There is not one art practiced by ladies which is more deservedly
popular than Knitting. It is so easy, requires so little eyesight, and
is susceptible of so much ornament, that it merits the attention of
every lady; and in giving instructions for acquiring it, we add, also,
such admirable diagrams of the various processes, we are sure that no
difficulty will be felt in executing any pattern.
CASTING ON WITH ONE NEEDLE
The first process in knitting is known by the term CASTING ON. There
are two ways of doing this: with one needle, and with two. Our first
diagram represents the former process. Take the thread between
the second and third fingers of the left hand, leaving an end of about
a yard for every hundred stitches; pass it round the thumb of that
hand, giving it a twist, so as to form a loop. Take a knitting-needle
in the right hand, insert the point in the loop, and pass the thread
from the ball round the needle; then bend the point of the needle
through the loop, which tighten, and one stitch will be complete.
Continue to make loops over the thumb, with the end of thread, and
knit them with that from the ball until the proper number is cast on.
TO CAST ON WITH TWO NEEDLES (generally called the Spanish method),
begin by making a loop on the end of the thread, into which slip the
point of one needle, holding it in the left hand. Take the other
needle in the right hand, and slip its point into the same loop, bring
the thread round the point of this needle, and bend the needle towards
you, so that the thread forms a loop on it. Slip that also on the left
needle, without withdrawing it from the right. Put the thread round
the right again, and repeat the process.
TO CAST ON WITH TWO NEEDLES.
PLAIN KNITTING.—After all the stitches are cast on, hold the needle
containing them in the left hand. Pass the thread round the little
finger of the right hand, under the second and third, and above the
point of the first. Then take the other needle in the right hand, slip
the point in the first stitch, and put the thread round it; bring
forward the point of the right-hand needle, so that the thread forms a
loop on it. Slip the end of the left-hand needle out of the stitch,
and a new stitch is knitted.
GERMAN MANNER.—The thread, instead of being held by the fingers of
the right hand, is passed over and under those of the left. The
process otherwise is exactly the same.
PURLING.—Begin by bringing the thread in front of the right-hand
needle, which slip into a stitch pointing towards you; that is
in the reverse of the usual mode (see diagram). Put the thread round
the point of the needle, still bringing it towards you, bend the
needle backwards to form a loop, and withdraw the stitch from the
point of the left-hand needle.
When knitted and purled stitches occur in the same row, the thread
must be brought forward before a purled stitch, and taken back before
a knitted one.
THE GERMAN MANNER.
TO MAKE A STITCH. Bring the thread in front, as if for a purled
stitch, so that when you knit one the thread will pass over the
needle, and will make a hole in the following row. This diagram shows
the manner of making three stitches, and any other number could be
made, by putting the thread round a proportionate number of times. In
the engraving it will be seen that the thread is put twice entirely
round the needle; and then brought forward, so that the next knitted
stitch will take it over a third time. In doing the next row, knit
one, purl one, knit one of these stitches; however many are
made, they must be alternately knitted and purled in the next
row. When the stitch allowing the made stitches is to be purled, the
thread must be entirely passed round the needle, once for every stitch
to be made, and brought forward also.
TO MAKE A STITCH.
SLIP STITCH.—Pass a stitch from the left needle to the right, without
knitting it. There are two ways of decreasing: first, by knitting two,
three, or more stitches as one, marked in knitting, as k 2 t, k
3 t, etc. Secondly, in the following way: slip one stitch, knit-one,
pass the slip stitch over: this decreases one stitch. To decrease two;
slip one, knit two together, pass the slip stitch over.
TO TAKE UP STITCHES.
A reverse stitch is taken off the left-hand needle, in the reverse way
to knitting and purling. In both these, the right-hand needle is
inserted in the middle of the stitch, and the point brought out
towards you or otherwise. But to make a reverse stitch, you insert the
point of the needle in the stitch at the back of the work, and bring
it forward through the opening in which it generally is inserted. The
thread is to be placed round it, as for a purled stitch.
TO KNIT TWO PIECES TOGETHER.
To reverse two, three, or more stitches together, insert the needle in
them all at once, from the last to the first.
TO TAKE UP STITCHES.—Insert the needle in the loop, pass the thread
round, and knit it in the usual manner. Do not draw out any loop more
than can be avoided, while knitting it.
TO KNIT TWO PIECES TOGETHER.—To do this there must be an equal number
of stitches on both.
TO FORM A ROUND.
Hold the needles together in the right hand, and knit as usual,
inserting the left-hand needle in a loop of each at the same time, and
treating the two as one.
TO CAST OFF.
TO FORM A ROUND:—This diagram represents the French manner of
performing this process by casting the whole number of stitches
on one needle, and then distributing them on three, or perhaps four.
But the English mode is to divide the number of stitches, and cast so
many on each needle, not withdrawing the last stitch of each needle
from the point of the next needle. When all are cast on, the round is
made by knitting the two first stitches on to the last needle. Four
needles are employed for stockings, five for doyleys and other round
To cast off:— knit two stitches, insert the point of the left hand
needle in the first stitch, and draw it on the other. Knit another
stitch, and treat these two in the same way.
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