Learning to Knit

KnittingOne of my favorite verses from the Psalms says:

For you formed my inward parts; 
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

~(Ps 139:13-14)

Since I was waiting for the birth of my new grandchild, it seemed like a good time to let my daughter teach me how to knit. She taught herself to knit about five years ago and has made many beautiful things for her daughter and Melinda’s kids. She also inspired Melinda to learn to knit.

As I shared last month in my posts about arm knitting and finger knitting, learning to knit was a skill I wanted to stretch myself to acquire this year. I have crocheted since I was a young girl and tried to teach myself to knit a long time ago. It just did not click for me. Since then I’ve had a mental block that says, “I can’t knit” and have not tried. 

I decided to start with a simple project- a cotton dishcloth. It is small and not overwhelming. (And I really like using the cotton crocheted dishcloths I’ve made.)  I made many mistakes and quickly learned how to “reverse stitch”. I don’t know if that’s what they call it in knitting, but that’s that phrase we adopted when the girls were learning to sew and had to take out their stitches to correct a mistake. Believe me, I know how to “reverse stitch” in knitting now! I also dropped many stitches and added stitches and even got things turned around adding several rows to one half of my project. (That’s what happens when you get interrupted and come back to it later and don’t know enough yet to figure out where to start again.)

My daughter is a wonderful teacher and very patiently figured out what I was doing wrong each time and either fixed it or showed me how to fix it. I am able to teach myself how to do many things, but when it comes to knitting, I think it is much easier to have a teacher. That way when something is not looking right but you have no clue why, you can take it to the teacher and say HELP!

My first dishcloth did not turn out pretty (but hey, it’s a dishcloth for scrubbing dirty dishes, so it’s ok!) I learned that knitting consisted of two stitches- knit and purl. The designs happen depending on which stitch you make and in what combinations.First Knitting AttemptI began feeling more confident and picked out a pattern (Divided Boxes) from one of her books to try another dishcloth. This one was fun and I had to pay close attention to the pattern as I stitched. I still had to do a lot of “reverse stitching”.Divided Boxes Knit PatternThe next dishcloth went much more smoothly. My confidence grew as I attempted the Seed Stitch Zig Zag pattern.Seed Stitch ZigZag Knit PatternThen I got really bold and tried the Semi-Woven Lattice pattern. I am happy to say, I did not have to ask for help on this one. I was able to figure out when I goofed and quickly fix it.Semi Woven Lattice Knit PatternI plan to have my daughter teach me how to do some of the patterns that include holes and twists next. I believe the mental block is gone. Now I can say, “I knit!”

If you desire to learn to knit the internet is loaded with instructional videos, tutorials and patterns. However, I suggest you find a friend or relative who knits and is willing to show you how. Or sign up for a class to get you started initially. That way you can get feedback on your work right away. Then once you get the momentum going, you can use the internet to help you grow your skills.

If you are interested in the history of knitting, check out this blog. They also offer online classes.


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