My next knitting lesson

I am teaching myself to knit by watching the videos on this website and by watching a CD I bought. I am trying to teach myself in a very orderly fashion. I teach math so I think that it is the mathematician and the teacher in me that is causing me to be this way. I just don’t want to jump ahead and get discouraged so I am taking it one step at a time. I have already fought off a couple of discouragements that made me want to quit. I have learned to do knit stitch and purl stitch and am working a paw print dishcloth that has only knits and purls. I think I am ready to learn increases and decreases. I was looking at all the videos on this site and there are a ton of different ways to increase and decrease. [I]Are there a couple or three that I can concentrate on learning to start with that will get me through most knitting patterns?[/I] I can’t remember if it was on here or ravelry that someone recommended a scarf to me that is good for learning increases and decreases but I can’t find where I saved that link :gah: . [I]Can someone recommend a good beginner pattern that has only knits and purls with increases and decreases, but nothing else fancy?[/I] I haven’t made it to cables or circular knitting yet. Thank you.

You could make a sampler as shown on the Increase/Decrease pages. Pick one type of increase, do about 5 repeats of that, then one of the decreases and go down to your original stitch number. Then use another type of inc and repeat. Knitters may prefer to do only one type of increase over another which is why there’s quite a few, though in patterns, each type may give a different effect.

I would encourage you to have a look at few different patterns, not even things you intend to make and include things that you may think are beyond you, and look at what techniques are in them.

You will find that there are some increases and decreases which come up much more regularly than others (most likely kfb and YO for increases and k2tog or p2tog for decreases). See if you can figure out why a particular increase or decrease is used.

Actually you bring up a good point here - k2tog is a right leaning decrease and is generally used at the left edge of a piece. The corresponding or ‘matching’ left leaning increase is SSK or SKP (sl 1, k1, psso) and is used at the right edge. This makes the decreases ‘lean’ toward the center. When a pattern calls for decreasing several stitches evenly across a row, most people use k2tog, you don’t have to ‘match’ them.

it is quite interesting, how in some patterns the decrease used doesn’t matter and in others it can change the whole pattern (im thinking ofthings like Jaywalkers here).

I agree with the others, but here is a simple hat that is knit flat and uses decreases and knits and purls.

I linked to a two needle, flat knit hat because I thought maybe you weren’t up to knitting in the round on circular needles since you have just started.

Here is a link to a page that is part of a site called Dishcloth Boutique. They have a lot of dishcloths that use different techniques. They are rated 1-3 for difficulty, 1 being the easiest. Look at the pattern called Trad Variation 1 on this page. This uses a kfb and a k2tog one being a common increase and the other a common decrease. All the rest you have done before. Link

You can look through the other patterns there as well. A lot of these patterns (not the one above) can be turned into scarves if you make the pattern continue on over the pattern repeats given.

When I learned to knit I was on my own most of the time and I just found a pattern that had one of two things I had never done before and tried that and kept working my way along. I think though that you shouldn’t be too intimidated by the classification of a pattern as hard or advanced, etc. After you know the basics you can tackle most things you have the inclination to do. Look a pattern over and see if you understand most things given (something new is good, but you don’t want to go overboard), if you do go for it. We’ll help out if you get stuck. Motivation is an important factor. Doing something that interests you will go a long way to geting you through a project. Doing boring stuff (whatever that is to you) will bring discouragement.
I"ll recommend Gramma’s Favorite Dishcloth - it starts in the corner, increses to it’s widest, then decreases. And you’ll have another dishcloth.