Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Arts and Crafts/Knitting

Arts and Crafts
General Conference
See also Knitting - Advanced
Skill Level 2
Year of Introduction: 1970

1. Define the following


These abbreviations are a form of shorthand used to describe knitting patterns. Though the requirement is to define them, it is also prudent to learn how to do them as well. Indeed, the rest of this honor will not be possible without at least learning the knit (K) and purl (P) stitches.

a. K


K is the abbreviation for the Knit stitch. The knit stitch is the basic stitch used in knitting. It can be combined with the purl stitch (see below) to form interesting patterns.

Making a knit stitch

b. P


P is the abbreviation for the Purl stitch. A purl stitch is the backwards version of a knit stitch. A row of purl stitches would look just like a row of knit stitches when viewed from the opposite side.

Making a purl stitch

c. STS


STS is the abbreviation for Stitches.

d. RND


RND is the abbreviation for round. A round is a row of stitches, either going all the way across the work (when it is knitted in the flat), or going all the way around a tube (when it is knitted in the round).

e. TOG


TOG is the abbreviation for knit Together. It is a method for reducing the number of stitches in a row. See the section below on DECcreasing.



PSSO is the abbreviation for Pass Slipped Stitch Over. This is a method of decreasing the number of stitches. See the section below on DECcreasing.

g. INC


INC is the abbreviation for Increase or Increasing. In knitting, an increase is the creation of one or more new stitches, which may be done by various methods with distinctive looks.

Methods of Increasing

  • Yarn-over increase or "eyelet increase"—The simplest increase is to do a yarn-over between two existing stitches. On subsequent rows, the yarn-over will be knitted, making a new stitch. This disadvantage of this method is that a small hole (eyelet) is produced at the yarn-over. This can be improved by twisting the yarn-over stitch - similar to a "make one" (below).
  • Raised Increase -- Lift the strand connecting two knitted stitches in the row below onto the left needle (effectively producing a yarn-over) and knit it, either normally or twisted. This method (especially if twisted) leaves almost no hole, since forming the yarn-over stitch from the (presumably tight) connecting strand draws the two neighboring stitches together.
  • Bar increase -- Knit the stitch normally but without transferring the knitted stitch to the right needle; the same stitch is then knitted through the back loop. (Knitting through the front loop again is not feasible, since it would undo the first stitch.) This increase makes a bar or a nub on the fabric.
  • Moss increase -- Knit the stitch normally but without transferring the knitted stitch to the right needle; the same stitch is then purled. This increase makes a bar or nub on the fabric.
  • Lifted Increase -- For a right-side increase, knit into the right leg of the stitch of the row below the next stitch to be knit, then knit the next stitch. For a left-side increase, knit one stitch, then knit into the left leg of the stitch of the row below it. This kind of increase can be visually subtle.
  • "Make One" (M1) -- Place a half-hitch loop on the needle between two stitches, either before or after, and twisted either left or right, depending on desired effect.
  • Column of Increases -- A second strand of yarn or roving is passed up the piece. The second strand is used to make an extra stitch in each row by knitting a doubled stitch up from the lower row. The resulting piece has one more stitch in each row and each row is in the shape of an inverted V. The column of increases is used to make square sweater yokes.

Finally, a large number of increases in a row is best done by casting on; examples include buttonholes, etc.

h. DEC


DEC is the abbreviation for Decrease or Decreasing. A decrease in knitting is a reduction in the number of stitches, usually accomplished by suspending the stitch to be decreased from another existing stitch or by knitting it together with another stitch.

Methods of Decreasing


When more than one stitch is suspended from a stitch, they can hang in different orders. For example, the first stitch could be on top of the second stitch (when seen from the right side) or the reverse, leaning to the left or the right. The order of stitches is important, both for appearance and for the way it pulls the fabric.

  • K2tog ("knit two together") -- Work to the two stitches to be decreased, insert the right-hand needle into the first two stitches as if to knit, wrap yarn around needle in normal manner, slip the two stitches off together and drop them. This creates a right-leaning decrease.
  • SSK ("slip, slip, knit") -- Work to the two stitches to be decreased, slip two stitches one at a time to the right-hand needle, as if to knit; insert the left-hand needle into the two stitches from front to back, knit the two stitches together and drop them. This creates a left-leaning decrease.
  • S1, K1, PSSO ("slip one, knit one, pass slipped stitch over") -- This results in a similar look to the SSK but can appear less tidy. Work to the two stitches to be decreased, slip next stitch to the right-hand needle as if to knit, knit next stitch, pass slipped stitch over knit stitch. Also creates a left-leaning decrease.

i. YO


YO is the abbreviation for Yarn Over. In knitting, a yarn over is technique in which the yarn is passed over the right-hand knitting needle. In general, the new loop is knitted on the next row, either by itself (producing a hole) or together with an adjacent stitch (e.g., in "tucked" slip stitches). The yarn-over may also be dropped on the next row, producing a longer stretch of yarn between the stitches of the previous row. Conversely, the effect of a yarn-over can be obtained by picking up the yarn between stitches of the previous row; the difference is that the yarn then is shorter, and the flanking stitches of the previous row may be overly drawn together.

The term "yarn-over" refers only to the act of wrapping the yarn around the needle, and not to the working of the next existing stitch. Yarn-overs are often used to increase the number of stitches, since knitting a yarn-over creates a new stitch where none existed previously, but does not use up a stitch on the needle. Yarn-overs are also common in eyelet and lace knitting, since they produce stable holes in the fabric.

There are several types of yarn-over, depending on how many times the yarn is wrapped around the knitting needle and on the direction (chirality) with which the yarn is wrapped. Normally, the yarn is wrapped with a right-handed chirality, i.e., counterclockwise when looking at the right-hand needle point-on. Wrapping the yarn the other way (i.e., left-handedly) will result in a plaited stitch if the stitch is knit on the following row.

2. Demonstrate the following


a. Cast on


The single cast on is probably the easiest to learn, but its a little more difficult to knit evenly with this cast on. The knitted cast on is a little more difficult to learn, but very similar to the knit stitch, and is a little easier to knit evenly from.

Instructional videos of how to do these cast-ons can be found here:

b. Bind off


The basic knit and basic purl bind offs (or cast-offs) are the simplest and easiest to learn. Be aware that they do create an edge that is not as stretchy as other bind-offs might.

Videos of how to do the basic knit and purl bind-offs can be found here:

c. Cable stitch

Two types of cable needles

Cable knitting is a style of knitting in which the order of stitches is permuted.

For example, let there be four stitches on the needle in the order ABCD. The first two may be crossed in front of the next two, forming the order CDAB.

To do this, knit until you come to the stitches (ABCD) to be cabled. Assuming we are approaching ABCD from the right, we would arrive at stitch D first. Slip D & C onto the cabling needle, and store them either to the front of the work or behind (which one depends on whether you want the left to cross the right or the right to cross the left). Then knit stitches B and A onto the right needle. At this point you can slip C & D back onto the left needle and then knit them onto the right, or you can knit them straight off the cabling needle onto the right needle.

Some knitters prefer to transfer the stitches to a large safety pin or, for a single stitch, simply hold it in their fingers while knitting the other stitch(es). Cable stitches are generally permuted only on the right side, i.e., every other row. Having a spacer row helps the fabric to "relax".

Cable knitting is usually less flexible and more dense than typical knitting, having a much more narrow gauge. This narrow gauge should be considered when changing from the cable stitch to another type of knitted fabric. If the number of stitches is not reduced, the second knitted fabric may flare out or pucker, due to its larger gauge. Thus, ribbed cuffs on an aran sweater may not contract around the wrist or waist, as would normally be expected. Conversely, stitches may need to be added to maintain the gauge when changing from another knitted fabric such as stocking to a cable pattern.

Cables are usually done in stocking stitch, with a reverse stocking background, but any combination will do; for example, a background seed stitch in the regions bounded by cables often looks striking. Another visually intriguing effect is meta-cabling, where the cable itself is made up of cables, such as a three-cable plait made of strands that are themselves 2-cable plaits. In such cases, the "inner" cables sometimes go their separate ways, forming beautiful, complex patterns such as the branches of a tree. Another interesting effect is to have one cable "pierce" another cable, rather than having it pass over or under the other.

Two cables should cross each other completely in a single row; for example, two cables three stitches wide should cross with the three stitches of one cable passing over the three of the other cable. It is very difficult to make an intermediate crossing row of fewer stitches look good.

d. Ribbing

1x1 Ribbing

In knitting, ribbing is a pattern in which vertical stripes of stockinette stitch alternate with vertical stripes of reverse stockinette stitch. These two types of stripes may be separated by other stripes in which knit and purl stitches alternate vertically; such plissé stripes add width and depth to ribbing but not more elasticity.

The number of knit and purl stripes (wales) are generally equal, although they need not be. When they are equal, the fabric has no tendency to curl, unlike stockinette stitch. Such ribbing looks the same on both sides and is useful for garments such as scarves.

Ribbing is notated by (number of knit stitches) x (number of purl stitches). Thus, 1x1 ribbing has one knit stitch, followed by one purl stitch, followed by one knit stitch, and so on.

Ribbing has a strong tendency to contract laterally, forming small pleats in which the purl stitches recede and the knit stitches come forward. Thus, ribbing is often used for cuffs, sweater hems and, more generally, any edge that should be form-fitting. The elasticity depends on the number of knit/purl transitions; 1x1 ribbing is more elastic than 2x2 ribbing, etc. However, some cable patterns may "pull in" more than ribbing (i.e., have a smaller gauge); in such cases, a ribbed border may flare out instead of contracting.

Slip stitches may be added to increase the depth of the ribbing, and to accentuate the stitches of certain wales. For example, the knit stitches can be slipped every other row to double their height and make them come forward.

Ribs can be decorated with nearly any motif used for a plain knitted fabric, e.g., bobbles, cables, lace, various colors, and so on.

e. Garter stitch

Garter stitch

Garter stitch is the most basic form of welting (as seen from the right side). In the round, garter stitch is produced by knitting and purling alternate rows. By contrast, in the flat, garter stitch is produced by knitting every stitch (or purling every stitch, though this is much less common).

In garter-stitch fabrics, the "purl" rows stand out from the "knit" rows, which provides the basis for shadow knitting. Garter-stitch fabric has significant lengthwise elasticity and little tendency to curl, due to the symmetry of its faces.

f. Stockinette stitch

Stockinette stitch

Stockinette stitch (in the UK, Stocking Stitch) is the most basic knitted fabric; every stitch (as seen from the right side) is a knit stitch. In the round, stockinette stitch is produced by knitting every stitch; by contrast, in the flat, stockinette stitch is produced by knitting and purling alternate rows.

Stockinette-stitch fabric is very smooth and each column ("wale") resembles a stacked set of "V"'s. It has a strong tendency to curl horizontally and vertically because of the asymmetry of its faces.

Reverse stockinette stitch is produced in the same way as stockinette, except that the purl stitches are done on the right side and the knit stitches on the wrong side. In the round, reverse stockinette stitch is produced by purling every stitch.

g. Pick up a dropped stitch


It is easiest to pick up a dropped stitch by using a crochet hook. In this case, the dropped stitch was a knitted stitch (not a purled stitch). For a purled stitch, the crochet hook would be inserted from the back of the loop instead of through the front.

This photo shows the dropped stitch. Notice that right in the middle of the picture is a loop that has lost the yarn that is supposed to go through it. The yarn that has pulled out of this loop is lying behind the loop itself.
If picking up a knitted stitch, insert the crochet hook through the front of the loop. If picking up a purled stitch, insert the hook through the loop from the back.
Catch the dropped stitch with the crochet hook.
Pull the dropped stitch through the loop with the crochet hook. You might need to twist the hook so that it will more easily pass through the first loop.
The dropped stitch has now been pulled through the loop forming a new loop. In this picture, the crochet hook has been thrust through the newly formed loop so that it won't be dropped again by accident.
Finally, transfer the new loop (that is, the formerly dropped stitch) from the crochet hook to the knitting needle. In this photo, it was transferred to the right needle, but it should have been transferred to the left one instead.

3. Know how to care for these kinds of yarn


a. Wool


Wool is sensitive to agitation and hot water, which causes the overlapping scales of the fiber to stick together, what we call shrinking, or, if we do it on purpose, felting.

To avoid this, wools should be washed in lukewarm water with little agitation. Most people prefer to wash wool items by hand to avoid any possibility of felting when they can't see what's happening inside their washing machine.

b. Hair


Yarn can (and is) spun from the hair of many animals, including rabbits (angora) and dogs (chiengora). The Native Americans that lived in the Northwest portion of the United States bred dogs so that their hair could be spun into yarn and used in making exceptionally warm garments.

Garments made from hair should only be washed if they are soiled. Wash in warm water with a mild liquid detergent (such as dish detergent) or shampoo. It should not be agitated. Fill a basin, turn off the water, and then add the garment to the basin. Care must be taken that water is not sprayed on the garment. Excess water should be squeezed out, and the garment can then be rolled in a towel. Lay it flat to dry, and never put it in a dryer.

c. Synthetic


Synthetics are well-suited for the many currently popular novelty yarns, and their range is vast. Manufacturers continually attempt to make synthetic yarns that mimic the best properties of the natural fibers. Synthetics are generally durable, water-resistant, and strong, but can also be somewhat non-breathable and non-insulating. Most are machine washable, but are very sensitive to heat, and they will melt or burn at fairly low temperatures. Nevertheless, knitters can’t help but be drawn to their seductive textures and rich colors.

Polyester: Polyester is made from a group of condensation polymers. It is resilient, smooth, crisp, and springy. It can be shaped with heat and is insensitive to moisture. It is lightweight, strong, and resistant to creasing, shrinking, and stretching. It is nicely washable, and is not damaged by sunlight, weather, moths, or mildew. Polyester is very often combined with other fibers.

Acrylic: Acrylic is a synthetic polymer fabric or yarn, and is lightweight and warm with a very wool-like feel. Although it is resistant to moths, oils, and chemicals, it is prone to static and pilling. 100% acrylic yarns can be a bit “cheap-looking,” if not chosen with care.

Nylon: Nylon was the first completely synthetic fiber. It is strong and resistant to many chemicals and moths. It is also easy to wash and is very non-absorbent. It can be a bit scratchy if not blended with another fiber.

Viscose / Rayon: Viscose is a man-made fiber made of wood or cotton cellulose treated with sodium hydroxide to make a liquid that can be extruded as cellophane or rayon yarn. Rayon fiber is quite absorbent, dyes very well, is soft, and has a nice drape. Although it may shrink, it does not melt at high temperatures, and it is resistant to moths, bleach, and many common household chemicals. Rayon thread is divisible, shiny, and good for blending, but is not hard wearing.

4. Show how to join on a new ball of yarn.


A new ball of yarn is attached to the working yarn with a simple overhand knot. This knot serves to hold the new yarn in place until a length of it has been knitted into the fabric. The end of both the old yarn and the new yarn are then trimmed and woven in.

5. Identify and know the purpose of the following weights of yarn


a. Medium


Worsted Weight (also called Afghan or Aran) yarn is a medium weight yarn that is used for a wide range of projects. Thick adult sized clothing (such as sweaters, gloves, scarves, etc.) and home items (such as pillows, afghans, blankets, dishcloths, etc.)are customarily made from worsted weight yarn. Worsted weight is used when items should be relatively durable, and thick, but not bulky. Needle sizes 7-9 are recommended for use with worsted weight yarn, with a gauge of 4-5 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch.

b. Sports


Sport weight (also called heavy baby weight, or fine) yarn is used to create objects with a little more weight than sock yarn, but lighter weight than DK yarn. Baby clothing, light mittens, and light blankets are examples of items usually knit from sport weight yarn. The recommended needle size for sport weight yarn is 1-3, with a gauge of 7-8 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch.

c. Heavy


Chunky also called craft, or rug weight) is a heavy/bulky weight yarn (not to be confused with Bulky, or Roving, which is a super bulky weight yarn). It is a thick yarn that works up quickly on large needles, so if you don't have hours to spend on a new scarf, this is a good choice for something thick and warm, but also fast. It can also be used to make a quick throw or blanket.

Needle size: US 9 - 11 (5.5mm - 8mm)

Hook size: US K10 1/3 - M13 (6.5mm - 9mm)

d. Super Bulky


Bulky or Roving, is a super bulky weight yarn used for extremely thick, very quickly knitted objects, such as very heavy hats, coats and scarves. It is recommended that objects knitted in roving are done with needles sized 11 or greater, with a standard gauge of 1.5 - 2 stitches per inch.

6. Knit two items from the following: a. Slippers b. Mittens c. Baby booties d. Hat e. Scarff. Sleeveless sweater g. Reasonable choice


A multitude of free patterns can be found at



A scarf is perhaps the simplest knitting project possible. If super bulky yarn is used with 12mm needles, the scarf can be knitted quickly which helps to abate any patience problems your Pathfinders might have.

  • Start by casting on 12 stitches.
  • Knit every row (forming a garter stitch) until the scarf's length exceeds the knitter's patience.
  • Bind off.

Reasonable choices


Here are some reasonable choices you might consider:

There are plenty of free patterns for socks at
Leg warmers
Leg warmers are nothing more than open tubes. This would be a good project for cabling.
Draft blocker
A draft blocker is placed on the floor by a door to prevent drafts. It is a sealed tube filled with some heavy stuffing material (such as florist's pebbles).
Seat cover
A seat cover can be used to provide a softer seat on a hard chair.
Pot holder
A pot holder is nothing more than a square upon which hot pots may be placed. Be sure to choose a yarn that will not melt (wool or cotton, not acrylic). Do not use a stockinette stitch, as this will cause the finished product to curl unacceptably. Rather, use a garter stitch or ribbing.