Jump to content

Pioneer Living: Around the House - Needle Skills - Knitting


Tracie

Recommended Posts

Knitting is so incredibly useful. Once you get the hang of the two basic stitches (knitting and purling) you can then learning increases, decreases and binding off.

 

My son started learning to knit in first grade this year (he goes to a Waldorf school). The first thing the children did was make their own knitting needles by sanding the tips of sticks down to a point, and then gluing large wooden beads on the other end. When TSHTF, it's good to know that your knitting needles can easily be replaced with random sticks, and crafted by a seven year old boy!

 

My favorite book for teaching knitting is Stitch n' B!tch by Debbie Stoller (to those who are easily offended, FWIW she means "complain"). http://www.amazon.com/Stitch-N-(meany)-Knitt...k/dp/0761128182 I have read many knitting books, but this has the clearest instructions and easiest diagrams.

 

This book will allow you to knit a sweater for any size human from whatever yarn and needles you happen to have on hand. This is extremely handy in pioneer conditions when you might not have exactly the right size needles or yarn on hand and have to make do with what you've got. http://www.amazon.com/Knitters-Handy-Book-...=sip_rech_dp_10

 

This book by the same author is just as handy, because it allows you to make various items in various sizes (socks, gloves, etc)

http://www.amazon.com/Knitters-Handy-Book-...d_bxgy_b_text_b

 

 

This is my favorite knitting site, and it is full of wonderful patterns (all free), articles on knitting techniques and more. All free. http://www.knitty.com/ They have 4 new issues each year.

 

This is my favorite source for buying reasonably priced yarn, most of which are natural fibers. http://knitpicks.com/

 

I will come back and add more to this post, I promise!!

Link to comment

Thanks for the great links, Tracie! I've been chipping away at my first really ambitious project...a sweater. I'd really like to be able to "design" my own knitting projects and these books should help.

 

I've been "stuck" on knitting scarves...my daughters love them, and it's so easy to do them on "autopilot..." especially with the novelty yarns the girls like. Anything but plain garter stitch would get lost, and gauge isn't an issue. But it does get boring...

 

Have you used the "lighted" knitting needles? I love 'em for working on a mindless project while watching TV and such...no need to turn on the lights...

 

Thanks again for the great links... bouquet

Link to comment

No, I've never tried those. It sounds like a great idea! Thanks for the suggestion :-)

 

I'm glad you're trying something ambitious. I know how intimidating it can be to try something new in knitting. I didn't even try cables for years, thinking they'd be too hard. Then, in my old knitting group I saw a total newbie knitting a cable hat. It was her first project ever. That was when I realized "just try it."

 

:-)

Link to comment

Thanks for the links. I will have to get those books. I have gone to Knitty.com and love it as well. Unfortunately I have had so little time to knit lately with going to school, working full time and helping my daughter with the grandkids, I have only knitted one and a half sweaters in the last year. (Half because I missplaced the book and yard in the move. Have to find it so I can finish that sweater.)

 

I get so frustrated having to use a specific yarn or needle size as when I feel like making something, I don't always have the money. Sometimes I can't find the correct size needle at the store. I have tried improvising so far, by doing a sample and checking my guage then continuing on with the project. That is easy for things without much of a shape, but for things like sweaters, it is much harder to alter the pattern to fit the yarn or needles. I still need a lot of practice there. I have determined to do some of that though, so I will be more prepared if we can't get needles or the only yard is tearing out an old worn item to make something new you have now.

 

I had read about making your own needles our of sticks, but have not tried to do it myself yet. I have heard you can do the same for crochet hooks, but I can't imagine getting the hook right. With knitting needles you would just have to cut it like you would to sharpen a pencil then smooth it down. Not neccessarily easy, but possible. Not only is Knitting a very useful skill if TSHTF, but I love doing it and can't imagine not being able to.

Link to comment

You're welcome!

 

I find knitting to be extremely calming. When I start getting nervous about all of the horrible things in the news, I pick up my needles and wool. It's so soothing. And my son is *so* proud of the socks, gloves and sweaters I make him.

 

I also understand your frustration about the specific yarn and needle size. That's why I love that sweater book so much. The instructions are great -- more like a bunch of techniques and suggestions. The sweaters I've made from it have turned out really well.

 

:-)

Link to comment

That si deffinatley a book to add to my list of books to get. I want flexiblity with my work while still getting it done. Besides my gc are 5 months, 20 months, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 13. Add to that I have neices and nephews ages new born to 12...I need too many different sizes to keep buying new patterns. ( Not to mention the varied sizes for the adults in the family) I need to be able to adjust basic patterns for whoever needs it with what I can get hold of. I admit that I haven't tried anything really advance in adjusting sizing. Mostly it has been for hats, shawls, scarfs, blankets ect. I have gone up a size or down a size for a sweater before, but that is the most I have tried. I want to be able to adjust or even write my own patterns for what I do. Then I will be able to envision what I want or need and do it. Not have to then go to the store and find a pattern that will work, by the materials that they say I have to use, etc. I taught myself to knit from a book and I will teach myself to adjust my patterns to. It just may take a little doing and a lot of tearing out and restarting projects. But then I do that even with a pattern when I am trying a new pattern stitch.

Link to comment

I know what you mean. It's all so frustrating, doing it "their way".

 

This sweater book has been great. My DH is rather fussy about what I knit for him, and using this book I can make him exactly what he wants. He's gotten so excited about what I've created for him that this past fall he took up knitting (after watching me and our son sitting on the couch knitting together). He's made our son a sweater and me a lovely poncho.

 

Edited to add: My husband even knits these now -- he's knit one for our son, one for son's classroom and one for a pregnant former teacher of our son http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall07/PATTwoodins.html

 

Being a geek, hubby even got a couple of books with different stitch patterns in them, so we could get funky

:-)

Link to comment

Does anyone have the directions for making their own knitting needles AND crochet hooks. That would be really useful information to have on hand. I'm pretty sure that the pioneer did not always have a store handy.

 

We might also add a thread here on various materials, fibers and etc that can be used for making clothing and necessities.

 

Thanks for this input.

 

bighug

Link to comment

I don't know how to make your own crochet hooks, but really, knitting needles are easy. My son's first grade class all made them. They sawed sticks down to about 10", sanded them, sanded the tips and then glued wooden beads on the ends with a hot glue gun. The needles aren't "perfect" and they aren't uniform, but they work. My son has knit a recorder case, a bird, and several other things from them. It's really awe inspiring to see your son knit himself a toy with needles he made himself. He's so proud too. His needles are about a size 11.

 

You can get thin wooden dowels at most hardware stores, if you want more uniform knitting needles. Most knitting supply stores sell a tool that tells you what size your needles are (you stick the needles in the holes until you find the one that just fits -- that's the size of your needle).

 

For DPN's, just sand both sides to a point.

 

If you want crochet hooks, just buy some metal ones. Right now you can get a pack of metal hooks that are virtually indestructible. A pack with a whole bunch of assorted sizes is about $10, and JoAnns frequently has coupons for 40% or 50% off an item.

 

For knitting, I have a kit of "Denise Knits" interchangeable needles, so I'm set. But if I need to make a replacement, I can just go outside and walk in the woods for the right size stick.

 

:-)

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Ladies I love to knit, as you say it is so calming to me also. I can be really uptight and pick up thoes needles and I am just fine. So I want to really store some yarn, just in case something happens and I need to stay calm.

I was thinking the other day I want a ceder chest to keep wool yarn in, more research.

My mother taught me the knit and pearl and that was all I knew until I took a class this Spring. I am making a baby blanket now.

Want to work up to socks and sweaters. It is just so much fun.

I knit very tight I am working on that too.

Thanks for the sites on yarn and all.

There is a book and I think it is called Zen and the Art of Knitting. It is so interesting, a lady did research and interviewed people on why they knit and how they feel when they knit. She also went to a private school were they had the kids knit early as a skill and a brain train thing.

It is a small paper back.

Tracie you might want to look at that. knit

Link to comment
Originally Posted By: Cricket
I would like to learn to knit, but do not know of anyone to can teach me. Is there a video or something I can get?

If you go to youtube and type in knitting you will come up with a few instructional videos. There are different ways to cast on (start) so choose one you can do best. Here are a couple of beginner videos.




Link to comment
Originally Posted By: BiscuitMaker
Hey Tracie---I think you put the same link on twice Knitters -handy book sweater patterns.


Ooops!! Thank you for noticing that. I fixed it, so hopefully it works now.

:-)
Link to comment
Originally Posted By: BiscuitMaker
Ladies I love to knit, as you say it is so calming to me also. I can be really uptight and pick up thoes needles and I am just fine. So I want to really store some yarn, just in case something happens and I need to stay calm.
I was thinking the other day I want a ceder chest to keep wool yarn in, more research.
My mother taught me the knit and pearl and that was all I knew until I took a class this Spring. I am making a baby blanket now.
Want to work up to socks and sweaters. It is just so much fun.
I knit very tight I am working on that too.
Thanks for the sites on yarn and all.

There is a book and I think it is called Zen and the Art of Knitting. It is so interesting, a lady did research and interviewed people on why they knit and how they feel when they knit. She also went to a private school were they had the kids knit early as a skill and a brain train thing.
It is a small paper back.
Tracie you might want to look at that. knit

Oh thank you -- I'll have to check that out and put it on my amazon.com wish list. The private school was probably a Waldorf school -- that's the kind of school my son attends. His teacher explained all of the reasons they teach the young children to knit and it was astonishing! It's not just about motor coordination, but they start this whole golden thread throughout the curriculum, linking seemingly disparate subjects together. It stimulates the left and right sides of the brain to work together. It helps the little ones with their math skills. Really, just amazing! (can you tell I just love his school? cheer)
Link to comment

I taught both of my sons, ages 7 and 10 at the time to knit. The 7 year old (he is 8 now) loved it and wants to learn to sew also.

I taught myself to knit about 6 years ago and just love it. I mostly do dishcloths, baby blankets, shawls and socks. I really want to get the courage up to do a sweater (I did a baby sweater once) but I am afraid that something that will take forever may never get finished. I guess that I will have to just take the plunge.

Blessings,

Carie

Link to comment

I second the recommendations for the Stitch 'n (meany) book and knittinghelp.com. With those two things alone you could learn the basics of knitting. I would also recommend checking out Ravelry. Its great for finding like-minded, local knitters. One of the great things about knitting these days is the camaraderie among us fiber junkies!

Link to comment

Dont forget, you can go 'extra-frugal' and recycle yarn. My mom taught me how to get the kinks out: Unravel the item, form the yarn into a skein (like a loop, just go round and round). When you get it all into a little wheel shaped skein, tie the skein in at least 4 places so the yarn does not tangle. Submerge in lukewarm water (not too hot wool will shrink...remember?) then roll in a towel and press to get most moisture out. Then hang on a wooden peg to finish. The kinks will come out via gravity as it dries. We did not do this often, since we did not mind the kinks when we knitted, but some find it nicer to have 'new looking' recycled yarn...I always look at the thrift stores on the sweater sale days for a nice one made of real wool I can recycle.

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...
Originally Posted By: Jeepers
Originally Posted By: Cricket
I would like to learn to knit, but do not know of anyone to can teach me. Is there a video or something I can get?

If you go to youtube and type in knitting you will come up with a few instructional videos. There are different ways to cast on (start) so choose one you can do best. Here are a couple of beginner videos.






Thank you, Jeepers! And you, too Biscuitmaker! Now if I'm going out to buy needles and yarn, what should I start out with? What are good size needles to have on hand?
Link to comment

I can only do the basic knit and purl so I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination.

 

If you buy an instruction booklet it will tell you the best size needles to use. If you are just going to play around to start, I'd go with a size 8 or 9 needle or around there. Too big or too small are harder to work with.

 

If you have a choice, I'd get the shorter rather than the longer needles. The long ones always get hooked up under my arms or jab at my waist. They are just more awkward.

 

As far as yarn, I'd get the least expensive to start out with. Your stitches will probably be uneven and there will probably be some reveling out and restitching. At least there was with me. Walmart and Joann had a lot to choose from. I'd just get 1 maybe 2 skeins to start to make sure it's something you like.

 

Link to comment

Cricket, worsted weight is the most common yarn weight. You can make sweaters, scarves, shawls, hats, gloves and thick socks with it. You can get real wool yarn for $1.99/skein at www.knitpicks.com -- I use tons of it and it's great. I'd get size 7 or 8 needles to go with the worsted weight yarn.

 

I get inexpensive sets of bamboo needles on ebay.

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.