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Old 11-11-05, 12:36 PM
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Default Joanne - re knitting

Jo, how would one go about learning how to knit? Can you learn from a book? A lot of evenings, I have about an hour in the evening between the kids' bathtime and bedtime when I let them watch TV, and I usually sit with them and leaf through catalogs or browse Oprah's magazine or something unproductive like that. I was thinking last night it would be nice to have something like knitting that I could do during that time. My mom taught me to crochet a long time ago, but I like the look of knitted things better.

Any ideas on learning? I know you are a pro!
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Old 11-17-05, 04:05 AM
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Dianne, I got a cheap pamphlet, learn to knit, or something similar that you can get at any craft/knitting store. it was really easy with pictures and descriptions. I can only use the most basic of patterns, but I've never really tried to figure out anything more complicated. Once you learn the 2 basic "knit and perl" you pretty much can do anything.

I'm knitting boas for the girls for Christmas with that cool "eyelash" yarn. They are all the rage here now.
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Old 11-22-05, 02:05 AM
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Hi Diane,

I love to knit exactly when you want to - when kids (or DH!) are watching a video. There really are two stitches (one is basically the other done backward, so some people say there is only one stitch!), and you can knit a scarf with only one. Once you get a scarf or two done you really can move on to anything. My second project was a baby sweater, and it wasn't long before I moved to hats. I've even learned how to do socks!

Any craft store, like Michael's or Jo-Ann's, will have "learn to knit" booklets. Some of those stores also have lessons, if you can make time for an hour or so. There are several yarn shops in the Sacramento area that sell higher-end yarn. These shops definitely will have classes. Finally, you can search the internet (yahoo groups is a good place) to find a knitting group or stitch-n-***** group. I go to a monthly group here in San Mateo. You can show up and ask somebody to teach you, or if you've been trying to teach yourself you can get some good advice about how to tackle more complex things or deal with a problem. I love my knitting group and once a month is just frequent enough, but not so frequent that I feel guilty leaving DH with the kids!

One of the better books for basic instruction is "Stitch N *****" by Debbie Stoller. A lot of the patterns are targeted for a young crowd but the instructions are really clear and the writer has a great sense of humor. She also is a hard-core feminist, editor of Bust magazine - her view of knitting as an important craft/art, and the idea that it shouldn't be demeaned because it's "women's work" is right on.

Let's see... when you're learning don't use eyelash yarn - it's hard to see what you're doing and kinda confusing to start. Use something smooth and wool or a wool blend. Cotton isn't very stretchy, and you want a yarn with a little stretch because it's easier to smooth out unevenness in your knitting!

My mom always told me, try to use the nicest yarn you can afford. You'll spend just as many hours with cheap yarn as with expensive yarn, but the expensive yarn will usually result in an item that lasts longer. And, it's nicer to touch and hold while you knit! There are some fabulous yarns that are much better than what you can find at Michael's or Jo-Ann's but don't cost a fortune. And, even some of the yarns at Michael's and Jo-Anns are pretty good. You just have to pick the right yarn for the job. Acrylic is great for kids' items because you can throw it in the washer and dryer, but there is nice acrylic and scratchy acrylic. Wool is usually good for durability and warmth, but there is wool that will make your hands hurt and wool that will feel like a dream. Go by what feels nice and smooth when you drag it over your fingers, especially for your first effort. A great website for affordable and nice yarn is
 
. The quality of their stuff is really good for the price.

Good luck and post or email any questions!

Jo
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