Knitting Foundations

The Saturday Sweater Sampler Class – Week 1

Week 1

Welcome all to the wonderful world of knitting your very first sweater sampler!

Over the next few weeks I will be posting a variety of information that reiterates the knitting techniques taught in that week’s class. Included will be links to some of my favorite (educational) knitting websites. From my experience as a teacher I have seen that people learn comfortably in many 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
Garter Stitch – YouTube – THE GARTER STITCH
Stockinette Stitch – YouTube – STOCKINETTE STITCH
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
Knit Two Purl Two Ribbing – YouTube – HOW TO KNIT: RIBBING STITCH VIDEO
Adding New Ball of Yarn – YouTube – HOW TO ADD A NEW BALL OF YARN
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. See you next 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 as per handout given in class –
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!
As always, looking forward to our next class! Happy knitting.


  Brenda wrote @

Hi Jessica, thanks for sending this. I’m knitting along and taking the time to focus on how I’m doing the stitches. My least fav were the twisted stitches which I found hard to relax while doing them. I found out that I don’t like the plastic needles that I got at VN-they are too “sticky”. I had a hard time keeping the knitted piece away from me when it was small-it kept creeping towards me and I kept pushing it away (inside vs outside of the needles with the needles pointed towards me). It wasn’t until it was about 7 inches long that it stayed in the right place. I was keeping in mind what you said about knitting with it on the inside position would make it larger. At least I think this is what you were talking about. Anyway, just thought I would share and maybe others in the class might share as well. Brenda

  knitthyself wrote @

Actually the biggest reason for knitting your sampler on the right side out is so that you can easily “read” your stitches as you go. What I said about size is that if you were knitting like this for a sweater in Bulky yarn the inside circumference would be smaller than the outside circumference, so knitting it inside out would effect your anticipated size outcome, making the outside smaller than the inside. This last bit is not really an issue for a sampler.

  Tammy Drew wrote @

Hi Jessica,

Thank-you for sending this information. Can you send me the name of the knitting needle kit that you purchased on line? See you on Sunday


  knitthyself wrote @


Here is the link to the online store, Websters, that will put together a set for you;


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