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I have decided to learn how to knit, what do I need?

(49 Posts)
ilikeyoursleeves Thu 03-Jan-13 22:54:31

As the title says, I have decided to learn how to knit this year. I am a complete novice and I don't have a clue where to start other than to go to John lewis tomorrow to buy some needles and wool.

But what kind of needles? What kind of wool? I have looked at a few websites and it's a bit gobbledeegook. I'd like to start with trying to knit a baby blanket.

Any tips hugely appreciated! Thanks!

tribpot Sun 06-Jan-13 18:54:52

Just to let posters know we have a new blanket square project just started.

ilikeyoursleeves Sun 06-Jan-13 17:52:08

It looked one of the easier options though cos I'm just doing knit stitch for the entire blanket! Though perhaps a scarf might have been better? Oh well ill see how it goes!

tribpot Sun 06-Jan-13 17:41:12

Hmm yes - a blanket is not really a beginner's project! But you will speed up - it's just a question of staying motivated in the meantime.

ilikeyoursleeves Sun 06-Jan-13 17:25:10

Yes they are Pony ones. Though it seems a bit easier now that I'm in the flow and got past the first few rows. Think I'm being a bit ambitious though, I've done a row of about 200 stitches cos I want a decent size blanket but its going to take me til next Xmas at this rate! Managed to do 4 rows today in between seeing to my 3 boys!

tribpot Sun 06-Jan-13 15:44:41

Are these Pony circulars, ilike? They aren't very good, basically - it's hard to get any circular needle where the yarn doesn't catch on that joiny bit, but unfortunately the cheapo ones suffer worst from this. Don't worry about it, you just need to manhandle the yarn a bit (and not knit too tightly - but it happens to me and I am a very loose knitter).

Keep making sure your arms are relaxed. The soreness may also be to do with knitting tightly so you're having to push too hard to do each stitch. It should be easy to do a knit or a purl stitch (I don't mean you should find it easy to know how but to do should not require pushing).

ilikeyoursleeves Sun 06-Jan-13 15:04:32

My fingers are sore! Is this normal? ESP the pads of my index finger and thumb on right hand.

And the wool keep bunching up on the circular needles where he plastic circular bit meets the metal needle! Am I knitting too tightly or is this what happens?

tribpot Sun 06-Jan-13 11:21:38

Fantastic work, ilikeyoursleeves!

ilikeyoursleeves Sun 06-Jan-13 10:49:18

I am excited! I have finished my mouse scarf smile my first ever knitting! It's basically a rectangle about 40 stitches wide and 20 rows, starting off very wonky but ending better. I even did it in two colours and cast it off! I bought some circular needles yesterday so I'm now going to try my stripy baby blanket, if its wonky I'm sure my 6 mth old wont care smile

Vajazzler Sat 05-Jan-13 20:07:40

Thanks Tribpot

tribpot Sat 05-Jan-13 10:57:10

Vajazzler - this explains how to pick up a stitch after you've cast off, but it might be best to get an idea of how you would do it if you hadn't cast off first, since it's easier to understand when shown on live work.

Pick up a dropped stitch

The crochet hook technique might be easier to do than using two needles at this stage, some more pictures here and a video.

You basically do the same thing as shown here, working the dropped stitch up to the top, and then sew it into place on the edge so it can't drop again.

Vajazzler Sat 05-Jan-13 09:02:17

Can anyone tell me what to do when i finish a square then notice a dropped stitch?

tribpot Sat 05-Jan-13 08:12:29

Another cast off video.

demisemiquaver Sat 05-Jan-13 00:02:12

in similar position myself a few months ago....but luckily joined a knitting group...can you not see if there's one nearby?..good luck!!...also, have a look[in john lewis] at their ROWAN knitting pattn books : they're very inspiring!...there should be a couple of v basic stitching pieces in that can get you started........

Meow75isknittinglikemad Fri 04-Jan-13 22:54:05

Oh crap.

Use the point of your LEFT NEEDLE to carry the casting off stitch over it's neighbour.

Sorry, laughing at Graham Norton show and MNing.

angry Naughty Meow75

ilikeyoursleeves Fri 04-Jan-13 22:53:20

6ft long?! Wow! Sounds amazing! I'm planning on doing some practice ie learning just now then do a stripy baby blanket for my 6 month old bundle of joy smile

Meow75isknittinglikemad Fri 04-Jan-13 22:52:06

This is a very useful site
I also agree that Ravelry is your friend. The group that I am meeting tomorrow morning I have met through Rav. Didn't know there was an MN group though.

Casting off - knit your first two stitches (or purl them, if it's appropriate to your pattern), then use the point of your right needle to pull the stitch that was first OVER the second one and off the right needle. Then knit (or P) the next stitch, and then pass number two over number 3 and off the right needle. Cast off as many as you need. If your pattern is an American version, they will use the term "Bind off" instead of cast-off.

<dashes off to Rav to find the MN group, forthwith>

tribpot Fri 04-Jan-13 22:43:08

Yellow - have a look on Knit Freedom under bind offs. Just the one at the top, do not look at any of the more complicated ones below that!

Please ignore the fact she is holding the yarn in her left hand, you just knit each stitch as normal and then pull the previous stitch over the top of the one just knit and off the right hand needle.

Will have a look in the morning for another video with the yarn held in the English/American style, i.e. in the right hand.

YellowFlyingPineapple Fri 04-Jan-13 22:39:07

<<gets very excited>>

Oh can I join in please?

I started before Christmas and have knitted a 6ft long x 103 stitches wide woolen thingie which I am going to join to 3 other equal sized thingies to make a Granny blanket, well hopefully.

I am getting all my wool from Charity shops, so it is fairly bright and yesterday I got 5 big balls of wool for £1.50 and a fab thingie you put on the end of the needles when you have finished to stop your stitches falling off, so I was thrilled.

Yes, wool in charity shops does seem to be very under the counter, sideways glances and hushed tones, how exciting!

How do I cast off though?

tribpot Fri 04-Jan-13 22:38:00

Just relax the arms down until you're comfortable. I think people often find it easier to start with sitting at a table so they rest their arms on it for this very reason.

Well done on your first three rows, though! Good work!

ilikeyoursleeves Fri 04-Jan-13 22:29:52

Woo hoo! I think I actually did cast on twice, I looked at a YouTube clip and I understand what to do now. I have knitted three rows with knit stitch and it could almost pass as a tiny scarf for a mouse!


However my shoulders now ache. How am I meant to hold my posture? My arms are sort of mid air!

tribpot Fri 04-Jan-13 21:26:41

Interesting, did you actually slip the needle off the stitch for the knitting row? Or did you carry on adding stitches like when you were doing the casting on row?

Have a look at 'The Knit Stitch (American/English)' on the KnitFreedom videos page - under 'The Basics'. Basically right hand needle goes through the stitch on the left hand needle, yarn goes under then over the right hand needle, then pull the right hand needle back towards you, catching the newly-made loop of the yarn as you do. Then you pull the existing stitch off the needle, et voila.

ilikeyoursleeves Fri 04-Jan-13 21:14:57

Hmmmm I just did a row of casting on which looked good, then I tried to do a knit stitch but it looks like I've done another casting on row??? Cos now on the needle there is millions of wool and I can't see individual stitches! Argh, start again...

tribpot Fri 04-Jan-13 20:44:09

Good stuff - just take it slowly. It will seem very odd at first - when I was teaching people recently you realise just what a strange set of movements it is to explain!

Vajazzler Fri 04-Jan-13 20:34:01

I learned to knit late last year so that i could contribute to a woolly hug blanket for cupofteaplease. With the help of a couple of youtube vids i was off and am now making squares aplenty for an angel hug blanket. I then need to teach myself how to sew it together!!!

Doyouthinktheysaurus Fri 04-Jan-13 20:19:57

You tube is your friend, it's great!

Good luck.

Be prepared to find yourself tied up in knots at first. My mum showed me an easier way to cast on so I can do that but that's pretty much as far as I get.....

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