Essential Techniques Every Knitter Should Know
In more than 50 years of knitting and 35 years of teaching, Sally Melville has taken hundreds of finished garments off her needles and taught hundreds of different classes. Today, she is the author of seven knitting books including Sally Melville Styles, The Knitting Experience series and Knitting Pattern Essentials. Her gift for making knitting simple, useful and fun has long made Sally a beloved instructor. Sally is dedicated to helping knitters make pieces they'll be proud to show the world!
Meet your instructor, designer, and author Sally Melville, and learn more about the essential techniques covered in your class. You can watch the lessons in order or skip to the ones that interest you most. Use this class as a reference whenever you want to learn or review any technique!
Even if you hate math, a few simple calculations will help you achieve the correct gauge—and garment projects that actually fit. Sally shares tips on knitting a gauge swatch and what to consider when you want to use a yarn different from what the pattern specifies. If the yarn you love isn't a perfect match, you can do a little math to modify the pattern. Sally shows you how!
03: Casting On
There are myriad ways to cast on, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Sally covers the most common—the long-tail cast-on—and shows two ways to do it, but she also encourages you to explore alternatives such as the e-wrap, cable, and crochet cast-ons, which may be more appropriate, and prettier, for your particular project.
The bound-off edge should complement your knitting, without being too tight, too loose, too knotty, or sloppy. Learn how to do the typical chain bind-off with a few extra steps that will make it look great. Or try the sewn bind-off for a super-stretchy finish, such as on the cuff of a toe-up sock. The three-needle bind-off also has its place, as Sally explains.
05: Selvages & Tails
The selvage of your knitting can be decorative—as the finished edge of a piece — or functional — the point where you will add a seam. Sally shows how slipped stitch, garter stitch, and stockinette selvages look in your work and discusses factors you should consider when choosing one over the other, regardless of what a pattern specifies.
Knitting into the front and back of a stitch is the easiest way to make an increase, but it's not always the prettiest. See how make-one and lifted increases might be a better choice for your project. Sally also shows how to use increases to make knitted bobbles that don't droop.
Sally walks you through the leaning tower of decreases, with a handy trick for remembering which ones lean left and which lean right and where to use them. Need a centered double decrease? Sally shows you how to make it!
Seaming is not as hard as it seems, if you follow Sally's guidance. She'll walk you through row-to-row, stitch-to-stitch, and stitch-to-row seams for a beautiful finish.
09: Picking Up & Knitting
You'll gain confidence in picking up and knitting stitches when you can see just how to do it with a close-up view. Sally demonstrates how to pick up and knit along a row edge and along a curve such as an armhole or neckline. No more fumbling and guesswork with Sally's techniques in your toolkit.