Step 1: Picking your supplies.
Yarn is wonderful, amazing and scrumptious. Be careful what you choose for your first project. Pick a yarn that is a fairly simple strand. Do not be sidetracked by the fuzzy, stringy, boucle, beaded or otherwise crazy yarns. They will be perfect for projects down the road. For now pick a reliable cotton, wool, or acrylic blend. Basically pick something like 1824 wool by mission falls, or lily sugar'n'cream cotton. Pick something nice and thick too so that whatever you make will knit up quickly.
Next is picking the right needles. The size of needles will be determined by your yarn. Every yarn should tell you on the label what size of needles to use.
If you look at the middle box on the label you'll see the size of needles they suggest for my yarn, 5mm or size 8 US. Any yarn you pick up will have this box or something similar that tells you what you need. If you aren't sure just ask in any yarn shop. There are many materials for needles and I recommend anything other than plastic needles, they tend to stick and are no fun. I prefer bamboo for most things but my metal needles are my favourites.
Step 2: Casting on.
First, pull out some yarn. You'll want to have about triple the width of the project you're casting on. For example; if you are knitting a scarf that is 5 inches wide, pull out about 15 inches of yarn. This should end up being more than you need but better safe than ripping it out and starting over.
Time for a slip knot. There are may good sites where you can find how to make a slip knot but I've posted some instructions
|Loop some yarn like this.|
|Pull a mini loop into the big loop.|
<- note which thread is on top
That thread is the mini loop ->
|Slide the mini loop on a needle.|
|Pull the mini loop some more.|
Now we can get to the actual casting on part. For this, I made a video. It was a bit too much info to use photos. Hopefully they're helpful.
Once you've finished casting on, you can start knitting!
Finished the first row? It's easy just watch this.