I learned how to knit in high school. I learned a basic knit stitch and that was about it. I’d knit a scarf once every few winters but never took it much further. About a year ago my fiances mother asked that I make her a scarf for her birthday. The stitch she picked was a much more complicated stitch than I had ever attempted. A mini herringbone stitch from the Purl Bee. It took me 60 hours to knit, over 6 times longer than anything I had ever knit before.
While I knit the scarf, the repetition became a type of meditation for me. It’s calming and rewarding to watch something develop from balls of yarn into a finished product someone can wear and appreciate.
I started knitting scarves from yarn made from the alpacas on my parents farm for my mom to sell in her gift shop during Christmas time.
Then I learned how to knit hats.
My latest challenge has been knitting sweaters. I started with a basic pattern from Purl Bee. This uses circular knitting needles, which breaks the sweater down into several cylindrical pattern pieces. It’s a great first sweater pattern to tackle.
I’ve played around with variations, using different stitches or altering the pattern slightly. This sweater uses a linen stitch.
There’s lots of support forums out there and plenty of places to find free patterns. Ravelry is great for both.
One of my favorites is Wool and the Gang. They started out by supplying knitting kits, so you’d get everything you needed to make a project all in one box. After a while they started receiving requests for the company to “knit the projects themselves” from people who didn’t want to learn how to knit but wanted to buy the finished product. Instead of having their patterns made into finished products in factories, Wool and the Gang hire “gang members.” Gang members are local knitters who will knit the product for you instead. So if you order a finished hat from Wool and the Gang, it’ll be hand knit by someone in the UK who loves to knit! I think that’s amazing. I applied to be a gang member, but they’re based in the UK and only are open to knitters in the UK currently.
This is my knitting bag. When I first started, I used the paper shopping bag the yarn originally came in. But after my fourth or fifth project, it got a bit beat up. So I pulled out this Klein Tools bag my fiance had given me as a gift several years ago. I don’t wear it as a purse too often because it doesn’t have a cross body strap, but it’s perfect to hold everything I need for whatever knitting project I am working on.
I read a short article about knitting for beginners. It outlines a few places to get knitting kits (even for beginners!). It also points out that whenever you’re not sure how to do a step written in a pattern you’re following or are having a difficult time understanding a multiple step stitch, there are plenty of places on the internet to find the answers. I use Youtube frequently for these issues. I’m a very visual learner, so seeing someone perform the steps of a stitch helps me to understand how I can recreate it.
I’ve found knitting to be a great way to escape for a bit and pass time. It’s perfect for road trips or long flights, which is when I do the majority of my knitting. At the end, you get something that you can touch, feel and wear. How much more satisfying does it get than that?