Super Newbie (as in clueless!)

Good afternoon, everyone. Allow me to introduce myself. I am 38 years old and going to start up knitting. My Grandmother was AMAZING at both crochet and knitting, but never got around to teaching me the later. I can still crochet, but I want to learn how to knit.

I remember how she taught me to crochet…she gave me some yarn and a big hook and let me make a chain for about a week, then we moved onto the next stitch. Each week we moved onto a different stitch until I was comfortable.

Now I haven’t picked up anything but cross stitch in about 10 years, but I figure why not give it a try. So, I am going to start my casting for about a week, knit stitch another, purl another, etc. I figure I would go down the steps/stitches on this website until I felt comfortable, then try for a simple project.

From the patterns on this site, which scarf do you recommend I try first for my ultra beginner project? I haven’t hit up the craft store, bu that is going to be tomorrow or the next day, so I welcome all suggestion for yarn and needles too. Any advice is welcomed and appreciated!

Thank you,

I think I am going to try the Fizz Eyelash & Cotton Chenille Scarf. Cross your fingers that it turns out looking as cute as the picture!!

If you’re just learning to knit eyelash and chenille are not a good idea. We usually recommend a smooth,light colored yarn and needles size US 8-10. It’s much easier to see your stitches that way which is important to see if you’re making them properly or fix them if you drop one.

I’ve been knitting for 7 yrs and I won’t knit with that stuff. :shrug:

That is a cute scarf. For starting out I suggest you get a light colored worsted weight yarn and U.S. size 8 or 9, maybe even 10, needles. Metal needles are more slippery than plastic/acrylic or bamboo needles so that might influence your choice for a first set, new knitters often have trouble with the stitches sliding off the needles. I’d skip chenille and eyelash yarn until I’m comfortable with making the stitches and seeing what they actually look like. If you start with the knitted cast on, you’ll already know how to make the knit stitch. The long-tail cast on is a favorite of lots of knitters. I wonder, will you really just cast on for the first week.

ETA: Jan, you and others have taught me well. I was saying pretty much the same thing at the same time. Wow! I can be taught! :roflhard:

A first project you might consider (rather than a scarf) is a neck warmer. I say this because scarves tend to get boring after a while, plus, to make one of any use, you have to knit and knit and knit and knit for a long, long time (which can be daunting as a first project).

A neck warmer, though, can still be a rectangle (and many are) and is much shorter than a scarf. You can also crochet button holes using single crochet and chain stitches along the bound off (or cast on–whichever you choose) edge.

You can check Ravelry for some simple neck warmer patterns. There are lots of them. They may require you to do the button holes differently, but you don’t have to follow their directions. Instead, you can continue in pattern until the neck warmer is as long as you want and then do what I suggested above with the crochet!

Thank you everyone for the tips.

I just got back from Hobby Lobby and stuck with how my Grandma taught me long ago, and you all mentioned while I was out. I got some simple yarn to begin and some big old needles (10.5 in fact). I will use that pattern, but skipping the fancy yarn.

I will try casting for a week or until I get comfy, and try the different methods since there is the long tail, single cast, and cable cast. When I started to crochet, I remember I made a chain that was so long Grandma used it as decoration.

Thanks again for your help!!

Enjoy learning and welcome to wonderful, wacky world of knitting!

You might get a little bored with casting on for an entire week! Though you can try all of them out and see which you like better or gives you a nicer edge but you probably won’t notice that until you knit some rows. I think the 10½ needle is a good one to learn with, the stitches are larger so you can see them and easily get a needle into them.

I’ll mention now that if you knit all rows you get what’s called garter stitch. If you purl all the rows you also get garter stitch, so don’t be surprised when that happens. The back of a knit is a purl and the back of a purl is a knit you just make them differently depending on which side of the stitche you’re working on. So to get a knit fabric that’s smooth on one side and bumpy on the other, what people think of a ‘knitting’ you have to alternate a row of knits with a rows of purls. You might go to the Tips page a look at Demo of a Small project and see how the different steps - cast on, knit and purl some rows and bind off - all go together to make a knit piece.

I thought of something else you might want to consider, along the lines of what suzeeq said. If you practice doing your cast on in the same way until it becomes habit, you could run into a problem when you knit into it. The cast on needs to be loose enough to knit into and new knitters tend to cast on too tightly. Until you knit into the cast on you won’t know if you got it right. IMHO you should knit a row after you cast on just to know how things work as you go along.

One other thing to note: If you knit one row and purl one row (called stockinette stitch), [U]it will curl.[/U] That’s just the nature of the stockinette beast. To get anything to lie flat, you have to add a border to it–garter stitch, seed stitch, ribbing, or some other kind of border.

I would avoid single cast on aka backward loop. It’s easy, but is hard to knit into sometimes and most people find when they get to the end of the row it’s a big long loop. He knitted cast on is probably easiest for a new knitter, but my favorite is long tail.

This sounds vaguely familiar…

After dating a professional knitter for nearly 2 years, I decided at the age of 52 to learn how myself. (There’s a whole story to go along with that, but I won’t get into it.) I had the advantage of learning from a regular Jedi Master of Yarn (seriously, she’s amazing) and knowing that I probably couldn’t get myself into more trouble than she could get me out of (knitting, at least). My first project seemed simple enough, but in retrospect it probably wasn’t the best choice for a first-timer. I was – literally – learning how to increase from the first knit stitch. I learned increases and decreases before I learned how to cast on (beyond a slip knot that is). It wasn’t a great way to start.

So in addition to the sage advice already offered here about big, light colored yarn and big needles that aren’t metal (something ELSE I had to learn the hard way) I would say:
(1) Be prepared to do a lot of stuff wrong in the beginning.
(2) Don’t be afraid to pull it out and start over.
(3) It’s knitting, not rocket science. (That was a hard one for me!)
(4) Yarn is not(!) a material that lends itself to close tolerance work. It stretches, bends, frizzes and splits and can seem downright spiteful at times. Don’t take it personally.
(5) Probably the most important mantra you can learn is “trust the process”. Because when you start something, you probably won’t be able to see that it’s doing what you want it to do until you get further along. So you have to trust that what you’re doing will give you the result you’re after, even if it doesn’t look like it on the first row.
(6) Breathe. No, seriously! I can’t tell you how many times I caught myself holding my breath. In fact, I didn’t even realize I was doing it at first. But when I started learning k2tog it took me so long to get the first 2 (absurdly tight) stitches knit together that when I (finally) exhaled I got a bit of a head rush from the sudden restoration of oxygen to my brain.
(7) Even the experts do stuff wrong. You will too. And it’s okay.

And finally… welcome to the dark side. (bwahahahaaa) You’ll love it here. We have cookies.

Excellent advice mojo11!!! Welcome to our forum, I think you’re going to be an excellent addition to our membership.

Oh yeah… and I almost forgot:
(8) If it doesn’t show, don’t worry about it! :wink:

That rule is “if you can’t see it from the back of a galloping horse 20 feet away, don’t worry about it.”

I always tell people to put their knitting down and back off about 6 feet and if they can’t see whatever mistake they’re fretting about, it doesn’t matter.

The trouble I have with that is that I’m far sighted, so I might not see the thing I’m fretting over, but I’ll find a dozen OTHER things to worry about. Which leads me to:

(9) “That’ll come out in blocking.”

Forget that! Cut to the chase - Use acrylics and never mind blocking! that’s why the goddess created washers and dryers! Put technology to work.

Hey, you better stick around. Your perspective and way with words is great. If you leave we might put some bad juju on your yarn and needles. :wink:

Yeah, blocking doesn’t cure everything even on a blockable yarn. You have to learn to overlook some things and just remember it’s HAND KNIT and humans do make errors. If I can I go back and fix. If it’s too far back I don’t usually bother unless it’s huge and glaring on the front of say an all stockinette sweater.

Im a beginner too and a few years back my sister gave me the book Teach yourself to knit by Evie Rosen, the scarf and hat set are a nice start, i just finished and yet to put together the sweater in the book, I enjoyed learning with this book, ( from Leisure arts) any questions ask away,

One of my current projects is a Psychedelic Pony Named Madge (long story) that’s mostly constructed of Encore bulky. But for stuff I’d wear…