Learn to Knit-Morris Masterclass Series – Morris & Sons Australia

Learn to Knit-Morris Masterclass Series

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Patchwork knitted squares being sewn together

Whether you’re new to yarn crafts completely or looking to branch out from your usual favourite craft, this guide will help you with the basics you need to start exploring the world of knitting.

Knitting is a very meditative craft that is perfect for creating all kinds of clothing and accessories as well as homewares and gifts. It is easier to achieve intricate shaping with knitting and produce a fabric with more natural stretch, which is why it is chosen more frequently for garments than crochet. The base of knitting is very simple and easy to learn. There are four main techniques you need to start knitting: casting on, two simple stitches: the knit and purl stitch, and casting off. Once you master these techniques, the opportunities of what you can create are endless. Here is what you need to know to learn to knit!

Materials

To begin knitting you will need a pair of needles and ball of yarn. We suggest you start with a pair of 7.00mm needles and Estate 14ply yarn.

There are many different needle options, in both material and construction. Wood and metal are the most common materials needles are made from and they are each loved equally for different reasons. We have another blog that goes into detail about the different knitting needles you can find here- A Guide to KnitPro Needles

For a beginner we always recommend starting with wooden needles as they provide more grip for the yarn and your stitches slide less easily and shouldn’t fly off your needles.

Traditionally straight needles are used for knitting flat items and circular needles for knitting things in the round but circular needles can be used to knit flat as well and we urge you to consider starting out with them from the beginning. The majority of our staff uses circular knitting needles exclusively as they are easier to hold without a long needle awkwardly hanging out from your hand. They also put less strain on your hands as the cable connecting the needles, not the needles themselves, holds most of the weight of your knitting. You will want to start with a circular needle of 60cm in length to knit your first project. 

If you still prefer to start knitting with straight needles, we suggest using the shortest pair possible, 25cm, as they will be the least awkward to hold.

100% wool is our favorite yarn to learn to knit with, such as our Estate 14ply. Estate has a tight twist, which prevents splitting of its strands with the needles. We recommend starting with a lighter coloured yarn, as it will be easier to see the individual stitches and where to insert your needles.

Once you are comfortable knitting with the Estate you can explore looser twisted yarns that are also a bit softer, such as Maya Baby Alpaca and Empire Merino.

In addition to needles and yarn, to complete your first project you will also need scissors, a yarn needle to weave in your ends when you’ve finished, and a crochet hook, a size or two smaller than the needle size you are working with, to help pick up any dropped stitches. For working with the Estate 14ply we suggest a 5.00mm or 6.00mm hook.

Cast On

There are many different cast on techniques in knitting and each are used based on preferred look and stretch. The cast on that is most favoured by our staff for both its neat edge and stretch is Long Tail Cast On. It can take a little bit of getting used to but it is well worth the effort. Here is video of ARNE & CARLOS showing you how to do it that we recommend. If you find a video is moving too quickly for you, you are able to slow down the playback speed in the settings icon on the video player.

Knitting, Purling, and Casting Off

In the video below, ARNE & CARLOS show you the long tail cast on again as well as the knit and purl stitches and how to cast off. They knit in the style of continental or 'picking' their knitting but also show you how to knit in the English or 'throwing' style. It is good when learning to try out both techniques and see which is most comfortable for you.

First Project

After exploring casting on, the knit stitch, purl stitch and casting off in some form of square or rectangle we think it’s time to begin your first real knitting project! Scarves are popular first choices, as they will allow you to master with repetition a combination of knit and purl stitches or the knit stitch by itself (called garter stitch). If you'd like to follow a  pattern our  Smokey Joe Scarf is great for a beginner and can be knit in the same Estate 14ply you're practicing with, or also with Maya 14ply Baby Alpaca as the pattern was originally written. 

We hope you enjoy learning to knit and the joy it will bring to your life. 

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