Advice Where to start

lonestar09

Senior Member
I learned sewing repairs on my own. Replacing buttons, mending tears and the like but only by hand. I am interested in knitting surprisingly. I got a hold of a huge bag of wool yarn at goodwill last year and would like to make something with it. Just don't know where to start. Books or videos would be great from the experts here. I can make it a bit more difficult and would be interested in learning about quilting also. I like to make my life a bit more complicated but a denim quilt would be pretty neat to make and have. So two things. Beginner looking for a start on knitting and quilting. Books or videos recommendations I would guess, but open to suggestions.
 

Broken Arrow

Heathen Pagan Witch
I don't have any specific videos to point you to, but youtube does have lots of great videos on knitting. From casting on to making the different individual stitches. I started with a book and needle kit I got at Walmart. It starts you off easy and works into more difficult patterns.
 

summerthyme

Administrator
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Quilting is very, very simple to start with... and can go from something very basic and functional to beyond complex. If you want to drool over one of the latter, check this out:


If you go to www.nancysnotions.com, they've always had excellent books and patterns, from beginners through experts.

Www.anniescatalog.com will have basic books on everything from knitting, crochet, quilting...

For a denim quilt (they make great car quilts, picnic quilts, etc... they can be pretty heavy for a bed quilt), you won't be "quilting" it, per se... it's just too thick and heavy. I suspect even most quilting machines will have trouble. But tying them works well, and is much less time consumimg.. a good way to do a first project.

Have fun!

Summerthyme
 

Broken Arrow

Heathen Pagan Witch
Another option you can look into would be to find a local group or fiber guild that can teach you. I run a group in my county for spinners, weavers, knitters, and other fiber arts. Many of them may not be having official gatherings at the moment, but they would be happy to talk to you and get you involved when they start back up again. Lots of them have items you can borrow to learn on before you make a big investment of money into a hobby you may not enjoy.
 

Faroe

Has No Life - Lives on TB
YouTube videos. I am partial to Stacey of VeryPinkKnits, but there are countless good ones out there. If you don't like one, just click on another of the same topic. To start, you want cast-on videos. I would set a beginner up with an inexpensive basic wool yarn (WM's Lion Brand would probably work, acrylic actually ok too, best thickness would be labeled as DK, or "worsted weight") and I'd pick about size US4 needles, 24" circulars, or 8" double points (known as DPN's). The specifics aren't all that critical however, if you already have some yarn and needles just start with that.

Potholders and dishcloths are good beginner projects, and aren't just for beginners. Lots of interesting stitch patterns to try, and you can combine both crochet and knitting. Peaches and Cream thick cotton yarn from WalMart is a good choice for the dishcloths. There is actually a book out on creative pot holders in wool. Again, videos. Also, dare I say it, Ravelry has lots of free patterns for little dishcloths. They are basically just big swatches in pretty and clever stitch patterns. Some knitters like swatching stitch patterns so much, that is mostly all of what they make. Ravelry is still goodie-two-shoes lefty annoying, but the TDS is no longer out front and center. The few forums I follow over there are explicit about avoiding "hot button issues," and just sticking to our love of knitting.

Denim is always tempting. I love old 100% cotton denim, and have many squares that I hand embroidered sashiko designs in white with aim to make a quilt. It IS heavy, and hard to piece by hand. Would make a good bed cover in a house with dogs that are allowed on the bed (my house). You can make it as just a "coverlet" with the pieced denim top, and only a backing. Utility quilting just in-the-ditch, that is, directly over the seams would be easier on a basic home sewing machine. Back when we still had an open thrift store, I could get a paper grocery bag stuffed full of old denim jeans for $5.
 
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Faroe

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I also second trying to find a local group that knits or sews. When I lived in IA, kitting was common - you could find help (and any breed of fiber animal, too). Even found a busy knitting shop in Hawaii when I lived there. Here in NM - nothing local. It is a fun social activity when people meet at a scheduled time at a yarn shop, or one evening a week at people's homes.

One thing you are going to have to work with, is that people knit differently. Continental vs English, etc. Yarn can be held and wrapped in all kinds of ways. There isn't much that is actually "incorrect," as long as the results are what is desired. You will hear a lot about "correct" stitch mount. It is perhaps better reffered to as "standard stitch mount", and knitting patterns are written with that assumption, but plenty of knitting goes on that ignores mount, yet pays attention to not crossing the stitches on the next row, which is where mount direction is actually important. Personally, I think knitting is taught all *wrong,* but everyone just has to wade through it (along with a lot of well intentioned mis-information), and work out what we like to do as we progress with the more technical and useful skills. It is not just a hobby, it is a tradition - and a rapidly evolving one at this point in time. There is no foreseeable end to knitting. :)
 
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Cardinal

Snark: a higher form of communication
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I learned sewing repairs on my own. Replacing buttons, mending tears and the like but only by hand. I am interested in knitting surprisingly. I got a hold of a huge bag of wool yarn at goodwill last year and would like to make something with it. Just don't know where to start. Books or videos would be great from the experts here. I can make it a bit more difficult and would be interested in learning about quilting also. I like to make my life a bit more complicated but a denim quilt would be pretty neat to make and have. So two things. Beginner looking for a start on knitting and quilting. Books or videos recommendations I would guess, but open to suggestions.
Never knitted, but I did quilt once upon a time. If you already have material scraps, you can look for a pattern for your quilt. If not, most stores sell material scraps and you can start collecting. When you are ready to start the quilting process, a hoop is a cheap way to begin, assuming you will be quilting by hand.
I don't recall what book I used to get started, but probably any book for beginners will get you up and running.
Please show us pics of the finished product!
 

Faroe

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I recommend English Paper Piecing (EPP) if you like to sew by hand. EPP uses pre-cut card stock shapes (traditionally hexies) in place of tedious marking. I find it enjoyable because it is low-fuss. I have boxes and boxes of EPP put together in various stages, and have never finished even one lap sized quilt. No biggie, it is fun to do. The Sew-Line gluesticks are the most expensive part of it, and I think worth the money, but many people prefer old-school and stitch the fabric onto the cardstock. Again, endless videos on this technique. I like the Sue Daley "Shape Up" tutorials. It can be as simple or fancy as one wishes. I prefer a haphazard and scrappy cottage look, but it can also be very refined.

I make these a bit differently than I've seen on the videos. I HATE quilting large objects, and am not a good hoop quilter, and do not enjoy going through multiple layers. I whip stitch the hexies together in small groups, then pull out the card stock and then put a running stitch along the borders of each as if they were quilted. When I have a stack, they are pressed with Best Press sizing, and assembled with whip stitch as larger groups. That is as far as I've ever made it with them (because I keep changing colorways, and themes, and have several different quilts started). But, at that point it is easier to place them on a batting backing sandwich, and quilt minimally along the actual whip stitch lines (in the ditch). The sewing there is easier.

If you order the very small hexies, you can make mug rugs with them, and *maybe* actually finish a tiny coaster "quilt."
 
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Melodi

Disaster Cat
This is absolutely the best beginner's book out there for knitting - I do NOT learn well from knitting and yet I was able to figure out basic sweaters and socks from her instructions, also discovered how not to add extra stitches (I sort of knew how to do a scarf but they tended to look like amebas.

I always recommend that every prepping household should have a copy of this book and "The Knitters Handy Book of Patterns" because between the two of them, without the internet; it is still possible to learn basic knitting and make most sizes of the most needed things in most gages of yarn.



 

FREEBIRD

Has No Life - Lives on TB
When you know what books you want, consider trying www.alibris.com.
They often have books cheaper than Amazon, and their service is awesome. They have been my go-to for many years.
 

Jacki

Contributing Member
I agree with Melodi. I use The Knitter's handy book of Patterns a lot. I would also get a dictionary of stitches. It is amazing how many variations there are with a foundation of two stitches (knit, and purl).

Jacki
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
I noticed Book Depository has some of these and I may order a hardback copy of Knitting Without Tears and for knitting patterns I only have one of these (and again I'd look at book depository or other places for cheaper copies) - but the Barbara Walker Pattern books are great for different stitches.

Just please ignore her books on Feminist Anthropology and Pagan Religion! I once got in trouble on a forum 25 years ago by saying "Barbara Walker should stick to knitting!" which got a huge backlash until I informed the forum members (it wasn't here this was a Pagan religious forum) that:

"Barbara Walker is one of the best known, best researched and best resources for knitting patterns on the planet; if she applied her same diligence to historical religions and anthropology she would be a great writer on both; as it is - she should stick to what she does best - KNITTING!" lol

 

Faroe

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Love that book. Planning to eventually get the other in the yellow cover which has charts.
I knew Walker was something of a polymath, but wasn't aware her research was shoddy.
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
Love that book. Planning to eventually get the other in the yellow cover which has charts.
I knew Walker was something of a polymath, but wasn't aware her research was shoddy.
Only shoddy (that I am aware of) when it comes to her 1990s writings on historical religions - A housemate and I (in Pagan clergy training) had to stay up all night one night to help a poor women who had in all innocence written a ritual to be performed for about 4,000 plus people based on her statement that the Norse Goddess Hella was a "fire goddess-like Pele."

That is the most outrageous and totally inexplicable statement you could imagine (the Norse underworld is COld and ICY or at least misty) just because the Christians chose to use the Germanic/Norse word for their own translation of the infernal realms does not mean for a second it meant the same thing in the original context.

We managed to salvage the mess, helped her perform the thing (this was at Starhawks famous Spiral Dances usually on or around October 31st) and it turned out to be a great experience but I would have felt terrible if the poor lady had put that much work into the religious theater that was totally "wrong" and anyone who knew anything (even on a Marvel Comic Book level) would have known it was wrong.

I just looked and I couldn't even find the book in question, but then I've mercifully forgotten the name (it might have been The Women's Encylopedia of Myths and Secrets that sounds about right).

But her knitting stuff is AWESOME and I recommend it for any knitters or even prepping household's library (to go with the other two books).

Actually ANYTHING by Elizabeth Zimmerman is good, but Knitting Without Tears starts with the idea the reader may know NOTHING, and given the fact that no one person (or even family) can know everything or have every needed skill; that's a good thing to have around in case the world goes boom and you need socks.
 

Faroe

Has No Life - Lives on TB
It's a mine field in that area. I stick to Jackson Crawford, and Stephen McNalen videos for that information. Too many people just making stuff up. The Celtic history seems to be even worse - haven't yet found a reliable source.
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
Knitting without Tears I highly recommend! Then youtube videos. The key to knitting is knowing which cast on method you prefer so I'd watch videos on both methods and try both to see what you prefer.
 

lonestar09

Senior Member
Thanks to all for info. Will be ordering the books shortly. Going to check out the different YouTube videos and download. Going to have to put the sewing/quilting on hold for a few months now. Broke my hand again and it will probably take close to 2 months for it to heal again.
 

summerthyme

Administrator
_______________
Oh, I'm sorry! Ouch! Well, use some of that time to watch some videos and see what appeals to you, and maybe get some basic materials/tools for your next planned project. It sounds like cotton prices may be going way up, thanks to locusts in India!

One quilt technique I absolutely love, for intricate patterns which can be so difficult to go get seamed and points to match, is foundation paper piecing. The pattern is printed on paper (plain lightweight printer paper works, and is a heck of a lot cheaper then the (admittedly nice) fancy paper they sell specifically for it.

It takes a bit to be able to visualize how to cut and place the pieces at first, but you stitch on the printed lines, and even the multiple fine points in Mariners Compass blocks come out perfectly.

There are several books which include a CD of printable patterns, and quite a few websites with free patterns.

Summerthyme
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
Oh, I'm sorry! Ouch! Well, use some of that time to watch some videos and see what appeals to you, and maybe get some basic materials/tools for your next planned project. It sounds like cotton prices may be going way up, thanks to locusts in India!

One quilt technique I absolutely love, for intricate patterns which can be so difficult to go get seamed and points to match, is foundation paper piecing. The pattern is printed on paper (plain lightweight printer paper works, and is a heck of a lot cheaper then the (admittedly nice) fancy paper they sell specifically for it.

It takes a bit to be able to visualize how to cut and place the pieces at first, but you stitch on the printed lines, and even the multiple fine points in Mariners Compass blocks come out perfectly.

There are several books which include a CD of printable patterns, and quite a few websites with free patterns.

Summerthyme
Someone posted a video link this past winter to a Youtube channel, the lady had greatly simplified the paper piecing techniques. Now I'll have to search for it again, it might have been Faroe that posted the link?
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
Thanks to all for info. Will be ordering the books shortly. Going to check out the different YouTube videos and download. Going to have to put the sewing/quilting on hold for a few months now. Broke my hand again and it will probably take close to 2 months for it to heal again.
Ouch!
 
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