Monday, January 10, 2011

Teaching yourself to knit part 2

I know of a wonderful website to teach absolute beginners how to use a computer mouse, but if you don't know anything about the internet how would you find it?
There are many, many sites that can teach you to knit, but if you don't know the right words, how do you find them.  And judge how good they are?
Knitting help is the best site I have seen, basics to advanced,  written guides, pictures and video, so it suits different learning styles.
Knit picks also has wonderful tutorials.
All of the knitting stores in Calgary are offering classes, and so is Calgary Board of education.
One of the most interesting places to take a class is Olds, I am teaching there this summer.  It's a summer camp for grownups.
Then there are videos to inspire, world's fastest knitter , the world's biggest and the world oddest.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Teaching Yourself to Knit, You can do it
I am a librarian so I always start with books.  People learn in many different ways so books might not work for you, say "that's not my learning style" and try something else.  Videos will be on the next blog.
Don't run out and buy these books, though they are worth owning, borrow them from the library first and find out if the author's voice and the pictures, drawing etc  work for you.  Some knitters love anything by a certain writer, and some knitters are repelled.
Start with Sally Melvile not just a great knitter but a great teacher.  The Knitting Experience is a three book series that takes a beginner from the knit stitch, adds the purl and then colour work. Like all XRX books they are very well illustrated, have the best drawings of instructions and good glossary/ abbreviations and have good photographs.  I think calling your web site the knitting universe is a bit pompous however, the publisher not Sally.
Next try Priscilla A Gibson Roberts, Knitting in the Old Way is one of the most interesting and empowering books about knitting, everything from Andean hats to putting in zippers.  Not just one way to knit but 3 and then the combinations, yarn, needles, how to decide how much yarn will be needed for a garment.  Roberts doesn't spell out individual patterns, she teaches you how to design your own.   If you could only have one book this would be the one. It's only lack is photos, there are very clear and useful drawings but no colour.
Last but not at all least, EZ whose books I have worn out, given away, read and reread, the first sweaters I ever knit were from the Knitting Workshop, my favorite socks are from Knitter's Almanac.  Zimmermann gives her patterns in two versions, one written to use to design your own version and Pithy Directions for blind followers.  She has a very individual voice, writes about her husband and her cats, gives all kinds of useful advice, reading her books is like sitting with her and knitting.
These are Moccasin socks, I modified the pattern quite a bit.