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The craft of knitting entails the manipulation of loops of yarn with knitting needles to make a fabric. When you begin knitting you will need to purchase a pattern to follow. In the directions of the pattern, you will be told what size needles you will need and in most cases the amount of yarn. Be sure when you select your knitting needles that you purchase them long enough to hold all the stitches without crowding them. When buying the yarn, check to be sure that the dye lot numbers of all the skeins are the same so your colors will match perfectly. If more than one color is called for by your pattern, choose colors that will compliment the project you are planning. For instance, if you are knitting a sweater or scarf, choose colors the person who will wear it would like.

To begin, tie a slip knot a measured distance from the end of your yarn. This distance should allow approximately one inch per stitch you are working onto the needle. This is called casing on forms in your pattern directions and will be the initial row of the fabric you are knitting. Next you should slide the knot onto a needle and tighten it down. Picking up the short end of the yarn, wrap it over your left thumb and the yarn from the ball over your left index finger. Now you will want to grasp both of the loose ends between your palm and back fingers. Push the needle up through the thumb loop and scoop the yarn from the index finger drawing a loop on the needle. Now you can release the thumb loop and tighten the loop on your needle by pulling the short yarn forward with your thumb. Next you will again scoop the yarn from the index finger and draw a loop onto the needle. Then release the thumb loop and tighten the loop on the needle by pulling the short piece of yarn forward with your thumb. Continue to repeat this step until you have the number of stitches required by your pattern.

To maintain the tension on your yarn, wrap the yarn around one or more of your fingers and over your right index finger. If you prefer you can control the tension of your yarn with the left hand. But a consistent yarn tension is necessary for a constant flow of yarn and to insure even stitches. After you have cast on the number of stitches needed for your project, form a knit stitch by holding the yarn behind the needle with the casing stitches and inserting the empty needle from to back into the first casting stitch. Using your right index finger you should then wrap the yarn under and over the inserted needle and pull the loop forward through the casting stitch. Use your thumb and fore finger to push the casting stitch onto the second needle toward the tip and off the original needle. When you have done this the new stitch should be on the second needle. Continue to repeat this action until the row is completed then transfer the knitting to your left hand and begin again. A purl stitch is made by holding the yarn in front of the knitting and inserting the empty needle back to front into the first stitch. Using your right index finger you should wrap the yarn over and under the tip of the right needle. Pull the new loop back through the stitch and using your thumb and fore finger push the stitch onto the left needle, to the tip and then off onto the other needle. Repeat until the row is finished and then begin a new row.