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Trying to teach myself to knit

(37 Posts)
TwinSetAndPearls Mon 13-Jun-05 23:45:56

I am trying to teach myself to knit, I make clothes but thought I could knit in the evenings while sitting with dp as obviously it is not as intrusive as a sewing machine.

But i just can't do it, I started sunday evening and I think my tension is too tight so it is such hard work and gets untidy.

I bough a debbie Bliss how to knit book and a friend bought me a knitting magazine with instructions in.

I think it is the way I am holding everything that is causing the problem, I can't manage to pass over my yarn and keep hold of the right needle.

I am using double knit yarn and 4mm needles which are quite short as I thought that would be easier.

After spending another evening of listening to my grunts of frustration dp suggested I just buy a knitting machine.

Is he right, are there some peole who just can't knit? Should i give in and buy a machine, which then defeats the object of me taking up knitting as I will be shut away in the study again. How long did it take you to get the knack.

moondog Mon 13-Jun-05 23:52:53

I want to do this!
Can a least could with the help of my grandmother who is no longer with us..

How about an evening class? This is how I learnt to quilt and patchwork which I love.

giraffeski Mon 13-Jun-05 23:52:54

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TwinSetAndPearls Mon 13-Jun-05 23:55:13

Gosh thought nobody would be up.

I have enquired about an evening class , there is dressmaking but no knitting.

I might try buying a longer pair of needles and see if that helps, I will not be beaten by a ball of wool!

giraffeski Tue 14-Jun-05 00:00:48

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TwinSetAndPearls Tue 14-Jun-05 00:11:01

My daughter is almost four, I was thinking of attempting to make a smaller version of the bag in Debbie Bliss's book which she recommends for her first project.

I see what you mean about classes, my mum is a good knitter I might swallow my pride and ask for help.

I seemed to be doing better yesterday had was reasonably happy with my knit and purl and had done some ribbing. But today can't get past knit.

giraffeski Tue 14-Jun-05 00:13:44

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giraffeski Tue 14-Jun-05 00:14:13

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TwinSetAndPearls Tue 14-Jun-05 00:17:55

I did think about mittens, but even up here in Lancashire we are not wearing mittens at the moment! Would like to make something she could wear. Although she did wear a hat and poncho today.

A friend made some baby clothes that were knitted which my dd loves, might look into those as they will be quick and if they are a bit dodgy at least it isn't the end of the world.

giraffeski Tue 14-Jun-05 00:19:37

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giraffeski Tue 14-Jun-05 00:20:47

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TwinSetAndPearls Tue 14-Jun-05 00:39:19

Girrafeski that would be really kind if you don't mind, what a wonderful place people offering advice in the early hours of the morning. Boo hiss to the people who say it is cliquey on here!

giraffeski Tue 14-Jun-05 01:05:29

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NotQuiteCockney Tue 14-Jun-05 05:19:35

TSAP, I just recently taught myself to knit, and also had/have tension problems. Trying consciously to knit looser helps, as does changing how you hold the yarn. I eventually moved to continental-style knitting (same output, you just make the stitches a bit differently) and have found that makes all the difference.

I also found just knitting and knitting and knitting without a pattern helped. When I switched to continental, I knitted, undid, and knitted the same ball over and over until things were running well (but then, I was midway through a project that I didn't want to muck up).

TwinSetAndPearls Tue 14-Jun-05 09:56:00

THanks NQC, I might try the continental method, am finding pearl easier than knit at the moment.

merglemergle Tue 14-Jun-05 13:08:40

Hi TwinSet&Pearls. I started knitting about 5 months ago, so encourgagement from someone who's maybe just a little further on.

You've been going for less than a week, with no actual demos from anyone. I think its well impressive that you're getting anything done at all, never mind the tension.

Knitting can be really really frustrating though, especially when you don't know what you're doing wrong!

I think actually having a demo from your mum might make things a lot clearer. I cannot learn ANYTHING from those diagrams in those books. I actually think some of the Debbie Bliss ones may be wrong-they illustrate a different stage to the one claimed below. My mum has helped me learn to knit. Her mother taught her etc etc so I tend to look on it as a family skill being passed through the generations.

If not, how about one of those stitch n bitch groups that people keep mentioning? I think basically they are where people get together to knit, but that beginners are welcome?

Also-more encouragement-if you can make clothes you are off to a flying start because 1. you will have a sense of how to make up garments, and 2. you will have a sense of how garments are shaped. Believe me, I just don't have either and THAT is frustrating.

teeavee Tue 14-Jun-05 13:09:59

I'm lefthanded and I hold the needles in a totally awkward way - but I knit (slowly) i find it satisfying. Persevere!

TwinSetAndPearls Tue 14-Jun-05 14:08:02

thankyou for your encouragement merglemergle, I know a few mums at playgroup knit so I may take my needles with me and get a demonstration.

There is a knitting group local , but not quite sure I am ready to parade my efforts in public!

tamum Tue 14-Jun-05 14:13:50

I don't have much to add other than a few words of encouragement! Don't buy a knitting machine, I'm sure that wouldn't be anywhere near as satisfying. I would also be inclined to try different types of yarn- you may find that your tension/knitting style suits cotton much better than wool, say, and then you can use whatever works best until you get the hang of it and then branch out. It would also be worth trying different types of needles, like bamboo rather than metal, say. Don't despair, it will be worth it in the end

merglemergle Tue 14-Jun-05 16:04:29

NQC-I just googled continnetal knitting and I'm not getting it! Can you tell me more about it? How is it different to regular knitting?

TwinSetAndPearls Wed 15-Jun-05 11:05:30

Have been persevering and have definetley improved, I think my yarn is a bit rubbish especially as I keep unravelling and reknitting. Have started with a fresh section and there is a definite improvment.

bundle Wed 15-Jun-05 11:20:57

twinset, do try different yarns, i love knitting with cotton/cotton-rich yarns but others prefer wool. just to complicate things further have you thought about crochet? i have a gorgeous summer hat pattern in 4 ply cotton.

Marina Wed 15-Jun-05 11:27:54

merglemergle and TSAP, continental knitting is where you hold the wool in your left hand, I think. It suits left-handers really well (I am one of these) but makes onlookers pass remarks on public transport.
Definitely recommend longer needles and give bamboo a whirl. My life has been transformed by switching to bamboo needles!
I taught myself (did the basics very badly years ago) recently using the Debbie Bliss book, so I sympathise. I do think you've got the best one on the market though. I'm not mad on her patterns but the technique she outlines is very clear.
I'm a big cotton-rich yarn fan too bundle . My top favourite is the lightweight, attractive Rowan All Seasons Cotton. It almost knits itself.

TwinSetAndPearls Wed 15-Jun-05 11:28:51

I would love to try crochet, as dd has lots of crochet things that are lovely and I would love to be able to make them myself. Will try and master the knitting first though.

bundle Wed 15-Jun-05 11:34:20

sigh. all seasons cotton. sigh

bamboo. sigh.

i'm sure there's research somewhere showing that knitting lowers your blood pressure. (oh except - in my case - intarsia )

oh and you can get bamboo crochet hooks too.

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