New knitter query

I’ve only knit very basic patterns using moderately easy to use yarn (ie, boucle ponchos, wool scarves). I’m working on a fairly easy, albeit somewhat complicated, two color backpack at the moment. My question is, with all the wonderful patterns out there, what is the best way for a new knitter to advance his/her craft?

I’d love to attempt Fair Isle knitting, but am intimidated by its complexities. I’ve got a wonderful pattern for an intarsia children’s sweater, but again I’m a bit nervous to begin. I’ve taken classes here and there, but am limited in time w/ work and kids. Would the best solution be to pick up a pattern that I like and begin, progressing w/ books and the web for reference? Or would it be better to go w/ a basic sweater, then maybe a bag w/ cables, perhaps socks next, etc, etc, and progress by slowly advancing in projects?

Thanks for any tips/advice!

Jump in with both feet! I’m totally self-taught, and when I saw something I wanted to do I tried it. If it wasn’t perfect, I learned from it and moved on. It’s only yarn we’re dealing with here, not surgery.

Fair Isle and intarsia are not all that difficult. They just look like they are. With help like this, and a good book, nothing is impossible! :thumbsup:

And, Ingrid and I always give the same advice on this point…try not to look at a pattern as a whole. If you just TRUST it and DO it, line by line, stitch by stitch, its not nearly as scary!

I have to jump in with a plug for one of my favorite knitting books, Knitting for Baby by Melanie Falick. It’s set up so well, teaching one skill at a time then giving several projects that use that skill.

I’m all for instant gratification so I have chosen to learn on lots of “small” projects – mostly children’s patterns. I think they’re a great way to learn without the huge time/money commitment of adult sized things. The skills required are the same no matter what size project you’re working on…but I find that on a smaller scale they’re challenging enough without being horribly daunting. :wink:

Julie has a good point. Every intarsia/fair isle skill I learned was first done on children’s sweaters. They’re small, easy to finish, and kids don’t really expect perfection. If the lizard on the front has a funny leg or something, they don’t mind. :smiley:

Go for it! There are plenty of places (like here) where you can get help if you get stuck. If things go wacky, just tear out the section and pick up again. It’s also a good way to learn how to pick up dropped stitches as well. (I’ve had many of those)

My beginning projects were all for children as they required less yarn, and less time, so I saw results much quicker. My children are now bigger than me so I am glad I practiced on them when they were smaller :smiley: I’ve since learned to knit faster.

I’ve been knitting for 18 years, and trust me, I am still learning. In fact, I never realized that there were so many different ways to cast on and that when casting on, some count as a purl row and others a knit row… go figure - all this time!

Good luck and happy knitting!