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View Full Version : When you were a newbie...


Mommy22alyns
03-24-2007, 04:08 PM
As in, when you first started learning how to knit... What did you do first? How did you learn? When did you get brave enough to try other things - socks, entrelac, etc? What were some of the best lessons you learned?

Enquiring minds want to know! :D

brokenblossoms
03-24-2007, 04:20 PM
I learned from learntoknit.com and just did plain stockinette stitch for a while (I made half a scarf and decided I needed to learn some new techniques), so then I learnt how to use circulars and started making Blythe doll caps using basic ribbing and decreases. Then I found this website and wanted to learn how to use circular needles. Once I got that down I told myself I wanted to learn everything about knitting and now I can do lace and all sorts of fun stuff. :)

nadja la claire
03-24-2007, 04:58 PM
I've been knitting for a little over 2 yrs. My mom showed me how to CO and do garter, just about everything else I learned from Amy's videos. My 1st FO was a garter st scarf for my DH, which took almost a month.

I still haven't done fair isle, a complete pair of socks, entrelac or intarsia yet.

It took me 6 months to learn how to purl. After I learned purl I just kind of jumped into cable and lace and I guess a month or 2 after I learned purl I got up the courage to learn circs and dpns. I think I watched Amy's video on dpns about 10 times before I could actually do it.

I think every lesson learned is the best. I'm looking forward to learning fair isle and intarsia. I also looking forward to finishing my 1st sweater and my first pair of socks.

:muah: :hug:

Nadja xxx

knit-errant
03-24-2007, 05:29 PM
I learned to crochet a little over 10 years ago, whenI was pregnant with my daughter. A few months after that, I found out that my husband's grandmother used to knit and she said she'd try to teach me. I didn't catch on (and she worked with me most of the day!) and she thought maybe it would be best to should save myself the frustration and stick with crochet.

I kept crocheting, still enjoyed it... but I always admired the look and feel of knitted fabric.

Finally, I decided to try again about a year and a half ago or so. My first project was a garter stitch scarf (amazing, isn't it?!). I used two strands together, on great big needles, and had it done in three or four days. That was around December.

By January, I tried my first cables. In February, I tried fair isle -- a We Call Them Pirates hat. Around March/April, I made my first sweater (Anthropologie capelet). First socks probably came in May/June. First lace came about a week ago. ;)

My best lesson: put it where the cats can't get it. I made a scarf that the cats thought smelled particularly fun, put it in the closet (with accordion doors), and went to dinner. When I got home, it had been dragged out of the partially opened closet, around the piano, up the stairs, down the stairs, up again between different rungs, down the hall, wrapped around the computer chair, and back down the hall, finally ending up under the dining room table. There wasn't a whole heck of a lot of the scarf left after that.

Other tying-for-best lesson: lock the door when you're blocking! I put a nice, mohair feather and fan stole down to block this morning, and the door didn't latch. Then one of the cats sharpened their claws on it! :verysad:

TeenKnitter
03-24-2007, 05:35 PM
I learned to knit in April of 2006. My mother re-learnt from my aunt, and my mom in turn taught me. She had learnt to knit English style, but I adopted the Continental style, even though I had never heard of it. My mom was convinced I was doing it wrong, but we soon found out it was actually an established way of knitting.

My first project was a super-skinny garter stitch scarf in Moda Dea Ticker Tape. I learnt to purl maybe 2 scarves later. I have learnt pretty much anything I know from my mom or my aunt (who is the knitting guru of the family). My mom and 4 of my aunts knit, so now it's pretty much in the family. Meaning, we're all crazy :wink: .

Right about my 5th project I made a hat, It was a stockinette stitch, floppy, pointed hat. It was pretty easy, and I really started doing more complicated stuff from there. I know how to cable, felt, make socks, sweaters, etc. And I'm also a very fast knitter.

I have tried to get my friends to knit, but they all pretty much think I'm nuts... :eyes: Also, I had known how to crochet, but I'm dreadfully slow, so it never really caught on with me. I still haven't finished the scarf I was crocheting, which I started probably, 6 years ago?

Best Lessons I learned... hmmm, not sure. But I do LOVE making socks, I'm working on a pair right now. I also think cabling is evry cool, I've made cat toys, purses and stuff.

I :heart: knitting!

- Claire

:thumbsup:

nadja la claire
03-24-2007, 05:44 PM
I learned to crochet a little over 10 years ago, whenI was pregnant with my daughter. A few months after that, I found out that my husband's grandmother used to knit and she said she'd try to teach me. I didn't catch on (and she worked with me most of the day!) and she thought maybe it would be best to should save myself the frustration and stick with crochet.

I kept crocheting, still enjoyed it... but I always admired the look and feel of knitted fabric.

Finally, I decided to try again about a year and a half ago or so. My first project was a garter stitch scarf (amazing, isn't it?!). I used two strands together, on great big needles, and had it done in three or four days. That was around December.

By January, I tried my first cables. In February, I tried fair isle -- a We Call Them Pirates hat. Around March/April, I made my first sweater (Anthropologie capelet). First socks probably came in May/June. First lace came about a week ago. ;)

My best lesson: put it where the cats can't get it. I made a scarf that the cats thought smelled particularly fun, put it in the closet (with accordion doors), and went to dinner. When I got home, it had been dragged out of the partially opened closet, around the piano, up the stairs, down the stairs, up again between different rungs, down the hall, wrapped around the computer chair, and back down the hall, finally ending up under the dining room table. There wasn't a whole heck of a lot of the scarf left after that.

Other tying-for-best lesson: lock the door when you're blocking! I put a nice, mohair feather and fan stole down to block this morning, and the door didn't latch. Then one of the cats sharpened their claws on it! :verysad:

Those pesky cats!!! That is a very good lesson. I learned that one too when my cat decided to use my nieces almost finished shrug as a bed that of course needed to be pawed in order to make it more comfy, and then just for good measure she hacked up a nice big hair ball on it. Needless to say my niece got something else for Christmas.

:muah: :hug:

Nadja xxx

syndactylus
03-24-2007, 06:10 PM
I started last christmas, knit a blanket first and then a baby sweater, then socks, then a ribbon tank top, etc.
the most important lesson I learned (1 year later) was how not to twist stitches from this site. :cheering:
second most important - don't use mohair unless you really mean it. (no mohair blankets!!!)

imported_Knitty_Kat
03-24-2007, 07:10 PM
I had crocheted for years before I decided to learn how to knit. I bought a combination instructional/pattern booklet at Wal-Mart titled "I Can't Believe I'm Knitting!". The instructions were so vague and so confusing that I could never get past the cast-on. Feeling defeated, I set my needles down and resumed my first love - crochet. Then I realized a little over a year ago, when I wanted to make some socks for my grandmother, that crocheting socks is a real bummer. They look nothing like knit socks and they lose their shape very quickly. I was determined to learn how to knit. I used the SnB books to start with and I knit a garter stitch scarf holding two strands of constrasting Moda Dea Zing together. It took me an entire weekend, working on it almost nonstop, but once it was finished I was so proud. After that I wasn't satisfied with simply knitting garter stitch scarves. I craved more. I wanted cables and intricate stitch patterns and socks...LOTS of socks. I'm happy to say I learned how to do all of the knit projects I started off wanting to complete and have many more that are more challenging waiting to be started.

One of the best lessons I have learned with knitting is to know your stitches. Don't just know that if you do X and Y it makes Z. Try to learn why if you do X and Y is makes Z and how your stitches are supposed to be situated on the needles. It makes it so much easier to go back and correct mistakes.

Jan in CA
03-24-2007, 07:14 PM
I learned a year and a half ago. I took a class, but she wasn't a good teacher. I found this forum and Lion Brand - Learn to knit (http://learntoknit.lionbrand.com/) and the rest is history.

My first project was scarf (duh.. :teehee: ), but at 3 mos I made my first sweater! :cheering: Most things I've found are easier than they look.

And my one bit of important advice... LEARN WHAT THE STITCHES LOOK LIKE! :cheering: :cheering: :cheering:

Ginger0104
03-24-2007, 07:19 PM
I taught myself to knit a year ago from a cd I got at Joanns. The first item I knit was a garter stitch baby blanket and then a few dishcloths. My first finished item was Kate from knitty.com, but I knit it on straight needles because I didn't know how to do circs yet. It really doesn't look the way it should, but it's still cute :) We call it the mouse cat. I don't tend to get intimidated by patterns, I just jump right on in and wing it. It doesn't always produce the results that I expected, but so far everything has worked out just fine.

I just recently figured out circs, knitting in the round on both circs and dpns, and cables. Turns out cables are super simple and I've been intimidated for far too long. The whole reason I wanted to knit in the first place was to knit a cabled blanket. Come to find out - I really don't want one. I love the look of cables, but I don't like the wrong side. So I'm knitting a purse instead :) I've designed it myself, and so far it's great - all 2 inches of it ;)

I haven't tried hats or scarves, because in our climate they're not realistic. So the typical newbie items have never been on my needles.

I think the best lesson learned has been to just jump in and start. Read through your pattern, and if you understand - not necessarily know how to do - 80% of it, you're golden. Take it bit by bit, and it's not as intimidating. There are lots of helpful people here to help you if you get stuck, so don't let fear keep you from attempting something that seems a little difficult. The best way to learn is to challenge yourself :)

RiverDaughter
03-24-2007, 07:59 PM
I learned to knit about a year ago.

I had been crocheting since I was seven, and have some very nice, warm blankets to show for it, thankfully. But, when I came out to WY for college, my only crocheting hook got lost, and I couldn't replace it in town because no one in town carried the style of hook I used.

So I picked up the Lion Brand How to Knit Kit, and suffered a week of just puzzling over the directions. I just couldn't make heads or tails from them. And then I found KH, and I've been a wiz at it ever since!

I haven't gotten around to knitting a sweater yet, I usually don't have the patience to sit down and do one, and my summer job didn't allow me the time to even try (camp counselor jobs are actually 22 hours a day, by contract :pout: ), but I love knitting lace and other intricate designs while catching up on my tv viewing via DVD. :roflhard:

The best suggestion I could ever give to a beginning knitter: get an extra ball for every project you do. You may never use it, but it helps keep the stash full, and you may love the color for another project at a later date. And always keep labels on your yarn!

I forgot to label some of my yarn, so I have a hank of about 1000 yards of a very nice blue yarn, but I'm not sure what it is, so I don't want to do any felting projects with it. :verysad:

Jax3303
03-24-2007, 10:25 PM
I've been knitting for just over 2 years now. I started doing a garter stitch scarf, but got really bored with it just a few inches in, and jumped in with both feet to a top down raglan baby sweater. The baby sweater was my first knitted FO. from there it snowballed and about a month after the sweater I started playing around with short rows and knitted socks. then hats, socks, mittens, more socks, baby blankets, more socks, lace, cabled sweaters, entrelac, lace socks, entrelac socks....(can anyone see where this is going...lmao :D

aineepooh1
03-25-2007, 12:46 AM
I think the most valuable lesson I have learned from my knitting is to be able to learn from my mistakes.
For instance... I just could not understand the concept of YO.. NOW it seems so simple but I had a bookd called Big Needle Knits and it called for a dropped stitch shawl ...you would YO and then drop the stitchs the next row. I just couldn't get the YO for along time :wall: I just refused to give up and afte several days of trying to do it the wrong way consistenly it finally clicked. and now I see YO in lots of patterns and especially in pattern repeats.
the other I think is to try new projects in spite of year lack of advanced knitting skills. I have discovered that like Nike once said sometimes' Just do it".. that is how I learned most of what i know from trial and error
the last thing I have learned ( for me) is before I pick up my needles to CO I need to read and then closely reread the pattern and look for any new or different abbreviations or stitches before i start. I learned that one the hard way too. .. you can only skim over the pattern so many times w/o missing something important .. like a new stitch~! :pout:

humblestumble
03-25-2007, 01:40 AM
The first thing I knit was a swatch of about 10-15 stitches. I only knit a few rows of stockinette, then garter, and them seed stitch. I guess I was pretty ambitious as a newbie. I didn't knit a scarf until just recently because it's so hot down here, no one wears them. My bro lives in CO with his fiance, so they will use scarves up there.

I think after the first swatch I did a small swatch of ribbing and moss stitch at school.

Fingerless gloves were my first real project. I got lost at the thumb gusset, and my mentor was a little clueless too, and then got bed ridden, so I put it down. I ended up going back to it later and ripping it out and starting over (w/o gauge swatch! :-o worst mistake ever!). They were supposed to be for me, but ended up being monstrous, so I gave them to my boyfriend and they are even roomy on him.

Then there was the backpack from SNB, gauntlets, socks.

Another lesson is, learn how the stitches make up the knit fabric! I didn't know in the beginning, so I was knitting in the back loop and ended up with twisted stitches. Follow Amy's vids very carefully! And check back once in a while to make sure you are doing it right. Twisting knit stitches and not twisting purl rows makes for a very rigid, unstretchy fabric.

Lieke
03-25-2007, 03:45 AM
I learned knitting from my mom. The first thing I did was a garter stitch scarf. Then nothing for about two years. Then I decided I wanted a new scarf, but bought to much yarn. I knitted a scarf and then a sweater. Not for a second have I wondered wether I would be able to knit a sweater. I just did. So my message to every newbie. Whenever you want to knit something, just do it. If I can do it, so can anyone else, since I'm also human. Don't be afraid to do something new. If you want to start with socks, start with socks. If you want to start with a i-pod cozy, do that. Just do it, I know you can.

dink
03-26-2007, 12:30 PM
I bought a combination instructional/pattern booklet at Wal-Mart titled "I Can't Believe I'm Knitting!". The instructions were so vague and so confusing that I could never get past the cast-on.

That is the book that I have too, which was suggested I use as a first time knitter (before lessons). I looked at it, and thought, oh boy, I'm in trouble! The book, as you said, is vague. I couldn't figure out much from it either, so you were not alone! :teehee:

cando
03-26-2007, 02:39 PM
I taught myself to knit last Aug using this site and Amy's videos. My first project was a garter scarf, it took me 3 weeks to make and I was convinced I was the slowest knitter on earth :teehee:

My next project was a big throw (http://www.knittinghelp.com/knitting/forum/viewtopic.php?p=285880&highlight=artic+arctic+throw#285880) for my sister (which was one of the reasons I learnt to knit). That took me a month and a half. Then we moved last Nov and I didn't knit until Jan of this year.
Since then I've knit a few more scarves, a few hats, started socks, a bag, and now a sweater.
The other big reason I learnt to knit is to be able to make gorgeous clothes. So it's going to be mostly sweaters and socks this year :D

BDKitty
03-26-2007, 03:18 PM
When I was twelve, I was shipped off to Mexico to stay with my Grandmother for the summer - I say shipped, but acutally, it was the best thing my parents could have done for me! Home was boring during the summer - and Grandma was always tons of fun! :hug:

Anyways, I watched her friend knit her a sweater - and was fascinated, so she just left some needles and yarn laying on the sofa the next time we visited this friend, and I picked them up and recieved my first lesson - I started a scarf...... never did finish it. :teehee:

When I was 28 (and pregnant) I found my old knitting basket and it had my original needles and yarn in it! So I tried to take it up again - swolen hands made it impossible - so I forgot about that basket. :wall:

Now I am 39 - and last April, when I cleaned out my spare bedroom to decorate it for my mom's annual summer visit to spend with my kids, I re-discovered my basket. Went online and found KnittingHelp.com and re-learned to knit. 2 scarves, 1 poncho, 3 pairs of socks and 4 hats before Christmas! In that order! :cheering:

I still have the yarn my grandmother gave me (she has passed now) and one of the knitting needles (my puppy used the other as a toothpick), I have them saved in a new pretty basket on a shelf - This addiction is all her fault! :verysad:

I just finished my first baby blanket and my first baby cape (from Knit 2 together by Tracey Ulman). Next first for me is a summer weight sweater vest made from Lion Brands Organic Cotton! My first "sweater", and I hope it turns out well. Right now it's just boring! The back is plain stockinette - haven't decided what the front will be yet! :happydance:

I have managed 2 project on the needles at all times, and worked hard to finish everything I start.... Since I never finished the original scarf... I'll leave it that way, gotto give my Grandma something to complain about!!! Right?

Miss Moosey
03-26-2007, 03:46 PM
When I first started out I made scarves...lots and lots of scarves. Then I started making simple change purses. And then I branched out to simple hats knitted on two straight needles. And then I did socks, then mittens! I hope to one day work my way up to a sweater, but I don't have the confidence yet.

The best lessons I learned were how to fix mistakes which I had made! Another good lesson is to not be afraid of a pattern, but just jump right in and see what comes out!

msoebel
03-27-2007, 11:38 AM
I started knitting in Oct, so I am still kind of a newbie.

I learned from a combination of a book written for kids and this site.

The first thing I made was a little purse for my daughter...using stockinette and garter stitch, as well decreases and a buttonhole! I look at it now, and it looks pretty good...you can't tell it was a first project. Once I figured out how to cast on, knitting and purling came very easily.

I moved on to making two stockinette scarves before I realized that they would always roll :doh: .

Now, I am working on a feather and fan lace shawl...I have made several hats (I love making hats). I can knit in the round. I haven't gotten cabling yet, and I have no desire to make socks. Right now, I can basically do everything I want (and enjoy) doing. I am sure that I will soon become bored by what I can do and be ready to learn some more.

Misty

Inis
03-27-2007, 01:38 PM
Weeeellll, I'm still a newbie. Most of my first projects are hidden in the back of my closet. LOL.

A German aunt of mine tried to teach me when I was like 10 or 11, and it just wouldn't click ... even though I'd been crocheting since elementary school.

A year or so ago I watched a couple of episodes of Knitty Gritty on DIY and thought "I can do that!".

Someday, I hope to really "do that"

So far, I've done scarves, a garter stitch afghan, a pair of really badly done mittens and a hat.

bip
03-27-2007, 03:29 PM
This week is my 2 year knit-a-versary! My mom taught me while DH and my dad were in the hospital exchanging a kidney (from dad to DH). She taught me with k1,p1 rib which made my head spin at the time. Looking back I'm glad I learned how to both knit and purl right off the bat (though it was a few days before I could tell which was which!)

First I made 2 iPod arm bands from one of the first issues of Knit 1. Then I made a poncho which I use every day at work (I get cold when I sit still at the computer). I had to pick up stitches for the border, which I did wrong! (and didn't know it was wrong for almost 2 years)

Then I went through a Bernat Matrix phase where I made a belt for one friend and a kerchief for another. The kerchief was my first experience knitting up from one corner, increasing on each end to make a triangle. Then I made Clementine from 25 Bags to Knit, except I used navy blue simply soft and instead of embroidering the little flowers, I attached tiny picture frame charms. That was my first experience with seed stitch, which I love.

Then I made a bunch of things that I didn't finish and ended up frogging, like the short-row v neck in SNB which I chose to make out of lion brand microspun - double stranded lime green and purple. It was awful, but I let it get to the 90% point before admitting that the colors were awful and it wasn't going to work with that yarn ever.

Then I made the Shawl Collared cardigan from Vogue Knitting Fall '05 for my cousin. Then I made a cardigan for my mom with a pattern from Knit It (probably also Fall 05). I also tried to make myself a sweater from a 1980s Vogue knitting book, using mostly Noro Kuryeon with some Cash Iroha. It turned out too small for even our tiniest friend and had to be frogged. I am still trying to figure out what to do with that yarn.

I made a basketweave scarf out of Debbie Bliss alpaca silk, which became my all time most favorite yarn ever, even though it has no body and is basically just a pile of slime (soft slime though!) At the same time I learned a few lace patterns and made three cat's eye pattern scarfs using size 2 needles. From that I learned never to make anything on size 2s because it just takes too damn long. I also learned that if you goof up in lace it is a huge deal, so you have to pay attention. I should have learned to make a lifeline, but I kept procrastinating and never got around to it.

Then I made my dad a sweater with Big Kuryeon and I made the same sweater for DH with Lamb's Pride Bulky but princess and the pea finds it too itchy to wear.

Somewhere in there I also made three Meema's Marsupial purses, one for a grandma, one for my mom and one for MIL. That was my "felting phase". I also made a shawl for my grandma out of a rainbow ribbon yarn. Plus I made two sets of 4 "spa face cloths", one in Berroco Cotton Twist for a friend and the other in Sugar N Spice for my other grandma. The cloths were: 1) garter, diagonal up from the corner with a yo border, 2) Seed stitch, 3) Basket weave and 4) Intarsia stripes ... so intarsia was the lesson learned there (as well as the lesson that I hate sugar n cream yarn!)

That was the first year. Then, after making all those sweaters, this year I finally learned to properly assemble. I want to ask all those people for the sweaters back so I can re assemble! Every time I see them, I tsk-tsk myself for doing it so obviously wrong. This year I also learned to make hats - in fact, I adapted a flat pattern to DPNs (ribs and everything!) so I wouldn't have to assemble.

This year, besides proper assembly, my main accomplishment was mastering bi-color brioche, though I haven't attempted the increases/decreases yet. Nor have I learned to do it in the round as I wanted (nor can I tell the gauge, which is why I have stuck to scarfs in that pattern and not done the sweater I want to make). I also learned cables this year, and they were as easy as my mom said. A little disappointing. I actually find mock cables more fun and a little more visually interesting. I taught a friend of mine to knit and then to do cables, and then talked her into making a DNA pattern scarf using cables. It looks really cool, so I'll probably try that myself at some point...

My next big challenge is going to be socks. A challenge because I want to do two at a time using the one inside the other method. I will probably use magic loop, which will also be new to me. I just have to finish the sweater I am working on for my mom's best friend, finally weave all the ends in on my brother's skully sweater, and make a little more progress on a blanket for a baby due in May and I will be all over it.

On the other hand, remembering all this has made me exhausted! Maybe I'll just go take a nap (too bad I'm at work, lol).