A new hobby

Well hello all. My name is Stacy and I am going to make knitting my new hobby. I have always wanted to knit I just never had the coiurage to give it a try. Being that it is known to be something that only women do. But then I saw the book Knitting With Balls and said well what the hell am I waitng for.
So the first thing I did was register to this site. I have not even bought supplies yet. Speaking of supplies can some through a list at me. You know of a new knitter should start out with. Well that is it hope to get my first project on here soon.


MMario's picture

The first thing is:

known to be something that only women do

wrong, wrong, wrong,wrong! Men have been knitting for centuries - and as recently as WWI and WWII a *lot* of men knit.

Now that I've got that out of my system *grin*; welcome to knitting and to the MWK site!

I'll let someone else point you towards beginning supplies and patterns; There are a nuber of new knitters here who can probably tell you what helped or hindered them.

MMario - Can anybody tell me what year it is?

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

Celowin's picture

Welcome to the site, and welcome to knitting! I'm a relatively new knitter myself, so I'll try to give you some advice on where to start.

First off, I wouldn't buy a lot of expensive equipment right off the bat. While everyone here loves to knit, I have to be fair and say that it isn't for everyone. You don't want to spend tons of money on knitting supplies and find that you don't enjoy it.

So, what I suggest you do at first is go to your local Wal-mart, and buy a couple of things: There is a kit by Boyle that is sold at every Wal-mart that includes an "I Taught Myself Knitting" pamphlet (I can't really call it a book), a couple pairs of needles, and a number of basic notions. I think it sells for around $12. I'll be honest, the stuff in the kit is pretty low quality, and will probably slowly get replaced with better items. However, it is a good place to start.

The other thing to buy while you're there is just a small skein of Red-Heart worsted weight yarn. You want to get a light color, but not white. Something like a baby blue is about right. I hate the stuff, so why am I suggesting getting a skein? Really, the only thing that I suggest you use this for is to first learn how to do your stitches. I wouldn't bother ever doing a full project in this yarn, but it is good for "practice yarn." The reason I suggest the baby blue is that for practice, you really want to be able to see your stitches. If you get a dark color, you really can't see what the yarn is doing. White wouldn't be terrible, but it can have a bit of glare.

Once you have those things, go practice your basic cast on, knis, purls, and bind offs. The yarn is cheap, so unless you are *really* thrifty, I wouldn't bother unravelling and reusing the yarn -- just cut off what you use, and toss it. You now will have two written explanations of how to do these things (Knitting with Balls, and the Boyle pamphlet), and if you get confused by one explanation, see if the other makes more sense. Also, use http://www.knittinghelp.com to see video clips of how to do the stitches.... immensely helpful. I never would have learned to purl without that site.

Somewhere in that practice, try to find a local yarn shop. You can see if they have classes if you want, but I've never thought they were worth the money when I can teach myself. What you really want to do is once you've decided this knitting stuff is kind of fun, buy a couple skeins of good quality yarn. Exactly what, I'll speak more on in a moment.

For your first real project, it really needs to be somewhat tailored to you individually. You want it to be ambitious enough that you learn a lot from it, but not so difficult as to be overwhelming. I personally did the wallet from Knitting with Balls first, which worked out alright probably wasn't the best choice. A lot of people do dishcloths, since they are quick. A lot of people suggest a garter stitch scarf, but I disagree (boring, and you really want something that mixes knits and purls).

Basically, decide for yourself: Do I have to patience to put in 20 hours or more on a scarf, or should I start with a dishcloth that I can get done in around 5? In the end, it is a personal decision.

Once you've decided, go to your local yarn store and buy the yarn. For a dishcloth, you'll want to use 100% cotton, and won't need much. For a scarf, you have lots of choices, but go 100% wool and get something like 500 yards. Either way, go worsted weight.

Here is a simple pattern for either one, which I think is complicated enough to learn a lot from on your first project, but not so overwhelming to be impossible. If you're doing the washcloth, use the #6 needles that come with the set, if you're doing the scarf, use the #8s.

Cast on 64 stitches.
Row 1-12: *Knit 8, purl 8* four times.
Row 13-24: *Purl 8, knit 8* four times.

Repeat rows 1-24 until object is your desired length, then bind off.

This should give you a nice "checkerboard" pattern.

Well, good luck, and always feel free to ask for advice!

OKknitguy's picture

I would suggest finding a local yarn store. I got some early stuff at walmart and ended up throwing it all away after I found my local yarn store and found that there is a difference between yarns and supplies. After struggling along with things by myself for a while, I also signed up for a few classes and that was the best thing I could have done. Most great yard stores have classes for beginners, plus you meet newbies in your class and form great friendships. My favorite activity is to go down to the local store and just sit on the couch, knit with the girls for a few hours. Its so relaxing. Good luck, but again, I'd find a good store, with good supplies, good products, awesome yarns, and sign up for classes!

Darrel's picture

Welcome to the site and I echo the suggestion to use http://www.knittinghelp.com as its videos are top-notch and cleared up so much confusion that books caused. You'll be a pro in weeks!

kiwiknitter's picture

I hope by now you've got those needles, the yarn and some assistance to start up what just might be a life-long craft. When you first posted, I thought that if every MWK member replied, you'd most likely have 900 different opinions! My suggestions are pretty much a repeat of those already offered. 1. Look at lots of different knitting books. They are not all the same and one of them is sure to "speak" to you in an understandable way. 2. Find assistance at a local yarn store. Hands-on help is invaluable no matter how good the on-line or book support may be. We all learn in different ways. 3. Dare to spend a bit more and get some good needles (there is nothing like good tools to work with) and purchase some quality knitting wool. Your finished product will reflect the quality of the materials. Feel some acrylic yarn and then some high quality knitting wool (or other natural fiber). You'll soon suss out which you'd rather have running through your fingers. Just because it's going to be your first project doesn't mean it has to be second rate.

Best wishes on your wading out into the big ocean of knitting!

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly