Teaching Myself to Knit – The How To
Like I mentioned in my introduction post, I first learned how to knit from my Dad a long time ago, but I couldn’t get very far with it. Determined to actually complete a piece or two, I picked it up about a month ago and started refreshing myself with the very basics. That meant casting on, and the knit stitch (also called garter stitch) where you just knit every row. Once I was comfortable with the knit stitch I started adding purls to my work, and I experimented with a few well known patterns to create some dishcloths that were not just done in garter stitch but also had some design to them. Dishcloths are great because not only can you always find a use for them (they’re not just for dishes, they work great in the shower too) but you can never have too many, and they make great gifts. They’re also very fast to knit up, so you don’t feel like you’re stuck on one giant project.
Ravelry is a great place to find patterns. There are free ones and paid ones. You can favourite the ones you like best and then print them out (or in my case, write them out) for later. So far everything I’ve practiced has been knit flat, and I have no experience knitting in the round. I do own circular needles, but I’ve only used them for large pieces like blankets. Learning how to knit in the round is something that I hope to attempt soon (and of course I’ll continue to document my progress here). For now knitting flat is a good way to practice my skills and to familiarize myself with the basics (again) (and again and again). It’s really important to keep practicing even when you find it frustrating. Even now I can see the progress that I’ve made in a very short time. Starting with knit stitches, up to purl, and now I’ve started experimenting with lace stitches (which I really enjoy but they’re very easy to mess up. I’ll go into more details about this later). I’ve got four little dishcloths all knit up that I’m going to send to a friend this week (along with the baby blanket and a baby sweater I knit) and I hope they get some use out of them. It helps me practice my hobby, and keeps it from all collecting in my home. After all what’s the point of knitting if you’re not going to share it with everyone else!
Now that I’m comfortable with knits and purls as well as YO (yarn over) and Sl (slip) with a few other terms tossed in there (psso; pass slip stitch over) I think the next thing I’d like to practice is knitting in the round. In order to learn the previous terms I watched a lot of YouTube videos. It’s amazing what you can find on there these days. I’ll link them in another post, because they’re just incredibly handy to have, especially if you just need a refresher on what a particular term means. I’m wondering if I’m ready for socks yet. The hardest part (I believe) from what I’ve read is turning the heel. Socks are made up of different parts, and I think the cuff and the leg I could do easily enough, as well as the heel flap. Then you turn the heel and knit the bottom of the heel or whatever that is called (is there a technical term for it?) the rest of the foot, and the toe. I do have three different Craftsy classes on knitting socks for beginners, as well as some beginner patterns from Ravelry, but I still find patterns incredibly daunting. I just got my first set of dpn (double pointed needles) last week, and I’m eager to break them in. Maybe I’ll practice knitting the cuff / leg / in the round first until I’m comfortable with that, and then when I think I’ve got it down I can move on to the rest of the sock. Thoughts?