Teaching myself to knit

i’ve been wanting to teach myself for a long time…now i have a little extra time, and was wondering what size knitting needle is the most common? i have no idea what to buy lol

To learn on, get some size 10/6mm needles and some medium weight (thickness) yarn which will have worsted or the number 4 on the label. Don’t get a fuzzy or dark yarn, one that’s smooth and lighter or multicolored will be easier to see the sts.

Superceded by Moderato’s comments below.

Actually, you don’t have to do ‘a project’ to learn to knit. Just cast on 20 sts or so and do a sampler - practice knitting every row first for a few inches, then throw in an alternate purl row for a couple inches. Then try mixing knits and purls on the same row, do some increases and decs. Try out some other stitch patterns too, and if you make it long enough, you have a scarf by that time.

This is what I did when I first started knitting. I just cast on a bunch of stitches and started trying stuff out. I’d knit for a while, then purl for a while, then do stockinette for a while, then I tried seed stitch for a little bit and did some ribbing. I just kept knitting on the same “project” for a while. The thing was god awful when I was done, but at least it was practice and it wasn’t something that I cared about enough to get upset and frog when something didn’t go right, or I added a stitch or dropped a stitch. I think doing an actual project would have disheartened me because I would have messed it up the whole way and would have had to stop and start over to much. That would have been very frustrating. At least with the practice scarf there was no real goal so it was ok when I made mistakes.

it wasn’t something that I cared about enough to get upset and frog when something didn’t go right, or I added a stitch or dropped a stitch. I think doing an actual project would have disheartened me because I would have messed it up the whole way and would have had to stop and start over to much. That would have been very frustrating.

Yeah, I think that’s what sets up new knitters for high levels of frustration. They want to make something specific and rip out and reknit when it doesn’t come out ‘perfect’ and just throw it all out. It’s much better to learn to knit by ‘playing’ with the yarn and needles and learn from the mistakes instead of getting upset by them.

I think I understand what both trvvn5 and suzeeq are saying and I believe I agree with their intend but I do not agree with what they said. Before retiring I spend many years in and as a project manager and have a Master Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University.

I understand that a project is a task with a start and and end that has a specific objective. A gauge swatch is a project, a pattern test swatch is a project, a swatch to practice a stitch or a group of stitches is a PROJECT.

I find that just knitting a swatch of stitches to be boring and has an inherent problem. I have found (MY OPINION) that it is easy to incorrectly preform a stitch in the test and without someone to look at my test stitch project I may not know that I am doing the stitch incorrectly.

If I am doing a small pattern item, I can compare the picture of the finished item to my test project and get a better feel on how well I am progressing.

In addition if I were to knit a flat test project of a single stitch knitting one stitch on both the right side (RS) and wrong side (WS) creates a garter stitch effect. As in garter stitch the project would have a front side stitch row followed by a back side row making it difficult to see how well I am performing the stitch.

You DO NOT have to do a pattern project to learn a stitch or how to knit. However, In My Humble Opinion, I would rather frog often and know I am doing it correctly then to not frog and learn a stitch incorrectly.

This is my opinion and I realize that in many threads different opinion and not popular. But, I have always believed that we learn by looking at multiple approaches to a task.

Well you have a point about a practice piece being a project. If you try out different stitch patterns with the goal of learning new stitch combinations and to see what they turn out like, it doesn’t have to be boring. A garter stitch scarf is boring, a practice piece does not have to be.

And in my humble opinion (IMHO) having a finished piece that you can save and use is better than having a stitch swatch that will most likely be frogged later. But different stitches for different people

I understand that a project is a task with a start and and end that has a specific objective. A gauge swatch is a project, a pattern test swatch is a project, a swatch to practice a stitch or a group of stitches is a PROJECT.

cacunn, unless I misread, casting on with the [I]objective[/I] of practicing different stitches is an open-ended project. Your definition might not allow for open-ended projects?

I too like having something that I can consider “finished” but if I need to practice a stitch pattern that I expect will be frogged repeatedly, I’m not likely to start out on what I personally in a non-technical way consider a project.

As with the right way to hold needles, which technique is right, which needles are the right ones, it’s a matter of what works best for the individual.

Knit on!

A project may have multiple parts of be part of a larger program. You could have a project to try x number of stitches, 10 row for each stitch. Or you could cast on to try a given stitch with the intent to not bind off and use the original project as the begining point of a second project.

Basically a project has a beginning, and end and an objective.

Basically a project has a beginning, and end and an objective.

Right and a sampler fits that criteria - it has an objective (learn sts, decs, whatever), a beginning (cast on) and an end (bind off). Though you might bind off whenever you feel like it that’s the same as knitting a scarf when you get tired of it.