Photo of Sally Melville

Essential Techniques Every Knitter Should Know

with Sally Melville
Essential Techniques Every Knitter Should Know
Become a more informed, confident and proficient knitter. Discover what techniques to use when, how to execute them perfectly and why they're the best choice.

Learn techniques no knitter should be without. Join knitwear designer and author Sally Melville and learn to create perfect gauge swatches for work that fits flawlessly. Select and knit the best cast-ons and bind-offs for any project. Create invisible or eye-catching seams with different selvage stitches. Get the most professional look with the right increases and decreases for any stitch pattern. Seam row-to-row, stitch-to-stitch and stitch-to-row for a beautiful finish. Master picking up and knitting to work wonders along row edges, V-neck pullovers and around curves. Choose and use smart techniques for the best results in any knitting situation. 

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Lesson plan


Lesson 1. Introduction

  • 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!


Lesson 2. Gauge

  • 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!


Lesson 3. 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.


Lesson 4. Bind-Offs

  • 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.


Lesson 5. 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.


Lesson 6. Increases

  • 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.


Lesson 7. Decreases

  • 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!


Lesson 8. Seaming

  • 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.


Lesson 9. 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.

Praise for Sally Melville's Intarsia: Basics & Beyond:

"Sally is ... a great teacher. She makes everything clear, and you can see what she's doing as she demonstrates. She has a gentle and engaging personality that makes her enjoyable to watch. She is a responsive teacher, too, which is not always the case in this type of format. She makes you feel she is there with you."
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For $24.99 you get:

  • 9 HD video lessons with anytime, anywhere access
  • Class materials including instructions for tricky techniques and tables of ratios for seaming and picking up stitches
  • Hours of close-up instruction
  • Answers from Sally in our virtual classroom
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