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Old 12-15-2012, 01:28 PM   #1
highstrung
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Beginners Guidance Request
Hello - I know this has probably been covered time and time again, but I wanted to ask for help getting started based on what I currently have.

I am a 44 year old male who watched some video about men that knit a year ago and couldn't get it out of my mind. My wife thinks I'm crazy, but I want to knit my own scarf and hat...I hope I'm not the only guy on the forms.

I went to a local shop and she sold be the following as a beginner setup:
- A set of TAKUMI US 9 5.5mm Clover needles (bamboo)
- A set of TAKUMI 7 4.5mm Clover neeles (bamboo)
- A bundle of Kertzer "Norther Worsted" yarn with the following details:
100g +- 210m
3.5oz +- 230 yds

She didn't have any books in stock and only did lessons every other weekend...so, I came home an bought Amy's app on my ipad...after a few weeks, I gave up - the long tale cast on flowed wonderfully, but my knots were too tight, and I could never get past the first row of knits.

I believe I was trying to learn English at that point, based on what the lady in my local shop recommended.

It's the holiday time again, and with some vacation time and a need to unwind, I'm back for my second attempt.

so this year, I'm trying continental - and while I have no idea what all knots are out there, I'm just trying the basic knit - the one that is knit on both sides, and lays flat...for a scarf.

I'm using the same gear, and have the same issues - my cast on is tight and I can't get the knits to flow. I know I have to keep practicing, but I have to wonder if I need different needles or yarn...or any other guidance?

Sorry to be long winded - but this relaxing hobby is driving me crazy!
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:33 PM   #2
Jan in CA
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Welcome to Knitting Help! There are several men in the forum. They just aren't as chatty as women are I guess.

The stuff you bought should be perfect for learning. Bamboo is good because its slightly grabby on the yarn. Eventually you may prefer another material. Iike metal now for most things. Knitting can be very relaxing, eventually. Any knitter will tell you that it that in the beginning it's frustrating and you just want to hurl you're needles across the room.. But don't give up. Your hands and brain will wrap itself around these new techniques soon.

Now... The knots as you call them are stitches. There are only two basic stitches called knit and purl. When you do all rows on both sides with either one you get what is called garter stitch. That's what you were referring to and it is non curling. It's perfect to start with and most people use knits.

What method you choose to knit matters not. Choose what is easiest for you to learn. There are good reasons to know both, but it's not necessary especially at this point.

When you cast on and knit make sure not to strangle or pull the stitches too tight. Don't worry about it being messy or uneven. Even tension comes from practice. So cast on 30 stitches or so and knit.
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:59 PM   #3
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Someone here has "real men knit lace" attached to his name, I think. Also, as I recall, a grandpa just posted pics of chickens he's knit.

Try casting on the larger needle then knitting with the smaller.
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Old 12-15-2012, 03:33 PM   #4
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Whatever needle or cast on you use, don't pull the yarn tight. Keep it very loose for a while, you can change your tension later. You might want to try the knit CO, it's fairly loose, just don't strangle the needle with the yarn...
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:03 PM   #5
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Okay - thank you all for the input. I'll keep practicing and try to keep it loose. I really like the idea of casting on the larger needle then knitting with the smaller - I'll give that a shot this evening.

Thanks again!
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by highstrung View Post
I am a 44 year old male who watched some video about men that knit a year ago and couldn't get it out of my mind. My wife thinks I'm crazy, but I want to knit my own scarf and hat...I hope I'm not the only guy on the forms.
Well there's at least ONE more guy here, that much I know. I'm sure there are more.

I would imagine most people run into the too-tight problem when they start out -- I know I sure did. My guess is that when I did it it was because I was trying to make sure I kept the stitches all the same size. Once I figured out that they'll even themselves out a lot once the piece is done (usually) and stopped giving that extra tug on the yarn after every stitch and stopped holding my breath things started to get easier. I still knit tighter than most (probably) but it's getting better.

You'll also find out that once you get beyond a few rows and have something that's starting to look like fabric it's easier to manage. Another thing that made it easier for me was to get needles that "fit my hands". If you're using straight needles this is probably not as much of an issue, but I found that the tips on 16" circulars were hard to control at first because they were so short. (They have to be, and I get that, but knowing that didn't make it any easier for me to hold onto them.)

My first projects were on US 6 and 8, on... maybe 9" long straight needles. I wouldn't recommend anything much longer than that 'cause the yarn will wrap around the butt-end of he needle and just make you cuss that much louder.

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Old 12-16-2012, 04:22 PM   #7
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Cookies..? We have cookies....!
(goes searching through the cabinets).
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Old 12-16-2012, 04:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by suzeeq View Post
Cookies..? We have cookies....!
(goes searching through the cabinets).

I want hot chocolate too!
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:00 PM   #9
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I'll let you know when I find that too!
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:38 PM   #10
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