More than likely, due to the nature of the fabric, you'll be picking up a stitch at a time anyway. So Watch this video and this video and finish your hat.

Congratulations. You are now a hand knitter.