Classes or not?

I’m new here and I have never knitted before but would like to learn. I love knitted items. My mom used to knit all sorts of things when I was a kid. She did slippers, socks, sweaters etc…
Did any of you take a class or just learn on your own? I don’t even know where to begin. I think I’d like to start with something like an afghan.

I taught myself from a booklet my mother had - teach yourself to knit, crochet, tat. An afghan is a HUGE project, unless you want to knit up some squares and sew them together. Look at dishcloth patterns for guidelines, start with an easy one like garter stitch (knit all rows). Then one in stockinette (knit one row, purl one row) which will curl, but if you put it in the middle so it’s sewn to another square on all 4 sides, that will take care of it.

Hello, welcome:
I am a self-taught knitter. Between the videos here, Knitty Gritty (no longer taping), and some O.O.P. learn how to knit books I learned how to knit.

I’m with Sue on the afghan idea. Because an afghan (especially an adult size one) is such a large project you would not be able to take it with you if you wanted to work on it in most cases. A nice one to make is a Sampler Afghan, you can use a variety of colors and since it is a sampler you can use different stitch patterns to learn and practice new techniques (increases, decrease, lace, etc.) on with each square. You can buy (or borrow from your local library) a stitch dictionary, there are sets from Vogue, the Harmony Guides, and Barbara Walker to name a few. You could also buy a sampler booklet and or Knitting Primer off of eBay.

There is also the traditional first project scarf you can do; however, instead of doing a simple garter stitch scarf (which is knit stitch throughout) you could make a road/sampler scarf. Lion Brand has two (

Good luck in your endeavors, whatever you choose.

PS. Here is a picture of a Sampler Booklet. Also, you might want to check your local library for one of these books:
The Knitting Answer Book by Margaret Radcliffe
Knit Fix by Lisa Kartus
When Bad Things Happen to Good Knitters by Marion Edmonds
The Knitter’s Companion by Vicki Square
for those late night how the heck :!!!: did this happen moments.

Hi! Make sure you take advantage of the videos available here too. I agree with not starting with an afghan. It’s not that you wouldn’t be able to do it, but it will take forever and you might get bored. Something smaller is a good way to start and give you the feel for knitting.
Classes are good because you’ll meet other knitters and have one on one instruction.
Whichever method you choose, have fun!

Self Taught with help from mom, and KH…

KH is actually where I run when I find a new term or technique I don’t know…there is most likely a vid for it every time!

Here is the picture (couldn’t add to my previous post)

I learned to knit when I was about 12, but just started knitting seriously recently…I have found the most enjoyment out of the classes I have taken at my LYS’s. They reinforced the things I forgot I knew and have taught me new things. Plus the encouragement of other students is helpful…I have made 2 sweaters, a mobeius scarf and have a pair of socks on the needle. I know feel ready to take on projects on my own…after learning through these classes. That said, I have always gotten fast, helpful responses when I have asked a question in these forums, and have refered to the videos numerous times over the last year or so. This is an awesome resource for new or experienced knitters.

I think maybe it all depends on how you learn best. Classes keep me motivated and have a schedule. I don’t get sidetracked with other things.

Good Luck

HMMM - I taught myself to knit with a thin little booklet from Michael’s and cotton yarn. I knit dishcloths and scarves for a couple of years before teaching myself circs and got my mom to help me with DPN’s while visiting one time. I have since taken sock classes, felting classes etc and it is amazing the amount of knowledge (hints and tips) that are spread by word of mouth and are not printed in a book. I say take a class if you can find one. Then take another and another and another - they’re addictive, kinda like knitting socks :teehee:

Self-taught here, too.

If you like classes in general, and can find a good one, by all means take it. If you get to a class and find the instructor saying there is Only One Right Way to knit, run! There are many, many ways to knit, many kinds of needles and yarn, many kinds of projects, and no one right way. Explore and enjoy! (Oh, and make sure you learn to crochet too. Just being subersive :))

Self taught (over 40 yrs ago). But the learning continues!

Depending on how you learn, you might find it easier, and quicker, to take a course, see things done in 3-D right in front of you…and then refer back to vids, etc online. Those who are able to learn from the printed word (with perhaps pictures) can oft times catch on with ref books you can get a the lib or your local bookstore. You’ll have to determine what method works best for you.

Agree with others who are not recommending afghan as first project. If you learn K, P, inc/dec, etc via dishcloths, scarves, etc you can then use those skills on something larger. (The exception might be a one-day afghan worked on HUGE ndls with just a basic garter st. But even that can get boring and doesn’t allow you to expand your knowledge or abilities.)

I think a combination of both is great. I taught myself the basics but have taken some classes. The videos on this site are great and there are many many how to knit books out there that have been mentioned. The value of a good teacher is really great. You’ll know as you progress how much you need classes. You may not need them to begen with or you may need that person sitting beside you as you do it. Everyone learns differently. But if you have the chance to take a class, it’s worth looking into! :slight_smile:

As for an afghan as a first project, it is big so you need to consider that. My LYS has classes where we make 1 square at a time, teaching different techniques with each one. If you did something like that, where it’s a bunch of little blocks, I don’t think it would be that difficult. Just keep in mind that a blanket is a big thing to start with.

I recommend washcloths. That’s a good starter.

One knitting lesson. Essentially self taught with the videos here. If you do business with a local yarn shop they are usually very helpful with the stuff you’ve purchased there. In other words, if you buy the material for a baby sweater and the pattern they are not going to sweat your coming back there a few times trying to work things through. Aside from a scarf, a good afghan like project would be doing some dishcloths. The yarn is cheap and gauge doesn’t matter. One of my first projects was a booga bag. It requires learning some useful skills like knitting in the round and picking up stitches but in the end all of your mistakes disappear through the felting process.

I tried a CD to learn a couple of years ago and I only became frustrated. Then this summer I found a class that was very inexpensive and I tried again. After learning how to knit and purl, I found out about this forum. I continued with the classes, but in between I used this site to answer any questions and I watched videos when I was knitting late at night. I liked the classes because I was able to really see what was going on with the yarn, hand and needles. I also had a great teacher that was not all about the “right” way. She just made it fun and said to hold the yarn the way it is comfortable and the rest would come. I no longer take the class, but I know it’s there if I need it. I’m totally addicted to knitting.

Start with something small, I found I got bored with an afghan. Or you could knit the afghan and also smaller items when you need a break from the big stuff. That’s what I do. Plus, I take the small stuff with me when I am knitting away from home.

Self taught, common here it seems lol. I got a kit from the store to learn how to knit and I’m sorry pictures in a book just are not helpful. I found this site and omg the vids are my savior. My sister knows how to knit (who’s younger then me) but she knits differnt then I do so I got confused when she’d try to show me.

I think I did quite a few mittens, hats and scarves before I worked on a afghan it was an easy one too and it took me like a month and a couple pounds of yarn.

Thanks for all the replies and help. I can see now how an afghan wouldn’t be a wise choice to start out with since it’s so big. I like the dish cloth idea. Can you actually use these? Or are they just decorative?
I’m going to start out by taking a class since I learn best that way. At least to start out. I’m a housewife right now and I don’t see very many people during the day so I really enjoy getting out and talking with others - so a class would be a good thing for me :slight_smile:

Well if you’d like to get out and learn best that way, definitely take a class. It is a great way to meet others and learn the wonderful world of knitting. Dishcloths can be (and are) actually used when made with cotton yarn. They are pretty simple and teach different ways of using the knit and purl. The videos here are wonderful and so very helpful, you’ll want to refer back here when you are knitting at home and get confused about stuff. And the people on the forums are wonderful help too.

Sure. You can absolutely use them or give them as hostess gifts. There are literally hundreds of patterns for them too. Once you get used to knitting and purling you can use them to get used to lace knitting or just about anything else.


I took a class with my then 8 yo DD. The classes were extremely helpful and kept me motivated to knit. Having someone to help when you make a mistake is worth every penny for the class.

I agree to start out with a dishcloth…that’s all I made when I first started knitting. I bought every dishcloth book I could find. My favorite dishcloth yarn now is I Love This Cotton! from Hobby Lobby. But you will want to buy from the LYS (local yarn shop) that you take the class from.

Find out if there are any knit togethers in your area. Knitters are the most friendly people. Have fun and don’t forget to come here for help!

Hi Darby! I am also self-taught and have been knitting for only 3 months. While I taught myself the basics, I have taken a class on more specific knitting topics so that I can refine my skills. The biggest help for me, though, has been Ravelry. After I joined Ravelry, I found a couple of knitting groups in my area and have been going to them on a weekly basis. The friends I have made through my knitting groups have been invaluable. Most of them are much more experienced than I am. Instead of paying for a class, most are willing to offer constructive feedback and tips. This way, I can go on teaching myself, but I have an army of new people who I can show my work to and get help on things when I need it.

If you are a housewife and want to get out, I highly recommend that you take a class and meet people in your area. Remember that the best places to find classes are often your Local Yarn Store(s). Join Ravelry and see if you can find some knitting groups in your area, it would just be another way to get out of the house, meet people, and have fun!