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Old 02-02-2008, 07:59 PM   #1
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Starting Out-feeling overwhelmed
You may remember by post from earlier this week about finally learning how to knit. I picked up one of Debbie Stoller's books and have read and re-read the information. I finally got the opportunity to go out and get some supplies and just had a terrible time. I first went to a local yarn shop and was completely ignored. I looked around but ended up leaving shortly after because I just didn't know where to start. I then went to Michael's and looked around but again I was completely unsure. I have chosen two projects to start with the garter stitch scarf and a dish cloth. I have not unwrapped anything and still have the receipt if I didn't make the right purchases. Will these supplies work?

For the scarf: Susan Bates silvalume 10inch 10US needles and
Lions Brand Homespun yarn in quartz

For the dish cloth: Clover no8 9inch bamboo needles and
Sugar 'n cream Twist yarn in Country Twists

Thanks so much for the help.
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Old 02-02-2008, 08:11 PM   #2
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I can understand you feeling overwhelmed...but there's lots of great resources to help you learn whatever you'd like to learn in knitting.

My best recommendations for you:

As far as knowing what to use, if you look on the yarn's label for the little knitting needle picture, it will tell you what size needles are recommend for use with that yarn. That makes it pretty easy. You can use a different size needle and sometimes have to if you are knitting something where your little gauge swatch doesn't come out right (meaning your garment won't fit unless you change needle size and make the gauge swatch come out right before doing the real project), but don't worry about that yet since you are doing a scarf and dishcloth which don't require gauge testing.

The needle size sounds about right for the Homespun...not sure about the dishcloth yarn, but you know what? You are just starting out and learning so don't beat yourself up about choices - just practice getting the basics down first and then you can pick and choose precisely what you want and need.

You can use wood, metal or plastic's all a matter of preference. Wood is warmer and gets smoother as you use them also yarn doesn't slide off of them the way it can the others (especially important if you make something with double pointed needles later on). Metal points tend to be sharper so it picks up the stitches nicely but are colder feeling and can be slippery. I haven't used plastic but they are lightweight, I know.

I think you picked out two nice starting projects. I would do the scarf first myself since it will go a little faster so you get more immediate gratification.

If you need tutorials on how to get started, go to the video section on this site - Amy's videos are really easy to understand. If you need more help, feel free to ask us (I am a fairly new knitter but you are always welcome to PM me).

Happy knitting!!!

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Old 02-02-2008, 08:13 PM   #3
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Oy.... the cotton yarn is fine for dishcloths, but you should probably use metal, the bamboo may make the yarn drag. Work on that first. The Homespun is difficult to knit with and it does much better on larger needles, like 11s. I'd say take back the bamboo needles and swap them for metal ones, and exchange the Homespun for a smooth yarn like Caron Simply soft, or something by Bernat or Patons. Or Red Heart soft. Or just RedHeart. Keep the cotton and and size 10 needles.
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Old 02-02-2008, 08:29 PM   #4
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One step at a time. Knitting is always done a single stitch at a time.

I'd say go ahead and start with the supplies you have. Work on the simple garter stitch scarf first as it will help you learn tensioning and the knit stitch.

Don't expect perfection, just knit it. Maybe it won't look so great to begin with but I'll bet as you go along it will begin looking more and more even.

One stitch at a time, be patient with yourself as you learn this new skill, and before you know it you'll be turning out some very cool stuff.

What do you mean guys don't knit?

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Old 02-02-2008, 08:33 PM   #5
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Yes, i agree with suzeeq. Mason, i your new avatar!
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Old 02-02-2008, 08:36 PM   #6
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I'm sorry you were ignored at your local yarn shop...I agree with what has already been said...just take it one stitch at a time

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Old 02-02-2008, 10:08 PM   #7
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I think you should keep the bamboo needles. When I first started, I also felt overwhelmed with everything and bought aluminum needles and some worsted weight yarn, I could not knit with those needles. They were very slippery for me I was not able to slip the yarn off the needle with out losing everything and almost quit because of that. I knit only with bamboo needles now and have knit a lot of washcloths with it. I would say go grab some worsted weight yarn for the scarf (Homespun can be a little difficult to start with I think) and knit yourself up a scarf with it, then try the washcloth. Bamboos are a little sticky but not so much that you can't move the yarn around. And don't worry, you will make mistakes, we all have and we still do sometimes! But it is a lot of fun and worth it.
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Old 02-02-2008, 10:51 PM   #8
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I'd suggest you do the scarf project first in an acrylic or wool worsted. (I'm not keen on the Homespun but you can give it a try.) Cotton has NO elasticity and as someone just learning this can be frustrating and very fatiguing. Better to learn sts when the yarn has some give and take.

As already noted, the bamboo will grab the sts but sometimes it's a matter of personal preference as to what combination of yarn and fiber feels right for you. The only way you're going to know is by trying. It's unfortunate that you weren't assisted in the yarn shop as that would've been a good place for someone to give recommendations and perhaps let your try out a few diff combos.

Keeping to the knitting basics
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Old 02-02-2008, 11:26 PM   #9
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I'm jut starting out too, haven't prepared anywhere near as much as you! just bought some wool and used needles i had from a gift set! From the replies you got it seems like you should make a start with what you have
Try not to be overwhelmed and just go for it! If you make a mistake (which i did lots) then yyou can always unpull it and start over -though it sucks a bit to have to pull it all apart.

Good luck, hope you pick it up ok
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Old 02-02-2008, 11:40 PM   #10
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Homespun is the DEBBIL
I would strongly suggest not using the Homespun for a first project. It splits like crazy (it tends to untwist and you end up sticking your needle in the middle of the strands, or it just splits and looks like two stitches on the needle, when it's really only one)
Redheart is fine but a little sticky, esp. on bamboo needles.
Try Patons merino, or some Lion Brand wool. My first project was a scarf done in Lion Brand Landscapes. Nice chunky wool, size 13 needles, it was perfect. I could see the big stitches easily, and the wool was soft, and didn't split much.
It did kinda feel like a kindergarten project at first (remember chunky crayons? heh) but once I got the hang of it, and saw those first few inches, it felt like real knitting.
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