View Full Version : I am a poor knitter

11-20-2007, 02:28 AM
I'm pretty down on myself these days due to knitting. I want to know more and unfortunately my LYS has class when I cannot attend. I'm a manager in a business with a ton of stress. Knitting knocks me out of it.
I can't knit a sweater. I can't knit socks. I can't knit...anything but scarves. I log long to do Faire Isle. I want to know every Aran pattern there is.
How do I get better without classes or friends? I'm the only knitter in the bunch! I love it - if you could recommend something - please tell me!

11-20-2007, 03:34 AM
Have you looked in "The Knitters Near You" section to see if there is anyone near you? You don't say where you are located, but if you find someone, anyone on the board, you can contact them via PM, this is a friendly group.:grphug:

Also, your LYS might have groups not posted that you could join if you ask, or the Y in your area.

11-20-2007, 03:56 AM
I do lace, colourwork, there is nothing that I think I couldn't knit if I wanted to, and I learned it all from information on the Internet, there are lots of tutorials with photos etc. which tell you everything you need to know!
My first stranded colourwork pattern was Eunny's Endpaper Mitts, adorable and fast and great, free pattern on her blog, with a post called Tips and Tricks giving tips for beginners to colourwork, I would recommend it to anyone wanting to learn (although it is easier if you can knit with left and right hands). Either way you will pick it up very fast!

11-20-2007, 05:24 AM
try the videos on here. That's where I learned a lot of what I know. It just takes a lot of practice.

11-20-2007, 07:10 AM
I used to think that i'd never make anything but scarves!!! Then for some reason - I can't remember why - I decided I wanted to learn to make socks. I used Silver's sock tutorial just to have a go and see if I could do it and I just finished my first sock. I understood most of the instructions and the ones that I didn't I searched the forum here and looked at the videos until it made sense.

My advice would be to just choose something you want to learn and have a go at it, there are loads of tutorials on the internet and if you can't find what you want generally someone on here can answer your questions or give you a link to something they found useful.

Good luck with whatever you decide to make and happy knitting



11-20-2007, 08:24 AM
Anything, anything you want to learn to knit .... someone here will walk you through it !!!! I learned to knit and purl at a class at Joanns.... every thing else I know, I learned here at KH. Either through the videos, help from someone here on the forum or direction to a book or website from someone at KH. I have sat in front of my computer watching Amy over and over till I get it! It takes practice, practice, practice. After three years I can now "read" my knitting, fix mistakes and figure out almost any pattern.
Give yourself time, you will be able to do it too!
I also belong to a wonderful knitting guild ... google knitting guild and your city ..
An easy way to do some "fancy" two color knitting ... sort of a fake faire isle is moasic knitting. You knit two rows with one color and two rows with the second color using slip stitches.

11-20-2007, 08:31 AM
First of all, keep in mind that most of us have to go through a certain amount of what I call "idiot knitting" before we get reasonably good. I don't know how much you've knit, but a friend of mine got stressed out because her knitting, after about five rows, wasn't as good as mine. So your scarves etc are doing you some good.

A lot of magazines list their patterns by difficulty. Maybe find a pattern that you like, and then try it.

Probably the people at your LYS will help you, especially if you purchase your yarn there. When you run into a problem, take it in to them and ask for help with that specific problem. They will not likely give you one on one knitting lessons for free on a walk-in basis, but surely they will help with a problem, even if you come in with a different one every week.

I re-taught myself to knit after I moved to a small town and needed something to do. My mother had taught me, years before, to knit and purl, but nothing else. Luckily I found Barbara Walker's "Learn to knit Afghan book", and worked my way through every pattern that I liked. That was in 1981. These days we have access to online videos etc, some of them on this site. Have fun!

11-20-2007, 08:49 AM
People have given you some great ideas! I remember when I picked back up knitting and could only remember knit and purl (this was about 18 years ago) I bought a booklet on Nifty Dishcloths or something like that. Small unintimidating projects that used inexpensive cotton yarn and medium sized needles. The front of the booklet had all the pictures for all the "fancy" stitches. That's how I realized that almost every stitch is based off a knit or a purl. After I made every washcloth in the booklet I delved into hats, baby sweaters and scarves (see I did it backwards LOL!) I only picked up socks about 4 years ago. I think that the reason I didn't do them is because my mom never knit socks and said they were "too complicated." Hog wash! It's just a different way to manipulate the stitches and dpn's are a breeze once you start working with them!

Another idea is to find a SnB near you. I go to one that meets at my local Barnes and Noble every other week. Very laid back and quite a few beginner knitters. We all help each other. I'm died and determined to teach one lady how to cast on if it is the last thing I do! :-) She can knit, but she's learning. Her first project was actually a fluffy set of arm warmers. I challenge you to find a pattern of a "something" that is Aran or Fair Isle and just do it! Fair Isle is mostly just knitting and changing colors as you go. We'll walk you through it!

11-20-2007, 10:23 AM
There's a famous saying: If you think you can't, or if you think you can't, you're right. Thinking about what you "can't" do will never get you anywhere except depressed.

My grandmother taught me to knit a hundred years ago....but all I knew was the knit stitch. That is to say, I didn't know how to cast on, I didn't know how to purl, and I didn't know how to cast off! BUT it was something to build on. I had knit several scarfs with her help (meaning she cast on, I knit garter stitch, and she cast off!)

At the age of 54, last Thanksgiving, my daughter was away at college, and I had a 4-day weekend and too much time on my hands. I got a copy of the Klutz book for kids and a pair of size 8 needles. I followed the instructions, and after several tries, I had stitches on the needles all by myself, and I had even accomplished stockinette stitch!!

Then I discovered all the great helps on the internet. Since then, with no lessons from anyone, I have made 3 1/2 pairs of socks (one of them wompy, but it fits...) 2 pairs of mittens, 2 hats, a vest, 3 scarfs, 2 pairs of Fetching fingerless gloves, a baby sweater, and various other odds and ends. In January, I intend to cast-on my first full-size sweater.

If I, and a million other women and many thousands of children, can do this, so can you.

11-20-2007, 10:23 AM
Aliquis- I just wanted to say I was in the same boat as you about a year ago....my mom had been bugging me for ages to knit her a hat but I was completely ignorant of how to do it... I finally went on line and googled "knitting hat pattern" and found such a plethora of information, good information, that now I'm pretty sure I could knit anything...It won't be good on the first try but the second, third, etc will get better and soon you'll wonder why you ever thought knitting was hard.

Don't give up...just practice! BTW, I learned with no help outside this and other websites..none of my friends knit and I've never taken a class. Granted, I'm no master but now I have the confidence to try any pattern that I can afford the yarn for!

11-20-2007, 10:35 AM
there is nothing that I think I couldn't knit if I wanted to, and I learned it all from information on the Internet,

This is usually how I feel about my knitting as well, though sometimes reality drives me to feeling like the OP, lol. Usually when I've bitten off more than I can chew, or am trying to do something really complicated on the train or without adequate planning ahead (it never hurts to read a complicated pattern a billion times while imagining what the result will be before attempting).

I have a horse and love riding. I compete a little at lower levels, but mostly I just aspire to be competent. I was bemoaning my riding crappiness to a non-riding friend and she said the most insightful thing ever. She said, "The cool thing about riding is that you can still enjoy it even if you aren't very good at it." And I think knitting is the same way...and if you just keep at it, you start to realize you ARE pretty good after all!

Are you on Ravelry yet? If so, search for the finished project titled "Got Gauge". It is hilarious and will cheer you up.

11-20-2007, 10:47 AM
Don't give up...like the others have said just give different projects a try...I've learned by trying things myself...it might take awhile to get but hang in there...know that if you have a question someone will be here to answer it...I don't know of anyone in my town that knits either and I would sign up classes just to get out of the house for a bit and knit with others...but no one else signed up and right now no classes are being offered...just take things one stitch at a time...:happydance:

11-20-2007, 10:55 AM
I am in agreement with each of these comments. Dishcloths are a really great beginning since you can start with just a garter stich and move forward from there. Use a different pattern with each dishcloth. I have started and ripped out many but each time I learn something new or at least I learn to have a little more patience. I have started 3 socks and all were ripped out but I haven't given it up - I WILL SUCCEED and SO WILL YOU!

I just taught my 9 yo son to cast on and knit, although his casting on is great with each rip out, his knit stich needs more practice.

You can do anything you set your mind to.


11-20-2007, 11:01 AM
i haven't been to any classes either. Would love too but can't I have 2 toddlers and classes are not a good times for me. I did find a local meeting group that meets up every couple of weeks and I can go to that sit and knit wiht other knitters. I found my group on a webpage called meetup.com you can search by craft/hobby and city to see if there's a group in your city. Normally there's someone there that can help with a question.
The internet is great. My grandmother that lives hours away showed me to knit and purl on a weekend everything else I've learned from the internet or the meetings.

11-20-2007, 11:05 AM
I am in the same boat you are right now. Only I am not working but I am home with a 2 year old and she would have so much fun in a yarn store! I am very much a visual learner and while the knitting videos here have helped my a lot, I still need someone to help me out on certain parts of my knitting. I remember when I wanted to learn how to knit, there was only one LYS in the area so I checked with the local Adult Education Center and there was a class there. I took that and it was exactly what I needed, the teacher was great, she was taught how to knit when she was in grade school in Scotland 40 years ago! After the class was over, we all decided to keep it going at the local Starbucks. But now that I have moved to the other side of the country, I am looking for the same type of informal but teaching group. I did just find local LYS and will check with them on this, I desperatly want to learn how to knit socks, gloves, mittens and maybe a sweater! I just need someone to teach me some of it along the way.

Keep looking, check for a adult ed., call and ask. Sometimes if they get enough phonecalls, they will set one up. Check with you LYS and see if they have someone who could help you out maybe after work or on the weekends. Try not to get discouraged, you can do this. Check with knitmap.com, there may be another lys that you did not know was there.

11-20-2007, 12:11 PM
Everything, socks, scarves, hats, sweaters, are all knit one stitch at a time. You can knit anything you want to knit.

Just have fun with it. The more you enjoy it the better you will get at it, and even if you never get better at least you had fun trying. If you view a project as 'too hard' or 'not fun' you'll never be able to do it.

Amy's videos here teach me a lot and I use them every time I try something new.

Don't be afraid to try something. If it doesn't turn out right you can always frog it and have the fun of doing it again. The point is to have fun.

11-20-2007, 12:23 PM
I thought there was so possible way I'd ever to knit socks, but after going through Silvers Sock Class step by step I found it actual wasn't hard at all. I also thought a sweater was so scary, but I wanted to make one for my 1 year old niece. I picked out what looked like a fairly easy pattern and just started piece by piece. I posted sooooo many questions here and was basically walked through it but everyone was so friendly and willing to help. There's definitely someone here that can help you no matter what you're making. And the key is to just go row by row, it makes it a lot easier.

11-20-2007, 12:31 PM
Judging from my large stash of UFO's, I've tried just about everything. I learned how to knit from a book many years ago and knew next to nothing. There wasn't anyone to show me what I was doing wrong, and at the time, knitting wasn't very popular. After starts and stops over time, I finally picked it up again with the help of this site, a LYS, and a sock class (sock still not finished *sigh*).

I'm not the greatest, theres so many things I want to learn. I've decided I don't like scarves and mindless knitting isn't really my thing. I love complicated patterns. The more I have to be checking rows and counting my stitches the better. *Tink*erbell and I are wonderful friends and I have a whole lily pond of frogs.

Keep at it, we're here for you. We all started at the same place...with 2 needles, a ball of yarn and a WTF expression on our faces.

11-20-2007, 01:11 PM
I learned from books, dvd's, tapes and the videos right here on KH!!!

Becky Morgan
11-20-2007, 02:07 PM
You can knit anything. You just don't know it yet. As others have said, if you get stuck, help is a post away. If you have broadband and can watch the videos here, great! If not, see if you can find the Knitty Gritty reruns on the DIY Channel (around here they're on at 2 PM and, on Fridays only, at 7 AM on HGTV.) If I can knit, ANYBODY can!

But if you choose a first sweater project, don't make it a Fair Isle pullover in Dazzleaire like my first project some 35 years ago. I actually did finish, but by that time it was too small for me. (I ought to get it out of its box and seam it up for a pillow, oughn'tI?)

11-20-2007, 03:41 PM

11-20-2007, 05:27 PM
I checked out two last night. If they don't have any, see if they have interlibrary loans from other ones in outlying areas.

11-20-2007, 05:41 PM
I'm a novice knitter, but everything I know I've learned from the videos here. After I got the basic idea, I started branching out a bit and got some books from the library. Once I was able to discern the concept of cables and pattern reading, I would just read over patterns that I knew I didn't have the skill/experience to make and knit some practice swatches with scrap yarn using the instructions to see if I could make it look right. Once I started doing that, the obsession began. Lol!! I'm still pretty much making all flat items, but a hat and socks are definately in my near future. I have no idea how to do it, but all the wonderful people on this forum have never let me down when it comes to help and advice.:cheering:

Good luck and happy knitting!!:knitting: :muah: :knitting:

11-20-2007, 05:42 PM
First of all, I read the book "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne and highly recommend it to anyone!!! The reason I mention it is the basic principle is the power of positive thinking. Don't think about how hard it will be to knit _______ (fill in the blank with what you want to try) -- imagine yourself knitting it and enjoying the process. See it happen in your mind and have confidence that it will happen and it [U]will![U] Second, the videos on this website are amazing. They got me "over the hump" of where I was with my knitting. Now if I want to try something, I just watch a video about the stitches I need to use. I bought Amy's video because I wanted to help support the site and because it's nice to be able to watch it on my laptop without worrying about whether my DSL connection is perfect (we live in the country and sometimes it can be iffy).

If you think you can do it, you will. Don't think about how hard it is or it will be hard. Just think about enjoying the process of learning and you will move toward your goal!!!!!

11-21-2007, 02:42 PM
Someone once said (here I think) that knitting is like if you bought a bicycle that had to be put together (or other big object) If you skimmed through the instructions, just reading them, it would look completely overwhelming but if you sat down and started with Step 1 then Step 2 etc you would get that bicycle put together. I liked that!

I would suggest a shrug next. Those are so easy and they're fun. I just did this Reading In Bed shrug and it was my first attempt at lace. The first 10 rows were so dam hard I thought I couldn't do it. I ripped it out a few times but kept at it. By the end I couldn't believe it was hard in the beginning. I love that shrug! Do you do yarn overs and knit tog and slip slip knit? Here's a link to that shrug but there are many that are much simpler. You will definitely get to be a better knitter if you just keep knitting....
well, you have scroll down & click on the link coz it's a pdf!