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fishcube
11-19-2009, 11:48 PM
I am going to try my hand at knitting. I am going tomorrow to get some needles, beginner book etc. Will be learning from a beginner book. I have done some crochet before.

I have wanted to try knitting for a long time. A close friend said she didn't care for knitting, but loves crochet. I really want to knit afghans, socks, and baby clothes.

Any advice for a beginner just learning knitting?

Best tips?

Thx
Sharon

tilllie
11-19-2009, 11:51 PM
Check out the how-to videos on this site, find a friendly yarn store with friendly workers willing to help and most of all: remember it is a hobby, meant to be fun! Welcome to a wonderfully enjoyable pasttime!

Jan in CA
11-20-2009, 02:01 AM
Use size 8, 9, or 10 and a smooth, light colored, medium (worsted) weight yarn. Don't use a fuzzy yarn till you have a good grasp of basic technique. Keep on knitting even if it isn't perfect. It doesn't matter if the stitches are uneven or wonky at first.

Check the videos on this site and you can also look here for more help if you like still photos.
http://www.community.knitpicks.com/notes

And most of all be patient. It feels awkward for everyone at first. :thumbsup:

etoilechaude
11-20-2009, 03:38 AM
I agree with Jan... no matter how weird it looks just keep going!!!! As a good friend once told me (and I honestly think of this qoute to this day!!!) "It's just yarn!"

trvvn5
11-20-2009, 08:28 AM
I'm gonna agree with Jan on this. One of the things that I did a lot when I first started was I would notice that my stitches weren't even and I would frog it all the way back and start over. It was remarkably frustrating. So even if they aren't even in the beggining just keep going. The evenness will come over time.

Another thing I would suggest is to start by making scarves or dish cloths. They're short projects, they're usually easy, you can embellish them with different patterns as you get better.

Don't use fuzzy yarn to learn on. You'll just end up crying. I know some of the softer and fuzzy yarns are so pretty, but its really hard to determine your stitches and its really hard to make sure that you haven't split your yarn on a stitch.

Remember that knitting is a skill. You'll only get better as you practice and you're not going to be very good at it when you first start. You'll get frustrated when you drop a stitch or when you can't figure out where that extra stitch came from, but just post here and vent and ask for help and everyone here will be more than willing to help you out.

Crycket
11-20-2009, 10:01 AM
Don't invest in any really expensive yarns until you are satisfied with what you are working on.

A lot of my first projects had tension issues, and I am glad that at first, I was using your basic yarns.

CountryNaturals
11-20-2009, 10:32 AM
Start with a light, solid color yarn so you see every stitch. Pay attention to what they look like so you can recognize the difference between front and back (and eventually knit and purl).

STAY LOOSE! (Tension) The biggest mistake most beginners make is making their work too tight. Hold your yarn loosely. Watch the free videos here to learn how to hold your yarn. Practice that part by itself until the yarn feels comfortable going through your fingers and you don't have to think about what to do when you change needles or pick up your knitting after a break.

Relax, be patient with yourself. Laugh. Enjoy. :thumbsup:

UruzPhoenix
11-20-2009, 12:33 PM
just take the patterns one line at a time. Doing it that way you can pretty much ignore their "difficulty levels".

I also try to find new patterns for things i want to make that will teach me one new thing when it comes to knitting...

Ellieblue
11-20-2009, 12:35 PM
You can hold your yarn the same way you do for crochet. Buy circular needles instead of straights; you'll be happier in the long run. Thre are a lot a videos on Youtube under Knitting. Have fun

melmac51
11-20-2009, 12:43 PM
Relax with it. It's supposed to be fun! If it stops being fun, or you're stressed out over it, put it aside until you're ready to try again. After awhile, you'll probably be able to do it almost without even thinking about it!!

...and, this is the best site ever for advice and venting. :thumbsup:

globaltraveler
11-20-2009, 01:12 PM
Everyone has different ways that work best for them to learn things. My suggestion is to figure out what makes knitting fun for you and do that. :) Personally, it didn't work the jillion times I tried to learn to knit to use cheapo yarns and cheapo tools. What worked for me was when I used fiber and yarn I loved in a design I really really really wanted to make and wear.

If I'd tried to make dishcloths, I'd probably have thrown the needles through the window and the yarn out into traffic. :)

suzeeq
11-20-2009, 06:19 PM
Everyone has different ways that work best for them to learn things. My suggestion is to figure out what makes knitting fun for you and do that. :) Personally, it didn't work the jillion times I tried to learn to knit to use cheapo yarns and cheapo tools. What worked for me was when I used fiber and yarn I loved in a design I really really really wanted to make and wear.

And that shows how everyone's different. I taught myself using mom's package string and swiped some tinkertoy sticks from my brother and sharpened them. So using real needles and cheapo yarn was a big step up!

I haven't made a dishcloth yet, and I didn't make any scarves until a few years ago... 40 years after I began to knit.

meowmeowmeow
11-20-2009, 09:16 PM
I recommend you do various little swatches of your stitches to practice before taking on any kind of first project. For example, just knit little 4x4 squares of garter, stockinette, and seed to get your tension and technique down.You don't want your first project to come out all uneven! I would also recommend watching videos of people knitting to see the various techniques people have for holding their yarn to create tension. If you do crochet, you may be more comfortable knitting continental.

WolfWalker
11-20-2009, 10:23 PM
A few things to remember as you're learning to knit........if you make a mistake, it's just yarn! There are NO knitting police. If you drop a stitch don't panic. Many people hate to have to rip out their projects, but when I was first learning to knit I picked out a cabled dog sweater as my first project! Ummm....yeah, I always jump feet first into the fire. I'd knit several inches, not like how a cable came out, and rip rip rip it. Then I'd start all over again. I think I knit that first several inches probably 5 or 6 times at least, but I got tons of practice time with it. And, in the end, my dog gained a nice sweater! LOL! By picking that sweater to start with I'm now not afraid to try anything because I know that even though it might seem hard at first later on it'll become easier and easier.

:^)

Debra in NC

fishcube
11-21-2009, 08:14 PM
Thanks for all the tips! I bought a laminated knitting instruction sheet, leaflet with few easy projects, knitting mag, Boyle 7&9 size 14" needles and also set of Boyle size 8,9,10 size 10" needles. I already had some light blue 7oz acrylic yarn. I also have some medium turqoise chenille yarn.

Will either type yarn above work well for beginning?

Also what yarns are good to use other than the cheap acrylics? Any good yarns at Hobby Lobby? I prefer less fuzzy yarns anyway.

I am actually scared and also excited to start, if that makes sense :)

I plan on trying my first stitches Monday. As my weekend is just busy. But am reading Stitch 'N Bitch the knitter's handbook by Debbie Stoller in the mean time.

Sharonkay

suzeeq
11-21-2009, 09:59 PM
Yes those yarns will do well, though the chenille can be difficult to work on, even for experienced knitters. It also doesn't like to be ripped out and reknit, so start with the blue yarn. Hobby lobby has some nice acrylics that are soft - I love this yarn, caron simply soft and the Bernat yarns. Not all their yarns are fuzzy or furry.

Irishmam
11-23-2009, 11:50 AM
Hi and welcome.

I took up knitting in June and have been entirely taught by videos on-line. I haven't mastered knitting in the round at all. My top beginner tips are: count your stitches regularly, check out more than 1 instructional video for each tecnique as they all offer something different, keep your knitting away from children and/or cats and just keep trying.

I personally felt it a big help to make a real thing rather than practice pieces and it helped me keep focus. My 1st project was the Linen-stitch bag (using the pattern on this site) in worsted. It was really just a big rectangle sewn up the side and a handle but I was so proud when I finished it I almost burst!

My ambition when I started was to make something to wear. I have just finished a shrug. If I can do it, so can you!

Happy Knitting, irishmam

trvvn5
11-23-2009, 02:16 PM
just take the patterns one line at a time. Doing it that way you can pretty much ignore their "difficulty levels".

I also try to find new patterns for things i want to make that will teach me one new thing when it comes to knitting...

Glad to see that someone else does this as well. I usually have one thing going that I consider my educational project. Its usually got something that I've never done in it so that I can teach myself how.

KnitandPurl
11-23-2009, 07:43 PM
Thanks for the thread!

I'm a beginner coming from crochet and all these posts have been really helpful.

I consider myself pretty competent in crochet so its a bit of a letdown how incompetent I am in knitting. I've been ripping out a lot of rows.

I learned the Continental method and for me, coming from crochet, its a lot easier than the English way. My right hand rebels at having to do anything with handling the yarn feed from the skein.

melmac51
11-24-2009, 03:47 PM
Our very own "MGM" has a wonderful site with videos of all types of needle crafts.

Check out: http://www.hookedonneedles.com/

ArtLady1981
11-27-2009, 04:06 PM
I've taught numerous individuals how to knit.
IMHO, it's best to perfect the "knit stitch" before moving on to the "purl stitch". The perfect project to help you perfect the knit stitch is a garter stitch scarf. I suggest using a US13 (or US15) with a bulky weight yarn. Cast on just 13 stitches and knit 55" (long) scarf. The big needle will give you a lacey appearance.

Learn how to:
a) cast on
b) work the 'knit stitch'
c) recognize 'dropped stitches'
d) pick up dropped stitches using a crochet hook
e) bind off

Garter stitch pattern is created by knitting on both sides.
No purling. A garter stitch scarf can be very beautiful and diverse, depending on the yarn you use, and the needle size. My daughters (below) are both working on garter stitch scarves right now! Garter stitch scarves make great gifts, too.

After you've perfected 'knitting'...move on to purling/knitting combination pattern stitches.

mommydearest
11-29-2009, 09:32 AM
I learned the Continental method and for me, coming from crochet, its a lot easier than the English way. My right hand rebels at having to do anything with handling the yarn feed from the skein.

Me too... I found knitting easier than crochet because of the stitches on the needle - my crocheting decreased with every row because I always missed the last stitch.

It took me 3 tries over almost 20 years to learn to knit because I wouldn't stick to trying, until this site popped up in google - what a life saver. I've been knitting for 2 1/2 yrs now and loving every minute of it. My first scarf was almost a yr after I learned and I didn't like doing it. I've been a couple more since and because they were either fun fur yarn or a more interesting stitch combination I enjoyed them.

Don't feel like you HAVE to do a scarf because you're new. Do something that really catches your interest and don't be afraid to try. As previously stated "It's ONLY yarn" and you should be having fun.

mary

Darlazero
12-02-2009, 04:52 PM
I've recently started knitting after crocheting and found the continental style to be more comfortable. I'm following the one thing at a time advice and did scarves with just knitting, then just purling, then ribs... Now I'm on a neat one with little ruffles on each end. Youtube videos were very helpful, as were the ladies at my local yarn shop. I need a second job to pay for it all now!

blessedtosew
12-03-2009, 04:49 PM
Watch the how to videos on this site and youtube...and don't give up. I quit (for one day) when I started teaching myself knitting 10 mths ago, but I hopped right back to it and am so happy I did.

tyamar
12-03-2009, 05:30 PM
Everyone has different ways that work best for them to learn things. My suggestion is to figure out what makes knitting fun for you and do that. :) Personally, it didn't work the jillion times I tried to learn to knit to use cheapo yarns and cheapo tools. What worked for me was when I used fiber and yarn I loved in a design I really really really wanted to make and wear.

If I'd tried to make dishcloths, I'd probably have thrown the needles through the window and the yarn out into traffic. :)

I agree completely! My wanting to make wool diaper covers for my baby girl is what got me to learn to knit in the first place!

tyamar
12-03-2009, 05:33 PM
A few things to remember as you're learning to knit........if you make a mistake, it's just yarn! There are NO knitting police. If you drop a stitch don't panic. Many people hate to have to rip out their projects, but when I was first learning to knit I picked out a cabled dog sweater as my first project! Ummm....yeah, I always jump feet first into the fire. I'd knit several inches, not like how a cable came out, and rip rip rip it. Then I'd start all over again. I think I knit that first several inches probably 5 or 6 times at least, but I got tons of practice time with it.

I've only been knitting since February and am doing a pair of convertible mittens. I have done the first 12 rows of the left glove about 12 times now. I think I've finally figured it out, and as frustrating as it was I've learned a lot (not to mention memorized the pattern!).

cftwo
12-03-2009, 06:39 PM
Hobby Lobby, Michaels, JoAnns and WalMart (if your Walmart still has a craft section) are all good places to get inexpensive acryllic yarns. When you're ready for the fancy yarns, don't worry - you'll have plenty of suggestions here on what you can and should use.

My #1 hint for a beginner is Don't be afraid to just throw a messed up piece away and do something else. As others have said, it's just yarn. If you decide midway through a piece that you hate it - either frog it back and re-use the yarn, or pitch it.

Don't forget to knit things for yourself. :)

Ask questions - just about any mistake you've made is one every other knitter has made, too.

Don't be afraid to try new things - after knitting for 25+ years I finally figured out knitting with double-pointed needles. :yay: Who knows - maybe socks will be next!

Knit with colors you enjoy and with yarn that feels nice to you. Knitting with irksome colors and textures is asking for a project that will never be finished.

If you find a yarn sale of something you like - stock up! (But if you're a crocheter, you probably already know that one.) Most knitters agree that there's no such thing as too big of a stash.

KnitandPurl
12-03-2009, 06:43 PM
Me too... I found knitting easier than crochet because of the stitches on the needle - my crocheting decreased with every row because I always missed the last stitch.

It took me 3 tries over almost 20 years to learn to knit because I wouldn't stick to trying, until this site popped up in google - what a life saver. I've been knitting for 2 1/2 yrs now and loving every minute of it. My first scarf was almost a yr after I learned and I didn't like doing it. I've been a couple more since and because they were either fun fur yarn or a more interesting stitch combination I enjoyed them.

Don't feel like you HAVE to do a scarf because you're new. Do something that really catches your interest and don't be afraid to try. As previously stated "It's ONLY yarn" and you should be having fun.

mary

I found knitting easier till I got to the increases and decreases. In crochet you only have one increase (2 st in same st) and one decrease (2tog) and in knitting there are jillions with all their different uses!

I've recently started knitting after crocheting and found the continental style to be more comfortable. I'm following the one thing at a time advice and did scarves with just knitting, then just purling, then ribs...

Sounds like a sensible plan, though I did have more trouble reading my stitches in garter stitch than in stockinette. I knew from crochet that getting into fancy stich patterns before learning to make something basic was going to be a recipe for disaster. Right now, I know stockinette, garter, 1x1 rib, 2x2 rib, and this sweater pattern I'm trying is teaching me broken rib. The fancy stitches can wait.

KnitandPurl
12-03-2009, 06:54 PM
Hobby Lobby, Michaels, JoAnns and WalMart (if your Walmart still has a craft section) are all good places to get inexpensive acryllic yarns. When you're ready for the fancy yarns, don't worry - you'll have plenty of suggestions here on what you can and should use.


The reason I avoided the Wal-Mart's, Michaels, etc when I started is that I really wanted to benefit from some expert advice from my LYS. The guys and gals in Wal-Mart and Michaels are sure nice and the yarns are a great price but the ones in my area didn't have staff that was very knowledgeable about what yarn was good for what and helpful hints about knitting and stuff.

I started knitting with some leftover yarn from a crochet scarf project that my LYS was very helpful with. They couldn't help me with crochet but when I was ready to knit, they said my leftover yarn would be perfect to learn on and even helped me pick out the yarn and sweater pattern for my skill level when I was ready to try my first project. When I bought the yarn for this project, they gave me a standing invitation to come in, any time I ran into difficulty with the pattern and they would help me.

That type of help is very valuable for a beginner.

suzeeq
12-03-2009, 08:40 PM
Sounds like a good LYS you had there. Unfortunately, they're not all as helpful to new knitters.