Monday, August 17, 2015

Learning to Knit


I was at Michaels today to buy a new thimble, because I had somehow lost my only thimble, and of course I got distracted. I may have ended up in the knitting aisle and one thing lead to another and I had somehow tossed a pair of needles and a nice skein of wool in my basket. I have been drooling over some lovely vintage gals excellent 40's sweaters and my envy got the better of me! I know it will be a while before I can attempt something as complex as a sweater, but I really hope I can catch on quick!

If anyone has any easy project suggestions please let me know, I'm sure I'll be knitting the required simple scarf soon! Sorry for the brevity of this post, but my hands are busy knitting!


17 comments:

  1. My comments are these:
    - watch your wrists. Protect your wrists. You want to not do damage to your wrists, and it's very easy to do that while knitting or crocheting.
    - don't buy acrylic. You'll spend all that time bleeding (because acrylic is SHARP) and then have a sweater that isn't nice. Patons Classic is the cheapest 100% wool that's easily available (I get it at Michaels)
    - knit flat and seam your projects. This allows you to not only have an easily recognizable front and back side of your work, but you already know what a bodice shape should be. Knitting in the round is easier for people who don't sew already.
    - when seaming use either a bodkin and sew like normal, or use a crochet hook and chain stitch. Both work fine.
    - Especially in the beginning, don't work with anything smaller than a DK weight. It feels like you get NO WHERE.
    - Are you on Ravelry? You should join. Free knitting and crochet patterns! (You can also search by difficulty level) Don't know how to read patterns? Feel free to ask people! I used to write out my patterns in full paragraphs, translating from the abbreviations.
    - See if any of your friends knit/crochet and want to hang out and make things. If not, Netflix is your friend. A project I started in 2013 but got SOOO SOOO bored with is finally almost done thanks to Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.

    And don't be afraid to rip out ugliness and start anew. You want to have a product you'll LOVE, not something you go "eh, at least it's done".

    And last but not least, welcome to the fold! (Flock? 'cause of wool? ... I'll just see myself out)

    -- Tegan

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    1. Miss Fisher's is always a good background for crafting/sewing! Thanks so much for all of these tips! I am still struggling with not accidentally messing up one stitch and then not noticing until the next row, so I think I have a ways to go yet before I can actually make anything. I was definitely doing better today than I was last night! I'll go join Ravelry, though I fear I'll be browsing and pinning for hours over there :)

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  2. How exciting!!! I'm not a knitter, so I can't offer much advice here, but I do wish you nothing but the best of luck, dear gal!

    ♥ Jessica

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  3. I have A Stitch in Time Vol 1 & 2 which are full of yummy vintage patterns which have been translated into modern knitting terms. There's everything from simple things like hats and scarves to odd things like swim suits to huge projects like jackets! Have fun on your knitting adventures!

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    1. Thanks Stephanie! Those books look awesome, I'll definitely be checking them out once I get a hang of the basics :)

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  4. Good luck with your knitting! I'm sure you'll catch on quick. That reminds me that I wanted to have a go... I haven't done any since I was five, but those 40s jumpers sure are tempting.

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    1. Thanks Ellie! The lure of the 40's jumper was too strong, I just had to give it a try!

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  5. Patterns are all too easy to find, so you wont be missing those after a while :D

    My best tip; make swatches!!!!! Always. However boring. Especially for those fitted 40s jumpers. It takes some trial and error, getting gauge while also taking blocking into account. After a while you'll learn the approximate stitch count to suit your size, and it all becomes easier. Oh, and start with the sleeves! That way, if it goes wrong (gauge-wise), there's not so much to frog. Also, always use 100% wool, or different blends of wools, alpacca and silk.

    Good luck, I am sure you'll ace it ;)

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    1. Thanks Siri! I definitely want to stick too wool, but I am also nervous about the resulting sweaters being itchy to wear so I'll have to invest in something nice and soft. I have already pinned so many patterns that I want to make, I fear it will be a while before I can even attempt them!

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    2. The nice thing about wool is it's anti microbial. You don't really need to wash wool sweaters, so long as they get aired between wearings. (It's bad for them, and don't ever dry clean them! I use a handwash detergeant called Soak.) A way to lengthen their life? Never wear a sweater against skin. Always wear a shirt underneath. And voila, the itchy problem is gone!

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    3. Hi Bianca!
      I use baby yarn mostly, it is guaranteed non-itchy. I've had a serious alpacca crush lately, it is expensive (in Norway, anyway) but worth every penny. Silk blends, too. Yum!
      Can be worn right on the skin, no problem. For longevity of the garment, you might consider using dress shields with tight fitting jumpers, as they are not to be washed regularly. If you do need to wash, just carefully soak, sqeeze the garment gently, no rubbing or wringing. Support the weight of it while lifting out of the water, squeeze the excess water out, place on a towel. Stretch to shape and roll it up into a sausage. You can then carefully step on it with your feet to press most of the water out, and then let it air dry flat.
      Don't forget cotton! It gives great stitch definition, and is perfect for summer wear too.

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    4. Sounds like a camisole underneath is the best plan! I have defiantly been bookmarking several yarns that sound super dreamy, silk blends and even bamboo! I assume bamboo is super slippery to work with, having handled raw bamboo fibers/yarn before, but it is nice and shiny! The yarn I chose to learn and practice with splits very easily so I think it would have been smarter for me to have bought a nice cotton for practicing, but it's too late now!

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  6. What fun! I started a year ago and made good progress learning the basics. I haven't managed a whole sweater yet, though.

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    1. It seems such a daunting task! But no stores are selling the cute 40's style sweaters I am after so I'll just have to persevere and learn to make them myself I figure!

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  7. I dunno why I've been nervous to comment on your lovely blog, but here's something I love to read from fellow bloggers.
    I see that Dea-Chan gave some lovely tips already.
    There are quite a few blogs set up that have oodles of free vintage knitting patterns for not only garments, but accessories and even toys. (The vintage patterns file- I think that's the name- is one of them)

    Oh. Make a nice little bag to carry your knitting with you when you're out and about; if you wanna be that cool person who's knitting in public.
    And make a cute little bag to carry your knitting accessories- thread snips, weaving needles, extra crochet hooks, etc. so you don't have to fish for everything.

    Have a nice hand lotion, or a balm to put on your hands, as knitting will dry them.

    I'm currently working on a sweater, and am experiencing issues, but seeing other bloggers knit is a good motivator, so you're gonna get me to start again. Good luck with the knitting!!

    Carla, Tiny Angry Crafts

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    1. No need to be nervous :) hello! I am rarely out and about but I'll have to do just that and make a knitting bag for taking projects to work on while on my break at work. I know I'll have some longer shifts soon up with the holidays coming up. I am going to try and make a scarf first in plain ole garter stitch just so I get a real feel for things like tension and repetitive motion. Good luck on your current sweater project!

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