Learning to Knit

If you’ve seen my blog or Ravelry page I’m sure you’ll have noticed that I crochet, I have been doing so for the past 4 years (or so). I always found crochet to keep my attention more than knitting, I felt like it built up quicker and I got instant gratification from it way more than anytime I tried to knit. Crochet is my first yarn love, but recently I have found myself wishing I could knit so I have decided that I am going to really learn in 2013.

I have always been able to knit to some extent (knit and purl, increase and decrease) – when I say “always” I guess I mean that I don’t remember learning how to because I was so young – but beyond the basics I have never ventured, until now. I love crochet, I think I am actually a little obsessed with it, so when I am point out the differences between it and knit, please remember this…I am in no way bashing crochet! I am just pointing out a few things that seem to have occurred to me recently.

There are a few reasons for my new found interest; The first being knitted lace. I have played around a bit with some crochet lace patterns and even made a shawl (which has been finished weeks but still to be blocked!) but after seeing some knitted lace shawl patterns I really want to have a go at it! I think that there is a sturdiness to knitted lace, while also being elegant that I haven’t seen with crochet shawl patterns.

Knit patterns are also so much easier to find, probably due to the fact that there are far more knitters and knit designers than crocheters and crochet designers. I know there are thousands of crochet patterns on sites such as Ravelry, but when I have an idea in my head about what I’m looking for, I usually find it in knit way before crochet.

Certain items look better knit. I think some things are suited to crochet, some to knit. For example I’ve been looking for fingerless gloves or mittens recently and the crochet patterns usually look much bulkier and not as neat as knit.  On the other hand, crochet is fantastic for doing unique and original things with items such as blankets etc. One of the main reasons I started to crochet was the wide range of motifs that exist, and it is also easy enough to make up your own!

Yarn…now here is something that may or may not be true, I’m not even sure if I believe it myself, but it’s something I have been thinking about for a few months.  Knitting can show off beautiful yarns, especially hand dye, “artisan” (read: expensive) yarns in a way that I don’t think crochet always does. Maybe it’s just that when I see what is made with these lovely yarns I usually see knitted pieces, made by very proficient knitters, beautifully photographed, so I don’t have a like for like comparison.  I do think that there is something about the flat and tidy looking nature of knitted stockinette that really makes some yarns shine.

I just came across The Crochet Project, after writing the above. It is a website that will have crochet patterns for wearable garments. On their blog they talk about some of the points I have made above, the lack of nice wearable crochet patterns and “the knitting resurgence being more advanced so there are many beautiful collections and magazines with very professional photography, styling and layouts” etc.  Another post talks about drape in crochet, and how to achieve it for garments. So maybe my musings on crochet are due to lack of experimentation and experience! Either way I’m really looking forward to seeing the crochet patterns that come from these  designers when they are launched and maybe I will change my mind about everything I just said! Regardless, I am still learning to knit.

IMG_20130209_132927I asked my sister to buy me some knitting needles and a Slushie Cowl kit from This Is Knit for Christmas, I started knitting on St Stephen’s Day but I must admit that I am only just over half way through it (and most of that was done in the last week). I have a tendency to keep going back to the crochet, picking up whatever crochet project I have on the go instead of my knitting.  I think one of the main reasons for this is that this particular pattern isn’t challenging, it’s rows of plain and purl and there is nothing new for me to learn in it – until I get to the end and have to learn how to pick up stitches. However, I think by sticking with it I am improving my technique and tension, building up my speed and re-learning how to fix a dropped stitch etc., so I am definitely going to finish it! I am planning to make some fingerless gloves with some lovely Malabrigo yarn that I bought on sale recently, and I also signed up for The Yarn Yard’s SSS so will hopefully have loads of lovely yarn to learn on! The main things I am trying to learn at the moment are how to work on DPNs and how to do cables. I started knitting with DPNs on Friday night, I managed to get the hang of it with three needles, and then tried four…it takes a bit of getting used to but I think I will get the hang of it.


2 thoughts on “Learning to Knit

  1. Your attempt with DPNs looks great! They’re tough to get the hang of at the beginning, with all those needles hanging all over the place but it looks like you’re flying already.

    • Yeh I thought it was going to be harder than it was, after the fist two rows it was grand, still a bit slow and fumbley but will pick up speed as I get used to them!

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