Knitting for Beginners

Tour De France Knit along it hasn’t taken off like the Olympic Knitting Team and World Cup Knitting club stuff.

I am trying to set up a blog at for a Tour de france knit along.

If anyone is interested, I will post it here where I get it ready.

Or you can email me at jfarndt@hotmail

I’ll third (or fourth?) knitting I have mostly been teaching myself out of books (Stitch’n Bitch and Knitting for Dummies), but the videos are great if you don’t quite understand the diagrams.

Also, has helped me a lot. They have a message board as well (a rather large one, though not as fast-moving as the Dope!). There is a newbies board where you can ask basic questions, as well as a lot of other boards for different knitting topics, as well as non-knitting discussions.

I’ve asked a few questions on the newbies board, and have gotten very helpful replies very fast. It’s also a good place to find recomendations for local knitting stores and to find others in your area that knit.

A note on - when you look in their pattern archives, look for any patterns marked as “mellow”. They are the easiest ones there, and if you can knit and pearl you can probably at least attempt them. If they call for shaping, it’s mostly simple increases and/or decreases that you’ll want to learn anyway, and simple seaming.

I just started make their Grace sweater, in a dark raspberry pink instead of the yellow the designer used.

One more suggestion. A lot of places host knitting nights, including some Barnes & Nobles type stores as well as yarn stores. I used to go to one regularly and we had everything from experts to beginners. If you’ve got a problem, odds are someone there can sort it out. Davenport Avenger, if you’re interested, I’m actually cohosting one some time next month. Drop me an e-mail and I’ll send you details.

My wife recently went from rank beginner who once tried it as a kid to full-time knitting fool. She also got stuck at first trying to find resources that were more than total beginner, but not crazy-advanced.

She recommends 2 web sites, and Both are online yarn & whatnot stores with free patterns & are a good source for ideas and further links.

Her favorite beginner+ books are the knitter’s handy book of sweater patterns by Ann Budd, and encyclopedia of knitting by Donna Kooler. Yes, both book titles are all lower case. There are apparently several books named “encyclopedia of knitting”, so double-check the author’s name before buying anything.

Finally, make sure to visit so you know what NOT to do.

I’m making my first garment, a shell, and I’ve found that I’m starting to slack off, probably because I’m coming to the part that I don’t know how to do.

I need to suck it up and do it. I’m not stupid, I can figure out the pattern, and I actually have exchanged a couple of e-mails with the creator of the pattern.

Tonight. Tonight I will finish the “easy” part and reread what I need to. Like jumping off a cliff, huh?


The hat I was knitting on #10 circulars with bulky brown sheep wool turned into a disaster.

The yarn/cable got all twisty and I ended up having to frog it out thinking I could salvage some of it. Even with the needles out, it was all twisty.

How did this happen?

When knitting in the round it is VERY IMPORTANT that after you have cast on, that you make sure all your stitches are laying straight. It is very easy to start knitting in the “bottom” of stitches, so after you cast on, lay the needles down, and make sure all the stitches are laying the right way.

On circulars, if the yarn is twisted before you join the ends, you end up with a giant moebius strip that you can’t get out without frogging back to the end. Before you join the ends, just make sure the stitches are all on the same side of the needle…i.e. make sure that the row from the cast on is laying the same way all the way around.

I have pics in the May 2, 2005 entry of my blog of the way stitches should look untwisted before joining and then, next pic, with one revolution of twist.
It’s a design technique if you do it on purpose :cool: and I used it on a super-simple lace scarf pattern I made (in the same entry).
You’ll have to scroll down a bit and ignore a serious amount of blather (I ate more sugar then ;)) to get to it, but you may find it helpful.

I’m moving my blog to wordpress so I can have categories. Some day.

If you use LiveJournal, you can use tags to mark particular entries as being of particular subject matter.

If I wanted to start a blog, which is a good and free blog to put down my bloggy goodness at?

I have been trying at bloglines but am having problems. I am awaiting an email from them about it.

I use for mine. Don’t use it much, but I haven’t had problems with it.

I use LJ, but I’m not that interested in blog rings. All the knitting blog rings seem to use blogger.

The stitches were twisted when you joined in the round. Easy way to avoid that - knit the first few rows flat then join, easier to see if the stitches are twisted or not. Carefully stitch up those first few rows when you’re done and nobody will be the wiser.

Just seconding this advice. I recently began my first garment, a sleeveless sweater knit in the round, and I kept twisting my stitches, even if they weren’t twisted when I joined the round.

A few rows of flat knitting and I could join it just fine without twisting.

Now I have to frog it anyway b/c I apparently think I’m far shorter and fatter than I am, but at least the knitting looks good.

Another nth recommendation for . That’s how I taught myself how to knit.

Also ditto on working on projects for babies. The reason I decided to learn how to knit was because I had several friends all become pregnant at once. I bought some cheapo yarn to practice the basics, and then lept into an intarsia blanket for a friend. Pretty stupid, huh? I chose it because it was garter stitch, so I only had to learn how to do one stitch.

I’m approaching these projects as a good way to learn new techniques. So my second project was a blanket with some lacework to learn that. Now I’m working on a dress to practice stockinette and to learn finishing techniques like seaming. My next project may be a cabled blanket so I can work on cables. I’m also planning a blanket made up of sampler squares to try new stitch patterns.

Also, make friends with the people who run your local knitting shop. They’ve helped me tremendously when I was stuck on something and couldn’t seem to find the answer on the net. Of course, it helps if you buy stuff from their shop.

Tyepad’s 5/month but has categories and image hosting. I like the relative simplicity of their templates.
If you already have webhosting and a domain, I really like Wordpress, but I still use blogger 'cuz that’s where all my stuff is still at and haven’t got 'round to transferring it. I use photobucket for image hosting and haloscan for comments, I hate blogger’s comments features, but wordpress has it all and isn’t terribly complex to set up, they have good step-by-step instructions.