HOW TO BEGIN
First choose the photo, picture or painting that you want to knit. If the photo (for example) is too small, you can enlarge it on a regular black and white copy machine. Choose the yarn and needles. When choosing the needle size I recommend using the size suggested on the yarn's wrapper. If you have a variety of different yarns, and some for example call for needles #10 and some for needles #8, choose the smaller size (unless the majority of your yarn is thicker). This way the knitting will be tight enough to hide the yarn carried in the back.
You will need to knit a sample piece to find out your ratio. Ratio means how wide verses how long your knit stitch is. If you do not take this into account your knitted picture will be distorted, just like the distorting mirrors, it will look too elongated or too wide. In some pictures, like landscapes, the distortion is not crucial, but if you are working on a portrait, it matters. Ratio is similar to guage, but more simple.
To find out your ratio knit a sample piece of 14 sts (with the yarn and needles you are going to use), and knit a square, or at least 16 rows. Take the piece off the needle and measure 10 rows. Let's say it is 2". Now measure how many stitches are in 2". If for example you have 8 stitches in 2", then your ratio is 0.8 . It means that 8 sts and 10 rows will create a square.
Here you have 2 options:
* You can copy your design to regular square graph paper, and add an extra row every 4 rows That will add up to 8 sts and 10 rows. Make that extra row look like something between the row under it and and the row above it.
* Or you can copy your design to a distorted graph paper that has 8 squares and 10 rows per inch.
So copy your enlarged picture to the graph paper you picked, either by hand or with the copy machine, and this will be your chart. Coloring the chart before starting will make the knitting much easier later.
I find it convenience to take a tray and put everything on it :
pencil (to mark the lines as I knit them so I do not loose my place),
ruler (to help me follow the line I'm on),
crochet hook for weaving in the yarn's tails and
the chart (graph) itself.
You are ready to start! If you do not know how to work with a chart, see the chart page