We are hunkering down here in Truckee, Ca just outside of Lake Tahoe where the snows are blowing and we can’t keep up with the shoveling.
And while I hunker, and in between helping Kevin keep up with the incessant shoveling, I knit. I used to knit a lot. And I have unfinished knitting projects stashed hither thither all over the house. I’ve been working on this squishy blanket for years using leftover balls of yarn. I haven’t started a hat or a smaller knitting project in quite a while and as I participate in Heather’s retreat (which is heavy on photos of knit stuff) I’m realizing how much I miss everything about knitting. Choosing a pattern, yarn. The excitement of the cast on, and the pleasure not only of the meditation of knitting itself but how the strings of wool FEEL as they’re worked up.
I learned to knit when I became pregnant with Maddie. I was reading SouleMama and Posie Gets Cozy – two crafty blogs heavy on the knitting. We lived in Edwards Co, just outside of Vail and I would drive down the dark slippery roads to Minturn and take lessons from our local master knitter in her little knitting shop. I learned to knit pretty quickly and it just took off from there. I knitted sweaters, hats, scarves, blankets for the kids, hats for Kevin, sweaters and hats and mittens for moi. Where in God’s name I found the time to knit all that stuff is beyond me because I can currently barely make time for the squishy blanket above.
If you’re new to knitting, then – but of course – I have a few books that I have enjoyed (see below). To begin with, I suggest either taking a lesson or two from a knitting friend or from a yarn shop nearby. Once you get the hang of it and have maybe knitted up a simple scarf, then begin to look for simple patterns in books, at Ravelry.com, or Purl Soho, etc. There are free patterns everywhere.
After learning the basics (knitting and purling) I was able to tackle more complicated patterns (though still easy) by looking up the stitches on YouTube, which is incredibly helpful! My favorite YouTube knitting instructor is KnitWitch.
Here is an example of a pattern that probably makes no sense to you if you are new to knitting but for each stitch, you can find a YouTube video to help you (I liked to an example):
Cast on multiples of 4. Knit all right side (odd) rows. Row 2 and 4: p1k3 across. Row 6 and 8: k2, *p1k3 across to end, end with p1k1.
Part of what I love about knitting patterns is that they are almost like a puzzle. You need to read them sloooowly to understand what is going on, there is also a mathematical component that can either drive you crazy or be really fun depending on what you think of math.
As far as books on the topic? These are the ones that helped me the most in one way or another 🙂 (click links below pics)
- Stitch ‘n Bitch – the go-to guide for everything knitting
- Last-Minute Knitted Gifts – eye candy and beautiful projects. I’ve knitted a lot of stuff from this and…
- More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts
- And if you really want to know how to knit and fall in love with knitting then Marianne Zimmerman is a must. Start with Marianne Zimmerman’s Knitting Workshop or
- Knitting Without Tears, then try
- Knitter’s Almanac
…okay, ya got all that? Now, let’s see you get knittin’!