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Thread: Knitting!

  1. #1
    I work at TOM BIHN Katy's Avatar
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    Knitting!

    Hi!

    I'm thinking of taking up knitting and wondered if anyone here had some advice as to what to buy/how to learn the techniques.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!
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  2. #2
    Registered User marbenais's Avatar
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    I taught myself to knit around the age of eight -- it's easy once you get your fingers in the right places! There are multiple methods of knitting & yarn wrangling, so it could be confusing if you aren't aware of which method a particular instruction uses.

    Good luck! I can't wait to see your projects

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    Quote Originally Posted by Katy View Post
    I'm thinking of taking up knitting and wondered if anyone here had some advice as to what to buy/how to learn the techniques.
    Join Ravelry (www.ravelry.com). It's the single greatest concentration of knitting on the net today.

  4. #4
    I work at TOM BIHN Katy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyldrose View Post
    Join Ravelry (www.ravelry.com). It's the single greatest concentration of knitting on the net today.
    I did! I joined a little over a year ago when I first thought of starting to knit. There is so much going on over there! Everything looks way too advanced for me though
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    Katy -- check out http://www.knittinghelp.com/

    It's a great resource, with free instructional videos of all kinds of techniques, including the very basics. I find that it really helps to see how the yarn moves in a person's hands when one is just starting out. You can see videos that teach basic stitches in both the English (hold working yarn in right hand) or Continental (hold working yarn in left hand) styles. I really think it's worth checking out...it will make the patterns on Ravelry feel more attainable!

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    Registered User jannilee's Avatar
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    I know that there are several excellent yarn stores in Seattle. Most yarn stores offer lessons for beginning knitters. They are well worth the investment.

    Are you left handed or right handed? Do you crochet? I am left handed and knit continental style. There are many knitting styles and people find one or another easier for them. If you are super lucky you will find an instructor who teaches both continental and British (Probably called American in the States). I just checked and several stores have knitting lessons soon. One starts tomorrow evening! I think more sessions are better than fewer to gie you a solid start. One store (sorry don't remember the name) is advertising a set of five lessons (about the right number in my mind) for $75. that seems like a fair price to me as each class is at least 2hr long.

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    Remember the knitting poem:

    Through the door
    Around the back
    Out the window
    Off jumps Jack

    You'll do fine!

  8. #8
    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
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    what to buy :)

    There are also some great books to get you started, my favorites are Sally Melleville's The Knit Stitch and The Purl Stitch and Stitch N Bitch, both teach basics and then offer projects to reinforce them. Sally Melleville's books offer many wearable items with just performing the one stitch. When I was starting this reinforcement of doing the one thing over and over helped me to set the neural pathway so that knitting became 2nd nature and I didn't have to think about it. These books have been out for long enough they should be at the library, but I think they are nice additions/staples for a knitting library. Eventually you may want to add some others like some stitch dictionaries, works from Elizabeth Zimmermann (recipe patterns that allow for your creativity) and The Knitter's book of Wool and the Knitter's book of Yarn (great books to help you with picking fiber/yarn for your projects and why certain ones work better). Those latter books could definitely wait until you have gotten the basics down and are ready to move to something more complex.
    You will need needles. You can choose from many different styles and materials: wood/bamboo, plastic/resin/casein or metal for materials, straight (two sticks with caps on the ends) or circular(two shorter pointed ends with a cable connecting them together in the middle) for styles (I wouldn't worry about double pointed needles just yet). I prefer circular stainless or bamboo needles for a few reasons, but it's up to you to choose what is more comfortable to hold and use for you personally.
    You will need to pick a nice quality yarn with 2 or more plys (strands) for starters, one that is smooth (not fuzzy, hairy, loopy, etc.), and medium sized (worsted weight or cyca 4 on the label). Your needles should be around us 7 to 9 for this yarn. Textured yarn looks fun, but can be difficult for the beginner to see your stitches and also if you have to rip the work out to handle. Natural fiber like a soft wool, a soft cotton blend will make your finished product nicer and be more enjoyable to work with than a synthetic like acrylic. Pick a color that you love! There's nothing worse than trying to make something and hating how it looks or feels.
    You will in addition eventually need some way to mark your stitches, you can go as minimal as a different colored yarn tied into loops or small hair rubber bands or as elaborate as beaded stitch markers (to me the dangly ones get into my way). You will need scissors or a yarn cutter to cut your yarn when you are done and a darning needles to weave in the ends.
    Lastly you will need a tape measure which can also be used to measure gauge (how many stitches per inch or cm).
    There are other accessories that you may need depending on your first project. There are of course many fun gadgets that you don't need, but they may make knitting more enjoyable depending on your personality.
    Clover makes a knitting set that has many of the accessories included as does the Knit Kit. I don't have either. I chose to gather together my accessories for what I liked for each one vs. buying a set already assembled.
    I second the comments that Seattle has many local yarn shops and that they will offer beginner classes. I would go there to start. They can also offer guidance on a good beginner yarn and needles.
    You will need a project bag. Working for TB you probably already have some, but I would recommend the stuff sack And you may want to get a clear medium organizer pouch for keeping your pattern or any instruction booklets flat, clean and accessible.
    The best of luck, I can't wait to see what you end up making. And what is your ravelry ID. I'd like to friend you
    Si non aptus in Peram, ego opus ad buy magis quisque.
    my bags: S, LS, KP, mg'11, S, LS, COW, MCB, LS, COW, LSB, SE, LSB, TT, SB, TSS4, PCSB, PCBP, SC, BB, BB, FoJ, RS, F.O.T., LSB, S25, K, LS, I w/AS, A, PP FJN, SE, 3-DC, MCB, PCBP, PCSB, CQPC, S19, LSB, SB, TT, WF, UT, LSB, CQPC, SE2, MCB, RiPad

  9. #9
    I work at TOM BIHN Katy's Avatar
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    Wow! Thank you for all your help! I searched for some classes and found a two week (two saturdays) beginner knitting class for $50 in Wallingford, which isn't too far from home...Plus Trophy Cupcakes is in the same building. I'll look into the books too, perhaps they're available at a book store near by . I think there is a Joanne Fabrics in my neighborhood, I'll go take a look at needles this evening.

    My ravelry id is (don't judge me, I like apple things and used to have a thing for Pirates of the Caribbean): iarrkaty
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    Sounds like you're pretty set to start, but I want to second the recommendations for knittinghelp.com, Debbie Stoller's Stitch 'n Bitch (good how-to diagrams plus some fun patterns), and local yarn stores (Acorn Street Shop is one I remember liking on past visits to Seattle).

    You may also want to try checking out a knitting group if there are any convenient to you. Knitting friends are always happy to help with figuring out a new stitch/pattern or fixing a mistake, and they're also great for inspiration (and enabling).

    For supplies, I'd recommend purchasing them slowly. There are lots of choices that vary on personal preference (which can change over time), so you wouldn't want to stock up on lots of bamboo straight needles only to later discover you prefer metal circulars.

    Happy knitting!

    Teresa

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    Quote Originally Posted by Katy View Post
    Wow! Thank you for all your help! I searched for some classes and found a two week (two saturdays) beginner knitting class for $50 in Wallingford, which isn't too far from home...Plus Trophy Cupcakes is in the same building. I'll look into the books too, perhaps they're available at a book store near by . I think there is a Joanne Fabrics in my neighborhood, I'll go take a look at needles this evening.

    My ravelry id is (don't judge me, I like apple things and used to have a thing for Pirates of the Caribbean): iarrkaty
    Have fun with it! For me it's been a good long-term hobby. I can see myself doing it decades from now, and (hopefully) improving. Keep us posted on your progress, and I'm sure many of us here would be happy to give you opinions about the merits of particular yarns/needles/tools/etc.

    And of course, be prepared for the "arr!" moments, 'cause we all get them sometimes (sorry, couldn't resist! but your ravelry id is cute).

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    Check out the Seattle Knitters Guild. I'm not a member as I live on Whidbey, but I am sure you would get lots of help there! And I'll bet you a ball of cashmere that there's an informal knitting group somewhere within striking distance that would be thrilled to help you! I'll friend you on Rav and send you some links to local groups. I'm "heidispins" over there.
    Happy owner of a medium cocoa Cafe, small plum Cafe, plum/green Utility Tote, black/purple Lux, mini cork pouch, mini kiwi pouch, mini clear pouch, small blue pouch, assorted key straps, prototype Stuff Sacks, and navy/storm/sapphire Imago!

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    I am really enjoying following this thread.

    My mother was a knitter but I never learned. I've just checked and there is a knitting shop in my town that offers classes, so I am planning to stop by there tomorrow and check it out.

    I already know where I can get a great knitting bag.

  14. #14
    I work at TOM BIHN Katy's Avatar
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    I feel so special now that I have all these Ravelry friends. Thank you all for your great tips and ideas! I can't wait to get started! I'll be going to the book store tonight to look for books and spending the day checking out shops tomorrow.
    http://www.tombihn.com
    1-800-729-9607 (US & Canada) 360-452-0115 (other countries)
    Siquid mantica non capit, domi relinquendum est.

  15. #15
    I work at TOM BIHN Katy's Avatar
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    Just got back home from the book store. I ended up buying:

    The Harmony Guides: Knit & Purl: 250 Stitches to Knit
    Stitch 'N Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook
    The Chicks with Sticks Guide to Knitting: Learn to Knit with More Than 30 Cool, Easy Patterns

    Hopefully they help. Yarn store and Joanne Fabrics tomorrow
    http://www.tombihn.com
    1-800-729-9607 (US & Canada) 360-452-0115 (other countries)
    Siquid mantica non capit, domi relinquendum est.

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