Hello my name is Sarah Gasson and I
am the designer of the Knitables Knit a Teddy designs.
With my patterns I aim to give full, detailed
step-by-step instructions to help guide you through
every stage. If you can knit, purl, increase, decrease,
change colours and sew seams, you should be able to
knit everything in the Knitables collection, especially
with these tutorials to help you along the way!
I often receive emails asking me
how to knit various stitches or how to sew up my
designs. So I thought I would produce a range of video
tutorials that illustrate the various techniques and
stitches that I use when making my designs. The video
tutorials will follow me making the Knitables, Knit a
The first step in beginning any
piece of knitting is to cast on some stitches. Putting a
slip knot on the needle makes your first stitch. There
are several cast on methods but I tend to favour the
two-needle cable cast on method, as it produces a nice
strong edge, with a rope like twist.
The knit stitch (K) is the most
basic of stitches. If you knit every stitch of every
row, the result is garter stitch. The increase one
stitch (inc 1) is where you knit into the front and the
back of a stitch, thereby making 2 stitches from 1
stitch. It's a neat, firm increase, which makes a little
bar on the right side of work at the base of the new
Purling isn't difficult, just
think of it as the opposite of a knit stitch. The best
known combination of knit and purl is called stockinette
stitch (st-st). It's very simple, just knit one row and
purl one row alternatively. The right side of
stockinette is smooth and the other side is ridged.
The make one stitch (m1) is when
you increase by one by picking up the horizontal loop
before next the stitch and knitting into the back of it.
Making a stitch from the strand between the stitches is
a very neat way to increase because it's almost
Decreases are used to reduce the
number of stitches in a row. Knitting two stitches
together (K2tog) produces a right-slanting decrease,
with the second stitch lying on top of the first. The
slip, slip, knit (SSK), however produces a left-slanting
decrease. SSK is when you slip the next stitch on the
left needle knitwise, then slip the next stitch on the
left needle purlwise. Take the left needle and knit
through the front of the two slipped stitches on the
Short rows, made by turning and
leaving stitches unworked, is used to shape knitting. To
slip a stitch (sl1), simply move it from the left to the
the right needle without working it. When this is done
as part of a pattern, the stitch is usually slipped
purlwise, so that the stitch lies on the needle in the
same direction as an ordinary knit stitch.
Purl two together (P2tog) and
slip, slip, purl (SSP) are ways of decreasing on a purl
row. P2tog is simply just purling 2 stitches together.
The SSP stitch is when you slip the next two stitches
knitwise, one at a time, to the right hand needle. Move
these two stitches back to the left hand needle. Insert
the right needle into these two stitches through their
back loops and purl these two slipped stitches together.
B&T is when you break the yarn,
leaving a long end, then thread the yarn through the
remaining stitches on the needle, draw up tightly and
secure by threading yarn a second time through stitches.
Mattress stitch makes a practically invisible and nicely
flexible seam for joining pieces side by side.
Intarsia is simply working areas
of colour with separate balls of yarn which are linked
together at each colour change. This eliminates
stranding or weaving in on the wrong. Every time you
change colours, you must link the areas together or
there will be holes in your knitting. All you need to do
is twist the yarns on the wrong side.
Weaving in yarns ends and
working a gathering thread
(Knit a Teddy
For a neat and secure finish
always weave in the yarn ends, taking care that the yarn
doesn't show through to the right side. Working a
gathering thread gives a smooth round shape to finish
pieces. Thread the cast on tail through a sewing needle
and sew the needle through the loops of the cast-on
edge. Then pull the yarn tight so that the cast on
stitches are gathered together.
Casting off, also called binding
off, links stitches to make a neat edge that won't
unravel. Start by purling the first two stitches. Use
the point of the left needle to lift the first of these
stitches over the second stitch and off the needle. Purl
the next stitch, then lift the first over the second.
Repeat until there is only one stitch left.
Short rows are used to shape
knitting, for example to add a curve. When you make a
short row you stop knitting part way through a row, turn
the knitting and add a short row. To prevent holes
forming at the ends of short rows it is important to
'wrap and turn'.
I find the hardest part in
making knitted toys is adding the facial features. There
are lots of different techniques for making eyes,
including using toy safety eyes, buttons or beads, or
embroidery. I tend to favour embroidery as I consider
this to be the safest option.
I often receive emails asking me
how to sew on the legs, and I must admit that the sewing
on of the legs is my least favourite part of the
pattern! So hopefully this tutorial will offer a few
tips on how to make up the teddy and sew on the legs to
allow a sitting and a standing position!
At some point in a knitting
project you may need to join a new ball of yarn or
change colours to knit stripes or blocks of colour.
Intarsia is simply working areas of colour with separate
balls of yarn, which are linked together at each colour
change to prevent holes in the knitting. This technique
eliminates stranding or weaving in on the wrong side,
and gives a single thickness fabric.
To save the work of sewing in
sleeves it is sometimes easier to knit the sleeves right
onto the garment and knit them from the shoulder down.
This tutorial explains how to pick up stitches around an