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‘Learn to Knit’ MINI SERIES, Week 2: The Knit Stitch

Have you pulled your knitting needles out of the closet yet?
Or did you go buy your first set?
If not, you better hurry.
Today is week 2 of the ‘Learn to Knit’ MINI SERIES with Rebecca Danger.
(Week 1 found here.)
As a complete knitting rookie myself, I’m in love this series and hope you’re enjoying it too.
Hey there MakeitandLoveit-ers!
Rebecca Danger here again for week 2 of learning to knit! I hope everything went well last week? Youe got your yarn, you got your needles, you’ve got 24 stitches cast on and ready to go? Awesome! This week we are going to get started on the “Knit Stitch” part of knitting. Yeah! So exciting.
Just so you know, I am going to teach you the “Continental” style of knitting, where you hold the yarn in your left hand (also called “picking”). It is the faster way of knitting and my personally preferred style.
So, you’ve got your 24 cast on stitches from last week, right? Hold up the needle with the stitches in your left hand so the pointy end of the needle is facing your right hand. Letting the tails dangle down as they want to, grab the yarn coming from the ball (not the tail left from casting on). Let’s get it wrapped around your hand. Wrap once or twice (whatever feels comfy) around your left hand pinky to tension it.

Run it over the BACK of your fingers

And over your index finger

Place your middle finger on the back of the first stitch on the needle, “holding” it in place

Make sure your “working yarn” (the yarn coming from the ball, in other words the yarn you are working with) is coming from the back of your needle (as you see in the pictures). Grab your second needle in your right hand. Put it through the first loop on the needle, moving from bottom of the stitch to top, and from the front of the stitch to the back.

See how your working yarn is running right behind the stitch? Wrap your yarn OVER the needle tip, making a wrap around your needle. Make sure the yarn is going over the needle as in the picture. You can remember which way to go with a rhyme. The correct way around is the shorter route, so just remember, “The Long Way Around Is The Wrong Way Around.” Make sense?

Pull that wrap back through the loop on your left hand needle

And slip the loop completely off your left hand needle

You just knit a stitch!

See that after making the wrap through the loop, you transferred that new loop from your left needle to your right needle? Keep repeating.

Up through the loop.
Wrap over the yarn (the long way around is the wrong way around, go over the short way)
Bring the wrap back through the loop
Drop the loop off the left hand needle
Yeah! You are knitting!

Repeat the above steps until you are across the row. Here’s what it will look like a few stitches across

When you get to the end of the row, you are going to switch the needle with all the stitches (currently in your right hand) on over to your left hand and start over. Set up your hands and needles and yarn so it looks like it did when you started the last row. Make sure to pull the yarn to the BACK behind the stitches before you start.

Go right on up through that stitch, wrap, pull through the loop, drop, and keep going across this row. Repeat, about a million times until it feels really comfortable. Here’s what your washcloth will look like after several rows:

Keep going until your washcloth measures about 8” long, or whatever looks like a washcloth shape to you. Next week we’ll finish this up and bind off the last row.

I know knitting can be terrifying, but guess what….there are only 2 stitches that ALL of knitting is based on:
Knit and Purl.

Once you learn those stitches, you have 95% of the skills it takes to do any knitting project. Awesome, right? Especially since you know 50% of those stitches already. I know, really cool.

Next week we will learn how to finish this up by binding off. So, practice those knit stitches and get really comfortable with them, and get your washcloth to 8”or so and ready to finish before then, ok? See you next week!

Wanna see it “in-action” as opposed to my still images? I recommend this video.


Ashley Johnston

Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!


  1. Lisa says:

    I started with 24 stitches, and about 6 rows in now, I have 41! What am I doing wrong??? I really love this series–thank you!

  2. Rebecca Danger says:

    Hi Tracy-

    Sounds like you might be doing everything too tight! The main key to knitting is to find the right gauge. You do not need to pull on your stitches or really tighten them at all as you are knitting, though I know it feels like it at first. If you look at your cast on and get the feeling of "death grip" at all, loosen up. Your stitches should be able to slide around somewhat freely on your needle. You can also cast onto a needle 1-2 sizes larger than you plan on using so that your first row is immediately looser as you get started.

    I would try casting on again and thinking "loose" this time. Let me know if that seems to help.


  3. christian says:

    Awesome! I should definitely be studying right now, but I've got senioritis (even as a grad student), and this is just perfect!! I love learning new things, and it looks like I need a lot of practice! My stitches are very uneven and my hands are cramping a bit… Hopefully I can stick with it.

  4. Angela says:

    this is awesome!!! I've been wanting to learn how to knit for awhile now and I am finally doing it!

  5. Mrs. Quach says:

    Hi there! Stumbled upon you via so many other blogs! I'm overwhelmed now… Your blog is wonderful and I love your ideas! Thank you for sharing them with us…

  6. Panda says:

    Ohhh, how I love peridot… *sigh*

  7. Brianne says:

    Tracy, you are probably casting on too tightly. That was my problem and the pictures and video weren't making sense to me with what I was seeing on my needles. I couldn't bring the wrap back through the loop. Once I casted on loosely I was able to do it correctly.

  8. Tracy says:

    I am still having a tough time with this. I'm a crafter, quilter,etc. but never a knitter. I seem to keep ending up with a tight bunch of yarn just at the tips of my needles and can't get the needle into the next loop.
    Did I cast on too tight?

  9. Fernanda says:

    thanks for the explanation.
    The color of the wool we use is very beautiful.

  10. Rebecca Danger says:

    Oh and TheGreeningGirl: You knit the "English" way, where you "throw" your yarn using your right hand. That's why I made sure to mention this is the Continental method.

  11. Rebecca Danger says:

    Hi EHC: Yes, a reading a pattern post will be included at the end!

    Panda: That's my engagement ring so I don't know where Mr Danger got it, it was many years ago. It's Peridot, if that's any help!

  12. Angie says:

    I'm learning so much. I've never been so excited to see a wash cloth before! I can see I'll need a lot of practice to make my knits nice and even, off to practice more…

  13. Panda says:

    Love this! Now I can learn!!

    Also… Where did you get that green ring??? I LOVE IT!!!!

  14. EHC says:

    Do you think part of the "Learn to Knit" series could include how to read a knitting pattern? I'm a knitting newbie and this is where it gets really confusing to me…

  15. emma says:

    aah!!! thank you so much for this!!! I'm super excited! I've been wanting to learn to knit!!! yay! you're the best!

  16. Brianne says:

    Ack! I'm so excited! I've been waiting patiently, staying away from YouTube so I don't start trying to figure out the next step. I thought I was going to have to wait until tomorrow for the tutorial. Yea! I know what I'm doing during nap time today.

  17. Julie says:

    A friend just showed me your blog over the weekend and I am so excited! Went to JoAnn last night and bought some knit fabric to make a cute spring-ish scarf! Can't wait to try more projects! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  18. TheGreeningGirl says:

    Interesting…I wrap my yarn around my right hand when I knit, which is the opposite to have you have done here. I wonder if this is because I am left handed?!

  19. Julie {isCocoandCocoa} says:

    I already knit, but I'm so excited that this series teaches the Continental Method. It's my preferred method of knitting, too!

  20. Galagonya Gulova says:

    And special thanx for the information that the style my grandma tought me is named "Continental" :-))

  21. Sharon says:

    Thanks! I have been wanting to learn how to knit. :)

  22. Shanna says:

    I am over the top excited about this new series!! Thank you!


  23. theolivetree says:

    Yes! Thanks for this!!!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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