11:49 AM

I know so many people who have contemplated learning to knit or think they might be interested in learning to knit, but don't know where to start. I'm often asked how I learned how to knit. My own journey into knitting was circuitous.

My grandma Barbara swears she tried to teach me when I was a little girl. Of this, I have no recollection and am inclined to think she may have me confused with my cousin. I am pretty sure that I would remember something as unique as knitting. Or even an attempt at it. I know I learned how to cross-stitch and sew a little as a little girl, but that's about it.

Be that as it may, I always had an interest in the art of knitting, but was never really inspired by the usual projects portrayed on the cover of traditional knitting books. In my own opinion, knitting has exploded in recent years as some very creative, hip, trendy young people have taken it upon themselves to reinvent the knit. Knitting beautiful things, unique things, things that make you WANT to knit and don't just remind you of grandmas. Not that there is anything wrong with Grandmas....I'm just saying.

There are also so many helpful tutorials available through YouTube to answer just about any question you encounter in a project. There are websites and blogs devoted to knitting, crochet, or other creative avenues and I seem to discover more every day! This kind of thing can eat up one's time...

But I haven't really addressed how I learned. First, I requested some "How To Knit" books for Christmas one year. And received them, which was incredibly helpful, because one package in particular contained some starter needles, a needle gauge, a ball of yarn, a stitch counter, and some easy starter projects. It was cheaper than fumbling through the shelves at Hobby Lobby or Michael's and guessing about what tools I needed. However, I had a really hard time translating pictures on a page into actual action I could follow.

Turns out my Grandma Barbara HAD taught my little sister, Rachel, how to knit. And Rachel sat down with me one afternoon and taught me the basics. So, if you know someone who knits and can take an hour or so to demonstrate the basics to you - so much the better!

Speaking of, what are the basics?

1) Getting the yarn on the needle (aka: Casting On).

2) Making a knit stitch

3) Making a purl stitch

4) Getting the yarn off the needle (aka: Binding Off)

All other knitting is basically a combination of knitting and purling. There are ways you learn to increase stitches, decrease stitches, introduce new colors, use double-pointed needles, circular needles, etc. All this is just like accessorizing. The basics of knitting are pretty simple. You knit and you purl. And once you know how to do that, you can baby-step your way into anything.

I'm proof of that. At one point, all I could do was knit and purl. Over time, I've just flung myself out there into whatever project captivated my attention at any given moment and been forced to learn different techniques. It's the best way to learn, I think. Find something you really want to make and then you'll be determined to follow it through.

So, I am considering doing some posts with pictures to illustrate those basics. Possibly videos, although YouTube already has just about everything you can think of...

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  1. Ashley, as a visual learner, I would love anything you took the time to put together-and I really like August's hat as is but that's just me:-) Looking forward to seeing what else you make--and my grandmother did try to teach me to crochet, but I never got more than 1 line of anything done--at age 8 I guess I was just too busy. However, I did learn to cross stitch and my hubby bought me a sewing/embroidery machine for Chrismtas 1 year that I have had a lot of fun on:-)

  2. Carolynn - thanks for the input! And I will try to put some things together. I would be delighted if I helped someone else figure this out!