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View Full Version : Venting some beginner frustration...


cindygster
10-16-2007, 12:42 PM
:knitting:Ok, I read posts and stuff in this forum almost every day and I'm SOOOO anxious to learn enough to understand what everyone's talking about, and contribute more to others' posts and questions! I'm currently working on a shoulder blanket pattern that I grabbed at Joann's, and I'm really wanting to finish soon and start learning something else. I keep reading through the zillion patterns I've accumulated, but I feel like I'm not ready to tackle them yet. So many beautiful blankets, purses, scarves and other patterns out there and it's like I'm never going to learn enough!!:wall:

Jan in CA
10-16-2007, 12:46 PM
You'll understand it all soon. It just takes time. I only started knitting 2 yrs ago and if I can do it, you can! ;)

There is a glossary at the top of the page that can help you read patterns. :thumbsup:

meearnol
10-16-2007, 12:56 PM
What worked best for me was to just jump in feet first. One of my first projects was a pair of gloves, and I had NO idea what I was doing. I made it through though. The videos on here are a great resource, as are these forums. My advice is to just pick a pattern you like and try it. The worst thing that would happen is you'd have to frog a few times.

And as many people on here will tell you, there's no need to finish one project before you start another one. :teehee:

cindygster
10-16-2007, 01:03 PM
What worked best for me was to just jump in feet first. One of my first projects was a pair of gloves, and I had NO idea what I was doing. I made it through though. The videos on here are a great resource, as are these forums. My advice is to just pick a pattern you like and try it. The worst thing that would happen is you'd have to frog a few times.

And as many people on here will tell you, there's no need to finish one project before you start another one. :teehee:
Thank you!!! I've not been so gutsy as to make actual wearable garments. I've been sticking with the blankets and stuff that doesn't have to fit a certain way. Maybe I'll go for gloves or mittens next! :)

Jens
10-16-2007, 01:11 PM
Have you thought about doing some smaller projects? I started a couple of months ago and I really like completing a project. The largerst thing I've made is a poncho for myself. (finished yesterday!!) I started crocheting an afgan last year and I never finished it. It was just to big and to long of a project to keep my attention. So far with knitting I've done a scarf, couple of pairs of socks, a purse, and poncho. I learned different things from all these projects. I try to learn 1 or 2 new things per project. After the newness wears off I may want to try something larger.
I don't understand everything on here either but I've found that I understand things better as I work. If someone would have tried to explain how to knit a sock without me working on it I would never have understood what they were talking about.

mrslevite
10-16-2007, 01:14 PM
Gotta agree. If you wait till you're 'ready', then you'll never be ready. Find something you like and go for it!

Songbirdy
10-16-2007, 01:41 PM
I know it took me a while before I felt ready to move on to the next stage. All the while collecting.

For me, I made scarves for 1 1/2 years (only knitting in the winter) slippers for about the same. Then I did my first sweater which sat waiting to be sewn up for a long time (I think 1 1/2 years). Then last winter... I decided that was that and its been amazing!

So I'd say its okay to wait if your a patient sort of person. Either way, you've got to gulp and try it! :thumbsup:

knitncook
10-16-2007, 01:50 PM
You will get there. The best way to get to where you are making these more "complicated" patterns is to make one! If you run into problems you can always ask here. You will be surprised at how easy the paterns are if you just take them one row and one stitch at a time. Don't let the 200 rows of "complicated" directions bog you down. Get a stitch or row counter (inexpensive ones are available at JoAnn) get the right needles and yarn and make something! You can do it!!:woot:

Abbily
10-16-2007, 01:52 PM
Maybe it's just me, but to me the best way to learn is to just do it. Even the simplest stitches or patterns, I'll read through them and feel utterly confused; but when I get in and do it, it suddenly makes perfect sense. Plus, we're always here for help! :) Better to start something challenging and get help along the way, then to be bored and frustrated and give up... :)

cindygster
10-16-2007, 02:00 PM
Thank you so much to EVERYONE for your encouraging replies!! I have to say that by far, this website and forum is THE most helpful and useful resource I've found...

You guys ROCK!!! :muah:

MamaMer
10-16-2007, 02:03 PM
All the above advice is great, I will just add that if you have a good LYS, take as many classes and workshops as you can! (time and pocketbook allowing of course:wink:) Learning from a real life person helps a TON, and I got to know all the LYS ladies, and I adore every single one of them, they are always so helpful, even when I run into trouble and there isn't a workshop going on. I am a big advocate of shopping at local shops of any kind, but really of this nature, so we don't lose just the great yarn, but the awesome knitting wisdom that resides there! :teehee:

Also check to see if there is a local knitting "club" or group that gets together once a week or so. My LYS has one Tuesday nights (and THANK GOODNESS for my Tuesday nights:woot:) , but I am sure there are some places to search online for local groups. A lot of the time they meet at the library too. I have found Knitters to be very warm and welcoming, esp to newbies!

Ginnyb
10-16-2007, 02:04 PM
Yes, it is best just to jump in! I did nothing but scarves and washcloths for about a year, then my DIL asked if I would knit something to bring home their new baby in from the hospital, so I tackled a baby sweater and hat and it came out great! Now I am knitting myself a sweater...

Ginny

ladyjessica
10-16-2007, 02:13 PM
I agree with everyone else. Just do as much as you can to get the experience, and everybody is here to help you if you need it. I took classes, but I also got myself some good reference books for the 1 am knitting sessions when there was nobody around to ask. I like Knitting for Dummies and Stitch n' Bitch, and I still use them to look things up. Just keep going and don't give up. You can do it! :cheering: :hug:

The.Knitter
10-16-2007, 02:17 PM
Cindy, I was like you! I could not figure out anything. Then one day as I was knitting, it just all made sense. You just have to jump in and try it! Don't try something too hard at first, or too large. Keep knitting small things until you are comfortable with knitting. Then once you have done that, more "difficult" stitches will be a piece of cake for you!

cindygster
10-16-2007, 02:23 PM
All the above advice is great, I will just add that if you have a good LYS, take as many classes and workshops as you can! (time and pocketbook allowing of course:wink:) Learning from a real life person helps a TON, and I got to know all the LYS ladies, and I adore every single one of them, they are always so helpful, even when I run into trouble and there isn't a workshop going on. I am a big advocate of shopping at local shops of any kind, but really of this nature, so we don't lose just the great yarn, but the awesome knitting wisdom that resides there! :teehee:

Also check to see if there is a local knitting "club" or group that gets together once a week or so. My LYS has one Tuesday nights (and THANK GOODNESS for my Tuesday nights:woot:) , but I am sure there are some places to search online for local groups. A lot of the time they meet at the library too. I have found Knitters to be very warm and welcoming, esp to newbies!
Thanks! I'd considered a class at Joanne's but I really didn't know where I fell as far as experience goes (am I a beginner? Intermediate? Etc...). And I didn't want to spend the forty bucks on the class and wind up listening to a bunch of stuff I already know. I think I'm going to find a different avenue than Joann's 'cause any time I've gone in there, if I have questions I'm pretty much up the proverbial creek without a paddle. NO ONE there knows how to knit!! It's a wonder they even offer classes!

brittyknits
10-16-2007, 02:31 PM
I've been knitting for over 40 years and so I can't really tell you the order in which I learned things! Although I do remember the very first project, a disaster of a scarf:). But after the first square/rectangle, that is, scarf or blanket, I would definitely try small projects, as other people here have suggested. When you're learning something new, I think it helps to not have 4 feet of it looming in front of you. I would go in this order:
A hat (this is a great one-- http://www.coatsandclark.com/Crafts/Knitting/Projects/Accessories/LW1268+Gotcha+Covered+1.htm )
Mittens
Socks.
You'll have had the experience of following patterns, knitting in the round, turning heels, adding thumb gussets, and then you'll be ready to try something bigger, such as a sweater. The other thing you might want to try, is to learn cables and other more fancy stitches on a scarf before trying them in items which require more involved construction.

MellieThePooh
10-16-2007, 02:59 PM
I keep hearing people say that if you can knit, purl, increase and decrease, then you can do anything. I keep on believing them and it keeps getting funner! My second project was a sock, which I made with help from "I can't believe I'm knitting socks!" It taught me so many things that I'm using in other projects, like short rows, ribbing, knitting in the round, etc. I also agree that the only thing you have to lose is time if you have to frog, and since it's a hobby that's not a very big deal is it? Be brave!

:blooby:

cranberry
10-16-2007, 03:00 PM
The advice people have given you so far is great. Do try to find a real yarn store for classes, even if it's a drive. The classes are much better, and not to mention a fraction of the price compared to Joann's. Definiately see if there are any local groups. Try here or on knittyboard.com

I would reccomend one of those quick knit books, like "One Skein", "Last Minute Knitted Gifts", "One Skein Wonders", "Weekend Knitting", etc. Go to the bookstore and page through them all and look at the patterns. That's how I started. You can accomplish a lot quickly and learn new things, and it doesn't require a lot of time or yarn. Don't be afraid to ask questions either. Most knitters love to help! :)

PurlyGyrl
10-16-2007, 03:05 PM
You can do it! :thumbsup:Its kinda like learning a foreign language-new things will pop up all the time that you may not understand it, but there's lots of resources (and all of us here, too) that can help you figure it out! So I say, jump on in with us! :cheering:

cindygster
10-16-2007, 03:05 PM
I've been knitting for over 40 years and so I can't really tell you the order in which I learned things! Although I do remember the very first project, a disaster of a scarf:). But after the first square/rectangle, that is, scarf or blanket, I would definitely try small projects, as other people here have suggested. When you're learning something new, I think it helps to not have 4 feet of it looming in front of you. I would go in this order:
A hat (this is a great one-- http://www.coatsandclark.com/Crafts/Knitting/Projects/Accessories/LW1268+Gotcha+Covered+1.htm )
Mittens
Socks.
You'll have had the experience of following patterns, knitting in the round, turning heels, adding thumb gussets, and then you'll be ready to try something bigger, such as a sweater. The other thing you might want to try, is to learn cables and other more fancy stitches on a scarf before trying them in items which require more involved construction.
Thank you! That's very helpful advice... :D

MellieThePooh
10-16-2007, 03:05 PM
The advice people have given you so far is great. Do try to find a real yarn store for classes, even if it's a drive. The classes are much better, and not to mention a fraction of the price compared to Joann's. Definiately see if there are any local groups. Try here or on knittyboard.com

I would reccomend one of those quick knit books, like "One Skein", "Last Minute Knitted Gifts", "One Skein Wonders", "Weekend Knitting", etc. Go to the bookstore and page through them all and look at the patterns. That's how I started. You can accomplish a lot quickly and learn new things, and it doesn't require a lot of time or yarn. Don't be afraid to ask questions either. Most knitters love to help! :)

I think that knitters are the least competitive, most helpful group of people I know.

cindygster
10-16-2007, 03:09 PM
I keep hearing people say that if you can knit, purl, increase and decrease, then you can do anything. I keep on believing them and it keeps getting funner! My second project was a sock, which I made with help from "I can't believe I'm knitting socks!" It taught me so many things that I'm using in other projects, like short rows, ribbing, knitting in the round, etc. I also agree that the only thing you have to lose is time if you have to frog, and since it's a hobby that's not a very big deal is it? Be brave!

:blooby:
Thanks!!! Is that "I can't believe I'm knitting socks!" a book or software or something?

cindygster
10-16-2007, 03:10 PM
The advice people have given you so far is great. Do try to find a real yarn store for classes, even if it's a drive. The classes are much better, and not to mention a fraction of the price compared to Joann's. Definiately see if there are any local groups. Try here or on knittyboard.com

I would reccomend one of those quick knit books, like "One Skein", "Last Minute Knitted Gifts", "One Skein Wonders", "Weekend Knitting", etc. Go to the bookstore and page through them all and look at the patterns. That's how I started. You can accomplish a lot quickly and learn new things, and it doesn't require a lot of time or yarn. Don't be afraid to ask questions either. Most knitters love to help! :)
Thanks! And congrats BTW!

Jan in CA
10-16-2007, 03:12 PM
My first project was a felted purse and my goal was to make a sweater "someday." When I'd been knitting for 3 mos I made that sweater with the help of all these wonderful people here! :thumbsup:

MellieThePooh
10-16-2007, 04:01 PM
Thanks!!! Is that "I can't believe I'm knitting socks!" a book or software or something?

It's a book. I found it at Hobby Lobby, I know there's a book called "I can't believe I'm knitting!" and it's a takeoff from that. If I hadn't packed the book away for our move, I could tell you the publisher too! :pout:

Mulderknitter
10-16-2007, 05:36 PM
Ditto to everything above. I NEVER thought I could knit a sock. it just looked so complicated to me. But w/ Silver I did! Just remember, like everything, the more you do it the better you get, but sometimes #$% happens. My 1st sock was perfect. my second, I have no idea what happened. Wonky sock mess. So I frogged and started again. That's just the way it goes. :knitting:

brittyknits
10-16-2007, 05:36 PM
Is this it?
http://www.amazon.com/Cant-Believe-Knitting-Leisure-Arts/dp/1574866281

MellieThePooh
10-16-2007, 05:47 PM
Almost! This is the book (http://www.amazon.com/Cant-Believe-Knitting-Socks-Leisure/dp/1601402503/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-7741664-6464824?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1192571064&sr=1-1). I think the reason it worked for me was all the pictures and the step by step idiot proof instructions, although I did watch Amy's video on turning a heel to get that part right. I also royally screwed up ribbing the first time, and if I'd invested in some stitch markers, things might have been different, ha! Oh well. Learned a lot.

ecb
10-16-2007, 06:43 PM
Gotta agree. If you wait till you're 'ready', then you'll never be ready. Find something you like and go for it!
I made UGLY scarves
then made some pet toys
Then took a knitting book and made a Doll that came out Perfectly (and NO I could never repete that fete again)
but that gave me WONDERFUL confidence to do almost anything
I was scared of Socks for a LONG time, now I am amking a bunch
and I M back to making scarves, but they are pretty lacey scarves
its so cool to be knitting

ecb

Knitting_Guy
10-16-2007, 07:12 PM
http://www.superlaugh.com/1/behappy.htm

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
10-17-2007, 12:50 AM
you'll get there. Whenever i see a pattern that looks hard i take a breath, grab my materials and just follow it one line at a time with the pages for Amy's videos up. I kid you not, i was so stressed over part of a pattern that i FORGOT how to bind off!

Plantgoddess+
10-17-2007, 10:05 AM
I'm a self taught knitter who lives in the country and still don't know anyone around me who knits. I found that following the pattern one stitch at a time really helps. Looking at the whole pattern is overwhelming. It sometimes takes several or a dozen tries on a new stitch to figure it out, but then a light bulb comes on and the next new stitch is not so intimidating. I would have loved to have had access to a wonderful forum like this one, it might have saved me hundreds of grey hairs. I do think that puzzling it out for myself has given me the confidence to adapt patterns and even freeform occasionally.
Go for it and know that this whole group is at your back.