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Message Board > Knitting Lounge > Starting to knit ( Moderated by JEF)

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Starting to knit
Is it ridiculous to make a sweater so soon?
westmoon
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westmoon  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/8/13 2:33 PM

I was taught to knit aeons ago by my mum when I was about 12. As far as I remember I never finished anything, but I did master the basic skills.

I bought and ran through the Craftsy Knit Lab course over Christmas, and I was given a pile of vintage needles and wool by an elderly relative as well. Since then I've been burning up the knitting needles. I made a little scarf on 4mm needles just to relearn the basics and see if I was able to manage a consistent gauge, which was my downfall as a child when knitting. Now I am burning through a very simple shrug in stocking stitch on 11mm needles in a really nice burgundy vintage boucle wool from my elderly relative's stash.

As I look around on Ravelry though, I'm kind of at a loss for what to do next. I don't really want a million shrugs or socks or scarves and I dislike knitted hats. Am I crazy to think about trying a simple sweater pattern even though I've been knitting again for literally 9 days?
-- Edited on 1/8/13 2:34 PM --

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http://sewingnovice.blogspot.co.uk/
One woman. One sewing machine. One giant stack of fabric. What could possibly go wrong?

lisalu
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lisalu
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Date: 1/8/13 3:41 PM

You can do it... IF you have mastered simple increases and decreases. These are easy to learn but essential for shaping. Choose a simple stitch pattern, but something you won't get bored with. In other words cables or Fair Isle are too ambitious for a novice but all stockinette can get boring. A wide rib is a good compromise.
-- Edited on 1/8/13 3:41 PM --

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Jim (Singer 301), Margaret (Singer 201-2), Betty (Singer 15-91), Bud (Singer 503), Kathy (Singer 221), Liz (Singer 221 Centennial Edition)
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threaddy
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threaddy  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/8/13 3:45 PM

I think a lap afghan would be the best because it takes time to get your particular stitch tension set. Sweaters need to be exact just like sewing a garment with the right size. You will not have a consistent gauge until you've knitted a bit.

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"The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem." Theodore Rubin
"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life's about creating yourself." George Bernard Shaw
Dan 9:24-27

Bernina vintage and computerized, Bernina and BL sergers , BLcoverstitch (a stray Pfaff and Viking followed me home too)

pfaffkj

pfaffkj
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Date: 1/8/13 3:54 PM

How about a simple vest? Might be a good compromise -- you could do some shaping, could use an interesting pattern/stitch, but not have to do sleeves! There are some great side-to-side vest patterns out there that are easy, but look great.

Congratulations on coming back to knitting -- I hope you find it as rewarding as I do.

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Karen

Yards in stash: I don't want to know!
2013 yards sewn: 1
2013 yards bought: 5


Wino
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Wino
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Date: 1/8/13 10:13 PM

Why not? At worst you'll have to frog it. If I waited for my gauge to be perfect I'd never knit anything.

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wino

GlButterfly

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Date: 1/8/13 11:54 PM

Westmoon, you could do a boatneck which wouldn't require shaping at the neck and a drop shoulder style so there wouldn't be much shaping of a sleeve cap.

There was a knitting teacher who started off her beginner students with a sweater. Her idea was that if they could do all the shaping , then they could knit anything. That's one theory.

Good luck and have fun.

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I have not yet begun to procrastinate

Update: soon I will decide when I will begin procrastinating.

westmoon
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Date: 1/9/13 6:18 AM

Thanks everyone for your ideas! I went looking for a simple side-to-side knit jacket/cardigan with no sleeves on Ravelry and turned up a couple of things that I think might work for me.

I have a couple of simpler projects that I am working on specifically so that I get lots of practice getting a consistent gauge. I am about 20% of the way through a shrug that is basically just a massive rectangle 120cm long of stocking stitch (luckily on 11mm needles, so it's amazingly quick to produce). After that I picked a scarf pattern with a very slightly more complicated stitch pattern so I can see how I do with that.

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http://sewingnovice.blogspot.co.uk/
One woman. One sewing machine. One giant stack of fabric. What could possibly go wrong?

JEF
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JEF  Friend of PR
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In reply to westmoon <<
thumbsup 1 member likes this.


Date: 1/9/13 9:24 AM

Knit whatever is calling to you. Do you have baby or toddler you could knit for? It wouldbe a real sweater but much faster/less invested than an adult sweater.

JEF

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"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you can never know if they are genuine." --Abraham Lincoln

Ariadne

Ariadne
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Date: 1/9/13 10:06 AM

Why are you so concerned about consistent gauge? I learned consistent gauge b/c I worked with acrylic and then cotton. Blocking does not work for either. If you knit in wool then you can steam-block or wet-block your knitting. Both Elizabeth Zimmerman and Debbie Stoller comment about having uneven gauge that they block out. Since those are the two most influential American knitters, ever, I think it's okay to have uneven gauge.

And, besides, just about any project is more than one day. Emotionally speaking, you're likely to have 1/4 stitch per inch variation depending on the weather, your mood, how exciting the movie is, relationship issues, time of month. /1/4 of a stitch per inch doesn't sound like much, but there are 24 to 44 inches around the sweater body: that 1/4 + N adds up.

The Yarn Girls Guide to Knitting has a great many coarse gauge, simply shaped sweaters. They start everyone past a scarf on one of these sweaters. They even have a kids' book in the same coarse gauge. I wouldn't do that to a kid- it's too late sixties, early seventies to not give me chills, but it seems to work for Teva Durham, in Loop-d-Loop, and in the pages of Vogue Knitting for the past few years.

Elizabeth Zimmerman wrote Knitting Without Tears, if you wish to be reassured on gauge. It's on the shelf at B&N. Debbie Stoller wrote Stitch'n'Bitch Nation, and other books with risque names. I'm always surprised by how many people learned from her books, but apparently she's the greatest thing since cinnamon toast.

westmoon
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In reply to JEF <<


Date: 1/9/13 10:08 AM

Chatting to some other knitting friends they've said the same thing -- make what you want to make, knowing that it could very easily go horribly wrong. That way in the unlikely event that it DOES turn out OK, at least you end up with something you like!

Unfortunately, no, there are no children anywhere in my life who would appreciate hand-knitted items. I do have a small niece and nephew, but (a) they live in Australia where it's currently extremely hot; and (b) my SIL would never EVER dress them in something hand-knitted even if it were -20C outside. She likes her labels.

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http://sewingnovice.blogspot.co.uk/
One woman. One sewing machine. One giant stack of fabric. What could possibly go wrong?

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