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Old 12-13-2010, 01:42 AM   #1
HSRCampbell
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Hi, all.

So I'm absolutely new to knitting, any tips or "what I wish I knew starting out" or links to threads thereof would be most appreciated. I have about a million questions, about gauge (how do I keep it even), swatches (do I really need them? Can I just use that for part of my project?), needles (how many do I really need?), rightside/wrongside (how do you tell, if you set it down for a moment?) and a lot of other things that I'm not even aware yet of being clueless about (but are undoubtedly out there). If you tell me what to search for, I should be good, but a lot of things I just need the voice of experience to tell me. And probably a few mistakes (this link is tragic).

I'm not interested in dish towels, scarves, or socks. The projects I'm planning to make are for my younger daughter, Sophia, who is 2, and likes flowers. I want to make this dress for my daughter. The pattern booklet was only $0.50, and the yarn (I'm using the same brand and type, just a different color) is called baby jacquards in rosebud.
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:05 AM   #2
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Keeping an even gauge, or tension, comes with practice, don't worry about it too much in the beginning as washing the item will usually even out the sts pretty well. Swatches are a good idea for things that need to fit, like sweaters hats and mitten, though for smaller items you can just start the project and check your gauge after a few inches. You don't have to keep them separate, you can reuse the yarn in the project if you need to. In the beginning buy needles as you need them. You may end up only knitting things that need small ones or large ones, or something of everything. Whether they should be wood, metal or plastic/acrylic is a preference, some like one material better than another. Metal is good for cotton, but bamboo is too grippy for that yarn, though a wood needle may be better for a slippery yarn. If you look at the stickied threads at the top of the How To and General Knitting forums, there's some good tips in the FAQ threads there.
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Old 12-13-2010, 02:26 PM   #3
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Welcome to KH!

A lot of things will come with practice (like being able to knit at an even tension), but there are lots of things that you can check out as you're getting started to give you more information on various aspects of knitting.

I would definitely recommend checking out the the "sticky" threads that Suzeeq suggested, as well as the videos page here on KH ... there are lots of tips and instructions on different techniques that are very helpful. You might also be interested in:

1) Article on creating a gauge swatch;
2) Article on adjusting your gauge;
3)Some general tips and techniques to think about;
4) Video on determining right side versus wrong side.

There's lots of other good articles and websites out there as well ... once you get started looking around and discover what areas you're interested in learning more about it will help you narrow your search.
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Old 12-13-2010, 02:41 PM   #4
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What I do to remember right side/wrong side is wrap one of those tiny rubber bands around the back end of a needle. So that when the needle with the rubber band is in my right hand with all the stitches on it I know the right side is facing me and vice versa if the empty needle has the rubber band then I know the wrong side is facing me.

Hope something little like that will help.
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Old 12-13-2010, 04:13 PM   #5
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RS vs WS - Learn to read your stitches. Knit stitches look like a little scarf wrapped around the back of your neck. Purl Stitches look like someone wearing a clerical collar. Most likely, but not always, knit stitches are in front.

Take a paper clip and hook it through a stitch on the front side. When you see the paper clip, you are working on the front side.

There is only one stitch in knitting - the knit stitch. A purl stitch is simply a knit stitch done backward. Every thing else is simply a variation of the knit stitch. See knitting is simple and it only took me three years to understand that.

Sock get a bad rap. They are simple, knit stitch, purl stitch, make one or decrease one and you can knit a sock.

Frogging (ripping out) is your friend. It it is worth doing well it is worth learning from your mistakes. some of my project have been very learning intensive. Frog, frog, frog!

Knitting Help is full of people who have make the same mistakes, excuse me, had the same learning experience and are here to help.

Happy Knitting.
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Old 12-13-2010, 04:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cacunn View Post
Frogging (ripping out) is your friend. It it is worth doing well it is worth learning from your mistakes. some of my project have been very learning intensive. Frog, frog, frog!

Knitting Help is full of people who have make the same mistakes, excuse me, had the same learning experience and are here to help.

This is so true! Well said Cancunn!
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Old 12-14-2010, 02:28 AM   #7
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Thanks y'all! I decided to do a swatch, and make it pretty big so that I could see if I change tension as I got better. I did 40 cast-on sts. So now it's too little to do the dress (which called for 96 sts at the bottom hem) but a perfect size for a scarf (between 6 and 8 inches wide), and I really would love a reminder of where I started (even if I end up doing the dress with another couple balls of yarn). So I'm doing a garter stitch and I'm like 8 rows in, and it's pretty, and soft, and somewhere in there it turned from a bunch of knots into a piece of fabric!!! Currently it's a big ol' curlique around my needle. I keep trying to get it straight again, and I'm not sure if it's supposed to do that or if it'll come out... either way it will be pretty!

Here's the biggest issue. When I do more than a row at a time, my little fingers on my right hand hurt, from the way I'm holding the needle, I suppose. I am going to visit a knitter for New Years, who is getting married, so she's excited to see how far I've come, and I should get help in person at that time.

Re: Frogging - experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted. Does it look like a pile of frogs when it's all taken out, or what? I saw one post on a forum where the purported etymology is that "rip it" just sounds like "ribbit" but that's ridiculous.... isn't it?
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:04 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by HSRCampbell View Post
Re: Frogging - experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted. Does it look like a pile of frogs when it's all taken out, or what? I saw one post on a forum where the purported etymology is that "rip it" just sounds like "ribbit" but that's ridiculous.... isn't it?

I suppose it sounds a little funny when you think about it, but as far as I know that's where the term comes from.

As far as the curling ... you said you were doing garter stitch (knit every row) right? Garter stitch shouldn't curl - although I'm not sure how many rows you've done so far. Stockinette stitch, however, DOES curl ... there is a sticky thread you might want to check out on why stockinette curls and what you can do to ensure your project lies flat.
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:22 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by HSRCampbell View Post
Currently it's a big ol' curlique around my needle. I keep trying to get it straight again, and I'm not sure if it's supposed to do that or if it'll come out... either way it will be pretty!
As you knit more rows the weight will cause it to hang down. Just pull it out unitl then, it won't hurt anything.
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Old 12-15-2010, 10:53 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cacunn View Post
RS vs WS - Learn to read your stitches. Knit stitches look like a little scarf wrapped around the back of your neck. Purl Stitches look like someone wearing a clerical collar. Most likely, but not always, knit stitches are in front.

Take a paper clip and hook it through a stitch on the front side. When you see the paper clip, you are working on the front side.

There is only one stitch in knitting - the knit stitch. A purl stitch is simply a knit stitch done backward. Every thing else is simply a variation of the knit stitch. See knitting is simple and it only took me three years to understand that.

Sock get a bad rap. They are simple, knit stitch, purl stitch, make one or decrease one and you can knit a sock.

Frogging (ripping out) is your friend. It it is worth doing well it is worth learning from your mistakes. some of my project have been very learning intensive. Frog, frog, frog!

Knitting Help is full of people who have make the same mistakes, excuse me, had the same learning experience and are here to help.

Happy Knitting.

Wow this is all very good information laid out plainly enough to understand for us newbs. Thanks!
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