Beginning knitters support thread - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 279 Old 09-07-2003, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I thought I'd start a beginning knitters support thread since the soaker thread is really long.

How about a roll call of beginning knitters and what you are working on?

Maybe we can post pics as we finish things to offer incentive and ask/answer questions for support.

I'll start- been knitting a few weeks now- just finished these two LT Bucket hats from Theresa's pattern:

http://home1.gte.net/res0ykbu/Hats.htm

I want to make wool soaker pants after I finish my tube socks- am trying to knit them on 4 circular needles instead of double points so am still in the learning phase... edited to say: I meant 2 circular needles

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#2 of 279 Old 09-07-2003, 08:37 PM
 
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Cute hats!

I couldn't get past the casting on stage. :
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#3 of 279 Old 09-07-2003, 09:56 PM
 
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Not a learning knitter, just peeking in...

MamaMonica, that hat is so cute! Is that your DD? What a sweetie! You say you're learning to knit socks on 4 circular needles instead of DPNs... I've done it with 2 circulars, which could be easier than 4, and is definitely faster than DPNs. Or was that a typo, and you meant two circulars?

I am excited that so many people are learning to knit - it's such a great art! Just beware the yarn addiction - it's worse than cloth diapers!
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#4 of 279 Old 09-07-2003, 10:48 PM
 
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Ok, Hi my name is Monique and i am beginning to knit!!
I tried to be on the knit wool soakers but I am not that advanced yet. To be honest I can't figure out how to purl. i finally figured out how to cast on and I can do the knit stitch. Does anyone know any good books? I don't have the time for a class. I have the idiots guide to knitting but I guess I am more than an idiot because I can not figure it out. I have some yarn because I am determined to make DS a sweater, hat and booties. I started before he was born..... last year:LOL but I just figure it out. Please help!!!
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#5 of 279 Old 09-07-2003, 11:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi kate, Jess and Monique Yes, that is my dd and my ds, though his hat is a little girly LOL

Kate, casting on has been the hardest thing so far- really it gets easier. Jess, I am using 2 circular needles (not 4- LOL) and today it finally clicked how to do it.

The only problem I'm having is doing ribbing- as I change to the second needle set it is on a purl (I'm doing K3 P3) and I can't purl there- only knit to join the two. Is it OK in ribbing to have an extra knit row there and only 2 purls instead of 3 in that section if I am consistent all the way down the ribbing? I seem to be able to join the sections only on a knit stitch. I ordered the book "Socks Soar on 2 circular needles" and wish I had it right now.

Monique, the purl stitch is really weird at first but once you do it, you will be surprised and then you can really take off on things. There are good directions in Knitting for Dummies, which I got from the library and Kid's Knitting (also from the library). The kid's book is really good.

The trick for purl is to stick it in the front of the stitch on the needle, not behind like knitting. Have the working yarn in FRONT before you stick the needle in the stitch. Go from your right to left- the needle will be sort of horizontal to the floor. Put the yarn from the ball between the needles counterclockwise (just like knit except in FRONT) and scoop it up and through. HTH

Good luck. Don't give up! Just past the purl is ribbing and all the fun things to start making stuff. You can do it.

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#6 of 279 Old 09-07-2003, 11:32 PM
 
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Monica, how about switching that purl stitch to the other needle? I hate beginning a needle with a purl, and always do this. And I totally didn't notice that there were 2 different kids in those pictures. Whoops... my only excuse is too much football today.

Good description of the purl stitch. It isn't really that tough... I think the problem is that "everyone" says it's hard, so it must be hard, YKWIM? It's really just the reverse of the knit stitch... a perspective that's helped out several people I know.

Good knitting books for beginners... Monica's suggestions are great. Kids' learn-to-knit books are awesome for adults, because (IME) they tend to be a lot clearer in their instructions and not assume you know anything about knitting. I'm sure I knew of more, but it's been 8 months since I quit my yarn shop job and I've forgotten the good books. Oh! I have a Lion Brand book on learning to knit sweaters. That's where I re-learned knitting (my mom taught me when I was 8 or 9). It worked well enough, though I was doing my purl backwards - wrapping the yarn clockwise instead of anti-clockwise.

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#7 of 279 Old 09-08-2003, 12:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So Jess, I started with 42 cast-on stitches and put 21 on each needle-dividing equally. Can I put an extra three on one of the needles (since there are 3 purls in a row) to keep the knit stitch at the joining- or will this make my sock tube assymetrical?

Thanks! I am so in the dark on some of this stuff.

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#8 of 279 Old 09-08-2003, 12:08 AM
 
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You might want to check out this site herehere They have basic diagrams for the knit & purl stitches.

I've written this before but here is what I would do I wanted to learn to knit.

First, circular needles are easier to use than straight needles - but any needles will do (I just read about a woman who used watercolor paint brushes for 12 hours worth of knitting on a plane, another who used chopsticks.)

Wool is easier to start with than cotton or acrylic. It is forgiving and pleasant to work with.

Once you figure out how to cast on (see link above), cast on 20 stitches and knit back and forth in garter stitch (knit each row) until you can knit without looking at your hands and the tension between all the stitches/rows is even.

Your hands now know how to knit and you don't have to think about that stitch any more. Bind off - easiest way is to knit two stitches and pass first (furthest from the left neddle) stitch on right hand needle over second stitch, leaving one stitch on the needle, repeat till all the stitches from the left hand needle are gone. Cut yarn and thread through the one remaining stitch.

Next, cast on 20 stitches and repeat the above only pearling every row back and forth. Again work back and forth until your fingers know what they are doing and you don't have to look at the work and when tension is even. Bind off same as before.

One more swatch to go! Cast on 20 stitches, knit one row, purl one row, this is called stockinette and creates a lovely flat fabric. Go back and forth for 20 rows and bind off.

Now, get a ruler out and measure your last swatch. We are going to figure out your gauge (tension). You know you have 20 stitches, right? How wide is your swatch? 4"? 20/4=5 stitches to the inch. 3"? 20/3=6.66 stitches to the inch. How about rows? Is your swatch 4" high? 20/4=5 rows to the inch. These numbers are critical once you start to knit from a pattern. They appear on every ball of yarn (yarn samples ) and on every (pattern.

Matching these numbers means everything you knit will fit, and why bother spending all that time and money if you can't use the item?

You may need to troubleshoot a bit - too many stitches per inch than a pattern calls for? Get a bigger needle, too few, a small needle. Repeat the swatch process until you get it right. Keep your swatches if you like the yarn and want to use it again, or throw it in the wash, felt it and use your swatches as coasters.

Once you master the swatch process, you have the tools to master any pattern out there because you can concentrate on new stitches and patterns and not on the actual knit and purl process. When you are ready to get fancy - check out this site and try your hand at some cool stiches.

My daughter has been watching The Sound of Music for weeks now, and I am reminded of Do Re Mi - once you have the tool, you can sing anything you want to. But you must master the tools, which are really just knit and purl. When you can do those with your eyes closed (and really we are talking about an hour or two of practice, each) the knitting world is your oyster.
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#9 of 279 Old 09-08-2003, 12:30 AM
 
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nak

Monica, I'd put 20 on one needle and 24 on the other. def won't make it uneven. you'll have to rearrange sts when you come to the heel (tube sock? no heel... duh) or the toe, but you can cross that bridge when you come to it.
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#10 of 279 Old 09-08-2003, 01:31 PM
 
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I'm a begining knitter!

I decided to learn so I could knit my own wool soakers. I started my first one and am quite pleased with myself. I also bought the LTK Pumpkin Hat pattern and plan on making a few of those and I want to get the LTK Longies pattern too. Such plans..............I had better finish this soaker first though.

Monica, I bought the Socks Soar book when I bought my Knitting Basics book. I can't wait to knit socks too.

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#11 of 279 Old 09-08-2003, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Jess, I'll do that and see if I can get the sock going again tonight. Aurora, good luck with that soaker! I have such big plans too and got the LTK longies pattern...

Are you mamas finding time to knit? I have been knitting from 11pm til 1 am- only time I can wth 2 mall kids into my knitting if I take it out.

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#12 of 279 Old 09-08-2003, 02:41 PM
 
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I just started taking a knitting class about 3 weeks ago. So far I am just knitting hats (4 of them! LOL) to get my basic stitches on right.

I want to knit a soaker and also the bucket hat from LKT when I get a little better. I have to learn to purl, though. I tried learning to knit froma book but I'm a "hands on" visual learner and the pictures/descriptions just confused me more.

MamaMonica, I try to knit while my DS is playing with his own stuff. I sit in the loft on the sofa and he has free rein to play (it's "his" room) while I knit away. At first he tried to get into my yarn but I just told him it was "mommy's toy" and gave him something else to play with and now he pretty much leaves me alone.

Morgan
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#13 of 279 Old 09-08-2003, 02:41 PM
 
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I just started taking a knitting class about 3 weeks ago. So far I am just knitting hats (4 of them! LOL) to get my basic stitches on right.

I want to knit a soaker and also the bucket hat from LKT when I get a little better. I have to learn to purl, though. I tried learning to knit froma book but I'm a "hands on" visual learner and the pictures/descriptions just confused me more.

MamaMonica, I try to knit while my DS is playing with his own stuff. I sit in the loft on the sofa and he has free rein to play (it's "his" room) while I knit away. At first he tried to get into my yarn but I just told him it was "mommy's toy" and gave him something else to play with and now he pretty much leaves me alone.

Morgan
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#14 of 279 Old 09-08-2003, 09:57 PM
 
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I an trying what you said but i keep running into the same problem The yarn is tooi tightly knit/purled what ever and I can't get the needle through the yarn after about the third knit/purl whatever Is it something I am doing or is this normal?:
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#15 of 279 Old 09-08-2003, 10:17 PM
 
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Hi, I'm learning to knit, too.

I started on my vacation this summer when I had extra time...I made a sort of sampler blanket but honestly got bored with it and have since ripped it out...but it was great practice...then I made a soaker but it came out HUGE and honestly I wasn't a big fan of that Lion's brand wool...and then my dd potty-trained, so until I have another baby on the way, I think I'm done with soakers!! Plus, since I can sew wool covers so much faster than I can knit them, I may stick to knitting other things.

Right now I am working on two different projects for my dd. One is a cotton pullover sweater with a heart motif. I've finished the back and I'm almost up to the heart on the front. I'm excited but nervous!!

I'm also working on a toddler jacket that I saw on the knitty website: toddler jacket. I tracked down the right kind of yarn for it and I am in LOVE. It is hand dyed variegated wool with bright blues, purples and pinks. Plus it is really chunky
so it knits up SO FAST. I can't believe how much faster it's going than the cotton one. It's nice because I'm feeling more of a sense of getting somewhere. Now, if I can just figure out how to increase without making a hole.

P.S. I am also finding myself knitting late at night, although sometimes my dd will let me knit if she is involved in something of her own...or if I give her some yarn and she can "knit" with me. Today she was doing puzzles while I was knitting, and she looked up and said, "Oh, no, Mommy dropped a stitch!" (I wonder where she's heard that before?) And I said, do you think you can find it? And she looked around on the floor, picked up something imaginary, and said, "Here it is! Let's put it back on the needle." And she pretended to put her "stitch" back on the needle.

That's my girl.
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#16 of 279 Old 09-08-2003, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Monique- don't give up. It is so normal to knit too tight at first! I had mine so tight the cotton squeaked and I couldn't get a needle in at first.

Are you pulling the yarn to tighten the stitch after you complete it? If so, DON'T- just let the next stitch tighten the one before it. Leave it looser than you think and let the next stitch pull it to a natural tightness.

Leave things looser than you think you need to. Do you have a yarn shop locally? If so, take your knitting in and they can look and pinpoint the problem.

Good luck!!!!

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#17 of 279 Old 09-08-2003, 10:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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pinky, that is so cute about your dd picking up the imaginary stitch! LOL Good luck with your projects!

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#18 of 279 Old 09-08-2003, 10:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by UmmSamiyah
I an trying what you said but i keep running into the same problem The yarn is tooi tightly knit/purled what ever and I can't get the needle through the yarn after about the third knit/purl whatever Is it something I am doing or is this normal?:
I had this problem in the beginning...for me, it helped to experiment with holding my yarn in different ways (I looked at a bunch of different books, and they're all a little different), so that I wouldn't be knitting so tightly.

I don't know why, but I had less of a problem knitting too tightly on circular needles than the straight ones I started with.

Oh, and this isn't in reply to this post, but I just wanted to add that I had a lot of trouble figuring out purling, too...I went to a yarn shop and got some help...but promptly forgot what they told me when I got home...so I just looked at a lot of pictures and tried it a bunch of different ways. I found it much trickier to figure out how to hold the yarn when purling--for awhile I was doing my knit stitches continental (holding yarn in my left hand) but my purls English (holding yarn in my right hand), which didn't work too well!

Don't worry, you'll figure it out!
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#19 of 279 Old 09-10-2003, 01:19 AM
 
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I'm a "soon-to-be" beginning knitter and then I'll know what you're all talking about
I'm starting my first class next Wed and can't wait. Hoping to make some holiday presents but we'll see.... I really want to do some hats, scarves, soakers, and a toddler sweater is my goal but I'm sure that's a ways down the line.
Can't wait to see more of your work-it's great!
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#20 of 279 Old 09-10-2003, 01:30 PM
 
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Hey mamas! It so great to see so many new knitters It is addicting though! Pretty soon you'll be like me, with a "car project" that sits in the passenger seat for those annoying 2 minute stoplights And the yarn, oh, the yarn will be everywhere!!

Anyway, wanted to give a heads up on a good site with great pics on knitting, purling and other basics. Wonderful Things
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#21 of 279 Old 09-10-2003, 06:22 PM
 
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I'm a beginner as well. My first project is a hat -- my mom knitted the first 10 or so rows so that I could see the pattern and then taught me how to knit and purl. However, right now it is sitting in her house (right across the street) waiting for her to repair something I messed up. LOL.

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#22 of 279 Old 09-12-2003, 10:17 AM
 
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help. i am having problems with trying to knit dh some mittens. pattern calls for 4 double pointed needles. i am a basic kind of gal -- meaning i can knit, i can purl. i can do a little of both even. but I've never made anythign that required a dp needles.

any pointers?

should i give up and go back to flat pieces?

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#23 of 279 Old 09-12-2003, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Don't give up on the double points. They look complicated but I was able to finish the tops of the two hats with them from the diagram in a book-- the concept is simple once you start doing it. (I was knitting only a week when I tried them).

The problem was the aluminum double pointed needles kept falling out and stitches/markers kept dropping off the bottom, so I knitted so tight I couldn't move them.

I got great advice to try Brittany Birch double points and divide the stitches on 4, not 3 needles. These are supposed to be less slidey and clanky. I just got my BB double points in the mail last night and am going to cast on for a sock soon and I'll let you know how it goes. Apparently aluminum dps are the hardest to use...

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#24 of 279 Old 09-12-2003, 02:49 PM
 
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Yay! I needed a support group. I'm taking a beginning knitting class and just had my first the other night. I had been experimenting but must have taught myself some crazy method of knitting. It looked okay and was pretty easy, but wasn't a traditional way if knitting.

For those of you having trouble, I highly recommend going to your local yarn store and getting some help. There's just no replacement for having someone show you the techniques.

Right now I'm knitting a washcloth and have started (for the third time) on a LTK soaker. I keep messing up and pulling out, but eventually I hope to finish something!
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#25 of 279 Old 09-14-2003, 10:11 PM
 
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Yeah!!A beginer's support group!! Exactly what I needed! I am wondering how you have started on patterns(the mamas who were brand new knitters)when you were only knitting about a week? I am trying to knit a washcloth and can't even decide how many stiches to start with, and I bout the pumpkin hat pattern, but have NO clue where to start, don't know enough of the basics yet, I guess. :LOL
I look forward to learning with the rest of you! I am going to go work on my washcloth while my sweet baby is asleep, and the rest of the family is out of the house. It is sooo quiet right now!
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#26 of 279 Old 09-14-2003, 11:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Good luck, Debi. I find it is so much easier when the house is quiet, like late at night. It really requires concentration to follow a pattern.

I started the pattern when I was knitting a week (the bucket hat) because I knew I would have more of a chance of completeing something if I did it for my 4 yo and if she was asking for it every day. All I could do was knit and purl but looked up terms in my book- it was super slow.

I am almost done with the LT moc booties. Theresa has great email support with the pattern- I asked a number of super-beginner questions like what does "turn" mean and she answered right away and kept me going. Her patterns are not that hard and give you a nice-looking product even if you screw up in a few places, like I did.

Oh- and I started my sock on the BB double points and it is really night and day compared to the aluminum ones. I have short 5 inch ones and spread the stitches on 4 of them and it is going well.

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#27 of 279 Old 09-15-2003, 03:49 PM
 
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Okay, I finished my first "project" it's a washcloth!! :LOL So what do I do with the pieces of yarn left(the begining and ending pieces)? Do I weave them into the washie somehow, do I cut them short? Also, when casting off, what do you do with that very last stitch? I just left it and it is weird looking.
TIA
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#28 of 279 Old 09-15-2003, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Congratulations on finishing your project!

The last cast off stitch- pull the end of the cut yarn through it from the top down and pull and you'll get a nice end, then thread it through your yarn needle and weave it into the edge stitches- do the same with the other tail from casting on.

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#29 of 279 Old 09-15-2003, 08:20 PM
 
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Thanks Monica! One more question(well for today anyway )
Say I'm holding the washie this so that the cast off edge is on top and the cast on edge is on the bottom, do you mean to weave the yarn into the edges, like on the left and right of the washie?

And do I need to knot it or anything? Will it unravel?

_okay that was three, sorry.
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#30 of 279 Old 09-15-2003, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, here is my beginners way- so someone correct me if I'm wrong (but this way looks OK when I do it). No knots at all- but you weave into any edge in way that it doesn't show. If it shows, just take it out and reweave it. To keep it from unravelling, you can go back up if you went down- if that makes sense, backtrack at the end.

HTHs

I am getting almost to the edge of my limited knowledge LOL

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