Wednesday, April 7, 2010

So you want to learn to Knit too....

Someone just asked on my blog for some advice on learning to knit after being a crocheter for a long time. So I thought I'd share a bit of my journey from crocheter to knitter too and the attitude I needed to take to bring on the needles.

Some of my fears were handling two needle instead of just one hook and all those stitches on the needles made me nervous. How did I do it? I was already adventurous with crochet then so brought the same mindset over to knitting.

I found knitting continental much easier than throwing because I was already used to tensioning my yarn in my left hand. When you need help knowing what to do I highly recommend the videos on Knitting Help.

So if you want to knit. What is is you want to knit? I wanted to knit socks. But knowing I like to have some skills under my belt I started with a scarf, a Harry Potter Scarf to be exact.

Hubby wearing the Gryfindor Scarf

I really don't recommend making this scarf unless you enjoy knitting endless stockinette in the round. By the time I was done with this scarf I had essentially knit the body of 10 toddler sweaters. My husband does look very courageous though. Yet this was a great take with me project. If I were to do it over again I think making a some wool hot pads would have been a good idea. If the work was not to your liking you could felt them.

Because the scarf was so boring I started a Basket Weave scarf to learn to purl. You won't find that scarf here though because I didn't keep knitting it. So don't be afraid to bail. I came away from it feeling confident in my purling so I could do ribbing.

Anyway when I was maybe a fourth of the way done with the scarf and done about 4 inches on the basket weave scarf that no longer exists. I started my first pair of socks. I grabbed some baby weight yarn which was a sport weight in the stash. Yes it was acrylic but I was just learning and it did the job. I used double points even. I broke my first wood needles as well. So that was the last time I used wood needles to knit socks. I followed Silver's Sock Class as well as reading things on Knitting Help to understand the sock knitting process and made some socks.

first pair of knit socks

I made footies because I wanted to get to the hard parts first: turning the heel and the gusset. It really is not that hard, seriously. The first few rows are the most fiddly. After that you get going it gets easier.

So I say go for it what ever you want to do. If you need help I recommend the Newer Knitters Group on Ravelry. Lots of great info and helpful fiber fiends to get you on your way to knitting glory;)

Tips and a few more in brief:

If knitting English doesn't work try knitting Continental or start out that way.
Be fearless! Don't be afraid of making mistakes or need or rip things out. Actually I suggest you knit something then take out the needles then pick the stitches back up again. This way you learning how your stitches need to be mounted.
Use life lines even if you are knitting a dishcloth it will help learn to read your knitting.
Count, count and count your stitches at first.
Use stitch marker to keep track of patterns.
If you can't see the mistake riding on horse then you don't have to fix it.
Knit something you want.
Most of all have fun.


  1. I have to say that my favorite bit of advice here is: "If you can't see the mistake riding on horse then you don't have to fix it." So true!

  2. Dear Samantha,

    First let me say, I'm truly flattered that you'd make a whole blog post to my question. What a nice surprise, thank you.

    Second after reading your post, I think I might have to learn the Continental method of knitting. I have the basics, and also learned from videos of the site you posted(Knitting help).

    But I wasn't as efficient in it as my crochet.

    First the needles didn't feel 100 % comfortable as my crochet hook and my stitches were just not getting there, in regards of even tension and stitches, the way that I wanted them too, I was just practicing stitches no pattern. So maybe that's another thing I should do as well actually do a small project. So therefore my knitting has been dormant for sometime now.

    I've been crocheting for about two years now, but, might have more advanced skills I think, because I just love it so much, and practice as much as I can!

    Again thank you so much and God willing I will take notes on some of your learning pointers here. I Really appreciate the time you took here to help me out.

    Thanks again.

    Kindest regards,

    Crocheting Mother

    p.s. About your previous post and knitting shawls and how you found them so meditative and calming. I also read just recently on Chie Crochets blog how she found them relaxing projects as well.

    Thanks again!

  3. Hello again,

    I almost forgot to mention because you pictured it here. I think of all of your knitting projects. Your husband's "wizard scarf" is one of my favorites. I don't know what you mean about him being "courageous". It looks as good to me as any store bought scarf, perhaps better that I've seen.

    As for repetitive stitching. I've gotten around that some things that I do are, I "multi-task" many times, going online, talking to the family etc....things like that.

    Also keep a book in my crochet project basket, planning God willing on popping a notebook in there as well, because I REALLY need more organization these days, as well as just doing other things.

    Thanks for being patient with my ramblings.

    Kind regards,

    Crocheting Mom

  4. I enjoyed typing up this post. It was kind of a fun walk down memory lane. I figure there are lots more hookers out there who are interested in needles too ;)

    When I say he looks courageous it's in reference to the Harry Potter series. The scarf colors are for the Gryffindor house which represents courage, bravery, daring, nerve and chivalry.

  5. Hello Samantha,

    Ok I understand now, thanks for clarifying.

    Kind regards.

    Crocheting Mom