I REALLY want to start knitting, and want to make knitted gifts this year, as well as make my baby boy a blanket. Anyone that can help me get started? I posted something in the Yarn Crafts forum, but it looks like there aren't many posters there and I would like to get a start as early as possible. Thanks in advnace!
Is Anyone A Knitter?
I knit- I taught myself using online videos on youtube and knittinghelp.com. It takes a LOT of trial and error but once you have basic stitches down you can learn to do anything! I then bought a few basic books and went from there. If you have a friend or two (maybe a local knitting group- they often meet in coffee shops or libraries and churches) you can troubleshoot any issues. Happy knitting!
I taught myself with online videos and the book Stitch and Bitch. I highly recommend that book because it gives you simple projects to do as you learn the stitches.
My advice is to be super patient. The first thing you make will take a long time and probably suck. Lol! Starting with a garter stitch scarf is a great idea because you get a ton of practice to get your hands used to knitting.
I'm not much of a knitter, but I did knit a couple of things early on in my pregnancy that were pretty basic.
Here's an easy sweater (if you're a beginner, it will take longer than 5 hours).
Here's the html version of the same link in case you don't like PDF files. http://188.8.131.52/search/srpcache?ei=UTF-8&p=5+hour+baby+sweater&fr=b1ie7&u=http://cc.bingj.com/cache.aspx?q=5+hour+baby+sweater&d=4917157989909492&mkt=en-US&setlang=en-US&w=744dd544,171756eb&icp=1&.intl=us&sig=SWQA9GMPS3PRXdaZYwRiCg--
I completed one of these and started making another (but ran out of fizzle as I was a bit gung-ho with the knitting for a while).
If you're not sure on the M1 etc, you can do a search for how to do the stitches on You Tube.
This is geared at someone who knows the basic plain and pearl stitches, but would like to do a bit more than a square or scarf.
I'm a knitter and spinner. I got started with a learn-to-knit class at my local yarn shop (LYS). From there on, you can learn so much online. Knittinghelp.com is a great resource. I am VERY active on Ravelry, I have several friends there, I've met up with IRL, it's just an awesome community. That's how I learned to spin too. I had moved cross-country for awhile, didn't know anyone, and was complaining on one of my Rav groups of wanting to learn to spin and not knowing wth I was or where to go, etc. Someone local reached out to me, offered to teach me, and we've been friends ever since (even though we've since moved back home to NY).
I'm working on my third pair of longies and a blanket for the baby right now, and I just spun up a skein of yarn I plan to knit into another pair of longies. It's really addictive and so enjoyable and satisfying. Not the cheapest craft in the world, but very rewarding. LMK if you need any more help, and I'll definitely friend you on Rav if you join!
If you're set on knitting, that's great - I learned to knit before I learned any other yarn arts. It is a little frustrating at first, though, I found. The first thing I made was such a tangled mess that I literally couldn't even untangle it to reuse the yarn. The second thing I made was a dishcloth, and it was full of mistakes but functional. The third thing I made was a sweater, and other than being too short (which is apparently fashionable), it is great, I still use it as a utility sweater today (8 or 9 years later).
I found crochet easier to learn, and when I've been teaching others they seem to find it easier too - I tried to teach my husband both knit and crochet - he hated knitting but thought crocheting was acceptable. It does make a less smooth fabric, though. I especially like it for blankets. I've made 2.5 crocheted baby blankets so far this pregnancy, as well as 2.5 knitted hats, and a couple of crocheted squares for an afghan gift.
Once you figure out the pattern browsing system at Ravelry, and have some idea of how stitches and patterns work, it's fantastic! I've been able to find a free pattern for almost everything I want to make, and some of the patterns available to buy online are GORGEOUS!
I hope you do pick up one or the other of the yarn arts - they're both really great, and each has its own strengths. I didn't think that I liked crochet as much until I learned to do it, and now I have an appreciation for it too - it's faster and easier, it makes a thicker, though less dense, fabric, and if you drop a stitch it's no big deal at all. Knitting is also nice - the stitch patterns are more versatile, it makes a thinner, smoother fabric, and it's more of a challenge. Either one is good, but don't reject crochet out of hand - it really is easier to learn, I think.
My mom taught me to knit when I was just a little kid and I loved it! I never knew how to make anything more than a scarf, though. The most basic item! lol.
I've tried crocheting too with no success. I bought all the supplies and an instructional book a few years ago but couldn't figure out one step in the pictures so I gave up. I think I might pick it back up again now, though! I'll have to check out that Ravelry.com site.
I've been knitting for 8 years now, having taught myself with Debbie Stoller's Stitch n' Bitch. I've taught knitting classes as well, and there is always something that I go over with my students before we get into the actual how-do's of knitting, and it's this: knitting is first and foremost about developing muscle memory - the same kind of memory that causes you to never forget how to ride a bike, or the same memory used when learning to play piano. And to develop that memory you need to practice. A lot. At least an hour a day, I would say. And it won't be easy or relaxing at first, and you may not make anything useful for a little while. So if you think you have the time and stamina to learn to knit - do it. It is a most satisfying activity - productive and restful, meditative, tactile, creative.
My other advice to my beginner class is to not take on some kind of large project to start. Even a scarf is too much. Knitting, particularly for a beginner, is SLOW, and a large project can only serve to discourage (unless you have superhuman determination.) Start small so that you can get an idea of the pace of knitting, and then have that amazing sense of accomplishment when you FINISH your first project. I always get my beginner classes to make dishcloths. Though cotton craft yarn is not the most stretchy of materials, it has great definition of thread in the light colours, and really, if you make mistakes on a dishcloth, it's still going to wash your dishes.
If you are determined to make a baby blanket, try finding a free pattern on ravelry that has you making individual squares and sewing them together. Out of fat yarn, with big needles. As a beginner knitter, I don't think I would have been able to do a blanket in less than 3 months. But there are those prodigious people who pick up knitting like they always knew it, and maybe that will be you! Good luck!
Once you can do a basic stitch you can do simple little hats. Basically knit a square, fold in half and stictch up the sides. Actually looks cute on a baby. I learned from a book that was aimed at teens. I found it had the simplest explanations. I also go to youtube for any thing I can't figure out.
I'm a "left-handed" knitter (continental style) but a right-handed person. Haha! Be sure to look up continental style on youtube and knittinghelp.com so you are watching the right kind of videos. You'll work the yarn with your left hand, which will probably be easier for you. I think it's faster than English style (i think that is what it's called).