ABCs of Knitting

You may never have attempted to sew anything for yourself since your schooldays — or again, you may have abandoned the whole idea after one or two disappointing failures.

The good news is that sewing equipment and dressmaking patterns are highly developed now than ever, so it has been made easier for you to start, whether you wish to make basics for yourself and your family, supplement sophisticated ready-to-wear with simple additions of your own, or eventually progress to the heights of the designer’s patterns.

Whatever the reason, you will have the satisfaction of expressing your own ideas – the pattern you purchase may be available to many, but the fabric you choose and perhaps the trimmings that complete it are exclusive to you.

Take for example the case of knitting. This is, basically, a special way of creating marvelous creations from a ball of yarn. Through this process, the yarn or thread is converted into cloth.

Basically, knitting can be made either manually, where the hands create remarkable cloth with the help of Knitting Needles, or mechanically, with the use of Knitting Machine.

Knitted Fabrics

In knitting, a different kind of fabric is used, known as the knitted fabrics. All knit fabrics are made of a series of interlocking loops. This makes them more flexible than woven fabrics. While all knits have stretch, they vary considerably in amount and direction of stretch. The factors that influence stretch are the yarn and the structure of the knit.

There are two basic knit types: weft and warp. The first derives from age-old techniques of Hand Knitting. The second, a modern innovation, is the product of complex machines.

Records show that the first knitting machine was invented in 1589. Today’s advanced versions produce an incredible range of fabrics from sheer lingerie knits to bulky sweater knits.

Basic Composition

Knit fabrics may be tubular or flat. Some flat knits have perforated lengthwise edges comparable to selvedges in woven fabrics.

Complex stitches or special finishes sometimes obscure a knit structure, making it hard to tell whether a fabric is knitted or woven. To establish which it is, pull a thread from one crosswise end. If lops show, the fabric is a knit; if a fringe appears, it is woven.

Knits vary in stretchability. Just how much a knit stretches crosswise should be determined before you buy it. If the pattern you have chosen is marked “for knits only,” it will probably supply a gauge, but for only one of three stretch categories — slight, moderate, or super stretch.

Shopping for Fabrics

In knitting, it is extremely important to choose the best knit fabrics available in the market. A successfully chosen garment fabric will complement the pattern design, flatter the wearer, perform according to expectations, and be of good quality for the money.

Here is a list of some tips that you need to employ when choosing for the best knit fabric:

1. Weave should be firm.

You can test this by scratching the surface; if the threads shift easily, the garment seams may be inclined to slip or develop holes around the stitching.

2. Weave should be uniform.

Hold it up to the light and check for any unusually thick or thin areas. The light test will show up any weak spots or imperfections.

3. Print colors should be even

There should be no white (undyed) spots showing through them, except in areas that are clearly meant to be white.

Getting a perfect knit fabric is one of the chief, if not the paramount, reason for learning how to employ knitting at its best. Hence, if you are considering on trying some knitting, try to learn first how to identify a good knit fabric by using the guides for buying knit fabrics.