I first learnt to knit when I was eight. Small groups of us were taken out of our class by a teaching assistant and taught how to cast on and knit simple squares. I think they were supposed to be dish cloths, but I seem to remember that mine was a bit too holey to be used for anything much! I've learnt a lot since then, mainly since getting the knitting bug again when Ben was born. I've made a few pairs of these booties recently, both for Jamie and for friends' babies. The pattern, Oh! Baby Baby Booties, is on Ravelry and also on a yarn shop website here. The original pattern has been adapted by a lovely helpful Raveller called babylee so it can be knit all in one piece - if you're on Ravelry either look her up for her modifications or have a look on my favourites as I've saved them in there. My Ravelry username is daisyjewellery (no surprises there!). And if you knit or crochet and you're not on Ravelry, why not?!
Anyway, when you've finished knitting a bootie it looks like the photo above. I use a circular needle instead of two straight needles just because I prefer it. The next step is to cast off the stitches and sew the seam. You could either cast off and then fold the cast off edge in half and sew it together, or you can do the casting off and sewing in one step - quicker and a much neater seam - using three needle bind off.
If you haven't done this before it is really really easy. All you need is the two needles (or circular needle) you've been working on already and (surprise surprise) a third needle, slightly bigger than the ones you've already used. Have half the stitches on one needle and half on the other. Hold the needles together as shown.
Using the third needle, knit into the first stitch on each needle at the same time.
Knit the next pair of stitches as well.
Cast off the first stitch on your third needle by slipping it off the needle over the second stitch. Knit into the next pair of stitiches on your original needles and cast off the second stitch on your third needle.
I cast off the shoulders of jumpers and tops in the same way. Instead of casting off the shoulders of the back section I leave them on stitch holders and then cast them off with the shoulders of the front. I find if much quicker, especially as it leaves me fewer yarn ends to sew in - and I hate sewing in yarn ends!