Introduction to Knitting (Part 4)

This tutorial is about finishing your hat: you’re learning how to decrease, and how weave in the ends. The video shows you how to do this, and here are some written instructions to go with it. At the end of the post there are also some general remarks on how to take your knitting further.

You’re going to decrease your hat by alternating decrease rounds with knit rounds. 

Round 1: knit 6 stitches, knit 2 stitches together. This is usually abbreviated as k2tog in knitting patterns. to knit 2 stitches together, you pull the yarn through two stitches instead of one. It’s a regular knit stitch, but you do it through two stitches at once. The video shows you how to do this.

Round 2: knit all stitches.

Round 3: knit 5 stitches, knit 2 stitches together.

Round 4: knit all stitches

Round 5: knit 4 stitches, knit 2 stitches together.

Round 6: knit all stitches

Round7: knit 3 stitches, knit 2 stitches together.

Round 8: knit all stitches

Round 9: knit 2 stitches, knit 2 stitches together.

Round 10: knit all stitches

Round 11: knit 1 stitch, knit 2 stitches together.

Round 12: knit 2 stitches together (12 stitches left)

Round 13: knit 2 stitches together (6 stitches left)

Cut your yarn and pull the tail through the remaining stitches. Using a tapestry needle, pull the yarn through the centre to the inside of the hat, and make a knot. that ties it to your fabric. Then weave in the ends. The video shows you how to do this. Weave in all remaining tails – the one where you cast on, and you might also have others if you used a second ball.

A note on that second ball. There are several ways to join yarns together when you come to the end of one ball. My preferred method is this. Overlay the end of your working ball and the beginning of the new ball. The end of your working ball should point left (as though you’re knitting with it), and the end of your new ball should point right. Leave about 10-15cm on each end. Then knit the next 2 or 3 stitches with both of these yarns held together. This anchors them in your fabric, and you don’t have any knots to deal with. Just weave in the ends at the end of your project.

Some thoughts on what to knit next

Now that you’ve made your hat you’re ready to tackle all sorts of other knitting projects – there really are no limits! Everything else is pretty much a variation on knit and purl!

You might want to sign up to Ravelry It’s a free website that is home to a massive database of patterns and yarns, and a friendly forums where folks will help you if you get stuck. You can also buy patterns through there (straight from small designers, and there are also lots of free patterns. Its search is very detailed! . A word of warning that: they made some changes to how the website looked last year and lots of people had problems with that – cognitive/migraine issues, etc. I use it in ‘Herdwick’ mode, which cuts down on some of these issues for me.

This is a free hat pattern I really enjoy making. It is a good introduction to cables.

This is a good basic sock pattern for thick socks.

I very much enjoy Kate Davies’s knitting patterns. They are well written and come out nicely. You can find them here on ravelry.

As for yarns, there are a million different choices. I prefer woolly yarns, and I mostly use Drops at the moment. I also enjoy knitting with New Lanark yarn, but really, There are far too many to mention. The world of hand spinners and hand dyers is amazing, and a veritable rabbit hole to fall down, and there are yarns to suit most budgets. Let me know if you’d like more specific recommendations!

Happy knitting!

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