AND NOW FOR ACTUAL KNITTING TIPS
BEGINNING A ROW
I always slip the first stitch of every K or P row. It makes a cleaner salvage.
RIBBING - I always knit the first row then change to the ribbing pattern.
WHEN KNITTING 2 PARTS OF A GARMENT (both right and left side of a sweater) that correspond, it is advisable, if possible, to work them at the same time on the same needles, using 2 balls of yarn. That way they will be the same and there's no counting of rows necessary.
OOPS, I MADE A MISTAKE. WHAT DO I DO NOW?
Sometimes you have no choice but to take out your stitches. Here's how you do it one by one.
On a knit stitch, hold the yarn in the BACK and insert the left needle into the stitch one row below the first stitch on the right needle.
On a purl stitch hold the yarn in FRONT and insert the needle from the back of the work.
Slip the stitch onto your left needle, gently pulling the yarn out of the stitch above it. Continue until you reach your mistake.
TIP: When you do this it's easier to take out the stitches one by one if you use a smaller (thinner) needle, but remember to return to the original size needle when you get back to where you need to be.
If the mistake is very far back taking the stitches off one by one will take way too long so you have to bite the bullet and take the needle out of the work and just unravel. This is very scary, but can be done. Stop unraveling at the end of a row. Lay the work on a flat surface. Take a smaller (thinner) needle and carefully insert it into each stitch till they're all back on. Use your original size needle work as normal.
OOPS, I DROPPED A STITCH. NOW WHAT?
Knit till you get to the dropped stitch. Use a crochet hook into the loop of the dropped stitch and grab the bar of the stitch right above it in the crook of the crochet hook. Pull the bar through the stitch. If your stitch has dropped down several rows, repeat until your stitch is on the same row as the rest of your knitting. TIP: Keep a few sizes of Crochet hooks in your knitting bag to use in picking up dropped stitches. If you don't have a crochet hook use the tip of your knitting needle, but it's harder to manipulate. Always pick up stitches on the right side of your work.
PICKING UP STITCHES AROUND ARMHOLES
When you want to knit in the sleeves (rather than knit them separately and sew them in) you pick up the stitches around the armhole then attach the yarn and knit the stitches, picking up a loop through the knot of each stitch. This makes a smooth joining TIP: Use a smaller size needle to pick up the stitches, then switch back to the original size after the first row.
WEAVING THE SHOULDER SEAMS TOGETHER.
You should have the same number of stitches on each side (front and back) for the shoulder seam. They can be woven together for an invisible seam. Very carefully pull the needle out of the work. Lay the pieces opposite each other with the right side up. Start the seam at the right edge, joining the stitches together by pulling the sewing yarn from below through the stitch of the piece underneath. Take the whole stitch of the upper piece and pull yarn through. Now put the yarn through the lower stitch. Continue to do this, alternating the upper and lower stitches till all the stitches are woven together. There usually aren't too many stitches at the shoulder. TIP: Practice this a few times and you'll see how easy it is. Or if this is too scary you can bind off the stitches and sew or crochet them together.
How To Knit Buttonholes
Although some patterns will give specific instructions on how to knit the buttonhole others might just say make a buttonhole. The basic buttonhole is simple. K1, YO, K2 tog. This makes a perfectly fine buttonhole but there are other ways. For instance, if you want to use bigger buttons and therefore will need larger buttonholes, the basic buttonhole will only be as large the yarn over and probably not work. The buttonholes are usually placed in the middle row of a buttonhole band if there is one.
Here are instructions for knitting 2 different types of buttonholes.
Method 1. You will use three stitches to work a two stitch buttonhole (you'll always need one additional stitch regardless of the number of stitches in your buttonhole)
Knit to the point where the buttonhole will be placed.
Hold the yarn in front of the work. Slip the first stitch on the left needle as if purl.
Move the yarn to the back of the work and leave it there.
Slip the next stitch on the left needle as if to purl. Pass the first slipped stitch
over the second slipped stitch.
Continue in this way until you have bound off the required number of stitches for the buttonhole.
Slip the last stitch you bound off back to the left needle.
Turn your work and move the yarn to the back of the work.
Cast on the same number of stitches that you bound off plus one additional stitch.
Before the last step of the last cast on stitch, bring the yarn to the front of the work. Pull up the loop for the cast on stitch but before placing the loop on the left needle, bring the yarn to the front; it will then rest between two stitches.
Slip the first stitch from the left needle to the right needle as if to purl. Pass the last cast on stitch over the slipped stitch. Continue knitting the row.
Method 2. For me this is the best buttonhole.
Knit to the point where the buttonhole will be placed.
Slip the first stitch on the left needle as if knit.
Move the yarn to the front of the work and leave it there. Slip the next stitch from the left needle to the right needle as if to knit. Pass the first slipped stitch over the second slipped stitch and off the needle. Repeat until you've bound off the number of required stitches for the buttonhole.
Slip the last stitch from the right needle back to the left needle. Turn the work. Bring the yarn to the front of the work. At the edge where the buttonhole was begun, cast on the number of stitches you bound off plus one additional stitch.
Turn the work again. Slip the first stitch from the left needle to the right needle as if to knit. Pass the extra cast on stitch over the next stitch; then slip this stitch back to the left needle. Continue knitting the row.
RIBBING AROUND NECKS OR ARMHOLES: When working with fine yarn, it is advisable to pick tip every knot, skipping the stitch in between. When working with heavy yarns, it is advisable to pick up every stitch and every rib.
RIBBING BANDS, such as cuffs, neck of openings and waistbands are usually worked on smaller needles, than the main part of the garment.
V NECK - TO MITER: After picking up necessary number of sts. decrease at point of V by K. 2 tog., 2 times every Row