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Let's start knitting!

May 3, 2010

Hi and Welcome Knitters, Wanna-bes and Looky-Loos, I'm Tara
You might remember me from previous sewing blog posts on Fabric.com's blog. Since we last spoke, I have started a family and honed my craft of crafting. If it can be fashioned out of fabric, yarn, paper or other various slow moving inhabitants found in my house, then I am making it. For the sake of this blog we are going to stick with sticks and yarn (aka knitting) with the occasional daytrip off track.

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Want some background? I have been knitting since highschool (we will round that down to 10 years and leave it at that) and have been designing knitting patterns and teaching for 4 years. I love knitting for the end result but like most knitters, my love extends beyond. It is the process. Like the crossword puzzle in the Sunday paper and a long, hot bath, knitting is relaxing and therapeutic. I can turn off my brain and breathe. Yet at the end I have something beautiful that I can keep and make myself happy or give away and make someone else happy. It is a win-win and I stay sane. But in order to find solace in knitting you first must learn. Come grasshopper...

Learning to knit is like learning any new skill (walking, driving, cooking, for example), it takes a desire to learn and a source to learn from. That is just the basics but there are many different methods of learning, you will know what works best for you. One method, and I mention this first because this is how I learned to knit, is to teach yourself from a book (See below for links to some great teaching materials). The pros for this method are: you can work on your schedule, you can repeat steps as often as necessary and there is no one to hear you swear when mistakes are made. The cons are that you must interpret the instructions and pictures yourself and an increase in your swearing vocabulary (in extreme conditions wine consumption is directly related to swearing frequency). The cost for this method is low ($$), just the cost of books, needles and yarn (cost of wine will vary).

A second method is to track down a relative, friend, neighbor, mail-lady, grocer, or any person you can wrangle into sitting down and teaching you to knit. This may be easy or difficult depending on where you live. If you are lucky enough to live in Norway or Ireland, throw a stone and grab whoever it hits, apologize and invite them in for coffee because they know how to knit. Look in your local newspaper or neighborhood circular for knitting clubs (often mention "needles" in their description). I suggest you visit your city's website for listings and your local newspaper for more info. Of course, you will need to work around this person's or group's schedule and teaching methods. The chances are pretty good that you will have a one-on-one lesson with you setting the pace.  The cost of this method is very low ($) just the cost of needles and yarn.

The third option is also the most expensive, least flexible but offers a fair amount of hand holding. I am referring to yarn store lessons. If you are lucky enough to have a yarn store within driving distance then you are sure to find lessons, great lessons. But at a cost. Most yarn stores charge a lesson fee plus materials, purchased at the store. Add that to the driving and you have yourself a pretty penny. However, you don't need to worry yourself over picking out needles and yarn. In providing supplies, the guesswork is avoided. You do need to worry about class size, availability, times offered and how often.  One last pit fall that must be avoided is the after-class-purchase. We are all guilty and it cannot be avoided. Who among us can sit in a room surrounded by soft, beautiful yarn, knitted into samples of sweaters, scarves and pillows and not be wooed? Let she (or he) who is without after-class-purchase throw the first stone. You will find no ammo in my hands. The cost of this method is high ($$$) with residual costs always possible.

Pick any of these methods that suit you but don't expect to wake up knitting. It takes some work; knitting is a new skill. Using both hands to hold sticks and yarn is tricky. It was tricky for me. But I wanted to learn and I did. You can too and we'll be here for you. Good luck!

Learn to Knit Materials:

"I can't believe I'm knitting"

"I can't believe I'm knitting DVD kit" 

"10-20-30 Minutes to learn to knit"

"Cool Stuff- Teach Me to Knit"

With so many encouraging titles, you can't go wrong. Plus Fabric.com's No Hassle Return Policy makes it easy comforting that you will find the right book and be up and knitting in no time. Feel free to comment with any questions or messages. And don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter


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LOVE,LOVE your writing-keep up the great work. It has helped me a lot.

Thanks Janet!!

Hey, how about something for us crocheters? I've had multiple people attempt (note the work "attempt") to teach me to knit -- all to no avail. I just can't do it! I can't even master tunisian crochet (which is a combination of crocheting / knitting).
But I AM a Master Crocheter. I love working the yarn with my single hook and turning out beautiful items of all types.
Please, don't leave us out on all the fun!!!

Wow- two posts in and I am already feeling the heat from Crocheters :)
Alas, I am not a master with the hook, just the sticks. I consider myself a beginner but I am not planning on leaving my other yarn girls out. I have a neighbor who I hope trade lessons with. She crochets and wants to knit as well and I am the opposite. In the mean time, I have some upcoming posts that include some crochet that you might be interested in. Until I get up to par, I can only offer a small amount of crochet. I still hope you enjoy it.

This is funny. My mom is a master knitter and she is the first one to try to teach me knitting -- nothing doing! I just can't get the rows even and my stitches look terrible! She also taught me the basics of crochet, but could never really get the hang of it herself. I've self-taught fillet crochet, broomstick crochet, shellwork, basket work, you name it -- I've done it. As I mentioned, the only crochet technique I have been unable to get to work is Tunisian crochet (maybe it's a mental block?) At one point, I was set to teach crochet at the local college (having children interrupted that idea.) So thank you for thinking of us. I look forward to seeing future blogs on knitting / crocheting.

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This page contains a single entry by published on May 3, 2010 3:33 PM.

Deal of the Day - Printed Stretch Cotton Twill 40% off was the previous entry in this blog.

Getting back in the game- the Knitting Edition is the next entry in this blog.

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