Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Easy, Fast Projects for Novices & Gifts


Fall has landed and knitting season is in full gear. Welcome back to all of our established stick-handlers, and a hearty welcome to the newcomers. Gift season is coming up in a few months, and we believe that even the greenest knitter can combine hobby and holiday budgets - you just need a little inspiration and guidance.

To get you started ...

  • Your new best friend is a website for knitters & crocheters, Ravelry.com. Ravelry is knitters' Mecca and most of our links go there.  It is free to join Ravelry, and you don't have to give them any information you don't want to. They won't spam you or sell your e-mail address, but if you are concerned feel free to use a 'junk' or spare e-mail address to sign up (ie. gmail, yahoo or hotmail).  
  • There is a TON of free technical support on the internet. Knittinghelp.com is an excellent place for novices to start, and Knitting Daily has an excellent glossary of terms. There are many good videos on Youtube from Knit Picks and BerrocoTechknitting is the place for those more experienced who want a detailed explanation.
  • When seaming use Mattress Stitch for a pretty finish.
  • Leave about 5 to 6 inch tails (ends), to make weaving in easier. 
  • Knitting and crochet patterns are a bit like Recipes. They give you your ingredients first, and then directions, often written with standardized abbreviations. An explanation of the abbreviations used, or glossary, is usually included, or you can look them up on the internet. For more on how to read patterns there are some good instruction via the Craft Yarn Council.
  • Knitting needles come in a variety of sizing systems: Metric is the standard in Canada, Europe, Australia & New Zealand. The US has it's own system, as do the Japanese. If you have old needles that came from Canada or the UK, they might be sized in the older UK system. See this chart for details. Contemporary patterns will give you a needle size based on the country in which it was published.  Vintage patterns often give sizes in the old UK system. The easiest way to find out what size your needle is to buy an affordable (approx $3.50 to $4) little gadget called a Needle Gauge, which measures the circumference of your needle and tells you what it is in the various sizes.  



  • Skill Level: Beginner (after Scarves)
  • Free from Martha Stewart Living
  • Yarn: 2 skeins Cascade Magnum
  • Needles: 15mm-32" circular 
  • Skills: knit, purl, cast on, cast off, knit in the round, weave in ends.
  • Notes: knit with a single strand (pattern uses 3 held together)








  • Skill Level: Absolute Beginner!
  • Free from Ravelry
  • Yarn: 1 skein Malabrigo Worsted
  • Needles: 4.5mm straight needles
  • Skills: cast on, cast off, knit, seam, weave in ends. 




  • Skill Level: Beginner (after scarves)
  • Free: from Lionbrand
  • Yarn: 2 to 4 skeins Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, or 1 to 2 skeins 1 skein Malabrigo Worsted
  • Needles: 5mm needles
  • Skills: cast on, cast off, knit, purl, increase (knit into the front then the back of the stitch), seam, weave in ends. 



3 comments:

AndiSocial said...

People have 15mm-32" circular needles? WHY AM I NOT ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE???

AndiSocial said...

People have 15mm-32" circular neeldes? WHY AM I NOT ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE???

Haley said...

You can be one of those people! :-) Both Chiagoo and Addi make them.

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