Friday, August 22, 2008

The first time ....

Although I am far from an experience knitter I managed to learn a thing or two during my 4-months knitting career. I am afraid that with time I would either forget some of them or I would start taking them for granted, this is why I decided to make a little list of advice for a novice knitter/crocheter. These are the things that would have helped me if I knew them before starting to knit, however it does not mean that these are the rules set in stones. They might work for some and they might be completely useless for others, so at the end, they are just my thoughts on

Knitting for the first time.
Part I

Image from A Good Yarn website

1. Knitting does not require as much patience as you think ....
It is always surprising to me when people say: "I can't knit 'cuz I am not patient enough". I have been trying to figure out where this misconception comes from and I think (it’s just a hypothesis) that people are envisioning a huge blanket in a simple garter or stockinette stitch when thinking of knitting. Yes, it is true, a row of ‘purl’s and a row of ‘knit’s is quite unexciting, but knitting is much more than that. Once you start knitting socks, sweaters, or lace, you learn that knitting keeps you on your toes with the stitch count, knitting entertains you with cable knitting, knitting excites you with ‘yarn over’s and ‘ssk’s. And I am not even talking about knitting with colours. Knitting is anything but boring!

2. Scarf might not be the best “first project”
It is almost a given that a new knitter would start his/her knitting with a scarf. I have done it, my friend has done it, and I am sure you have done it too. It might work for 99% of the people but I still think that the scarf is not the ideal first project. The beginners’ scarf is usually something very simple and thus extremely repetitive. Unless you are making a skinny scarf or a short version of a scarf you have to make the same repetition of knits and purls over, and over, and over again. I will agree that it is a great learning experience, however here comes the second problem: since the novice knitter is learning, his/her knitting is far from being perfect and it will result in a scarf with uneven stitches and crooked edging. I am certain that most of the knitters would still proudly wear that scarf but sometimes (and I am talking solely from my personal experience) the final scarf is SO uneven that you do not want to be seen wearing it and yes, it would be quite obvious that you are the one who knitted it.
What would make a good first project? Anything small and not too complicated would give a novice knitter a happy experience of starting and finishing the project and yet allow him/her to learn some tricks and techniques. My personal favorites are dishcloths, kitchen towels, and coasters. Not only they are fast to knit, but one can use them even if they are not perfectly made.

3. Use bigger needles
Novice knitters tend to knit too tight. I remember scratching my fingers to blood, trying to pick up the thread. Using bigger needles forces one to knit looser. It also allows the knitter to change for smaller needles if the stitches become too tight.
A friend of mine says that relaxing her hands helped her to “learn” how to knit looser.

Have a great knitting weekend everyone!


please sir said...

Knitting is so much fun! I need to get back into it - thanks!

CCC (Crazy Cooking Camper) said...

I think you should! It is a lot of fun and is quite addictive.