Knitting is a productive and enjoyable pastime for many, and one that allows for personalization of all your crafty creations. Even if you are just learning to knit, try lettering a hat or scarf with an initial or even someone's name as an introduction to charting and color knitting. You do not have to purchase a special pattern for this, and can design letters to fit into any pattern. Any pattern featuring stockinette stitch, in which you knit and purl alternate rows, is ideal as a background for lettering.
Things You'll Need
Knitter's graph paper
Colored pencils or markers
Stockinette stitch pattern
Draw your lettering out in pencil on the knitter's graph paper. Block letters are easy and may be constructed readily on a grid. Know that every rectangle on the graph paper represents one stitch. Try to draw the letters so their outlines follow the lines on the paper. Color the squares around the with one color and the squares around it a contrasting color. Proceed in this manner until you have designed all the letters you need for your project. Remember to leave a blank space or two between letters. If you are knitting a long word, make sure there are enough stitches in your work for them all to fit.
Locate the area of your knitting pattern where you want to place your letters. If the edges of your hat or scarf are knitted in a ribbed pattern, you would want to place the letters above the ribbing. Count the number of stitches from your letter design and divide by two. If you are making one letter and the letter takes up 10 squares, then you would start the letter five stitches from the center line of your project.
When you reach the stitches in the pattern that correspond with the letter squares on your paper pattern, knit or purl them in a contrasting color yarn. To give extra dimension to the letters, purl when you would normally knit and vice-versa. This makes the letters stand out against the stockinette stitch background, and can also be executed in the same yarn color as the background for a more subtle look. Some people refer to these as "mystery letters" or "hidden letters" because they are visible by texture instead of bold coloring.
Work the project up to the point where your lettering begins. The last stitch before the letters will be a knit stitch. Then purl the number of stitches indicated on your design layout. Knit the stitches between the letters, then purl the number of stitches for the next letter. Continue in this manner until all the letters on your project have a first row. If you are turning your work, knit the purl stitches and purl the knit stitches. If you are using circular knitting, continue to knit the knits and purl the purl stitches indicated in your lettering design.
On subsequent rows, you will need to check your design to locate knit your knit and purl stitches. If working in a separate color for the letters, you may just pick up and drop the letter colors as you go. You may need special instructions for twisting the yarn between colors and for carrying the unused color yarn behind the work.
Continue following your lettering design until all your letters are complete. Finish project according to pattern directions.
Successfully knitting letters in a separate color may require detailed instructions not included in this guide.