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Old 09-29-2006, 08:46 AM   #1
GennyLynn1962
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My advice to new knitters
I believe I am the newest knitter on this site but would like to pass along something I learned.

Don't worry about being perfect. After getting frustrated (down right mad) with my knitting I decided to 'just knit'. Not worrying about what it looked like, or mistakes, I started knitting nothing in particular, leaving mistakes, and changing stitches along the way.

After I finished about 20 rows I went back and looked at what I done. Then I watched the videos on correcting mistakes and started fixing the problems with what I had done. I figured I had to learn this anyway.

I repeated this until I started being comfortable with the stitches and fixing mistakes.

Although I am still a long way from being what I would call a 'knitter' this helped me get over being frustrated and worrying about everything having to be perfect.
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Old 09-29-2006, 08:58 AM   #2
janelanespaintbrush
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You know what else I noticed when I was a new knitter? Unlike you, I kept frogging and starting again when things were imperfect (i.e., constantly). But that just made it worse because my yarn just got kinkier and rattier so my stitches just got more and more uneven. Now I know better so when I do frog and my yarn is kinky, I wet it and straighten it out. I noticed that it doesn't matter with some yarns, but there are a few where it really makes a difference. So new knitters, listen to GennyLynn's advice and just keep going. You'll be impressed with your improvement along the way too, I'm sure.
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There is no right way to knit; there is no wrong way to knit. So if anybody kindly tells you that what you are doing is "wrong," don't take umbrage; they mean well. Smile submissively, and listen, keeping your disagreement on an entirely mental level. They may be right, in this particular case, and even if not, they may drop off pieces of information which will come in very handy if you file them away carefully in your brain for future reference. ~Elizabeth Zimmerman
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Old 09-29-2006, 09:18 AM   #3
GennyLynn1962
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I used one part of the yarn so much it looked like fur instead of yarn.
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Old 09-29-2006, 09:36 AM   #4
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Sometimes it's a good idea to use cheap yarn to practice with until you learn a new technique or pattern. Save your good yarn for the project.

sue, who learned with string....
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Old 09-29-2006, 10:23 AM   #5
janelanespaintbrush
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Originally Posted by suzeeq
Sometimes it's a good idea to use cheap yarn to practice with until you learn a new technique or pattern. Save your good yarn for the project.

sue, who learned with string....
I agree with that too, except I'd use a decent cheap yarn like knitpicks wool of the andes (WOTA). The first yarn I got was Patons Decor which was a 75% acrylic / 25% wool blend and I had a hard time with it -- at first I thought it was because I was just not getting the hang of knitting. But then I got some KP WOTA, and even though it was probably (I think) a little less expensive by weight, the elasticity of the wool made a really big difference -- it was much easier to handle. So I'd definitely avoid acrylics to begin with and go for wool. (I just finished some socks with another acrylic/wool blend and I again found it a bit more difficult to work with, even though I've been knitting for a while now. Just wasn't very springy, and thus less "forgiving." I still can't knit with cotton.)
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There is no right way to knit; there is no wrong way to knit. So if anybody kindly tells you that what you are doing is "wrong," don't take umbrage; they mean well. Smile submissively, and listen, keeping your disagreement on an entirely mental level. They may be right, in this particular case, and even if not, they may drop off pieces of information which will come in very handy if you file them away carefully in your brain for future reference. ~Elizabeth Zimmerman
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Old 09-29-2006, 11:41 AM   #6
Denise in Michigan
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GennyLynn, your advice should be etched on a brass plaque and given to every new knitter with her/his first pair of needles! Bravo! You may be the "newest knitter", as you say in your post, but you are truly The Knitter, capital letters!
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Old 09-29-2006, 12:52 PM   #7
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Great advice!!!
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Old 10-02-2006, 11:20 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the kind words.

I also appreciate the advice on yarns, I haven't learned all the yarns and the differences between them. Although while looking at a craft store I am eager to use some of the softer ones.

Any suggestions on yarns for ponchos for small girls. I would like for them to be very soft but yet strong.
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Old 10-02-2006, 03:23 PM   #9
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Hi Ginny,

I'm a new knitter too, having learned by watching Amy's English Method video on September 9th (yes, I remember the day I found knittinghelp.com!!). I'm not quite a one-month-old knitter yet, but have made 3 scarves with the basic garter stitch. I think your idea is great - just knit several rows and look back to figure out where you goofed. That's how I learned. My biggest mistake was throwing my yarn over at the last stitch and "adding" stitches as I went along. But once I realized what I was doing, I'm careful and don't do it anymore. My next project is a poncho for my daughter, who having just started kindergarten, is a budding fashion diva-ette.

Good luck to everyone - this site rocks and I can get lost reading through the old posts!!


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Old 10-03-2006, 11:12 AM   #10
GennyLynn1962
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Hapa Girl - Sounds like you are moving right along. I've had problems with adding stitches too, and I'm still not sure where they are coming from I have finished my first 'project' it's not your typical knitting, I made book end covers for those old style metal book ends. I guess you would call it more of a 'craft' than other types of knitting. I am going to try to put a picture of them on my blog.

I also have a scarf I'm working on in garter stitch. I'm hoping to have some things done for Christmas gifts this year, but I don't know how much I'll be able to finish.

I agree with you this is a great site. The people are friendly with lots of good advice, and I wouldn't be knitting at all if not for the videos.

Good luck
Genny
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OTN:
Baby blanket in hurdle stitch.
"Hey Teach" for me!
Christmas gifts: mostly kitchen towel sets, and fingerless gloves.
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