Dispatches from The Beginners

With some recent staff changes here at Knit Picks, we have a number of employees who are new to knitting.  It’s fun to check in with them to see how they’re progressing. I love to hear about their trials, and how they’re completing projects and gaining confidence along the way. You might remember Alexis from the podcast she did a while back on being a newbie. She’s been working on a scarf from our Learn to Knit Club Kit, and look how well she’s doing! Here are the dispatches from the Knit Picks Beginner Knitters, in their own words.

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Alexis: “Well the progress has been slow since last year’s podcast, but it’s been really good progress. After trying my hand at a series of dishcloth patterns, all of them ending up as cat toys, I realized I just wasn’t that comfortable yet with my skill set. But I wasn’t going to give up. After a few weeks of working on the behind the scenes for the Knit Picks learn to Knit Series I want ahead and got my own kit: the Learn to Knit Club, Level 2: Scarf And I have to say it’s been great.”

“The repetitive nature of the garter stitch has been ingrained in my muscle memory, finally.The nuances are making a little more sense and I believe I have mastered the knit stitch. The simple pattern made it very easy for me to correct my errors (okay a few slipped through), practice keeping a row with the correct number of stitches across, and eased me into switching colors.  Changing yarn colors was actually so easy I kind of wanted to do every few rows, but I’m sticking to the pattern with this one. I’m half way there, and can’t want to complete my scarf and move on to more projects and expand my stitch repertoire.  I have some baby blanket presents I need to work on, Plus I really want to make my own sweaters. My dreams and skills are slowly aligning. Check back with me next year!”

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Jennifer: “This is the shawl I’ve been working on for what seems like years… It’s the Beachcomber Shawl. I wanted to try something other than a scarf/dishcloth. This pattern features increases and a simple (ha!) lace pattern. I was doing well at first, with a few bobbles as you can see in the pic above. I’m not a perfectionist, and figured I could minimize these mistakes in blocking. ”

“But then THIS happened”:

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“Somehow, I lost a bunch of stitches and greatly decreased instead of increasing, and I didn’t notice it until I had knit like 8 more inches. (insert screamy emoticon here). So… I ended up ripping it out, including the last lace section. ”

“It was frustrating, but I still feel like I’m learning a lot and I know I will love the project when I’m done. I set it aside to make my hat, and I’m just about ready to pick it up and work on it again!”

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From Heidi: “My husband Victor asked me to teach him to knit, so I figured I better learn myself! 🙂 We both started out with dishcloths, using the Knit Picks Learn to Knit Club: Level 1: Dishcloths kit. I did a garter stitch border with stockinette center, and he did a simple garter with a pop stripe. To say the learning process was easy would be a lie; there might have been a few tears shed over dropped stitches. It was a struggle grasping the anatomy of stitches and how to trouble shoot. Through a plethora of YouTube tutorials and the patient help of my co-workers, we preserved and finished our dishcloths. Because of the struggle that went into it, completing the dishcloths, however humble they might be, was incredibly rewarding. ”

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“Victor, ever the thoughtful and methodical one, is now practicing finessing his edges and learning new cast on styles. I, on the other hand, have jumped right into a big blanket of garter stitch stripes, accented with a small row of stockinette. Knit in Preciosa Worsted held double, it is very snuggle-worthy. Next on my agenda are sweaters for my little nieces. Our Ravelry queue is rapidly filling up – we feel almost giddy at the prospect of all the amazing things we can make. What fun it is to learn a new craft!”

Do you have any tips, comments, or encouragement for The Beginners? Leave them in comments!


3 comments

  1. Tammy Ross / May 24, 2016

    Seems like so many beginning knitters want to do baby blankets. I get bored doing the same thing over and over. I launched out into sweaters. They really aren’t that hard and you have something to wear instead of a blanket that stays in your house.

  2. Marsha / May 24, 2016

    Reading these beginner comments reminds me what it was like when I learned to knit…painful, but I fell in love with knitting, so I kept at it. It has been about 5 years. I can pretty much knit anything. My favorite yarn weight is fingering and socks, socks and socks…my tip is just don’t give up, it does get better and you’ll forget how hard it was to start.:-)

  3. Autumn / May 31, 2016

    I had been crocheting for a long time before I started knitting, and I still remember how hard it was to go from knowing what I was doing and being able to figure patterns out from experience to everything feeling awkward and having to look up every new stitch. It was frustrating and I thought it would never feel comfortable. I didn’t turn a corner myself until a few failed patterns in and suddenly…it clicked somehow, I could hold the needles and yarn without it feeling uncomfortable and wrong and I realized I had started to be able to see what the stitches I was doing were accomplishing. After that I started to look forward to a pattern that would introduce me to a new technique or stitch, I started my first pair of socks and fell in love with the tiny complicated lace and cables that go along with it. Now I can’t imagine sitting down and watching a show without a project in front of me, what used to be painful and hard has become an incredibly soothing and rewarding hobby!