Knitting Foundations

The Sweater Sampler – Week 1

Week 1 Greetings all and welcome to the wonderful world of knitting your very first sweater sampler! On these posts you will find a variety of information that reiterates the knitting techniques taught in the classes each week; including links to some of my favorite (educational) knitting websites. I believe people learn comfortably in different ways – kinetically through in class hands on demonstrations, and/or with a verbal and visual presentation, at home quietly watching on line videos,  and of course through books. Here I will attempt to convey these beginning knitting techniques in a variety of ways so that everyone “gets it”. I will post specific knitting technique videos I find on YouTube that support the techniques we will be practicing in class so you can always have something visual to refer to aside from your book when you are practicing your knitting “homework” while sipping a good cup of tea or coffee. Some of what gets up on my weekly class posts will be a direct response to an inquiry that comes up in class that can’t be addressed right then. So feel free to ask, ask, ask … lots of questions. I may not be able to answer them all right then but will definitely be able to follow up on them and get back to you on this post or by next class. You can use this class to simply begin your exploration of knitting – Jackie Fee has given us all a wonderful foundation to do this. And you if you are feeling adventurous, as you work away, you can start to imagine how you would like to apply some of these new stitches you will be learning to Your First Basic Sweater – a class that takes off after this one. Below you will find knitting links to some of the techniques introduced this week.

Knitting in the Round – YouTube – Knitting in the Round – Fixed Circular Needle
Knit One Purl One Ribbing – YouTube – How to Knit – Changing Between Knit and Purl Stitches
The Twisted Stockinette Stitch – YouTube – HOW TO DO THE TWISTED STOCKINETTE STITCH
Here is a great demo showing you the difference between English (“throwing yarn in the right hand”) and Continental (working yarn in the left hand) – YouTube – Continental knitting demo
A Couple of my favorite knitting websites – to talk more about these resources in class:
Knitty: Winter 2009
Join Ravelry – Ravelry: Request a signup link
And as always, may you learn a new knitting “something” today. Jessica
Homework for this week – read through pages 15 -28, this covers the cast-on you learned as well as the join to knit in the round, knitting garter stitch in the round and stockinette stitch. This section also includes the topic of adding a new yarn (potentially different color) and the ribbings. Feel free to try these on your own and view above videos or practice what we learned in class and wait until we meet again to get into what we haven’t covered yet. I also encourage you to look through pages 29 -41 in prep for week 2. No worries if you don’t get to any of this – the main thing is for you to enjoy your knitting process and where it takes you. Happy knitting and see you in class!
P.S. Folks yet to have books asked me to post actual homework knitting they can do before meeting for the second week of class. Here’s what you can get done –
Cast on in cable stitch cast-on, connect in the round and place marker at the join. Knit 8 rows total in garter stitch – thats knit one row, purl one row, knit one row, purl one row, knit one row, purl one row, knit one row, purl one row. Then knit 10 rounds in stockinette stitch – remember when knitting this in the round you knit each row. Work 10 rounds in Knit 1 , Purl 1 ribbing (see video for reminders on how to do). Work 10 rounds in the Twisted Rib – that’s knit 1 through the back of the stitch and then purl 1. Next work 8 rounds in knit 2, purl 2 ribbing. Next row change to your other color and knit one row of stockinette stitch, then continue in the knit 2, purl 2 ribbing for 4 rounds. Next switch back to the lighter colored yarn and knit one row in stockinette stitch, then back to the knit 2 , purl two pattern for 8 more rounds. Lastly knit 3 rows of stockinette stitch, adding a marker when you get to half of the initial stitches you cast on – this will be after 32 stitches or more. And you are ready for week two. Again we will be reviewing all of this incase any of the above doesn’t sit right with your brain yet!
I’m looking forward to our next class. As always, happy knitting.


  Nancy Fine wrote @

I finally got it and was able to cast on with the proper tension. I have done about 16 rows and it appears that the “right side ” of the piece is facing inwards. What have I done wrong???

  Nancy Fine wrote @

Is the book going to be in on Friday??? I hope so. I continued knitting as I am addicted to it now… I am having so much fun…. but I really want the book as I have run out of things I know how to do!!!

Perhaps it is the way I am holding the circular needles…. I have the round part of the circle toward me and the points away from me. If I hold it and knit the opposite way which is uncomfortable for me then the piece looks right. I have completed about 8 inches so if it is totally wrong this will be a GREAT learning sampler!!!

Yes I would love to meet for a few moments in the shop at 3 pm on Friday!!!

  knitthyself wrote @

Yes, Nancy you are correct – it is getting knitted up inside out due to the way you are holding your circular needles – pointed away from your body. The way to get your yarn knitted up right side out is to have them pointed in towards you as you knit. It will feel more comfortable as you progress in the sampler and begin to have more knitted fabric in your lap.

  Lia Wollmer wrote @

Great first class Jessica…I am continuing to knit on the sampler and hoping the book comes in tomorrow – any idea when it is expected? I am anxious to keep learning 🙂

Lia Wollmer

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