I am way to new to even know where to start.....

As the title says.
Hi, I am Ridge. I am a 17 year old borderline vegan. And I just realized something. I would love to know how to make hats and gloves and stuff for myself. It is just way to hard to find vegan knit things, and instead, I have decided to just make them myself from various yarns, excluding wool.
My problem is, I have no knowledge whatsoever about knitting. I have not looked into it besides what I have tried to find on the internet. There is simply nowhere in my little town or nobody I can turn to.......not even my grandmother knits!
So with that being said, can anybody help me with providing links, advice, tips, etc? I would greatly appreciate it! And also, if you have any awesome patterns, please do send them my way. I am trying to build a library of patterns to do later on when I have started to knit. The kinds of things that I am looking for are:

hats (and I love the ones with the ear flaps)
gloves (fingerless, ones with fingers, mittens, etc)
scarves (all kinds, but I like striped)
sweaters (but only the ones you think a 17 year old would wear! No "old man" type!)
and various other things......

I really hope that I can begin this craft, and hope to learn a lot from you guys!

teejtc's picture

Hey Ridge...

Welcome to knitting! Wanting to learn is pretty much the only requirement for learning - knitting is easy and I've yet to meet anyone who can't learn it if they want to!

Knitting is possible to learn from websites or books (some crafts are easier to learn by yourself than others - knitting is, in my opinion, one of the easiest.) However, you'll find you pick it up much more quickly if you can have someone show you how to do the two basic stitches: knit and purl.

My suggestion is to either find a yarnshop near you and ask them about a lesson (or maybe a beginning class) or to search out someone near you who can help... I'd bet there's someone on this board reasonably close to you!

I'll hunt down some websites for you if no one else posts anything. I'm pretty sure someone around here has some to recommend though. Either way - welcome! I hope you find MenWhoKnit to be as encouraging and helpful as I have!

As for vegan fibers... you shouldn't have trouble finding any - I'd recommend bamboo or corn as opposed to general polyesters - they're more comfortable on the skin.

Grace and Peace,

NonStopAndrew's picture

Ow....my head hurts now. I read that first line, and my mind got whiplash. Then I remembered that vegan wasn't just about food. I should remember this, an ex of mine can't make up her mind about what she feels bad for eating, and ranges from not being a vegetarian to being a strict vegan. Got to love her, raises her own chickens for eggs, and can out-bake everyone I have ever met. I agree with Tim, stay away from the synthetics if you can, they have never seemed as nice to me. Cotton may also be an option. I know you do not want to use wool, but depending upon your reasons for veganism, local wool (from someone you know, who treats their animals properly) could be an option. I have raised/bred many animals including sheep (before I knitted) and it always seemed a waste to me to throw away the wool. To start learning, I would suggest one of the many video websites that others can point out much more easily than I can. Youtube and others taught me how to knit, just get some needles and start going at it. Welcome, I know you will love it here.

Buzzboy's picture

Hey Ridge, Good to hear you are wanting to knit. I have relied on knittinghelp.com quite a bit. They have instruction videos that you can rely on. Also youtube.com has alot of videos. Just remember when first learning don't give up. If you get intimidated put your work down and go back in a few minutes. You don't have to have anything done that quick. Although, there are times I would like to. Start off with an easy pattern. If you join Ravelry.com they have alot of free patterns to try. You just have to request an invitation. It takes about three days to get it. Last but not least, just have fun.


Britannic's picture

I'm a fairly new knitter myself. I didn't learn online. Although, I have used online sites with videos to help when I've had problems. I've also attended some classes and some "sit and knit" sessions at the nearest yarn shop that I could find. I find it next to impossible to learn from illustrated images found in most of the books that I tried. Google and YouTube have been very helpful in finding videos and websites with helpful information.

As others have said, the important thing is to enjoy it. Don't expect to master it in minutes, hours or days. Just relax. When you get frustrated, put it down for a little while and then return to it. Start with something simple until you get the hang of casting on, knitting and purling. Once you feel relatively comfortable with those, start going for the interesting stuff!

Good luck and welcome to the world of knitting.

Oh, and as for being vegan, I believe there are some soy yarns out there you can use. I'm using a yarn for a reversible cable scarf that I working on now that's 50% soy and 50% wool.

-- Mark

Thank you guys for your help!
I have given some thought to what kinds of fibers I would use, and I would use wool if it came from a proper place. I know that right now most wool comes from Australia, and I have heard about some cruel things that they do to their sheep. Since I do live in Kansas, maybe someone has sheep around here; I don't know but I'll look into it.
What do you think of acrylic? I like the feel of it, since its much softer than wool in some cases, and you can get it in many different colors.
I have never used corn or bamboo in anything (but then again, I've never picked up yarn in my life) but what do you guys think? Is it easy to work with? I just bought a great bamboo velvet blazer, and the feel of it is amazing.

Just one last question: Is it normal to feel a little weird about wanting to knit at first? I'm finding it a bit strange, wondering how my girlfriend will react.

albert's picture

Your girlfriend may: a. be envious, b. ask you to knit stuff for her. As for wool, you can buy wool yarns easily online or at your LYS that come from New Zealand, Peru, Italy, U.S. and probably many more. You can of course learn to spin and then buy fleeces from small flock owners who pamper their sheep- there are many. I think after you have gotten some knitting under your belt you will become, like so many of us, a "yarn snob", that is, you will come to prefer natural fiber yarns to plastic. Whatever way you go, enjoy!

Veni, vidi, kniti.

teejtc's picture

There are a lot of locally produced wools just about everywhere around the country. Many local producers care for their animals very humanely and would gladly introduce them to their flock. I finished a handful of projects of wool produced by a farmer down the road from me.

As for bamboo -- I happen to like it. If you're looking for world-kindness, however, I vacillate on it. Most bamboo comes from China which means that the environmental benefit of using a product from something that grows quickly and easily may be offset by the cost and environmental cost of the shipping. Corn, unfortunately, often fits into the same category -- my only suggestion is to carefully read labels if you care about those things.

Regrading the "weird" feeling. you're pretty normal. Most people feel weird about doing things that they think are socially unusual or things they think bend strongly ingrained (though often inaccurate) gender roles. My wife thought it was weird at first.. she got over it :-)

Grace and Peace,

knit_knot_eat's picture

I'm fairly new to knitting as well. I did have someone show me the basic cast on and knit stitch.
But everything else I learned was either from people hear explaining it to me, or the site knittinghelp.com
I love that site since it has great videos on just about everything.

I've been gone for a while. Sorry about that.
I do have some very great news though. My neighbor across the street has offered to help me learn! She taught her daughter when she was a kid (she's now 26 and such a fox!) so hopefully I'll be making some stuff pretty soon now!

NonStopAndrew's picture

That is exciting, it is always easier to learn from someone than on your own. Lol, I have a group of people I am teaching currently, all I have to do is stay one lesson ahead of them and I am doing great.

haha, great. hopefully they won't get to be on the same step as you! that could prove to be problematic.