Knitting has been a popular recreational activity for over a century. To some, knitting may spark an image of your great-grandmother sitting in a rocking chair with a basket of yarn to her left and a cat on her right, needles in hand working on an intricate shawl. However, I see knitting as an ever-changing, ever popular craft that is not only fun but also functional.
Learning to Knit
I have been crocheting for over 15 years and was always intimidating by those long, single point needles. I feared dropping a stitch and losing hours worth of work, so I avoided any fiber patterns that involved knitting. A few years ago, I finally decided it was time to branch out of my comfort zone and take the plunge into knitting. Let me just say, if you crochet and think you’d never be able to knit, you’re mistaken. You can do it!
Using YouTube and other Online Resources to Learn Knitting
I actually taught myself to knit by watching YouTube videos. There are so many tutorials on blogs as well that can really help you learn the basics. Knit and purl stitches are the main ones you need to learn to start a knitting project but I have learned more advanced techniques as well, just by doing some research online.
Patterns for Knitting
My all time favorite resources for all things knitting (and crocheting) is a community website called Ravelry. Ravelry has an immense database of patterns for knitting, crocheting and weaving. They also have a yarn database that lists practically every possible yarn on the market. Members upload photos and share stories of their knitting projects and their journey to completion.
Different Types of Knitting Needles
The most commonly seen knitting needles are straight needles. They are pointed on one end and capped on the other to prevent stitches from falling off the end. These types of needles are great for making squares or more narrow items such as straight scarves. However, they are limited by the length of the needles itself.
Double point needles are just what they sound like. They are pointed on both ends. A set of double point needles can be used to create tubes for things like sleeves or socks.
Circular needles are similar to double point needles in that they allow you to work in the round. You can use them to make many kinds of garments.