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Vicious Rumors's avatar

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Short intro about me and why I started knitting.

Ok, it's not a secret that I'm a guy and people on Gaia that know me also know I'm a lot older then most of the people on here. Heck, to most I on here I could be their father seeing I have a 20 year old son.
So, up to last Sunday I was 100% anti knitting. Even the thought of me ever laying my hands on something that was knit for me seriously disgusted me. Reason for that is because at the age of 6 my mother forced me to learn how to knit and I was forced to wear the most uncomfortable knitted clothing.
So last Sunday I was bored out of my mind and turned around to my wife and told her I was going to do something that was going to shock her. Well it did shock her alright.
I said "Darling, give me some of your old needles and some cheap yarn. I'm going to knit."
Her eyes nearly popped out of her head. (Oh, my wife is a really fanatic knitter)

So here I was, 7mm needles and a ball of Aran weight yarn and no clue what to do next.
First thing I told my wife is not to interfere unless I came to her for advice or help me if I messed up the knitting.
So, remembering vaguely how I was taught to cast on stitches I looked up a handy Youtube video about long tail cast on.
With that knowledge "learned" I casted on 50 stitches and started fiddling around. Sure I know the difference between knit stitches and purl stitches. So I fiddled and messed up every single row and kept bugging my wife about that and she patiently undid my mistakes.

After a bit I guess she got a bit fed up that I kept making the same rookie mistake over and over and not being able to figure out why I made them. (ending up with extra stitches)
So, another YouTube video which showed exactly what I kept doing wrong including the way to fix that.
I'm not going to say I didn't make mistakes after that.. heck, the first project is finished and I know there's a lot of mistakes in it. But I'm very proud I finished it.

Anyway.. I casted on a new project (after frogging the previous fiddling) according to a simple pattern on Ravelry.com and started knitting again. As I said, there's plenty mistakes in it but hey.. I don't care smile
So after the first day the scarf I was knitting was already 15 inch long and I really enjoyed working on it so I took my wife to a local yarn shop and we picked out some quality yarns and some really bulky yarn (for my future sweater in earthtone colors) and I spotted some circular needles.

I assume many of you knitters on here would know the brand. Addi Click Lace
I put my scarf on the 60cm cable the next day and continued knitting. And boy oh boy does time fly when you're actually enjoying what you're doing. From 15 inches in 1 day it went to a completed project measuring 55 inches by 5 inches (unblocked, 62 inches by 6 inches blocked).

Currently it's being blocked out and then it's weaving in the ends. The next project is already started and I decided to start something challenging (for a beginner) and picked out a lacy scarf pattern.
Now that's about 2 inches already and I had my wife check it. The knitting is definately more even and it sure isn't knit tight.

So.. I'm proud of myself (and my wife for having the patience to put up with me)

Are there other people around on Gaia that have taught themselves how to knit? And how did that work out for you?
Oh, as I mentioned.. I'm a lot older but I don't care if people age 13 tell their story in here or people age 99. Age is just a number and as long as we all respect each other we'll all be fine.
Albino Sea Monkey's avatar

Original Lunatic

I willingly taught myself to knit when I was a junior in high school (you know, when most people would rather be tricking people into buying them alcohol or are obsessed with their most current boyfriend-of-the-week).

I started out with the Lion Yarn website's "how to knit" tutorial, a pair of chopsticks, and some icky brown crafting yarn. It didn't take very long for me to figure it out...

... but crocheting. OH MAN I CANNOT FIGURE THAT s**t OUT.

Vicious Rumors's avatar

Aged Citizen

Albino Sea Monkey

Thank you for sharing smile

I have yet to try crochet. I think for now I'll stick with knitting.
Glowstick Overdose's avatar

Rainbow Werewolf

I've sat down and told myself I would learn to knit but I've never gotten past making rectangles. I've got it down pretty good to where I end up with pretty much the same amount of stitches. The first time I sat down and did this my big problem was I don't have a good size needle because I don't want to invest in something I may keep passing over for crochet. The second time I have a lot of good yarn for it but not the time for it. With full time school, hard classes, and daily blog/tasks for art and crochet I'm pretty full up.

Reading your story though makes me want to at least play around from time to time. Maybe it will help if I ever find myself getting further into it.
Mademoiselle Alvinette's avatar

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Congratulations on teaching yourself knitting, Vicious Rumors! I'm glad you learned how and that you enjoy it now!

I knit and crochet (both learned from books), but I usually only crochet when I want to make amigurumi, since it kind of hurts my hands. I taught myself to knit using books when I was in eighth grade, but it took me four years of off-and-on dabbling before I FINALLY figured out the instructions for how to purl! sweatdrop In college I made some fuzzy legwarmers for myself using Fun Fur yarn, and I made a scarf with the leftover yarn...then I bought a BUNCH of fuzzy yarn and made probably about 40 or 50 scarves. When I graduated, I moved on to wraps and shawls. Now I make lace stuff and absolutely adore it! heart
Lychee Fruit's avatar

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You should be proud! Not only to have taken on the endeavor, but also for getting over your resentment at your mom's forced hobby. (I'll never understand parents who try to shape their children if the kids clearly aren't having fun.)

I taught myself with YouTube as well. No one in my friends and family knit or crochet - we're more of a sewing and cooking family. It's really amazing the things you can learn there.
Vicious Rumors's avatar

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Thank you guys for sharing your stories.
Are there any tips (besides YouTube) you can give for a total beginner?
Mademoiselle Alvinette's avatar

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Hmmm...I used books and they weren't always very good (I learned to knit before we got the Internet at my house, and definitely before YouTube!). But I would say that knitting groups are FANTASTIC ways to get to know other knitters, and maybe get a little bit of moral support when you want to try new stuff. I'm in two free knitting groups at the moment (one at a local yarn store and one at the library), and even though I can't go every week (since I work in retail, and I'm not always off on the days that the groups meet), I always have a blast when I do get to go. Since the groups I attend are not classes, everyone's working on something different, so you get exposed to a lot of different techniques and patterns that way.

Knitting classes (usually held at yarn stores) are also a good way to build your skills if you want to try something new but don't have the confidence to go it alone. They usually cost money, but it's probably worth the financial cost if you learn better in a group setting. I've never been to a knitting class (I usually use books or YouTube when I want to learn something new), but I have a secret desire to go to one! blaugh

Oh, and don't be afraid to try new skills or new patterns! You'd be surprised to see how many things look really intimidating at first but are actually really easy once you try them. 3nodding
Vicious Rumors's avatar

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Mademoiselle Alvinette

Yesterday we went to a knitting group my wife used to go to before and it was fun. Thanks to our chihuahua who demanded to be on my lap (and use my arm as a pillow) I was unable to knit but I still enjoyed myself. The hostess of the group is also the owner of the yarn shop which on one hand is a good thing but on the other hand is really bad (so many superb yarns and color ways around that it's nearly impossible to resist not buying any)

I was thinking of following a knitting class but with the owner of the yarn store checking over my 1st done scarf and my started Baby Feather and Fan scarf (in bright orange) I think I won't follow them. Not sure about it yet. On the first scarf she had a lot of tips and tricks for me but as to be expected.. who would say a first finish object isn't good? smile
On the orange scarf she complimented me a lot but I think it also has a lot to do with the pattern.

There are a few patterns I would like to make which look real easy but after checking the pattern look on paper pretty complicated. But that will be for a later time. I have 2 scarfs and 2 shawls to make first. And then find me a pattern for my own sweater

Mademoiselle Alvinette's avatar

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Aw, I bet your dog was the star of your knitting group when you went! At our yarn-store knitting group, the pet/mascot is the cat who lives at the store. She's adorable and always gets lots of attention! (I have to kind of keep my distance, though, as I am sadly allergic to cats.)

Yeah, I've had some patterns that I thought were going to be a piece of cake (or at least, not impossible)...until I started the thing. What's really fun is when the thing is riddled with errors (or at least, really vague instructions) and there are no corrections. I've come across a sock pattern that gave me fits until I figured out what the author actually MEANT when she gave instructions that made no sense to me. I also had to frog a shawl when I realized that the instructions were just that bad. Usually, though, I do fine with patterns as long as I make sure I understand them before I start.

Good luck on your future projects! I hope you find a great pattern for your sweater. I've never actually made a sweater, as I'm in the Deep South and extremely hot-natured to boot. No sweater I make would get worn more than once or twice a year, so I just can't bear to spend all that time on something that would make me burn up. crying
Vicious Rumors's avatar

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He sure is. Only reason he's actually allowed in the store is because he's well trained. No barking, no growling or biting. He just either lays on a pillow or on someones lap. (He's such a spoiled royalty sometimes). Sorry to hear you have a cat allergy. I'm not a cat person but dogs.. <3

Oh I've seen patterns like that. I also saw a pattern that said " 500 meters or mohair-like yarn" without specifying the weight of the yarn. Also really helpful smile
The pattern I'm following now is a repeat of 4 rows so once I get the hang of those it will become a lot easier.
One of the reasons for now I stick to scarfs and shawls is because you can go on and on until you run out of yarn. I will (before the end of this year) attempt to make a pair of socks. I got me some wonderful dyed yarn for it yesterday. (Made by Skein, Top Draw Socks) 437yrd in 100gr. 85% superwash Merino, 15% nylon (for durability)
Colorway = Sandstorm
And another skein in the "Hazel" colorway.

Thank you, and good luck to you too smile
Glowstick Overdose's avatar

Rainbow Werewolf

I didn't read this book but I flipped through it and it was by far the most all encompassing book on crafts I've seen. I will say that it looked like it may be a troubling read depending on how you take instructions. I admit I don't think I could but I liked the book anyway. I feel that it could give you a great feel of what is possible with knitting and so long as you know it is possible and have an idea of what to look for you could always do more research into the stitch to learn it.

This was the exact copy I read: Link

It was just one of the books sitting on my aunts shelf. She has hundreds of knitting books but this was one of two that I bothered to write the name down for.

This appears to be the same book, at the very least has the same author:

I wouldn't use this book alone, and it is probably more advanced then you may be looking for, but I think it is a good book to consider if you want to think more deeply about the craft.
Vicious Rumors's avatar

Aged Citizen

Thank you for linking that book.
Not long ago I gave my wife this book.
I know that book is all gibberish to me at this point.

But any book will eventually be of help in improving my knitting smile
Again, thank you for linking.
Glowstick Overdose's avatar

Rainbow Werewolf

I'm rubbish at learning from books most of the time so it would be gibberish for me too. It looks like it has great diagrams though! -of course I would look at that loving ink drawings as much as I do- Not to mention they are on working with connective needles and multiple needles. I've always been fascinated by that concept simply because I have no idea how it works. Haven't gotten there yet.

You're welcome for the links.

Best part about having books to learn from is that your wife can help. I would like to learn from my aunt, who first introduced me, but she lives too far away.
Kaimu-Nanashi's avatar

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Yeah, my mom tried to force me to knit when I was a kid, too, but I didn't take an interest in it until I tried to learn it about 3 years ago to impress my fiance. I used youtube instructions to figure it out, 'though, since learning anything from my mom is really stressful. ^^;

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