Hello Everyone!

I wanted to introduce myself to this wonderful community. My name is Jared and I've been knitting for a few months now. It's just one of my favourite addictions (I don't know if those last two words form an oxymoron, but it works just the same). I constantly either get teased for being a guy that knits or praised because you don't see many guys in Kansas that do this.

I'm really excited to be part of this website as use for getting great advice and tips on how to become a better knitter. Thus far, I can do the basic patterns, but my current scarf, a moss rib stitch pattern, has made my life a living hell. I don't know whether or not to just rip the whole thing apart right now. Way too many bad gaps in the knitting.

And now for a question: Does a lower weight yarn than say my Lion Brand Thick N Easy yarn work better for cabling? I'm really interested in learning this technique so any advice on yarn choice would be wonderful.

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Melbcub's picture

Hey Jared.

I've been knitting for a few months too. Taught myself on youtube and haven't looked back!

As for stopping work on the scarf, i'd say its fine if you do. When i first started i went through 5 or more small projects that were never finished. For me it was all about getting the technique down, and becoming more comfortable. My first attempts were full of gaps and dropped stitches.

But once you start a new project and you have your technique down, these things become less frequent.

I am too much of a novice to answer your question re the yarn. sorry.

Looking forward to seeing some of your progress :-)

That was excellent, Ryan. YouTube is an excellent suggestion.



I do not know what someone else might post to you, but I believe Ryan hit the nail on the head. Take a look at YouTube. The way I am envisioning helping you would involve watching you knit. I cannot imagine your way of holding your needles, how much or how little tension is used, or what method of knitting you do. I hope that is correct. Anyway, since we cannot see what you are doing, maybe watching someone working the same pattern will help you figure out what is going on. Do not be afraid to rip out. That is all in the learning process. As I mentioned to someone before, if you rip out enough, you will soon learn to NOT have to do it again. Your stitch library in your head along with tension awareness will grow so fast it will make your head spin. :-)
Will you keep us posted as to how you are coming along? I would really enjoy following your progress. Do not lose your patience. It will all come together before you know it.
Welcome to the group! :-)



Tom Hart's picture

Hey Jared,
For the first six or more months of my knitting life all I did were swatches. Stan Stansbury of this group gave me Barbara Walker's "Learn to knit Afghan book" and I just did square after square of that. And with each square I was introduced to something new.
And yes, for my first cabling swatches I did use big ropey yarn (Lion Brand Thick and Quick) and gianormous needles. Like size 13 and size 15. Using those big yarns and needles helped me to see exactly what I was doing. It was all completely brand new to me. I'd never done it before and I wanted to see very, very clearly exactly what was going on. I also used only very light colored yarn. Light colored yarn is easier to work with in terms of seeing what you're doing than dark yarn.
This moment right now is the first time that I've looked back on those days and weeks and months of learning this craft. (I had my first knitting lesson 18 months ago.) It was an amazing time of my life. I am in my 60's and it was/is the first time since childhood that I've learned something so completely brand new to me. It's kind of done a number on me. It's changed how I think of myself and it's certainly changed how I spend a lot of my free time.
One thing I've found out about learning to knit is that the learning part never stops. There's always something else. I think that learning to knit has changed my brain. I used to say that the learning of this craft is knitting new neural pathways in my brain. I think that that might really be true. My hands can now do stuff with needles and yarn on auto pilot that they could never do before.
The other thing about it is the problem solving. Problems will arise. Lots of them. And while you can ask for help from this group and get it. A lot of times I just had to figure stuff out myself. And that's kind of amazing when it happens. It changes me.
This knitting thing is really an open ended adventure. But don't get me started...

smalltownknitguy's picture

Hey Jared and welcome to the group. Tom is right about the working things out for yourself. I have been knitting for over 5 years and just learned to "read" my knitting well this year. As for the teasing in Kansas, you should see some of the looks I get being a male knitter in the conservative deep south! I have finally over come this and now I knit in public wherever I go.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Welcome...I have family in Kansas - Wichita and Park City, to be exact - and second the fact that you'll improve as time goes by. A lot of my friends comment on how well I knit but it has only taken me 40+ years to get this good. LOL You look as though you're off to a good start so keep it up. For cables to show up well, finer yarns may work better. However, that said, there are some nice cabled designs that use fairly thick yarns. My guess is that you want to keep them simple, saving really complex patterns for finer weight yarns. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

J. Gent's picture

Thank you everyone for the great welcome. I probably will frog this pattern for the time being and start on a simpler pattern. Maybe the basket weave pattern or the caterpillar stitch pattern. I'm tired of just doing the basic stitch patterns (my first two scarves were a simple "purl til you tire of it" pattern).

Hello, neighbor. Oklahoma people aren't that much different from Kansas people when it comes to seeing a male knitter working. Do it, enjoy the notoriety, and educate. Even though I have been knitting for over 28 years, some women still have difficulty accepting that I could render believable advice simply because I am a male.
Since I learned to knit in Iceland I became comfortable with stranded knitting very early. Within a couple of years I had made a couple of Fair Isle vests which I wore to a graduate class at Temple University. On the other side of the room sat an elderly woman who wore vests with intricate tiny cables and some openwork. After a few weeks we finally spoke to each other. I told her that I had been admiring her vests and asked her, merely for verification, if she had made the vests herself. She said that she had, and she returned the question to me. She said that she had never tried stranded knitting, and the prospect of it scared her to death. I told her that I had been regarding her as the advanced knitter since I was scared to attempt cabling. She held my knitting as advanced since she had not been able to bring herself to work Fair Isle. We both had a good laugh about how we had regarded the work of the other. Since then I have worked cabled projects and lots of lace and some intarsia.
One of the fun things about knitting is that it can be impressive in its simplicity, simply letting the yarn speak, or it can be incredibly complex and sculptural. I enjoy caps made with a novice spinner's first yarn; the novice usually feels that the yarn is a disaster, but it's a novelty yarn like he/she will never be able to make again as experience is gained in drafting smoothly to get an even yarn. Get the basics of knitting down so that it's nearly second nature to work, and then play with different techniques and patterns. A lifetime is too short to exhaust the possibilities presented by the knitting universe.


WillyG's picture

Hi, Jared, and welcome! I'd say "favorite addictions" is not so much an oxy moron as redundant, haha!

rc_in_sd's picture

Welcome, Jared! We've all been there. The day will come - and soon - when you'll look back on your current project and feel a great sense of satisfaction with how much you've learned. Just don't be too critical of yourself and enjoy the learning process.

As far as cables are concerned, I'd suggest sticking with a smooth-textured yarn. Yarns with a lot of texture variations (like boucle, for example) won't have the stitch definition that cabling needs.