Saturday, September 3, 2011

How did you learn?

The eternal WIP...

In my last post I talked about learning to crochet, in the spirit of learning new things, it got me thinking about when I first learned to knit as well and how the experience of learning the two were so very different.

When I learned to knit years ago, I plunked myself down at my laptop with a DVD and willed myself to stay put until I had mastered knitting in it's entirety.  After being brought to my knees with it's complexities and intricacies of a simple cast on, garter stitch, and bind off,  I decided that was quite enough for my first lesson and proceeded to make garter stitch scarves for everyone in my life for the next two years.

I slowly vowed to learn a new skill on my own with each project and build my skills that way, which I more or less do even today.  My departure from squares and rectangles was liberating!

My journey into crochet, while still a new one, was taught to me by a real live person!  They were able to answer my millions of questions, and be a reassuring guide during the process.  So different from the lady on my computer...

So, let me ask you...how did you learn how to knit?  A patient grandma?  With a DVD?  U-tube? A formal class? Internet photo tutorials? A friend and a glass of wine? A book?

I put a poll on the right side here to see how we've all learned, check it out!




4 comments:

  1. Actually I learned to knit twice. The first time as a child I learned the simple knit stitch. I had one ball of yarn and one set of needles and I learned in blue birds/campfire girls. Not sure which. I knit a small doll blanket (big square) lol and never went back to it. No patterns and no one to carry on the teaching.
    I didn't pick up needles again until I was disabled in my 40's. Trying to lose weight and needing something to keep my hands busy I purchased a book size 10 needles and a skein of yarn. After mastering knitting and purling swatches I found a pattern on line for a rug made of long knitted strips that would later be woven together. I set to work on the strips and being a terrible tight knitter really had to work at it. Finally 1/2 way through the strips I decided throws would be easier. Then I found out I'd been knitting through the back loop all that time. The instructions were not clear in the book and I was slipping my needle in the back instead of the front loop and being a new tight knitter it's no wonder I was having such a hard time getting my needles in the loops...lol
    I must have knitted 8 throws that year that went as Christmas presents. All were garter stitch in various colors and sizes. No patterns just whatever felt right. I still didn't know how to properly add in a new ball of yarn or weave in ends. There were lots of dropped stitches some found some not. Needless to say everyone got some pretty ugly throws.
    I live in Tx so scarves are not really something we use much, but a made a few, hats too.
    But with video and sights like Knittinghelp.com and shows on tv, blogs like yours and the likes I've learned a great deal. I've never attempted a sweater yet, but I've knitting things I found I needed such as bags, face cloths, dish cloths, drying towels, pot holders, head bands and while in rehab on antibiotic therapy (4 weeks with IV antibiotics) I found the need for a small bag to hold my IV so I could move around. I designed a cut lace bag with a small hole in the bottom for the line to run through and a draw string top to keep the bottle (bout the size and shape of a baby bottle) in tight at the top. I cord hand to hang around my neck and off I could go to physical therapy while getting my antibiotics. Worked so well I had my sister bring me more and more yarn and I made them for lots of other people as well. No more having to carry IV bottles around and not have use of your hands. Knitting, like so many other craft skills has is and has always been about fun, and creating items that fit the needs of myself, friends and family.

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  2. Wow, what an interesting knitting journey! Thank you for sharing. I too have learned so much on my own through experimentation, knitting help.com and lots of mistakes! Good for you! So lucky are the recipients of your hand knitted goodies.

    PS I'm sure your blankets were lovely. :)

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  3. As a youngster, I lived with my grandma who had MS. She knitted constantly. She decided that I should learn how to knit and as frustrated as she got, she managed to imbed a few workable knit/purl stitches. I never knit again, until I was preggers with my lst child. I picked up some knitting stuff from house sales and auctions and was on my way....HOWEVER...real knitters in the family would watch me knit, and ask me what I was doing. It was obvious I was knitting because I wound up with hats etc. I realized that I was knitting in such an odd fashion, it was amazing that I could make anything at all. My grandma was left handed, I was right handed. Gram was bullheaded and I was her true grandchild. I remember arguing that I couldn't do it her way and showed her what I was doing until she just ga ve up. It looks somewhat like a bastardized continental stitch, and comes out with a slight twist. I have won several blue ribbons, but only Granny knows how. People still ask me about the unusual knitting method.

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  4. Neat story! How wonderful to have your Grandma as your teacher...would have loved that.

    PS Congratulations on the blue ribbons too! ;-)

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