A step by step guide to knitting the striking Bela One Shoulder Top.
Ever gotten half way through a project and thought “Hang on, am I even doing this right?”
We have 🙋♀️
That’s why we’ve created these step by step overviews to help guide you through the knitting process. At each stage we’ll show you how each section of your piece should look, and at the end, how to sew it all together. Voilà!
If you're a total knitting newbie - WELCOME! 🧶 Before we get started on the pattern it’s a good idea to learn the basic stitches you’ll need to complete your masterpiece. You can use the yarn that came in your kit to practice with, just be gentle with the yarn - it’s super fine so will break if it’s worked too hard or too many times. We’ve put the below video together to cover the basics. Learn how to cast on, do a knit stitch, a purl stitch and put them together to create a 1x1 rib stitch, lastly we learn casting off. Once you've got these mastered you'll find this pattern is a cinch!
💭 For more detailed videos of each technique, head down a little further where we've got specific videos for each stitch type.
🏅🧶 You got this! ⚡️💪
Remember learning a new skill can be a little hard at first and you’re bound to find yourself making some mistakes along the way. But as with learning anything, your brain and your hands slowly start to get the hang of it, muscle memory is created, and soon the thing you found tricky/daunting/scary is like second nature!
TEST YOUR TENSION
It’s a good idea to check that the tension (how tightly or loosely your knitting is) is in line with what we need. We knit a “tension swatch” to make sure the tension is juuuust right. It's a bit like goldilocks, if the tension is too tight, your jumper will be too small, and if it's too loose it may not hold it's shape and might be too big.
If done correctly, your 10x10cm knitted swatch should be 7 stitches high and 9 rows wide. To test this, jump on your needles, cast on around 12 stitches, then knit in stockinette stitch (row 1 knit, row 2 purl) for around 10 rows. Then get a measuring tape and measure out 10x10cm and count your stitches and rows to make sure you're knitting at the correct tension.
ONTO THE BELA!
You can knit the Bela in size 1, 2, 3 or 4. Your pattern is read like this: 1 (2, 3, 4).
Lying flat your piece will measure:
📏 Size 1: 42cm w x 42cm h
📏 Size 2: 45cm w x 46cm h
📏 Size 3: 48cm w x 50cm h
📏 Size 4: 51cm w x 54cm h
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
Your kit comes with everything you need to knit your masterpiece. To knit Bela you’ll use;
10mm circular needles - we use these for the rib at the bottom
15mm circular needles - these are to knit the body of the top
2 x balls of our chunky merino wool
Darning needle - this is used to sew your strap together and weave in loose ends when you finish knitting
THE TECHNIQUES YOU’LL MASTER
Casting on is the first step in any project. It's the term we use for getting the wool onto our needles! We recommend using the two-needle technique as it's one of the simplest methods. Two-needle cast on uses your two needles (surprise!), starting with a slip knot on your left needle, each stitch is knitted to form a new loop and this loop is then added to your left needle. You repeat until you’ve made the desired number of stitches.
💭 Casting on, like many things in knitting, can be done in a number of ways - our suggestion is a simple technique but you can pick any that’s right for you.
This handy little stitch makes up the backbone of most knitting patterns. Each knit stitch looks like a little ‘v’.
The second most common stitch, purl stitches look like little bumps (or purls!). You knit a knit stitch with your yarn tail at the back of your work and your needle going into the back of the stitch, the purl is the opposite, so your yarn tail is at the front of your work and your needle goes into the front of the stitch.
Stockinette Stitch (or stocking stitch) is a basic stitch that most knitting patterns often don't explain! When knitting flat, you create stockinette stitch by knitting one row and purling the next. This means all of your knit stitches (the little Vs) will be on the right side of your jumper.
💭 We go into a stockinette stitch once we stop knitting in the round.
1x1 rib stitch is a textured pattern usually used on the cuffs and necks of jumpers. It’s made by alternating knit and purl stitches in the same row, then knitting the same stitch sequence in the next row. When doing your rib stitch it’s important to make sure your yarn is on the correct side of your needles (at the back for knit stitches and at the front for purl stitches). To see rib stitch in action watch our "Master The Basics" video above.
KNITTING IN THE ROUND
Knitting in the round is where we use our circular needles and knit continuously in loops, rather than back and forth in rows (like a lot of beginner patterns do). Now don't worry! It's not anywhere near as hard as it sounds. When knitting in the round, you're always knitting on the "front" side of your work so you don't need to turn the piece to knit on the "back" side. Plus, you don't need to sew your pieces together at the end!
To cast off, knit two stitches then slip the first stitch on your right needle back over the second stitch and off the needle. You’ll have one stitch left on your right needle. Knit another stitch so you’ve got two stitches on your right needle and then slip the first stitch off. Continue to the end of the row. When you’ve got the last stitch on your right needle, cut the yarn and thread this through the final stitch to secure. To see casting off in action watch our "Master The Basics" video above.
OKAY, LET’S KNIT UP A STORM!
Cast on the required number of stitches using your 10mm circular needles.
Once you've cast on the right number of stitches you move on to the rib. We knit from the bottom up, starting at the rib and going up to the shoulder. Knit the rib following the instructions in your pattern. Remember to create a rib we knit 1 stitch, then purl the next. Make sure you’re moving your yarn tail from the back to the front of our stitch to ensure the stitch is executed correctly.
💭 Make sure you use a stitch marker to keep track of the number of rows/loops you’ve knitted. A stitch marker can be anything round; a ring, hair tie or a spare piece of yarn.
JOINING YOUR STITCHES
When we knit in the round it’s important to make sure that you connect your stitches in a loop when you knit your first row.
Next, we move onto using our 15mm needles and into knit stitch. To switch to a different size needle we just hold the new needle in our right hand and knit onto it.
In this row we’re going to knit some stitches together as instructed. To knit stitches together you simply pick up two stitches with your right needle (instead of one as you normally would), and knit them like you would a single stitch.
We’ll work the allocated rows of knit stitch.
This is where we’ll split our work in half so we create the shoulder strap. From this point we’re knitting ‘flat’ instead of in the round. This means knitting back and forth, not in loops.
In this row, we will cast off some stitches, below is a video demonstrating how we cast off.
Step 6 - 11:
Follow the pattern, knitting or purling each row and decreasing stitches per the instructions.
We cast off those stitches. That’s the first side done.
We’re going to rejoin our yarn to our work so we can knit up the second side. To rejoin you’ll just tie a knot around the base of the stitch closest to the end of your left needle.
Step 14 - 18:
Follow the pattern, knitting each row and decreasing stitches per the instructions.
Cast off those stitches. Almost done!
The last step is to sew the shoulder straps together using your darning needle. Finally, use your darning needle to weave in any loose ends and you are D.O.N.E.!
We'd LOVE to see how you go! Share your masterpiece with us by tagging @cardigang_knits on Instagram or by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time! 💕🧶
Morgan & Cat xx