Learning to knit as a adult (w Pics)

As a child I know my mother knitted. I think just about anyone in New Zealand would be able to say that, and while I cannot remember her knitting anything in particular for me, (I could be wrong) I do remember her knitting. I also remember trying to learn to knit at the time and giving up in disgust as a knotted mess hung from my needles where my scarf was supposed to be appearing. And that was that... at least so I thought.

It was an average sort of day, June or July last year.... I was sitting there earlier this year, watching something on TV, I think it was on the Living Channel, and they were teaching adults to knit. They started off with the basics of casting on and showed everything in a clear step-by-step way… I was inspired. It looked so easy to get something started and finished.
So the very next day I got myself down to the craft supplier and found myself some needles and wool and started to teach myself to knit.

Learning to knit Anyone who knows me, even just a little bit, knows that I love to learn; languages, skills, recipes, it really doesn’t matter what I just love learning.

Now I would say that the best way to learn knitting is from another knitter, so if you have someone that you know who is a knitter, I would ask them nicely to teach you. There is something about learning a physical skill from someone who is doing it in front of you that just works betting.

I did not have one so I found some other resources to help me.

First thing... the internet and I found one site that really helped to clear things up for me - And if you are looking start knitting after reading this... I can recommend this site to help - even for left handed knitters.

My First Project The Paua Scarf Now I had the basics of casting on, knitting, picking up dropped stiches, I was ready to do something with the skills that I had learnt. Of course it had to be a simple scarf because I did not want anything too complex and I did not feel ready to take on some clever pattern. So a straight sided scarf was the perfect project to practice the knitting basics. I found a wonderful wool from Australia and off I went.... Knitting, not like a machine... more like a turtle.... but knitting all the same.

For any one out there that has been learning to knit, you will know the delight of getting the the end of your first ball of wool.... and I was no different. There was a fair bit of jumping around and excitement. I had to show someone.... not that they were interested. But I had made it to the end of a WHOLE ball of wool. Not in Knots, but in Knits!!!

After 16 more balls of wool I was nealy at the end.... So I was about to go back to the website to make sure that I had casting off sorted, but a wonderful friend had loaned me a fantastic book called "Teach Yourself Visually Knitting" - this is a gem of a book. It uses amazingly clear colour photos of each of the steps. It is a wonderful resource for anyone that is thinking of taking up knitting... or for an expert that is looking to broaden their skills.

So I cast off! And then I felt a bit like a friend had left. But I did have a wonderful new scarf. Ready to have the finishing touches added. I thought that I wanted something a bit different... so rather the tassells or someother bauble attached to the end I found some Paua shell, drilled holes and with the addition of some beads completed the scarf with a very NZ touch.

Edge Detail


canie's picture

wow sounds like you had a great time i cant wait to see the photos ,

albert's picture

It seems you've tapped into a creative pool- enjoy and get us those pictures!

Parrot's picture

I was very lucky and had someone to teach me to knit. She was the owner of a yarn/stitch shop (now closed due to retirement). I wanted to learn to help relax and get my blood pressure down, so she taught me to needlepoint and crosstitch. the fine detail of crosstitch drove me crazy, so she suggested knitting. With her guidance, I learned the basic stitches in about 15 mins. She sent me home with a ball of yarn and a pair of needles to practice. Since then, I was very fortunate to develop a very good friendship with the owner of another LYS, who has taught me a great deal. I do not learn well at all from books or videos. I have to someone show me, and then I can do it. I am constantly learning new fiber arts from her. Her new and improved shop location also features a fiber gallery. This month, I am the featured fiber artist in the gallery. I am certain that I would have never continued any of the fiber crafts if it weren't for someone taking the time to teach me. So, I agree, if you can find someone who has the skill to teach and is willing to do it, take advantage of every moment they can give you.


chipsir's picture

What a great story teller you are! Do you write professionally or are you just a natural. I really liked it and I too look forward to some pictures.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Wow...your learning experience was much easier than mine. Being lefthanded and wanting to learn pre- video and internet, I could only struggle along and teach myself from books that were VERY righthanded oriented. However, my desire to master the art/craft made me persevere and now, some 42 years later, I knit wherever and whenever I want. (Whatever is a given.) The sites and book you mention are nice but the real fun is interacting with all the other knitters I meet. In person and through MWK. Take care. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

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

crmartin's picture

Great story! Looking forward to seeing the pics and hearing more from you.



Thomasknits's picture

That's an awesome story. Quite refreshing actually. If you "love to learn," knitting is perfect for you! There is so much out there in the world of knitting. Endless possibilities. All of us knitters are on the same quest for knitting knowledge. Welcome to the journey.


leon's picture

Thanx everyone.
I feel very encouraged.
I have uploaded some images now, enjoy.

The entire scarf is knit using a mixed colour 8ply wool on 5mm bamboo needles. Using knit only was good practice of this basic knit stitch but it gives the final scarf a deep "pile" and a nice drape and stretch.

BuduR's picture

the scarf is gorgeous! and I love the shells. Can't wait to see more from you :)
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jinct's picture

It's like I always say, "You should keep learning until they slam the lid shut for the last time." Good for you!

mrossnyc's picture

The scarf is beautiful, thanks for sharing your story and I look forward to seeing and hearing about future projects!