View Full Version : very new to knitting... where to start?

03-24-2009, 11:17 PM
I have never learned to knit but i have always wanted to. I have a love affair with socks and my dream is to be able to knit my own dreamy wool socks. :) I was excited to find this site since it has videos but i dont know where to start. What size needles and what type of yarn should i use while learning all the beginning stuff?

03-24-2009, 11:21 PM
Hi and welcome!

Start with a worsted weight yarn (I liked using varigated multicolor yarn to start- it made it easier to tell what stitch was on what row, etc.) and size 8 or so needles. First learn to cast on, then the knit stitch. My first project (I hated the idea of just knitting useless swatches while learning or pulling everything out!) was a garter (knit every row) scarf. Once I learned to purl, I did a k3 p3 prayer shawl (and by the end of that, I was hooked!)

The videos here are great for learning. Once you have knitting and purling down: go here to learn your socks- http://www.cometosilver.com/socks/
She has very detailed pictures and explains everything so well!

Good luck & we're here for you!

03-25-2009, 12:05 AM
thanks! i will go to JoAnns and get some needles and yarn. I am super excited!

Jan in CA
03-25-2009, 12:09 AM
I agree. Worsted weight yarn and size 8 needles or so. BTW.. get a PLAIN yarn..not boucle or furry. Those are hard to knit even for advanced knitters. You need a light, solid colored yarn.

03-25-2009, 12:20 AM
A light multicolored yarn works well too. When the colors change every few stitches you can see the stitches easily.

03-25-2009, 05:05 AM
Other than using a good easily-worked yarn, my advice is to always pick projects and fibers that you love. I've tried to learn to knit for literally decades, always using cheap yarn and cheap tools and projects that I wasn't all that crazy about but that people said were good beginner projects. Since that didn't take into account that I'm a tool and fiber snob and have been working professionally with textiles since I was 16, I just couldn't seem to get knitting under my belt. I've been disappointed by that all my life!

At the age of 49, I finally got the knack -- by using beautiful yarn and a design that was simple but that I loved.

YMMV, of course, and don't try something that's just too frustratingly hard at first unless you're absolutely in love with the project and have the patience to frog and re-knit a lot. But my advice is to always pick things that you love!

03-25-2009, 10:16 AM
I've heard from numerous places that there is a general order of learning projects, which makes complete sense to me. They are:

Full sweater

03-25-2009, 10:23 AM
i learned by doing dish cloths


they are pretty fast to knit up, and that way you arent discouraged by the length of time it is taking (like you might be with a scarf)

plus who cares if your dishcloth doesnt have even tension!

03-25-2009, 11:03 AM
It wasn't until I'd been knitting for about 30 years that I actually made a scarf or knit hat (I crocheted several hats), and I still haven't made a dishcloth or socks. My first real project was a bunny for a niece and the next was a sweater with cables. I simply had no interest in making any of those 'beginner projects' and 40 years ago, knit scarves weren't worn very much anyway.
So make what you want, you'll have a lot more incentive to learn and finish the project if it's something you really want to make.

03-25-2009, 12:36 PM
I simply had no interest in making any of those 'beginner projects'

Me neither! I'm glad people can make them, but knitting dishcloths would probably make me lose the will to live. ;)

Jan in CA
03-25-2009, 01:44 PM
My first real project when I'd been knitting for 3 mos was a sweater. It's too big, but it looks nice! :thumbsup:

03-25-2009, 07:45 PM
Suzeeq and Globalknitter...I was the same way. My very first project was a sweater and then 4-5 more sweaters after that. I never knitted a dishcloth until a couple of years ago and I've been knitting for 30 years. I started out with nice yarn and good needles (which I still have to this day) and just kept at it through the years. I may go for quite some time when I don't knit at all, then I'll get the itch and knit, knit, knit nonstop. But, it's something that you never forget and something you can enjoy for many, many years.

03-25-2009, 07:46 PM
Sorry, Zina...called you Globalknitter....

03-25-2009, 08:46 PM
I'm like Suzeeq in that I took up knitting over 30 years ago and my first project was a sweater. I still wear it to go x-country skiing.
I made my first wash cloth last summer, same with a scarf. Still haven't made a hat, but boy I love making socks.
Knit what you like and will use.

03-25-2009, 08:50 PM
I started knitting about 6 years ago, and wanted to make EVERYTHING. I started with a simple red scarf, then made some headbands, then some furry scarves.

Every thing I knit was a learning experience.

By making the scarf, I got comfortable with the knit stitch.

When making headbands, I learned that my cast-on and bind-off were both too tight.

After making a few furry scarves, I was asked to make some for sale to people I met. I quickly learned that I HATED knitting for money. It wasn't fun when I was doing it "on command".

Then, I made some baby gifts (a hat, booties, and small washcloth), and LOVED IT!! Baby items are quick to make, and so CUTE! :inlove:

Next, I decided to try making a steering wheel cover for my car. I didn't have a pattern....I just measured the wheel, and made a cover for it. It turned out great!

Then, I made hats for my sons, changing colors occasionally. This taught me how to knit in the round, and when I should change colors.

After that, I made a baby afghan, with the feather and fan lace design. So pretty!

I had become a knitting addict! :teehee:

For Christmas that year, I made TONS of hand-knitted items for family and friends. Unfortunately, they didn't appreciate my gifts as much as I thought they would. :help:

So, now I usually knit for charity or for my self. I only knit for others if they ASK for it specifically. And then, I make sure they know how much time and work it takes. (And I ask them to go with me to pick out the yarn, so they can pay for it themselves.) :wink:

So, my advice is to JUST KNIT! Try different things, different yarns, different needles, different patterns. Just keep knitting until you find what you enjoy doing.

04-06-2009, 04:19 PM
thank you all! I think I will start with a washcloth or something small just to get the hang of it. I will definitely tackle socks before mittens. I hate mitten and hats so I will just learn the stiches and then tackle my dream project: socks! :) i love this website. its amazing.

04-06-2009, 09:45 PM
When I first learned to knit about 30 years ago, I learned by making socks... not that I would reccomend it.. LOL!
My teacher was a lady that lived down the block and socks were easy for her since she'd been doing them since she was about 5 years old. Felt really cool knitting with 4 needles... LOL!
Now I'm learning to knit again and this time I started on simple neck cowls -
Stocking stitch - knit one row, purl one row with big needles and fat yarn.:cool:
You don't have the length of time invested into it and you don't have to do button holes for your buttons to close the thing up. You just use the holes made by the yarn as you knit.
Keep knitting and purling until the thing is long enough to go around your neck - just. Add some buttons and there you are... a special cowl on your neck that looks quite professional but was as easy as pie and you didn't have time to get bored with it.

04-06-2009, 09:48 PM
Man, I love that knitted wheel cover...!

04-07-2009, 02:38 AM
Man, I love that knitted wheel cover...!
Thanks TEMA! :)
Here's the pattern for the Fuzzy, Furry Steering Wheel:

04-08-2009, 10:02 PM
I love the steering wheel cover too! I never like the ones in the store and it never occured to me that I could knit one!

If I ever finish this beast of a baby blanket I'm working on, that'll be my next project. Just for me!!!

Thanks for the link!

04-09-2009, 02:48 AM
Thanks Kate! :)

I'm knitting another one right now, using a bright, cheery summer color. I think it will make my spring and summer days a little brighter. :wink:

Here's the yarn I'm using. I got it on clearance at Hobby Lobby for $1.99! :thumbsup: