Guide The Complete Idiots Guide to Knitting and Crocheting

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This Jeremiah journal Philadelphia: Henry T. Stuttgart: Verlag Von Ferdinand Enke. Circa De … ckled page ends. Text in German. You may think all this gauge swatching and measuring is tedious, but knitting projects are like puzzles, and to be sure the pieces fit together and fit the end user, the pieces must be the right size. If youre knitting a sweater for a friend, you want to avoid making it too big or too small. It needs to be just right! This is when youll probably make mistakes. Take a break and come back to it. Just remember this great Irish proverb: If the knitter is weary, the baby will have no new bonnet.

Counting Stitches and Rows Counting is essential as you learn new stitch patterns and work them into projects. You need to count stitches and count rows until you recognize where you are visually. Even when youre comfortable with a pattern, its a good idea to keep track of your stitches. The method for counting the stitches is obviousjust go by the number of stitches on your needle.

Counting rows is determined by the stitch pattern youre using. Take a look at these three examples: UIn the garter stitch, every row of bumps purl rows is the equivalent of 2 rows. UIn the stockinette stitch, you count every V on the right side of the pattern. UIn the seed stitch, you count alternating bumps purl stitches for each row. Youll be able to count rows by finding the repeats in some patterns. More complex patterns are sometimes easier to look at because of the number of rows in the repeat, which can be more than 30!

In these cases, be sure you keep track of your rows on a piece of paper or with a stitch counter. Regular counting can help you avoid mistakes. But mistakes can be very important and lead you to new ideas and patterns. George Bernard Shaw once said, A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. Gauge can vary according to yarn and needle size, and especially knitter to knitter.

This group of 4 stitches contain simple combinations of knits and purls. Two-steps and four beat marches come into my head with these stitches. These are easy stitch patterns to learn, and you will keep track of where you are without much problem. The seed stitch, moss stitch, and 22 rib are reversible, while the purl ridges have a right side and a wrong side. Swatching these stitches gives you great practice with the knit and purl stitches and shows you what happens when you combine them.

The Seed Stitch Alternating between knit and purl stitches gives the seed stitch pattern a seedlike appearance. Because you use an uneven number of stitches, every row begins with a knit stitch. If you have to use an even number for gauge purposes, the rows alternate beginning with a knit stitch and then a purl stitch.

The trick to the seed stitch is remembering to knit into the purl stitches, and purl into the knit stitches. This is a reversible pattern like the garter stitch and looks the same on both sides. It is a perfect stitch for reversible projects like scarves and shawls. George Bernard Shaw once said America and England were two countries separated by a common language. Well, here is a knitting example.

In the United Kingdom, this seed stitch is known as the moss stitch.

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In America, the moss stitch is a 4-row pattern we explore next. The seed stitch looks exactly the same on both sides, and the purl stitches create a contrasting pattern to the knit stitches. The Moss Stitch The moss stitch is a 4-row pattern knitted in multiples of 4 stitches. When you see a pattern noting the moss stitch, be sure its not referring to the American seed stitch mentioned earlier. The moss stitch is sometimes called the double seed stitch, and like the seed stitch, it is a reversible pattern.

They simply mean that youre doing a procedure with a knit stitch or a purl stitch. In the moss stitch, youre asked to bind off in the stitch pattern. This means you knit the knit stitches as you bind them off and purl the purl stitches. The Purl Ridge This lovely 4-row pattern adds textural interest through the alternating knits and purls in the third row. The front and back are different in this stitch pattern. The 22 Rib This 2-row pattern is commonly used for cuffs, hems, collars, and edges because it makes a very stretchy fabric.

Notice that this pattern requires more stitches to make the inch square because of the elasticity. In this example, the front and back look exactly the same because an even number of knits and purls are used. Ribs can be any number of stitch combinations, but you will always knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches to form the vertical pattern of a basic rib.

For instance, if youre binding off purlwise, your yarn should be in front and all the bind-off stitches should be purls. The stitches explored in this chapter involve more rows and additional ways of combining knits and purls. One stitch pattern involves a new technique called a slip stitch. You may recognize some of them from sweaters or textiles you have at home, especially the basket weave stitch.

Go ahead and try them all. The Mock Rib Mock rib is a 2-row pattern worked over an odd number of stitches. Several different versions of this stitch are available in books and online. Some include modified cables, while others feature slipped stitches. This chapters pattern is a simple version, interest ing from both the front and back. Notice the vertical and horizontal characteristics. The right side left features strong vertical lines, and the purl stitches are dominant on the wrong side right.

The Basket Weave Basket weave stitches come in many variations, but they all look like woven patterns, hence the name. This stitch is reversible. Each square has the same number of stitches whether or not you knit or purl. Some versions of basket weave, like this one, are reversible, while others are different on the front and back. This pattern is worked over 12 rows and multiples of 8 stitches. To create a inch block, youll add 1 selvedge knit stitch at the beginning and end of each row.

This gives the piece a firm edge and makes it easier to sew it to other pieces. In some stitch patterns, it can also eliminate curling at the edge. If you add a knit stitch at the beginning and end of each row, it can help you with counting the rows. Just look for the pattern it provides. Youll see a purl stitch every other row when you look at the right side. The Simple Slip Stitch This 2-row pattern includes a simple technique of slipping a stitch. To slip a stitch, you pass one stitch from the left needle to the right needle without knitting or purling the stitch.

You can slip stitches knitwise, with the yarn in back, or purlwise, with the yarn in front. Insert the needle as if to knit from the left of the first stitch. Youll find slipped stitches in parts of patterns where you decrease, change colors, or create smooth selvedge edges. Your pattern will specify if you are to slip knitwise or purlwise. Wyif is the purl version, with the yarn in front. The Garter Ridges This row pattern creates horizontal stripes in a combination of stockinette stitch and garter stitch.

You can make garter ridges in many different configurations. They add interest to monochrome pieces and can also be used when changing colors in striping. The wrong side right does not have the strength the right side has. The Broken Rib In this stitch pattern, multiples of 4 with an extra stitch on each end for selvedge results in a beautiful textured pattern.

This gives the sides of your knitted pieces a firm edge, assists you in counting rows, and makes sewing pieces together easier. Now that youve learned the easy stitches in Chapter 5 and the intermediate stitches in Chap ter 6, youre ready for the more complex patterns in this advanced chapter. The bramble stitch is more three-dimensional. The diamond brocade is an 8-row pattern that creates a diamond-shape design element. The diagonal cluster lace includes a technique wherein you go back and manipulate stitches youve already knitted. And finally, the simple cable shows the basic technique of making cables.

The Bramble Stitch This stitch is sometimes known as a blackberry stitch. It involves knitting and purling into 1 stitch and then combining stitches together to form a cluster of stitches. This is a 4-row pattern that gives great texture to a garment, especially along the bottom edge of a sweater or the ends of a shawl. Notice the brackets around the first three procedures. These indicate that all 3 stitches are performed in the same stitch.

The bramble, or blackberry, stitch features bold berries and an interesting diagonal pattern. The wrong side of the bramble stitch right is quite subdued. Insert the needle into the first stitch knitwise. The abbreviation is k2tog knit 2 together , or in the case of the bramble stitch, p3tog purl 3 together.

Row 3: P. Rep patt until piece measures 47 8 inches. The Diamond Brocade The diamond brocade is one of those patterns you really need to concentrate on. You might want to turn off your iPod or the TV while you work it. I turn the music off in my head with these kinds of patterns. Diamonds appear as you complete each group of 8 rows. The purl stitches obscure the diamond pattern a little on the wrong side right. The diamond brocade is not difficult, but you need to keep track of where you are within every row and row by row.

The Diagonal Cluster Lace This is one of my favorite patterns. I love the texture, diagonal lines, and open spaces. Its fun to knit and a bit of a challenge. Youll find it used in the Diamond Lace Vest project in Chapter The diagonal cluster lace pattern is at once lacy, dynamic, and visually interesting. The wrong side right looks more complex than the right side left. The diagonal cluster lace pattern includes yarn-overs YO , which adds a stitch and a technique for decreasing a stitch by passing 1 stitch over 2 others.

Bring the yarn around the right needle from front to back. Pull that stitch over the other 2, leaving 2 stitches of that group on the right needle. Row 1: WS P. Do not YO before the last st. If you do, youll add a st. The Simple Cable This easy cable stitch illustrates why cables are so much fun to knit. When you knit a cable, youre actually knitting stitches out of order and crossing them in the process.

Like a rib pattern, this piece has some elasticity, as you can see from the wrong side of. You need a third needle or even a pencil to work this pattern. Special cable needles are avail able, and some people like to use double-pointed needles, but for this swatch, you only need an additional straight needle. Just be sure the tool you use is the same diameter or a little smaller than the needle youre using. Row 1: RS K4, p5, k4, p5, k4. Row 2: P4, k5, p4, k5, p4. Row 3: This is the cable row. K4, p5, place the next 2 sts on the 3rd needle ndl or cable ndl, k the next 2 sts on the original left ndl, k the 2 sts on the cable ndl or place the sts on the 3rd ndl back on the left ndl and then k them , p5, k4.

When you get to the middle of the cable row, place the next 2 stitches on the third needle. Knit the 2 stitches on the cable needle. Some knitters like to place these stitches back on the left needle and then knit them. Hopefully, youll try a great number of them as you continue your knitting journey. If youve been following along with the preceding chapters, you now know how to make all the easy, intermediate, and advanced knit stitch patternscongratulations! You also should have accumulated a small pile of swatches as you practiced the stitches in the earlier chapters.

Rather than toss those, or let them loiter in your knitting basket, lets put them to use in a sampler.


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This project will be a testament to what youve learned so far, from the basic stitches to the more advanced stitch patterns youve conquered. Building Your Sampler Okay, gather your swatches, and lets review what you should have by now. In Chapter 5, you started off with the easy stitches:. We looked at the garter stitch in Chapter 2 and the stockinette stitch in Chapter 3, so that should round out your group of 15 swatch blocks. If you prefer to make a throw for this practice project, double the number of pattern stitches and make each square 10 inches wide and 10 inches high.

Be sure to check each pattern, though. If a pattern has additional stitches, dont double those stitches. For example, the basket weave stitch is multiples of 8 plus 2. Youd double the 8 but not the 2 additional stitches. Take a good look at your swatches. Now that youre more proficient, you may want to knit a few of them over again. Your gauge has probably changed, and you have better control over the evenness of your stitches. You may want to change yarns or vary the colors. Garter Stitch and Stockinette Blocks You learned these stitches in Chapters 2 and 3, and the swatches you made then should be part of your block sampler.

If you didnt make the swatches then, dont worry. I give you the instructions for those first two swatches here. And if you did already make them and those early attempts look a little rough compared to your later, more practiced stitches, feel free to knit them over again. I wont tell. Dont forget to check your gauge so each square is 55 inches!

The Garter Stitch The most simple of all stitch patterns, the garter stitch is a favorite of experienced and new knitters alike. The garter stitch can accommodate any number of stitches because youre just repeating the same stitch over and over. The knitted fabric will be somewhat elastic yet sturdy. The edges wont roll like they do with the stockinette stitch, and both sides look exactly the same. Row 1: K all sts. Rep Row 1 until piece measures 47 8 inches. The Stockinette Stitch The stockinette stitch is one of the most common and popular stitches youll find. Its a 2-row pattern with 1 row all knit thats the right side and the other row all purl thats the wrong side.

Smooth on the knit side and bumpy on the purl side, stockinette is also known as the stocking stitch because its the stitch used to knit stockings! After making your swatch, youll notice that the sides curve toward the back. This curled edge can work to your advantage if you want this kind of decorative edge. The curling is caused by the tension between the knitted stitches on one side and the purl stitches on the other.

In some patterns where a flat edge is needed, a selvedge edge of 1 or 2 stitches is recommended. Look at the back or wrong side WS. Patterns that call for the purl side as the right side RS are called reverse stockinette stitch. Assembling Your Sampler All you need to assemble your sampler is some leftover yarn from your swatches, a large-eye darning needle, and scissors. Heres how to put it all together: 1. Lay out all the pieces on a table with right sides up. Take a look at those with curling edges like the stockinette swatch. Move these swatches to the inside positions so they wont curl up on the edge of the sampler.

Place the swatches with the firm edges in the outside positions. Arrange your swatches in 3 horizontal or vertical rowsyour choice. When you have a design you like, turn over all the swatches so the wrong sides are now up. Beginning at one of the corners, whipstitch the edges of two swatches together. Continue sewing up the contiguous edges until all your swatches are joined together. Turn right side up and enjoy.

You can use this sampler as a wall hanging, make it into a pillow, or use it as a placemat. If youre feeling really ambitious, you can knit all the swatches larger and assemble them into a blanket! This fun sampler is a great way to document your knitting progress as you learn each stitch pattern. In Part 3, we explore adding stitches, deleting stitches, knitting stitches in the round, and knitting colorful stitches. There are many ways of increasing and decreasing the number of stitches on your needles. This is called shaping, and its essential to making garments fit well.

To knit in the round, you can use circular or double-pointed needles. You learn the uses and techniques for both kinds of tools in Part 3 and then move on to making bags, hats, sweaters, and other three-dimensional projects. Knitting with lots of colors can increase your enjoyment of the craft. I give you plenty of tips for knowing when and how to change colors for simple stripes in the following chapters. Also in Part 3, you learn how to read a pattern and practice the techniques youve learned so far in projects ranging from a baby blanket and beret to a great little handbag.

Sure, knitting flat, square and rectangle pieces with straight edges is fine, but that will get bor ing after a while. Thats where shaping comes in.

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Youll find shaping quite easy. With increases and decreases you will be able to make shapes, tailor garments so they fit properly, and work in three dimensions. When you add stitches, you are increasing. When you combine stitches, you are decreasing. Each technique will have a different visual effect. Increasing In preparation for learning these techniques, lets begin a swatch with your practice yarn and needles. CO 10 sts and k 2 rows.

Cont stockinette st for 4 more rows k 1 row, p 1 row, rep. This is a good place to begin learning your increase techniques. In patterns, you may see it as a bar increase because it creates a visual bar where the additional stitch is added. Next, put your ndl through the front of the same st, angling it toward the back, and bring forward an additional st.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Knitting and Crocheting Illustrated by Barbara Breiter

There will be 2 sts on your right ndl coming from the original st on the left ndl. Cont k the row of sts, and p back. You now have 11 sts and are ready to try the next technique on the knit side. With each yarn-over, you create a hole, which is why yarn-overs are often used in lace patterns. You can yarn-over knitwise and yarn-over purlwise, and we try both in this section. Yarn-over knitwise: 1. Now bring the working yarn around your right ndl before knitting the next st.

The yarn comes around from the back to the front and over the ndl, ready to k the next st on your left ndl. YO knitwise once more, and k to the end of the row. You should now have 13 sts. P the next row, including the new YO sts. Look at the right side RS and the holes left by the YO. Yarn-over purlwise: 5. K the next row so we can try it purlwise. With the ndl with the sts in your left hand, you should be looking at the purl side. Wrap the yarn around your right ndl from the front to the back. YO purlwise once more, and p to the end of the row.

You should now have 15 sts. Again, look at the RS and note the holes in the sample. K the next row, including the YOs. Cont for 2 more rows of stockinette, ending with the right side RS ready for the next row. Make One m1 Youll often find patterns that instruct you to make one m1.

With this technique, you add a stitch that either slants right or left. Why is this important? Because when youre shaping a gar ment, for instance, you want your increased stitches to be consistently going in one direction or another, slanting to the right or left. To demonstrate this, lets do a few rows in our swatch. Make 1 right slantingknit side: 1. Now make 1 by picking up the horizontal strand with your left ndl from back to front between the last st on the right ndl and the next st on the left ndl.

K to the end. You now have 16 sts. Make 1 right slantingpurl side: 1. Now make 1 by picking up the horizontal strand with the left ndl from back to front between the last st on the right ndl and the next st on the left ndl. P to the end. You now have 17 sts.

K 1 row, and p 1 row. Make 1 left slantingknit side: 1. Make 1 by picking up the horizontal strand with the left ndl from front to back. Make 1 left slantingpurl side: 1. Decreasing When you need to reduce the number of stitches, you can use several methods. Sometimes its just a matter of binding off stitches. Other techniques include knitting or purling stitches together or slipping one stitch over another. Lets continue working with our practice sample. At the end of the increase section, you ended up with 17 stitches. Now well decrease some of those stitches using these techniques.

Knitting k2tog or Purling Stitches Together p2tog Knit 2 together, or purl 2 together, is one of the most common ways of decreasing. The tech nique is quite simple. You simply insert your needle into 2 stitches at the same time and either knit or purl them together.

Slip, Slip, Knit ssk If you want to hide a decrease, this technique is simple and almost invisible. Insert the right ndl from the front to the back of the next st on the left ndl, and slip it onto the right ndl. Slip 1, Knit 1, Pass Slipped Stitch Over sk psso Passing a slipped stitch over sounds complicated, but it really isnt: 1. Slip the next st from the left to the right ndl. Using the left ndl, grab the slipped st and pull it over the point of the right ndl and over the k st. K to end of row. Knit to the end of the row, and bind off the next row.

You may want to keep this swatch for reference. Project: Fortune Cookie Hooded Baby Blanket If youre fortune-ate to have a cute little cookie in your life, he or she will love wrapping up in this soft, cozy hooded blanket. This cotton baby wrap is perfect for cool days. This blanket is knit on the bias, giving you plenty of opportunity to practice your increasing and decreasing. You can either make this piece in one color, or you can design a pattern of stripes.

Simply introduce a different color when a ball is finished and you need to start the new ball. Just be sure you add your new ball or color at the beginning of the right side row. Finished size: inches If you make it larger, you can work it up as a wonderful lap blanket or afghan. When youve finished a Row 2 WS on the increase or decrease side of the blanket and dont think you have enough yarn to work another row, start a Row 1 with a new skein of yarn.

If youre changing colors, this is the time to do it. All color changes begin on a Row 1. When looking at the Row 2 side of the blanket where a color change occurs, the stitches will be half one color and half the other colors. On the right side RS , its a seamless transition. Basic square knit on the bias: The blanket starts out as a basic square, knit on the bias. The hood is added later by adding a simple triangle. CO 3 sts. Row 1: WS K1, m1r, k1, m1l, k1.

Row 2: RS K all sts. Work these 2 rows one time. Increase pattern rows: Row 3: K1, m1r, k across row to last st, m1l, k1. Row 4: K all sts. To keep track of the increase side, place removable stitch markers at the beginning and end of the work on a Row 1 side WS. Garter stitch is reversible, so its easy to forget which is the Row 1 side unless you mark it. As the rows begin to have more and more stitches, the marker at the beginning and end of a Row 1 serve as a reminder to make the increases. Continue to move the markers up as the work continues to grow, and you can keep them easily in view.

Continue to knit the 2 increase pattern rows until the sides of the blanket measure 26 inches from the CO to the needle. The sample has stitches at the point. Then begin the decrease rows on the WS. Decrease pattern rows: Row 5: K1, ssk, k across row to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. Hood: Begin the hood following the same directions as for the blanket, and continue with the same increases until the sides from the CO to the needle measure 8 inches.

Youll be increasing evenly on both sides, creating a triangle of approximately 49 stitches. BO all st. Fasten off, leaving a 2-yard length of yarn for attaching the hood to the blanket. Assembly: Weave in all tails in their corresponding colors. Place the blanket in front of you with obvious color change rows facing you WS facing you.

Place the hood over the blanket corner of the same color. Thread a tapestry needle or a large eye darning needle with the tail from the bind-off. Whipstitch the edges of the hood and the blanket together. Weave in the yarn tail for a couple inches, and fasten off. This blanket will be machine washed and dried, so be sure your tails are well secured. Up to this point, youve been knitting flat, two-dimensional pieces. But in this chapter, we explore working in three dimensions by working in the round. This technique can be used for many purposes, including bags, sleeves, socks, hats, and even the bottom half of sweaters.

Knitting in the round reduces or eliminates the number of seams in a project. Your work pro gresses by rounds instead of rows, with the right side RS of your work facing you. If youre working the stockinette stitch, you will knit every round without ever purling. Knitting in Circles There are two ways of knitting in the round: UWorking with a circular needle UWorking with double-pointed needles. Knitting with Circular Needles cir Circular needles are designed with two straight, short needles attached to a flexible cable or tubing.

Theyre available in standard needle sizes and in lengths from 8 to 47 inches.


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  • For those who love making socks, there is even now a circular needle small enough for socks! Instructions will specify the length you need based on the number of stitches in the pattern. The needle part of a circular needle can be made of metal, bamboo, wood, or plastic and come in all sizes. Circular needles are also wonderful for straight knitting, especially when youre working with lots of stitches.

    You can make an entire afghan on circular needles, turning your work and knit ting back and forth. This eliminates sewing strips or sections together later. The main lesson to learn when using circular needles is right at the beginning of the process.

    After you cast on your stitches, you join the first stitch in the round to the last stitch in the round. The trick is to be sure all your stitches are straight, laying in the same direction. If your row of stitches is twisted at any point, youll have to begin your round over. The stitches on this circular are all laying in the same direction, ready to be joined together. Notice the arrow pointing to the twist. If you joined the circle together, your knitting would be tangled and youd have to start over.

    You will be placing a stitch marker on the needle at the beginning of the round. You can also just use a piece of contrasting yarn tied in a loop if you dont have stitch markers. As you knit, the marker will move around the needle and serve as your guide to the next round. Patterns will indicate PM for place marker. Placing a marker at the beginning of a round helps you as you knit your pattern. Knitting with Double-Pointed Needles dpn Double-pointed needles are available in the same sizes as straight needles and come in packages of five.

    The concept is to put stitches on three or four of the needles and use a fourth or fifth needle to knit the stitches. As you knit the stitches on each needle, you free another needle to work with. When a pattern calls for knitting in the round with three needles, youll use a fourth needle to work the stitches. When knitting in the round with four double pointed needles, you use the fifth to work the stitches. Double-pointed needles are primarily used when youre working with a small number of stitches.

    Making an I-Cord Using two double-pointed needles, you can create a knitted tube called an I-cord. According to Montse Stanleys Knitters Handbook, the name I-cord is a polite abbreviation for idiot cord, but I prefer to think of it as inspirational cord. Help with my knitting and crocheting skills. Very easy to read and understand the instructions on knitting or crocheting!

    I would recommend this book to any person wanting to learn these crafts!! The book is a perfect match to the description. I am enjoying it daily! I am not working and knitting has become a diversion. Skip to main content. About this product. New other. Stock photo. Brand new: lowest price The lowest-priced brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item in its original packaging where packaging is applicable.

    See details. Buy It Now. Add to cart. About this product Synopsis An updated and completely revised edition of one of the most popular Complete Idiot's Guides ever published! Now with hundreds of illustrations!