Beginner Knitting Project Help (Debbie Bliss Book)

I got How to Knit by Debbie Bliss after reading someone who suggested it on the website. The first project is a garter-stich bag, and I have two questions.

First, I cast on 138 stitches and my needle is 13 inches long, so the stiches are crammed onto the needle (as oppossed to be being spread out and flat). Already I know this makes it harder to see the work in progress, but will it affect the end result, or is this typical when you have a bigger project?

Second, the instructions describe how to make the body of the bag, and another section describes how to make the strap; the strap instructions are what I'm not understanding. It says: "Cast off knitwise 60 stiches at the beginning of the next two rows. 12sts." What does this mean--bind off 60 stiches at the beginning of the next two rows--then what--knit the rest of the row? And what do I do with the 12 sts?

Please help.


rmbm612's picture

There are other needle options. You could buy a 24" or 32" circular needle and knit back and forth.
Cast off = bind off, working the stitches so they are stable, off the needles and won't unravel.

To bind off (cast off) - at the beginning of the row, knit two stitches. Pass the first knit stitch on the right hand needle over the second knit stitch. You have now cast off one stitch and there is one stitch remaining on the right hand needle. Knit the next stitch on the left hand needle. Two stitches are now on the right hand needle. Pass the first stitch over the second. Continue knitting one and passing one over 6o times. You will have 1 stitch on your right hand needle. Knit the remaining stitches on the left hand needle to the end of the row. Turn your work and repeat the cast off on 60 stitches. I don't know about 12 stitches..........If you bind off 120 stitches on a row that started with 138 stitches, you should have 18 stitches on your left hand needle. You sure you read the instructions correctly. 18 stitches knit in garter stitch could be the strap that you are wondering about.
Are there no instructions or pictures of basic stitches, cast on , cast off, in the book's beginning or at the end. Log on to and go to the sites tutorials.


In fact, you are correct. It is 132 stiches, leaving 12 to knit the strap. Thank you, I think this will help!

michaelpthompson's picture


Having the stitches crammed on the needle shouldn't affect the finished project, though as you say, it does make it difficult to see how things are going. There are 14" needles out there, which would give you another inch, or as others have suggested, you can use circular needles.

Others have already answered about the cast off process, but basically it sounds like you understand it, bind off 60 stitches, then knit the rest of the row, then turn and do the same thing, leaving 12 stitches in the center. Then you presumably knit those stitches. I've never done a project with these instructions, but that's what it looks like from your description.

"All knitting is just one stitch at a time."

WillyG's picture

We want pictures when you're done! :)