How to get started knitting.

FrizzleOctober 26, 2008

I already know how to crochet but I always wanted to teach myself how to knit.

Where to start? I've read that I should start with size 8 wooden or bamboo needles about 14" long. And not acrylic yarn because it's too slippy. So maybe wool?

What pattern first? A scarf? A hat?

I'd love to make sweaters eventually.... but I would think that would be hard to start with...

Any suggestions from you long time knitters?

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You might check out for some good videos. I recommend a lesson or two from a knit shop, Michaels or a friend.

One thing a knitting class can help with is how to fix errors. Everyone, everyone makes errors, and if you know how to take stitches out, you will be happier with your end product. You won't feel compelled to keep knitting when you know there is a mistake, and then be unhappy with the end product.

I think 8 is a good size to start with. Acrylic is fine. I think the bamboo needles would be less slippery than the aluminum ones. But since you crochet, you might be fine with aluminum since you are familiar with the feel of the needles and yarn.

Personally, I don't like 14" needles, I like the shorter ones, 10" or whatever they are. (If I need a longer needle, like 14", I use circulars.) Don't choose black, navy blue or a very dark yarn because it's hard to see what you are doing and difficult to knit at night. A scarf would be a good start, in a simple pattern. I think some people start with dishcloths which probably might not be a size 8 needle project (I don't know).

I just noticed Vanna White's yarn at Michaels. It seems nice to me, and some of the colors are really pretty.

Good luck, have fun, and let us know how you do.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 12:06PM
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I would recommend shorter needles for a beginner if you can find them. Some 8 inch or so needles are out there these days, and they seem perfect to me for most uses. So much more comfortable. Definitely avoid 14 inches.

I also recommend wood or bamboo. They won't slip out of the yarn as easily as the metal ones I learned to use.

Avoid really fuzzy yarns like the eyelash yarn. I think a worsted or sport yarn would be good, and do avoid the darkest colors for a first project. I would also avoid novelty yarns for a first project. Just try a simple worsted or sport yarn. Have fun and be patient with yourself till you find you are comfortable holding the needles.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 9:11PM
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Good suggestions ladies! See, that's why I asked here instead of buying something first, then trying to figure out why I was having troubles.

-a simple light colored worsted weight yard
-8 to 10" long wooden needles to start
-online video tutorial

Aby other must haves to jump in? Am I going to confuse myself going from one to the other (crochet to knit that is?)

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 5:39AM
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I can both knit and crochet and find them equally easy--if anything I think knitting is easier, but probably because I do more of it. One thing you need to keep in mind that while both skills use "sticks and string" that's where the similarities end. Nothing about crocheting is going to translate over to knitting, so approach it as a brand-new skill; start slow (simple knitted scarf is my recommendation) and allow yourself to make mistakes. Like any other new skill, you will need hours of practice to get comfortable with it, but be patient and it will happen.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 9:56AM
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Go to your local library and see what they have to offer in the way of how to books, or something with easy, quick projects. I think it important to start simple and get a success under your belt, early on. If you start with a project that is too complex, it's discouraging. I think scarves are a good thing to start with....a plain garter stitch scarf is easy, is the use of the same stitch over and over, so you should soon be very comfortable with the knit, your scarf won't roll up at the ends or sides in garter stitch, and will lie flat, like it's suppose to....just keep going till it's long enough to wrap a couple times around your neck, and then some! Tie some fringe on the ends and you'll have something you can actually use.
Personally, I only knit with wool...I use acrylic only for a baby item that needs to go in the washer and drier. Wool is so forgiving, and after the item is finished, it may be blocked into the shape you want. I pin things onto the back of a door, with push pins, to the shape I want, and then mist it with water. When it's dry, it retains the shape I pinned it into. You can't do this with acrylics.
Forget has no resemblance to, start fresh and don't try to liken it, in any way, to crocheting....
I think the idea of a class would be good. You might also want to check, not only at yarn shops, but with craft stores like Michaels...I know they offer classes here. Another thing to keep in mind is a Knitting group...there are lots of those around...sometimes called a guild...and any yarn shop in your neighborhood should know if there are any where you live. They're just a bunch of women who get together and knit.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 11:35AM
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We also have forgotten to tell you that knitting is quite simple. It consists of two stitches, knit and purl. Then you have to learn cast on stitches and bind off stitches, starting and stopping a piece. So once you get the hang of holding the needles correctly and doing both stitches, you are ready for a project. The first project helps you develop your stitch tension so that every stitch is uniform and reduce that awkward feeling.

As simple as knitting is, you can choose to knit up complicated patterns with color changes and stitch order changes or fancy twists of these two stitches to develop so many different looks. You will enjoy it.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 12:30PM
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This Lion Brand site is a tutorial.

Here is a link that might be useful: learn to knit

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 5:41PM
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Does anyone have a good simple cast on method? I've read about 7 different ways, what's the best to start?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 11:59AM
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Easiest is the knitted cast on:

Far and away my favorite cast on. BTW--it usually works best to cast with needles a size or two larger than you plan to actually knit the project with. Ditto for casting off.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 2:38PM
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