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Topic: Learning to Knit from the "Beginning"- Advice, Suggestions needed  (Read 1363 times)
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« on: February 20, 2011 09:54:58 AM »

So, I saw another thread discussing the importance of beginners learning to cast on and I totally agree-
I needed to start a new post for my specific issues with being a beginner...
I mentioned in that thread I taught my daughter the basics and she now knits better than I do.(She is also at a stand still now though because I can't teach her anything more than I know how to do and the few things we find on the internet assume that beginners know how to read patterns)
 I still consider myself a beginner. I can cast on, I can knit, I can purl... that's it!
I CAN'T read a pattern, understanding the abbreviations is okay when I find a legend that tells me what each means... Even finding what the execution of each instruction means on it's own... (I can find for some not all)-
I can't understand when all of it is put together and how to do what the abbreviations are asking!!
So, I have played around with making up my own combinations of knit/purl and I have knit scarves, small blankets, belts, basically anything that is straight- but nothing that I have had to follow a pattern for- even a basic pattern... I have never attempted increases or decreases although I have read tutorials and watched videos on how to do them...
I have scoured the internet, the used bookstores, and even blogs trying to find directions on "How to read a pattern" - Does anyone have any suggestions, advice, sites, etc that can get us going from here? I am feeling overwhelmed and as bad as I'd like to pick this back up, I can't afford to pay for lessons or buy $30+ books that have basics in it that will only frustrate me further when I can't find all that I need.
Any help would be great!
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2011 06:12:37 AM »

Any well-thought out pattern SHOULD have a legend describing the techniques used (i.e. k2tog: knit next two stitches on right needle together, as if they were one stitch).  If the pattern just says, "k2tog" without describing what to do, head on over to knittinghelp.com and you can look at a video for how to do k2tog.  You can also google "how to k2tog" and see what comes up

Why not just jump into a simple pattern, like a hat, and if you get stuck, all of your fellow knitters on Craftster are here to help you get out of a bind Smiley
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2011 07:34:52 AM »

I agree, just pick something and start it, and we'd be happy to help you understand what you don't. The Glossary at knitting help has most of the terms used in patterns even if the pattern doesn't define them and most of them have videos.

« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2011 05:38:45 PM »

i've found LOTS of helpful videos on YouTube -- just type in what you want to know, like "knitting increases" and someone has made a video showing how to do it--- really, some of the videos are better than others but it's a great way to actually SEE someone doing the stitch. and btw, I completely agree about the patterns. I'm a pretty new knitter myslef --and i'v posted here for help with "pattern translation." Many patterns really ASSUME you know what "K2TG each 4th row (9,7,9,6) times, then yo" means --but the Craftster knitters have helped me decipher lots! Smiley
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2011 10:55:00 PM »

Thx so much for the suggestions! Striker & Soozeq, Exactly what I figured I should do rather than feel intimidated... Just jump into one I want to try and try to keep it simple... I want to do garments so badly but figure if I start with a tote or even a shawl or something I can't mess up much... LOL
I have never used circ's or dpn's and want to gradually get into those once I can understand a pattern... at least a bit more than I do now...
I am wanting to get back into knitting (lol, makes it sound as ythough I was such a heavy knitter, NOT) - I did learn the very few basics and I guess I should be thankful I know those... I am interested again because after I taught my daughter the basics, she ran with it and although she can't do much more than I can right now, her knitting is so beautiful, even, and looks "professional" for what she can do- I got her a set of looms for Christmas and she dabbled with them and went back to needles... I have made quite a few things on the looms now but rather than "converting" a pattern to loom knit or board knit, I just want to be able to knit whatever pattern I like as it is or even by subbing a diff yarn or needles until I can make the many beautiful and whimsical items I have come across. (Believe me there is a HUGE list in my favs)-
At any rate,
>elmom, you hit it on the head when you added in that jargon of ..."K2TG each 4th row (9,7,9,6) times, then yo" means ..." - Exactly what I am talking about and then some... I should have thought of Youtube also, that is where I learned a lot of loom knitting techniques!
In knowing basics of needle knitting and being able to knit, purl, CO, & BO, I can also K2TG even if I have to revert back to tutorial to do so and I know what YO means even if I have to revert back to instruction as to how to execute depending on if I am knitting, purling, on RS, WS, etc... but all the row talk, numbers and such and the fact that not all pattern writers/designers/makers write the patterns the same way... very frustrating...
But again, thx! I think I am going to browse through the already very long list of favs I have and choose a pattern that seems to be a beginner with a bit of "extra" in it and then I will be back in to ask questions...
I am also still looking for a knitting group that is close to me.
AC Moore used to have a lady come in twice a week and just showed knitting and crocheting techniques for free.
It was great because I would take my daughter while I shopped so she got extra help when she was first starting out... that lady is not doing any "lessons" anymore unless you do a group paid for class to make a specific project and I not only can't really afford that, I don't want to make something I am not interested in and then still not be able to make the item I have been hoping for afterwards.
(btw, I ramble when I am excited or have lots to say... always lots to say- LOL)
I notice I am rambling but again, thanks so much!
I will definitely poke in to share the pattern I choose to start with and get opinions on my choice.... than let's see how far I get w/o needing help. LOL
>>BTW, I just spent the last 2 days going through the thread/sticky of Free pattern sites... So many I didn't know of yet so now I have to learn many skills soon- I am so itching to make some of the gorgeous sweaters, blouses, skirts and dresses I found!
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2011 10:42:53 AM »

on the tangent of youtube videos, user Cyberseams has some pretty good videos. goes slow, and repeats a few times. 
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2011 10:57:18 AM »


Thx so much! Last night I actually did look up Youtube vids and found about 4 different "channels" that I liked in way of showing technique and such- Cyberseams was one of them and I did subscribe! For some of these techniques I do find it easier to see someone doing it and then I can understand what type of execution I need to do as well.
It is helping and actually making me feel like "Why did I feel so intimidated by..." LOL So, thx a lot! I will keep looking and watching the youtubers as I get to a point I am not sure in what to do next...

I plan on picking up a couple sizes of dpn's and a pair or two of circ's my next craft store trip! Hope I get brave enough to actually put yarn on them soon! LOL
In the meantime, I do have a very older publication book by Bantam
Step by Step book of Needlecraft
It has knit, crochet, macrame, embroidery, tat, etc- The few projects are not so much to my taste but the pics and explanations as well as the many different stitches shown are great! I hope to be knitting a pattern or two I found at DROPS by the Summer! We will see...
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