View Full Version : New Knitter
12-01-2007, 02:50 AM
Hi. I want to start knitting.
I checked out some tutorials, instructions, videos, etc. online and found that the continental style seems to be the best way to go. It looks more efficient than the "throwing" method. Should I begin with continental?
What kind of needles should I use as a beginner? Any yarn suggestions?
Are scarves a good start?
Any links or recommendations for places to begin learning?
Sorry for the barrage of questions. Thanks in advance! :D
12-01-2007, 03:04 AM
Scarves are a great place to start. As a beginner, I'd use big-ish needles and a worsted or bulky weight yarn. Try US size 10 needles and see how that goes.
http://www.knittingpatterncentral.com/directory.php is a great place to get all kinds of patterns.
12-01-2007, 03:05 AM
I knit continental, but I started with the english style. I say if you want to start with continental, then go with it. What I do suggest, is once you are comfortable with knitting, learn the other way as well. This will help you later when you want to do faire isle techniques.
I think bamboo needles are the perfect way to start. They have a fair amount of slide without being too slick. Nothing worse than having your stitches slip off your needles before you can knit them.
Yarn. Pick something cheep to start with. Something that can withstand you ripping it out and starting over. Red Heart Super Saver, Caron Simply Soft, Bernat. Take a trip to Michaels or Hobby Lobby and pick something that strikes your fancy. Avoid anything too fluffy, furry, or loopy when you start. You can not see your stitches as easy, and it can make you very frustrated.
Scarves are perfect to start with.
This is the perfect place to start. I suggest watching Amy's videos. I find myself using them all the time.
12-01-2007, 03:59 AM
Should I begin with straight, double point, or cable needles?
12-01-2007, 05:27 AM
well... I tend to knit on circular needles almost all the time. (I'm thinking thats what you mean by cable needles, because cable needles are really small needles used to make actual cables. But circular needles are connected by a cable. )
Its a personal choice. I think straight needles are easier to learn with though.
12-01-2007, 08:24 AM
Hi, and welcome! And no worries-- this site specializes in barrages of questions.:)
Personally, I wouldn't even begin with a scarf-- I'd just begin with knitting. That is, just get some fun yarn and a pair of needles and just practice for a bit, without thinking of it ever becoming "something".
I would highly recommend getting a pair of 10" (length) size 8/5mm or 9/5.5mm (diameter) needles. A lot of people do suggest starting on 10/6mm or 10.5/6.5mms, but when I've taught people to knit, I've found that slightly smaller seems to work better for them (I should also mention that this site specializes in people with very different experiences and opinions:) !). There are some very brightly colored plastic sets which are tempting, but I would steer away from them-- the plastic is a little harder to work with for a beginner, IMO. A previous poster recommended bamboo, but the only problem is that there are very cheap bamboo needles which won't be good to start with, and then better quality, but it may be hard for a beginner to figure what is what. I would get a pair of Boye or Susan Bates, such as http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog.jsp?CATID=cat2868&PRODID=prd12407.
As for yarn-- I think worsted weight is the best for starting. Some people prefer bulky for beginning, but again, in my experience teaching people to knit, the worsted is more manageable. I think acryllic is the best for just learning. Also, I would get something light colored, so that you can see your stitches better, and even better, something bright and multi-colored; you'll get the best sense of each stitch, and it's more fun, too! Such as the colors Crayon or Sherbet or Bikini in this: http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog.jsp?CATID=cat2866&PRODID=prd25204
Once you're comfortable with knitting, then a scarf is a great place to start. They take a while-- you're knitting a few feet of fabric! But the simplest. For the future, after that I would then try a simple hat, then mittens, and then socks, and THEN a sweater, in that order. Those first small projects are wonderful ways to learn all the different techniques and garment construction without having, well, a few feet of something to work on:) .
And one last word of advice-- you are trying something brand new with its own language, and so just don't get frustrated when it takes a little bit to get the hang of it, or when something comes up and you think you've hit a wall. No one is born knitting, we've all gone through the learning process, and no question is too silly. . .sometimes new knitters don't know what to do when they come to the end of the needle! (Answer-- take the right hand needle and put it in your left hand, and visa versa, and start all over again-- this is your next row:) .) This site also specializes in great help and support and everyone will walk you through it all!
And PS-- I just gave the links from Joann's so that you could see what I was talking about, but you can get this stuff at Michaels or AC Moore or Hobby Lobby, etc.
12-01-2007, 09:42 AM
:happydance: Welcome to KH!!:happydance:
12-01-2007, 10:21 AM
Welcome! You've been given some great advice already. As a relatively new knitter myself I would encourage you to not get frustrated if things don't look as good as you think they should.
It takes practice to maintain even tension and get those great looking results you want. Give yourself time to learn and get it right. It WILL come with practice.
I agree that a pair of straight US size 10 needles with some worsted weight yarn would be a very good start as they are large enough to comfortably work with.
As for the place to learn, you've already found it! Between Amy's videos and this forum you can learn loads of stuff.
I personally like the idea of making a scarf to learn as you can actually see your progress as the scarf gets longer. It's kind of cool to see how much better it starts looking as you go along.
I knit English and think it's easier to learn, but many will disagree with that. It's pretty much whichever is more comfortable for you.
12-01-2007, 11:45 AM
I second what all the others said. Jump in with about size 10 needles. I personally still find straight easier because of all the years only using them I imagine. Knitting worsted in a washable fiber is inexpensive yet still looks nice in a finished project. Also if you don't like it when finished your not out much. A scarf is a great idea.
I would just start knitting with low expectations of a perfect item to start and get comfortable with the rhythm of moving your needles and relaxing so you don't tighten your stitches to much.
Practice may not make perfect, but it should definitely make it easier and more fun.
Good luck and don't be afraid to rely on the many wonderful helpful people here.
12-01-2007, 12:36 PM
I'll go along with the advice... get some yarn just to learn on, variegated or light colored is good, you can see the stitches better. Practice the knit st for several inches, then add the purl row for several more, making stockinette. Do some increase and decreases, then maybe make some ribbing. This page shows the different stitches, http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/knitting-tips and use the other videos here to learn cast on, purl, knit and make increases/decreases. Then you'll know which scarf you want to make. Also, the english method shown in the videos is very awkward (sorry amy), maybe because it's slowed down to show how to use it, and those of us who knit like that do so without our hand leaving the needle so much. It's a lot more like this youtube demo http://youtube.com/watch?v=NCO8qALs4-w
12-01-2007, 12:53 PM
Thank you all very much! So much great info.
I happen to have some worsted weight yarn lying around, so all I need to do is get myself some needles.
I'll update with my progress! :)
12-01-2007, 02:39 PM
I agree with everyone else's comments, but have some more advice for you:
If you are having trouble on whatever yarn and needles you choose (meaning that the process makes sense but something isn't working), then a) visit a lys (local yarn store) and ask for help and maybe they can spot something that you are doing that is making it hard, and b) try some different sized needles - I found size 10's difficult when I first tried them because I knit tight, for example, or you may knit very loosely and find that metal needles are too slick and make it hard to keep the stitches on the needle. As always, all of us are here to help, too.