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Topic: Supplies for Beginner Knitter  (Read 5862 times)
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« on: October 02, 2005 10:27:40 PM »

I want to learn how to knit!  I'm in college and have friends who knit and who want to get together and knit, also I want to knit during lectures.  All you experienced knitters out there, what supplies do I buy if I want to learn?  Which needles and yarns should I buy when I'm just starting out, and what instruction books/websites did you find helpful when you first started? Thanks!

"The commonplace and everyday are the essence of experience." - Donald Pizer
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2005 11:18:43 PM »

The first knitting book I ever owned was the Debbie Stoller book "Stitch N' Bitch". It has an entire section on tools you would need in knitting: scissors, tape measure, point protectors and such. Even now I will still refer back to it when I want to remember how to do something. As for needles I would start off with a chunky sized needle rather than a small, it is easier to see your stitches and what you are doing. That way you can do projects that are fast and easy like a scarf made out of bulky yarn. When you are learning how to knit I'd recommend a fairly cheap yarn, you'll end up ripping it out and starting over a few times and there will probably be some mistakes so you'll want a yarn you won't regret using just for practice.
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2005 04:02:01 AM »

I started out with a pair of 4mm needles and a ball of wool and started knitting my own scarf.  Then I bought "Stitch N Bitch" and went from there.

Stitch N Bitch is a good reference book, but I've been knitting for 7 months and I couldn't manage to knit a lot of the patterns in there.   Huh

I used this website to teach myself a few of the stitches - http://www.knittinghelp.com/

« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2005 04:04:53 AM »

I actually had a friend show me to knit and purl, then I used one of the Leisure Arts "I taught myself to knit" books as a reference and went knitting.

My first projects were the Knitty Feline Dim Sum (www.knitty.com) which were perfect because they quick (unlike a scarf, which takes a long time) and were easy to make.

I have the problem that I have no relatives to "inhereit" needles and such from, so I buy yarn infrequently, and almost always buy needles at the same time.

Don't be afraid to buy different types of things just to see what you like.
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2005 04:20:04 AM »

I happen to love both the knit and crochet versions of Ready, Set, Knit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1589231856/ref=pd_sim_b_1/002-6165351-2925603?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance

The explanations are excellent, great description of supplies, they used different shiny yarns to make the individual stitches stand out, and it's a trifold so you can stand it up and knit while looking at it.
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2005 06:42:32 AM »

If you're going to knit in lectures, then bamboo or other wood needles are my recommendation. The clacking of metal needles might just drive the prof insane.

Just going through my bag...

What you "have" to have (besides the needles & yarn): scissors, tape measure, yarn needle (to weave in ends)  - ou can do this for $5 at a fabric store, if you don't already have it laying around - & a bag to put it all in (there's a cool thread on making bags out of felted thrift store sweaters, but any tote bag will do).

Nice to have: variety of needles (straights, DPN, circular), needle sizer/gauge ruler tool, needle case, stitch markers, stitch holders, crochet hook (helpful when picking up dropped stitches), row counters, row markers, knitter's lotion (I have "glove in a bottle"), no-inse wool wash, like Eucalan.

Stitch 'n Bitch has helpful and clearly-written instructions. Most of the patterns were of no use to me, but I'm an old fogey. I have a ton of books, but most of what I end up making are things I find online for free, or - lately - design myself. Other good books:

Sally Melville's The Knit Stitch & The Purl Stitch

Instant Expert: Knitting  - Cheap for a knitting book (I paid $19.95 for this big, full-color book), it covers just about everything.

Odd Ball Knitting : Creative Ideas for Leftover Yarn Cool, fun book!
« Last Edit: October 03, 2005 06:51:51 AM by crazycatladymel » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2005 09:52:11 AM »

I'm a big fan of the Vogue Ultimate Knitting Guide. In my opinion, it's more informative than Stitch 'n Bitch (not to say that I don't love SnB, but I think some of her instructions for more complicated techniques are hard to follow).
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« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2005 10:14:50 AM »

I want to knit or crochet in lecture, but I'm too scared! I've only done it once and it was in a class where we don't do anything; we just yammer on about the internet or tv. It's called Mass Communication and it sucks. So boring. Anywho, I would be scared that the prof would think it was rude or something, and it would have to be a class with no notes and my project would have to be something without a pattern.

That's not the point, though.

I'm a beginner, too, so what I've done is found an easy pattern I want to do and then buy the yarn and needles for it. Just do a google search for free beginner knitting pattern (unless you want to pay) and go from there. Of course scissors and tape measures are in order, too, but you probably have scissors and at least a ruler around the house.

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« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2005 10:20:36 AM »

You can check out tons of books from the public library.
It will help you get an idea of which ones you like and dislike
before you spend any money. I started out with a children's
knitting book from the library, a pair of clover bamboo 13s and
Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick. It cost about $12
and I love the bamboo needles. The Thick and Quick knits up
really quickly and I finished my first scarf that day, which was
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« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2005 01:08:24 PM »

Thank you all so much!  What a big help!  I am so excited to start!!!  Any first project suggestions?

"The commonplace and everyday are the essence of experience." - Donald Pizer
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