Thursday, 6 June 2013

Tip 1: Knitting - The Shit Kind

My grandmother taught me to knit about 20 years ago. When I say knit, I mean I mastered casting on, knit stitch and casting off with absolutely no regard for the art nor any inclination to pursue it beyond the several multicoloured oblongs that littered my 'Knitting Bag' (aka a fabric teardrop with tortoiseshell handles of course). What brought me back was a combination of two things; the desire to become good at anything and watching a film called Sightseers, within which one of the characters just happens to knit in couple of scenes. Aha! She's acting and knitting! Of course! I should knit! Whatever.

Following my phenomenal self-realisation, my first instinct was to go out and buy books. Books are useful, books teach you things, books are pretty and look nice on the shelf. Being impatient and needing things NOW, I didn't buy online and get the best price, no, I went down to Waterstones during my lunch hour and bought the two books that stood out the brightest on the shelf and paid a premium.

Knit Step by Step - Vikki Haffenden Frederica Patmore

Tech Knits - Sue Culligan

As a born again beginner, I found Knit Step by Step useful insofar as it offers tips on what type of yarn to use for what type of garments/objects. It also provides advice on needle gauge and knitting tools. However, to begin the knitting process, following a series of photographs is virtually impossible as you cannot see how the needles move nor how the yarn is worked without drowning in a sea of angry swooping arrows and blurring text. 

Tech Knits is wonderful. There are numerous kooky projects that appeal to someone like me, such as a graphic equalizer scarf or a pair of socks with an aerial intarsia on the side. The projects, although very well instructed and simplified, are way beyond my capabilities because I do not understand pattern-speak adequately enough yet to even begin.

So, tip number one for beginners? DO NOT BUY BOOKS. Purge the internet for instruction videos and try not to cry when the instructor knits and purls like a total boss. My favourite series of absolute beginner videos an be found here on the Very Pink website - try them. If you must buy a pretty book, buy one for aspirational purposes to keep you in the game.

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