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Old 12-25-2008, 11:35 PM   #1
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Newbie here....question regarding counting stitches
Hello everyone.

I just learned how to knit a couple of days ago. I'm hooked now. I want to knit my first garment. I want to make a baby blanket. I will do my gauge first. The pattern I'm reading states to cast on 132 stitches. What am I counting? Is each loop casted on considered a stitch?

I know how to cast on...but it doesn't seem that a 132 stitches would fit on the needle when I cast it on. I'm sure I'm way off on if someone can explain it to me in words that a newbie would understand, I would appreciate it very much.

Thanks so much. I'm expecting a baby in 6 weeks, so I would love to make a blanket for him.
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Old 12-26-2008, 12:06 AM   #2
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Yes, you count each loop on your needle as 1 stitch. You probably will not be able to get 132 stitches on a straight needle, SO, you would need to use a knitting needle that has a long cord (perhaps a 29"cord or maybe a bit longer) between the two needles. This cord will allow you to put lots more stitches ( or loops as you called them) onto the needle. It will also relieve your wrist of the weight of your blanket as your knitting grows. Knit the stitches off the left needle onto the right needle the same as you would if using two single needles.. This works the same as if you were knitting on 2 STRAIGHT needles.

I hope this helps, and does not confuse you even more. Congrats on your new baby!
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Old 12-26-2008, 12:20 AM   #3
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Thanks so much. Now are there needles already made with a cord to buy? Or do i buy a cord to attached to my straight needles. I guess I should visit my local craft store again, since i have never seen these before.
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Old 12-26-2008, 12:27 AM   #4
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Actually, there's both! You can buy the individual needles at a craft store; they're called circular needles. They come in a variety of lengths. I generally like to have a length that's a bit shorter than the number of stitches. If your cable is too long, the stitches will be stretched across it, and it will be hard to work them. For your afghan, a 29" would be good if you are working with worsted weight yarn. If it's something thinner, you might try a 24" needle.

They also make kits, where you can attach various sizes of the needles to a cord. These are called interchangeable needles. I haven't gotten one of these sets, but I am thinking about it. Here's an example:

The awesome thing about circular needles is that basically anything you can knit flat can be knitted on circulars and like dibbs said, they distribute the weight better and make it easier on your hands.
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Old 12-26-2008, 12:33 AM   #5
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The type of needles dibbs referred to is called a circular needle, and yes, they will sell them at your local craft store. If you look on the package, it will tell you how long it is. i.e. 16", 24", etc. I agree that for a baby blanket you will want at least a 29" needle. You'll also see that they have different types of them. Some of the needle tips will be metal and some wood or bamboo. It really doesn't matter too much which you get. The wood or bamboo needles will 'grip' the stitches better, whereas the stitches will slide more freely on the metal ones. Most people suggest starting with the bamboo needles until you get comfortable managing the stitches and form a preference. And if, when you take the needle out of the package, the cord insists on staying coiled, try boiling it for a few minutes and keeping it stretched while it cools. Good luck on the blanket!

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Old 12-26-2008, 01:14 AM   #6
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And if, when you take the needle out of the package, the cord insists on staying coiled, try boiling it for a few minutes and keeping it stretched while it cools.
If you get wood needles, don't boil them though, it will loosen the glue that holds the cord to the needles. Just dip the cord only into hot water for a minute or so, then stretch it straight as it cools.
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Old 12-26-2008, 12:50 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for all your help! I really appreciate it. Now I cant wait to go back to the craft store to pick up some more knitting supplies!

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