How To Knit A Tie

Over the past two years or so, I’ve really gotten back into knitting. My grandma taught me when I was much younger. We’d sit on the couch together after I got home from elementary school, and she’d patiently teach me how to knit. My grandma was a very quiet person, but we did so much together (knit, watch Nick at Nite, eat snacks after school, pick flowers from the yard). She was a wonderful teacher.

After she passed away, I let many years go by before trying to knit again. Last year, I finally finished a scarf we had been knitting together for my dad. I didn’t remember how to knit, so I turned to one woman’s YouTube channel to learn again. Knitting Tips By Judy is a wonderful resource for knitters of all levels. Her tutorials are clear and concise, two important qualities for the beginning (or returning!) knitter.

My inspiration for knitting a straight tie actually came from another knitter, Kristen McDonnell of Studio Knit. Anne occasionally wears ties to work (she’s a teacher), and so I thought that she’d really appreciate a hand-knit tie! I altered Kristen’s tutorial slightly, so let me share my process with you. I decided to jazz things up with a contrasting color on the tie’s tail.

Using seed stitch for a tie is ideal because it holds its shape well and is reversible — meaning it looks the same on the front and back of the work. I find seed stitch to be an attractive stitch for all kinds of knitwear, even though some knitters find it tedious to switch between knit and purl every stitch.

Hand-Knit Straight Tie

Materials:

  • Two skeins of wool yarn in different colors (Use yarn that is meant for size US 8 needles)
  • Size US 5 straight needles
  • Tapestry needle
  • Scissors

How to Knit the Tie:

  1. Cast on 11 stitches using the color for the front of the tie
  2. Seed stitch for 21 inches
  3. Decrease to 9 stitches by knitting 2 together on both ends of the work
  4. Seed stitch for 1 inch
  5. Decrease to 7 stitches by purling 2 together on both ends of the work
  6. Seed stitch for 10 inches
  7. Switch yarn colors and continue seed stitch for another 22-24 inches
  8. Cast off and weave in ends

How to Knit the Keeper Loop:

  1. Cast on 11 stitches using the color for the front of the tie
  2. Seed stitch for 1 inch
  3. Cast off, but do not weave in ends
  4. Use yarn tails and the tapestry needle to sew the keeper loop to the back of the tie, approximately 7 inches from the bottom of the tie

Now that you’ve finished knitting your tie, it is important to block it. This will relax the yarn fibers, and help the tie sit flat against the torso. You can block the tie every few times it is worn in order to help maintain its shape. What’s great is that blocking can be done for all kinds of projects. Here’s how I do it.

Steam Block Your Work

Materials:

  • Ironing board and iron
  • Hand towel
  • T-pins

How-To:

  1. Soak the hand towel in water, and then gently squeeze out any excess water.
  2. Place your work flat on the ironing board, and lay the wet towel over your work. Stamp the hot iron over the wet towel, and you will start to see steam rise from the towel. Continue this process over the entire towel for about 1-2 minutes. Note that the towel and your work will both be incredibly hot.
  3. Remove the towel, and use t-pins to hold your work in place. These pins can go directly into the ironing board. Ensure that the yarn is not being pulled too far, but rather just enough to force your work into the desired shape.
  4. Once your work is bone dry, remove the t-pins. You’re done!

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12 thoughts on “How To Knit A Tie

  1. Pingback: Picks of the Week for May 15, 2015 | Hands Occupied

  2. I had a lovely comment all written but I couldn’t remember my WordPress password so I went through the whole rigamarole of resetting my password and my comment somehow dissolved. I’m not feeling nearly as cheerful and complimentary as I had been. Sorry about that. I will try to at least touch on the points I was trying to make earlier.

    You are very good at writing out knitting patterns, yours was very easy for me to follow. I appreciated the instructions for blocking, too, because I tend to ignore that step and I shouldn’t – especially not if I knit a tie and having the instructions on hand is helpful. Usually I hear that I’m supposed to soak the knitted item in water but that can get tricky if you’re trying to block wool rather than felt it. Like you, I really appreciate the way that seed stitch makes my knitting lay flatter so I prefer to use it even though the knit-one-purl-one gets tiring. I will have to look through my yarn stash and see if I have suitable wool for the nephew who might appreciate a tie, my grandsons are only 4 so I don’t think they’re quite ready for ties.

    Keep up the good work, I hope to see more patterns from you.

    • Thank you for your lovely comment! I always appreciate hearing feedback. I am new to writing out knitting patterns, so I am so glad that you liked it. Enjoy knitting the tie–it was such a fun and quick project! Victoria

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  5. Hi, thanks for sharing this. I would like to knit a tie for my boyfriend and we bought together a gorgeous 100% silk yarn (Keiju). Do you think your towel-hot iron steaming method would work on silk as well? Thanks and keep up the good work! (Sorry if this question is too obvious, I am new to knitting, but loving it)

    • Hi Laura! Great question. I’ve never worked with silk yarn before. I do believe that this blocking method is pretty harmless. I don’t think that it would have any negative impact on the yarn itself. Let me know how it goes if you decide to give it a try!

      • This would be one of those times you might want to knit a test swatch to see how it works for you. Just follow the blocking instructions for the swatch, be careful to keep the iron on the silk setting (or cooler), and see how it goes. That is, of course, if you don’t hear from anyone who is familiar with working with silk. I have knit with it a few times but I skipped the blocking part (I think I may have mentioned in my other comment that blocking is something I avoid).

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