Monday, March 4, 2013

Knitting

About 5 years ago, my oldest daughter got a "learn how to knit" kit.  She was only 4 or 5 at the time so I figured I would try to figure it out first and then we would try it together.  In addition to the book from the kit, I watched lots of online video tutorials and eventually figured it out.  I can't remember if I tried to teach her or not but I do remember knitting two little bags from the kit and I remember it taking me forever to do so!



The kit also came with a crochet hook so I decided to try it.  I borrowed a kid's crochet book from the library and I was immediately hooked (ha, ha!)  Over the past five years, I've crocheted lots of things - many of which I've shared on this blog (here, here and here) and some which I haven't like the scarves in the above photo.  But recently I've decided to try knitting again.  I specifically wanted to knit a honey cowl after admiring the versions I have been seeing around on lots of quilting blogs.  I only had the knitting needles from the original learn to knit kit so I ordered a set of circular needles and started with a  simple scarf instead (and good thing I did because I had to completely re-learn how to knit.)



The circular needles eventually came and I spent some - um, lots of - time watching video tutorials and reading more knitting books from the library.  I just couldn't figure it out but then my friend Nat came to the rescue with a somewhat simple, but totally perfect suggestion and I was on my way.


Well, at least I thought I was - I had figured out the trick to circular needles but apparently not the trick to actually reading a pattern correctly.  I forgot to read the part about knitting four rounds before starting the pattern stitch AND I was knitting inside out (didn't even know there was such a thing) AND I somehow unknowingly switched to knitting right side out about halfway through.  Oh, well, I decided to just cast off early and give it to my daughter to wear instead.  And despite all the errors, it looks super cute on her so it worked out fine!  


If you are a knitter, you can probably already identify the big (unfixable) error I made with this one.  Yep, every thing I read about using circular needles clearly says that you need to make sure that you don't twist your stitches when joining the first round.  I thought I was so careful but again about halfway though knitting this, I realized that I had indeed twisted the stitches!  Well, since I have more than one daughter, I again just cast off the stitches and I was going to pass this on to my oldest but decided to try it on first and  . . . I love it!  It is not the big, thick, comfy cowl that I thought I was making but it works great wrapped around twice!  If you are interested, I cast on 140 stitches and cast off when it was about 5 inches.


I took a break from cowls to try a hat (I'll save that for another post) but I'm starting cowl #3 soon  - I'll let you know how it goes!

So, anyone have any suggestions for other patterns I should try (especially hats)?  Or do you have a favorite knitting website or book to recommend?  Or any tips?

15 comments:

  1. These are really cute, and they might not be perfect, but then, so what, as long as you like them! I only started crocheting last year, and I like it, it makes sense to me in it's basic form and I intend on working on that first, and then I want to tackle knitting. I tried to learn when i was a kid, but my mum is right handed and i am left handed, so it never really made sense. Good Luck when you brave the next cowl!

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  2. Ravelry is a good source for patterns. Otherwise, I would recommend garnstudio.com. They have free patterns and very good video tutorials on different techniques.

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  3. Glad I could help! I am sure yu will get a lot of inspiration from ravelry - You should check out the Brooklyn tweed website, they have new patterns every 6 months...

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  4. What gorgeous makes Beth. I don't know a thing about knitting, although a very good friend of mine knits and so I have heard of circular needles, but that's the extent of my knowledge! Those scarfs have such lovely colours.

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  5. Good job giving this a go on your own! Knitting confounds me, I think I'll wait a bit and try to find a knitting support group first ;)

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  6. You didn't mess up, you made an infinity cowl! On purpose! I made both of those mistakes the first time I tried to knit in the round, at one point I think I figured out I was knitting on the wrong side of a twisted cowl. I've learned that every time I try a new pattern that uses a new-to-me skill, I mess up twice and have to rip out, and the third time it's perfect. So your third cowl will be perfect.

    If the Lucy hat (try a Ravelry search for Lucy hat) is your style, I'd recommend it. I only started knitting in Sept '12 and it was so easy, and looks impressive!

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  7. Find a pattern you'd like to try and when you come across an abbreviation or term you don't understand, go to You Tube and most likely you'll find a video on how to do it. I learned to knit at age 10 but hadn't done any real serious knitting in years. OMG, did I have a lot to catch up on! You Tube came to the rescue - a LOT! Also, knittingparadise.com is a knitters / crocheters forum that has a lot of information and the ladies are always willing to share their knowledge and links to projects. Enjoy knitting - I quilt during the day and knit at night - always keeping the hands busy....

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  8. That is awesome that even a mistake turned out just fine and wearable! I love it when that happens. I have seen the honey cowl and also have the yarn and needles to make it, I just don't know how to knit really. The local yarn shop has drop in and knitting nights, which I went to a few before kids and learned a little. But that was 7 years ago. Sorry I can't be of more help with advice, but I do look forward to seeing your next cowl!

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  9. My favorite knitting web sites have already been mentioned. If you want some crochet eye candy, check out Attic24. It's a blog by a woman in England that lives a hooky and colorful life. And don't miss her Christmas wreath from 2012. Absolutely amazing!

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  10. I love your scarves! My daughter bought me a Learn to Knit kit two years ago for Christmas and I have been hooked every since!

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  11. I am no help with knitting. I learned how to knit in what I guess is called the "continental" style as a 4th grader in Europe. It seems like everything is backwards so patterns seem like a secret unbreakable code to me.

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  12. I love all of your scarves. I used to knit and crochet, but have had to put my needles down the last 2 years. Maybe someday I will be able to pick them back up again. If nothing else, I will definitely be teaching my daughter when she is older!

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  13. Knitting on circular needles is a very big jump for a beginner knitter. I still can't get the hang of them even though I can knit a range of patterns and toys. You are a brave woman, I'll be keeping an eye out for how you get on in your next attempt and maybe I'll bring mine back out of hiding!

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  14. You wrote exactly what I was having issues with too! I am trying my darndest to knit a Honey Cowl...realized that mine is all twisty too. Oh well, good for practice!
    I love Ravelry's website and how you can do a search for those ever secret 'codes' that I have no clue what they mean, and it will show you how to do them. Love that. Knitpicks.com is also really cool. I just bought a set of interchangeable cables from them, with super cute wooden painted needles. I'm going to ditch my prior honey cowl, and hopefully try it again, on some better needles/cables.
    Good luck! I can't wait to see what you do next!

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  15. This post is exactly what I'm going through right now! I too have attempted the honey cowl, only to realize it's twisty. Oh well, good practice I guess. I love Ravelry's website and how you can look up the acronymn key and it will tell you what it is..a great source, along with the cool patterns. Knitpicks.com is another good website. They have lots of patterns and tut's. I just got a pair of interchangeable cables with pretty wood painted needles. So fun! They are so smooth and making knitting better for me than the one's I had picked up at my local JoAnn's! Good luck and I look forward to what you make next!

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