Knitting

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Knitting is one of the many needlework techniques that is growing in popularity today. It has been used to make garments, blankets, hats, scarves, purses, toys, and more!!! Knitting is made with the use of two or more knitting needles, which can be made of wood, plastic (which are usually the larger needles), bamboo, and aluminum. Knitting needles come in different sizes and types. The sizes can range from 0000 (or even smaller!!!) to a size 50 (used mostly for extremely thick and quick projects). There are also different kinds of knitting needles to help with different techniques and projects.

Needles

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Single point - Usually the most basic needles to start out with, the 2 needles are long and straight, and come in lengths of 7 inches, 10 inches, and 14 inches. They have points on one end of each needle, while the ends help from having the work slide (and creating a large unraveling mess). These needles are usually used to make flat projects, which can range in different sizes. You can make scarves, hats (worked flat and seamed), and clothing (which will be seamed).

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Circular - These needles may look a little odd to someone who isn't familiar with knitting. Instead of having ends to hold the work together, the two needles are held together with an acrylic wire. These needles come in many different lengths, ranging as small as 12 inches to over 40 inches!!! Like the straight needles, they can be used for a variety of projects. However, you can work both flat and round projects (without a seam). I myself prefer the circular needles, as I make many different-sized projects, and the wire helps to hold the stitches of the work.

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Double-point - Having a similar benefit to the circular needles, however, these are used for working in the round on very small projects, such as socks, small toys, etc. Working with four or five needles that hold the stitches, they are also useful for finishing up hats that are worked in the round, and are usually come in metal, bamboo,or wood. Unlike the straight and circular needles, these have no ends to hold your stitches, so watch your stitches!!!

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Cable Needle - Used for creating those lovely cables we usually see on sweaters, this needle is used to hold a few stitches while working several others, then picking them up again to give the fabric a bit of a twist. Despite looking rather difficult, most cable patterns are simple at repetitive.

Needle Sizes

needlesizes

via Coats and Clark

Stiches and Techniques

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The knit stitch (abbreviated "k" in patterns). This stitch usually looks like a "V", and is commonly shown on the right side (RS) of knitting work. The stitches are also usually worked holding the yarn in the back of the work.

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The purl stitch (abbreviated "p" in patterns). This stitch has a bit of a nubby "U" shape, and appears mostly on the wrong side (WS) of the work, or the inside part of a piece or garment.


As long as you know these two stitches, you can easily learn how to knit basic stitches!


There are some other advanced techniques as well. Many of these can be found in online tutorials, books, and magazines.