To those of you who read through that mile long post, congratulations!! You made it!
For those of you who skipped ahead, I don’t blame you.
Now that we’re all here however, let’s make sure we have a set of US 10 (6.0mm) hook, and a cheap skein of worsted weight (4) yarn. We’re working on skill, not style, so don’t worry about nice yarn this time. I mean it. Put down the cotton, step away from the wool, and don’t even THINK about that cashmere.
We’re going to need a strand of yarn to work with. Your yarn might be tagged with a side A and side B and instructions for which side to pull from. If so, please follow those instructions. If you aren’t so lucky as to have straight forward instructions, you’ll have to dig around a bit on both sides to find the end in the center of the skein. Many times, the center does not pull neatly out and you end up with a hunk of yarn looking tangled and no end in site. DON’T PANIC. There are a couple ways to handle this situation:
A. Find the single strand that leads to the skein and using scissors, make your own end.
B. Very carefully find the end of the skein and disentangle the wad that came out.
Please save yourself the headache and do not EVER work for the outside of the yarn. It ends up rolling around and tangling in itself and generally making mischief with tension.
Once you have your end ready, it’s time to tie our slip knot. There are about a thousand ways to do that, but I’m going to show you the one I know. It’s very similar to the knot used for tying your shoes. If you’d like to look into some other ways of tying slip knots, click here for a google search on the subject.
Our first step will be to make a loop with the end of the yarn, crossing the end over the strand from right to left.
Then you will wrap the end around the back of the loop and across the front from
right to left again. This effectively gives you two loops, the one you started with, and the one you’ve just made underneath the one you started with.
Now, take the end of the string and tuck it into the new loop you’ve made.
Holding BOTH the end and the strand with your left hand, and the original loop with either a finger or one of your knitting needles, pull gently on both ends until the knot tightens down.
This will leave you with a big loop on your knitting needle (or finger). If you haven’t already, insert your knitting needle into the loop. Hold your knitting needle firmly and pull on the strand leading back to the skein. If you’ve made your knot correctly, the loop will cinch up to fit your knitting needle.
Be sure to keep a good tension with your knot. Cinching the loop around your knitting needle in a death grip will cause your work to be too tight (maybe even too tight to work with). Inversely, leaving your loop too loose will cause your work to be too loose (maybe even too loose to work with–seriously, that can be an issue).
Well done! You are now ready to move on to Knitting 101: Lesson Two