Thursday, June 15, 2006

How 2 Start Knitting...

A couple of people have recently asked me how to get into knitting, so this is my:

Learners Knitting Guide (from the perspective of a learner!)

I would firstly recommend getting a copy of Stitch and Bitch by Debbie Stoller. I know this isn’t the only book for new knitters, but so far it is my favourite because although I’m not fussed for the patterns, I think the approach is fun, easy and memorable (and you might like the patterns!).

I would then take a look at Knitty and trawl though all their free patterns – particularly the ‘mellow’ ones and find something (either from Knitty or Stitch and Bitch) that you feel like having a go at – probably a scarf?! Probably something in a chunky/bulk wool?!

(For further assistance with techniques, once you actually pick up your needles, I’d try Knitting Help. You can even sit in front of the computer with your needles for a tutorial.)

I would then take a look at Get Knitted (even if the site is a bit of a mess) and Pavi Yarns (because the site is simple and clear). Offline, any John Lewis is always a good option for basic stuff and then there is Loop (in Islington) and (the newly opened) Stash (in Putney), and I’m quite fond of the Knit Tin in Olney - who by the way do beginners scarf kits which look really good!

Next I would join a knitting circle. There are lots of them around and most of them comprise mixed ages and abilities, so you don’t need to feel daunted. You can find knitting group locations on the UK Stitch ‘n’ Bitch site.

Another great resource are knitting blogs. I personally find it really good fun to hang out with other knitters online through a blog, so I would recommend setting up a blogger, typepad or livejournal account and getting stuck in. Alternatively you can just start surfing your way round some of the web rings such UK Knitters, Knitty Kitty for ideas and inspiration. Two of my favourite blogs are Purl Friday and Purly Queen because they are way better than me, but not so much so that it scares me, and they post really regularly and honestly abut their projects.

Eventually you will need bags and boxes for all of your yarn, and essential tools such as scissors, pins, counters and tapestry needles, but you don't need to worry about that to start with, you will acquire things as you need them. First of all its fun to just play around with some wool and some some needles and see what happens...

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