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Old 11-10-2010, 11:02 PM   #1
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How to practice
Hi, I'm new to the forum. I just watched the videos demonstrating the Continental method of casting on, knitting and purling. They were extremely clear.

I see that you have a page suggesting a scarf as a first project. Before trying that, I'd like to practice some more. At the moment I've been knitting one row and then purling the next. Should I just keep doing that until I get tired and then learn to cast off?

I only have about 15 stitches on the needle. I'm using a pair of needles that that were lying around, they're pointed on both ends and I think they're Size 9. I'm using some cheap wool yarn I bought last Spring when I thought I'd try to learn to knit again.

In other words, even if I wanted to start a scarf, I don't have the materials right now, so I might as well practice.

I'm trying to create even stitches that are neither too tight nor too lose while knitting in an ergonomic way.

Suggestions? Thanks.
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:48 PM   #2
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I keep scrap yarn around for trying new stitches, methods. sometimes I'll actually turn it into something (my first knitting attempt in 20+ years is now a potholder), or I'll just frog it and use it for my next learning attempt.
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Old 11-11-2010, 12:31 AM   #3
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Don't make just a scarf, they're boring, do a sampler scarf. Start with knitting every stitch for a few rows (garter stitch_, then alternating knit and purl rows (stockinette stitch). Go to the Tips page and under Basic stitches there's videos for ribbing and seed stitch where you combine knits and purls on the same row. The Increases and Decreases page shows how to do different ones and you can play with those as well. Then do some of the previous sts and mix it up a little. You'll end up with a wall hanging or if you make it long enought, a necwarmer or scarf.

Another way to make a nonboring scarf is to take some of the patterns at the Dishcloth Boutique and put several of them right after the other in a strip separated by some garter stitch. You can even make a few in cotton yarn for a real dishcloth or facecloth if you want.
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Old 11-11-2010, 01:16 AM   #4
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I find most scarf patterns mind numbingly boring so I don't recommend that as a first project goal. Sometimes you practice so long you end up with a scarf, but that's different. Just practice knits and purls. Try this -

Knit all rows for a few inches to practice garter stitch.

Alternate one row of knit and one row of purl for a few inches to practice stockinette.

Knit one stitch, purl the next alternating to practice ribbing.

Mix it up like that and you'll not only practice knitting, but you'll learn how the different techniques look and how they act.
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:14 AM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions.
Thank you, everyone for the suggestions.

To tell you the truth, as boring as a scarf may seem to some, it's more interesting to me than the watch cap I had to make when I took a knitting class over 20 years ago.
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:57 AM   #6
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a watch cap? No, I will not ask any further

If you are looking for projects that are quick and give you practice: buy cotton yarn (that is harder to knit with, I admit, but useable for the purposes I am talking about) and make pot holders (thicker yarn, you do not want to burn your fingers), dish cloth or wash cloth (any yarn that will hold up and feel right!).

They are relatively small and quick and you can use all different methods on them. (like different stitches or color changes and such) and they will serve a purpose.

if you just knit around on your swatch... that is ok, as well, of course. Then you can just keep it or unravel it. But the "I made that" satisfaction will be missing a bit.


I am kniting for more than 30 years. And I have been knitting a lot. A BIG LOT. But to this day... I have only ever made 2 scarfs and they were thin relatively short fashion scarfs. No long scarfs have ever been attempted / made / finished.... well, never all of the above.

I WILL have to make a scarf for my mom for x-mas but I am dreading it and am looking for a very interesting pattern (she wants cables, so I will design something with that) to keep the boredom away.

If you really WANT to make a scarf: make one, of course. But only then.
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:37 AM   #7
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I appreciate the suggestions.
I just want you all to know that I'm emailing all these suggestions to myself in order to have them handy.

Thanks a lot.
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:39 AM   #8
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A "watch cap," at least that's what I call it, is one of those stupid, ugly hats that nobody I know ever wears. I assume they teach it so beginners can learn ribbing and finishing.
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:54 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by pull View Post
A "watch cap," at least that's what I call it, is one of those stupid, ugly hats that nobody I know ever wears. I assume they teach it so beginners can learn ribbing and finishing.
I still do not know what kind of a hat it is, just that it is one that you do not like and that has ribbing
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:36 PM   #10
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A watch cap is just a plain hat with a ribbed bottom that can either lay flat or fold up. A lot of people do wear them. They are just plain though and not as much fun to knit.
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