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HNYMAMA's picture

Okay I have decided I must learn how to knit & crochet,  I bought a Learn How book today,  some needles and yarn. 


Which would be the best to teach myself first?  Any tips,  suggestions,  advice would be greatly apreciated. 



 mama to Marie, Katie and Amie

sewphaedra's picture

(post #29204, reply #1 of 37)

I would start with some inexpensive cotton yarn (sugar and spice is one brand) and do dishcloths or washcloths. They're smaller than scarves so they go faster. You can practice different designs. When that feels comfortable then do a scarf with a nicer yarn. Then maybe a hat so you can do decreases. After that a sweater!

HNYMAMA's picture

(post #29204, reply #2 of 37)

Oh dishcloths sound nice,  I am needing some new ones:)  Would you try to do them in crochet or a knit first?  I have been reading my book and I am anxious to start (but it has to wait till the girls are asleep for the night,  so I am getting mentaly prepared now)


 mama to Marie, Katie and Amie

sewphaedra's picture

(post #29204, reply #3 of 37)

If you're trying to learn to knit then I'd knit them. Knit is a little more flexible than crochet, right? I prefer knit for dishcloths and crochet for potholders.

HNYMAMA's picture

(post #29204, reply #4 of 37)

:)  Thanks I will start with the knitting tonight,  hopefully I pick this up quick.  I am really good at other needle type crafts (sewing and embroidery) so hopefully the knitting & crocheting will be something I understand and catch the hang of easy. 



 mama to Marie, Katie and Amie


Edited 1/8/2003 2:58:16 PM ET by Honey

Jean's picture

(post #29204, reply #5 of 37)

Dishcloths are a good place to start.  For the first one just cast on a bunch of stitches and knit every row until you get the hang of it. When it's fairly square, bind them off and there you are.  The next one do the same thing only purl every row. (The finished product will look the same, but you're doing this for practice, remember).


When you are proficient in these two stitches you can learn to combine them.


Check out this site for unlimited variations. :) Some of these woul make wonderful wash cloths too.  Think of all the gifts you can make between now and next Christmas.  Have fun!!


http://www.jimsyldesign.com/~dishbout/kpatterns/knitting.html


 


The longer I live, the less future there is to worry about.  Ashleigh Brilliant

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
HNYMAMA's picture

(post #29204, reply #6 of 37)

Thanks for the link and the tips:)  I am anxious to start.  And I had not even thought of the gift potential from this skill,  what fun.


 mama to Marie, Katie and Amie

CarolFresia's picture

(post #29204, reply #7 of 37)

FYI--the cotton yarn is actually Sugar'n Cream (not spice, though you can make dishcloths as spicy as you like once you get started!)--you can find it practically anywhere, so look at Walmart or Joann's or Michael's. And while dishcloths may seem slighly lowly, I personally quite like those cotton knitted ones--they really function well, are slightly different from the run-of-the-mill type, and can be quickly and inexpensively replaced. Plus, I love it when a trial run or practice piece can turn into something so useful.


I guess my opinion would be to try knitting first, though I don't know if there's any logic behind this. Crochet might be slightly easier to start out with since you don't really have to cast on, and it's easier to fix mistakes if you, say, drop a stitch. However, there's something lovely about those gently clicking knitting needles...Either way, have fun, and don't forget to ask for help from our expert members. We were all beginners once (I still am!), and are delighted to help if we can.


Carol

HNYMAMA's picture

(post #29204, reply #8 of 37)

I saw that brand of yarn at Wal-mart today,  I bought 3 skiens(?) of Red Heart,  one in a baby weight (the colours was just so pretty) and 2 in a worsted weight,  plus two sizes of knitting needles and 3 sizes of crochet needles.  Does it show that I am excited about starting this LOL


The dishcloths are a great idea,  maybe knowing that will take part of the stress off that I get when I want everything to be perfect and help me learn faster.  I am sure I will have lots of questions once I get started.  This board is great to get help and answers:)



 mama to Marie, Katie and Amie

sewphaedra's picture

(post #29204, reply #9 of 37)

I guess I'm more of a fan of knitting because I only recently learned to crochet and I still can't get my gauge even. Even so, knitting does seem to have more possibilities, plus it's faster. I'm always so impatient to be finished! Good luck, let us know how it goes.

rfresia's picture

(post #29204, reply #10 of 37)

How goes the knitting?     rjf

 

HNYMAMA's picture

(post #29204, reply #11 of 37)

So far it is a slow learning curve,  but I am trying.  I seem to keep losing stiches LOL but I know I can get it.  One of my neighbor ladies said she will help me with the crochet.  I think if I can watch someone it will help a lot,  hopefully I can find a knitter close by too:)


 mama to Marie, Katie and Amie

SusanSz's picture

(post #29204, reply #12 of 37)

I taught myself how to knit just this past summer.  It took me forever it seemed!  I kept on adding stitches, so that 40 cast-on stitches became 42, and then 47 in no time.  It was the strangest thing.  And, I had "taught" myself a really odd way of holding the needles that was extremely uncomfortable, and was probably the cause of the added-on stitches as well.


However, through the help of the wonderful people on this board (thank you!), and four different books, and on-line web pages, I FINALLY got the hang of it.  I think that if you've got several different illustrations to look at, all trying to demonstrate the same thing, you get it.  Or at least, I got it, lol!


My first piece was a cotton dishcloth, that was a basic k1, p1 pattern.  I am now making a scarf using "fancy" yarn, and will soon move on to a hat using (gasp) circular needles!  It's all very exciting!


Teaching yourself is both frustrating and rewarding.  Way to go!


Susan

HNYMAMA's picture

(post #29204, reply #15 of 37)

Nice to hear from a self taught knitter,  sounds like you picked it up quick:)  Right now I am still at the frustrated stage but I am determined so that has to count for something


 mama to Marie, Katie and Amie

sewphaedra's picture

(post #29204, reply #18 of 37)

I taught myself how to knit also. My big resources were local knitting stores. I would buy their patterns and yarn and then go in ask them questions whenever I got stuck.

It took me a long time to learn that knitting is an art, not a science. You wing it a lot, like when the instructions say "pick up 32 stitches" but you've got a gap left, then you just pick up 34, usually it's no big deal. That's one thing I like about it, the winging it. You don't do that as much in sewing.

rfresia's picture

(post #29204, reply #13 of 37)

I wonder if your library has a tape or video on knitting that you could look at.  Seeing someone doing it would be a big help, I think.  But when you succeed, it gives you the confidence to try anything!           rjf

 

Jean's picture

(post #29204, reply #14 of 37)

Did I forget to post this linK.  It's a must see for learners.


Animated stitches.  You'll all love it.


http://www.valleycafe.com/knitting/index.html


 


The longer I live, the less future there is to worry about.  Ashleigh Brilliant   Image

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
HNYMAMA's picture

(post #29204, reply #17 of 37)

Oh that is a great site,  thank you so much.


 mama to Marie, Katie and Amie

Betsy's picture

(post #29204, reply #37 of 37)

Regarding  a posting from quite a while ago,Your link to the animated knitting instructions is fabulous! My daughter and I know how to knit, but I had to call my mom for over-the- phone instructions for casting on stitches. That provided much entertainment for both of us, but I like your method much more. Now if I can just find my knitting needles...Thanks!


Edited 2/22/2003 6:36:59 PM ET by Betsy

HNYMAMA's picture

(post #29204, reply #16 of 37)

Thanks I had not thought of looking for a video,  that would be a big help.


 mama to Marie, Katie and Amie

rfresia's picture

(post #29204, reply #26 of 37)

Is your knitting progressing?    It's always nice to hear that people have been successful at teaching themselves to knit or crochet or tat or counted cross-stitch or whatever.                                         rjf

 

HNYMAMA's picture

(post #29204, reply #27 of 37)

Well I seem to be slow at teaching myself but it is progressing,  definetly getting better:)  I think by next winter I will be making cute scarves and hats for my girls.

              


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SusanSz's picture

(post #29204, reply #28 of 37)

I'm finally biting the bullet and asking a real live person for help this week.  Teaching yourself only goes so far, and I've managed to solve all previous problems by myself, but this one....ick.


I'm making a scarf with a wide rib.  I cast on 26, and then I K2 P2 one row, then P2 K2 next row, over and over and over again.  When I stop for the night, I always make sure that the next row will be the K2 P2 row.  But I was knitting while watching Law & Order (drat!  will never do that again), and somehow messed up, so my ribs went over one while I wasn't looking.  I unraveled about 10 rows, but then...oh oh.


Do I K2 P2 on the row, or P2 K2?  And, when I put the scarf back on the needles (after unraveling), I think I reversed it somehow (or something), and when I thought I had figured out that I needed to K2 P2, it wasn't right.  AND, it looks all backwards or something.  Ack!


So, I'm going to the knitting store where I bought this scarf yarn, buying some yarn for a dishcloth, since I want to start experimenting with two colors in one pattern (intarsia?), and I'm also going to bring my messed-up project.  Hopefully she can help me.  The woman who owns the store seems really super-nice.  I hope she can help.


And that's where I am with learning how to knit.  I hope that you keep me posted on how you're doing too, Honey!  Right now I'm very frustrated.  Frustrated enough to ask for help, and that's saying a lot.  Sigh...


Susan


PS - But I did make three hats on circular needles recently!  And, I did them in stripes, so now I know how to weave in strands, and how to change colors at the end of a row, etc.  Whoo-hoo!


[Edit: The scarf is so skinny because I want to make one of those trendy 6 ft. long ones that all the movie stars seem to have wrapped around their necks lately.  Of course, by the time I finish it, it  will no longer be in style - lol!]


Edited 2/10/2003 5:38:03 PM ET by Susan S.

Jean's picture

(post #29204, reply #29 of 37)

Next time  you make a k2, P2 scarf. Cast on a number of stitches that is divisible by 4. 24 or 28 st. rather than 26, for example.  That way you always start every row with a K2 and you won't get confused. When  you become more experienced you will be able to just look at it and know what you are supposed to do. K the K and P the P.  You'll know, trust me.


 


The longer I live, the less future there is to worry about.  Ashleigh Brilliant   Image

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
rfresia's picture

(post #29204, reply #30 of 37)

Jean's right.  If you recognize a knit stitch and a purl stitch, you're all set for that scarf.  Your pattern is just "work what you see".  So if the next stitch you see is a knit stitch, that's what you do.  Same for a purl.  24 stitches would  be easier because it's divisible by 4 so it's always start with K 2.  The 26 stitches make the scarf symmetric.       rjf

 

SusanSz's picture

(post #29204, reply #31 of 37)

Thank you so much rjf and Jean!  Guess I'll be unraveling the whole thing again and starting over.  Good thing I only have about a foot done or so.  This is the second time I've started over.  The first time I cast on 52 stitches and was just knitting the whole thing.  It looked smaller on the needles, until you stretched it out!  Then it was just a big ugly flat thing.  I knitted in three balls (skeins?) until I realized that I would never wear this if I finished it.


The skinny wide rib is much more flattering.  I'm also going to take a closer look at these knits and purls to see if I can tell which is coming next.  I'm not that good yet....getting there.


But I still want to experiment with two colors at once.  Now that looks fun!


Susan


[Edit:  Another question- Is it possible to put your work on backwards on needles after unraveling?  Or am I just seeing things?  Not just an individual stitch - I'm figuring that out, but the whole darn thing.  And if I did put it on backwards with a K2 P2 pattern, would that mess me up?  The problem with learning from books is that no book (or website) seems to have a very good troubleshooting section.  Sure, they all teach you how to do things, and basic fixes, but nothing "weird", really.]


Edited 2/11/2003 10:03:27 AM ET by Susan S.

Jean's picture

(post #29204, reply #32 of 37)

Yes it it possible to put it on wrong.  You need the loose yarn at the pointed end of the needle. If you do it  wrong,  just slip your row onto the other needle and you'll be OK, or use a circular needle to start with, then you don't have to worry about it,  either end will be ready to go. :)

 


The longer I live, the less future there is to worry about.  Ashleigh Brilliant   Image

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
rfresia's picture

(post #29204, reply #33 of 37)

A circular needle has another advantage.  You can sit in an armchair and knit comfortably because you won't have straight needles bumping into the arms.    rjf

 

SusanSz's picture

(post #29204, reply #34 of 37)

You need the loose yarn at the pointed end of the needle.


You know, I only needed to do that once to figure it out - lol.  Before I unravel the whole scarf to cast on 24, I'm going to take a close look at it and see if I can't tell a knit from a purl.  I like the whole idea of symmetry, like rjf pointed out...We'll see.


Thanks again!  Back to the cooking board...  :-)


Susan

sandermom's picture

(post #29204, reply #36 of 37)

Not to be a spoiler but if you haven't started over yet you may want to consider an extra knit stitch on each end.  If you always slip that first stitch and knit the last stitch it gives your edge a very neat...well. edge.  I think that idea comes from Elizabeth Zimmerman.  Probably from her "knitting without tears"...I love that book.

Klaatu Barada Nikto

ehBeth's picture

(post #29204, reply #35 of 37)

whoooooooohooooooo about the hats!  that is good news!


circular needles are great to work with - easier than anyone expects at first.


congratulations!        <big smile>


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