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vviolet
Chatty Knitter

148 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2009 :  3:30:34 PM  Show Profile Send vviolet a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am so happy to have found this site. Everyone seems so nice and willing to help.

I have knitted a few pretty, uncomplicated scarves, and am finishing up my first hat, knitted in the round. I am a rather a slow learner, and tend to struggle. I've taken a beginning knitting class (fun and useful), a beaded scarf class (frustrating, with dismal results, yeilding an ugly, impractical, expensive product--and the class wasn't even FUN), and another class that I can't begin to categorize, except that we practiced increasing, decreasing, yos, and stuff like that (kinda fun). What kind of projects did you knitters out there do to branch out when you were beginners?

You can do anything if you know how.--vviolet

watcher
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
449 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2009 :  4:05:26 PM  Show Profile Send watcher a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think I pretty much went straight into knitting sweaters many years ago, then I didn't knit for a number of years. Mostly, right now, I knit smaller projects that I can take with me while ferrying kids from place to place, waiting for practice or speech therapy to be done, and so on. Lots of socks (as I wear mainly my own handknit socks), hats, mittens, cowls/neckwarmers, dishcloths.

What about a bag, mittens, or slippers? A bag can be as simple as a long rectangle that you fold in half and seam along the sides, then add straps at the top edge. Mittens also can be pretty simple, and there are patterns for two needle or in the round construction (I like the mittens at Sandy's Needle Nook - http://www.needlenook.on.ca/free-2007.htm, scroll down to the second pattern - they are plain but can be "dressed up" with stripes or simple colorwork, and they fit - I did a pair for my 5 year old, and a pair for my large hands and both came out great!).

Or something for a baby or a toddler - booties/socks, or a simple sweater? If nothing else, these make great baby shower presents...and a smaller size helps you get the process and shaping down before you tackle larger sizes.

Dishcloths are another good way to try out new techniques on a smaller scale (and they are useful and gift-able).

Hope this helps some!
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dschmidt
Permanent Resident

3993 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2009 :  4:07:52 PM  Show Profile Send dschmidt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A baby cardigan sweater is a great beginning project. It is small, inexpensive, and you use the basic techniques needed to knit a sweater. If your gauge is off, it doesn't matter - the sweater will fit some baby. If don't have anyone to give the sweater to, a charity will welcome it.

Donna in VA

The Honor Roll? It's easier here than in school. Scroll up to "Want to Make Betty Happy?" and be an Honor Roll member.
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LJ
Permanent Resident

USA
1939 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2009 :  4:31:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit LJ's Homepage Send LJ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How about a top down sweater. For yourself or start with a baby sized.

You'll use all the techniques you've practiced. And if you knit a pullover it'll be in the round.

I like Knitting Pure and Simple patterns.

Linda

http://wallisknits.blogspot.com
http://www.eweknitkits.com
http://tkgv.blogspot.com
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NJKnitter
Warming Up

USA
52 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2009 :  5:17:28 PM  Show Profile Send NJKnitter a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If you have any kids in the family, or are a doll "collector" yourself, how about a bear sweater or a doll sweater? Maybe a potholder/trivit in cotton that challenges your skills? I found that learning techniques in smaller scale, like raglan sleeves, was very inspiring because I learned at a faster pace...that is, the result was more immediate than human sized. Then again, I do have an affinity for the dolly stuff...which probably helps. :) I agree with your description of your beading formal lesson; they tend to be expensive to begin with, and if you purchase the supplies at the LYS, the piece you are left with, which may not be considered "good" by your own standards because it is a new skill which must be honed, is an expensive disappointment. A good rule of thumb is to be careful to be READY for any class you take; don't jump the gun and take classes that are at the moment extremely beyond your current skill set.
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fiddlerbird555
Permanent Resident

USA
1429 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2009 :  5:21:29 PM  Show Profile Send fiddlerbird555 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It sort of depends on what you feel confident in or want to try. People do like knitting baby stuff because it's fast, though I don't know enough babies to make it worth my while. Hairbands are very nice if you wear them (I started knitting in the 1970s) and very quick to make. Many simple sweaters use nothing more than knit, purl, and decrease (then you sew them together). Only problem with that is that it's a lot of yarn and a lot of stitches.

YO and decreases are enough to make a lot of lace, or lacy items. Knitting in the round is nice to learn if you don't like sewing stuff together. (You can use double-pointed needles, a circular needle of a particular size, a long circular needle and "magic loop" or two circular needles).

If you want to work with colors, one of the easiest might be "illusion" knitting. There's no issues with tension, but you have to follow a chart carefully. It impresses the heck out of people, too.

____________________________________________________

I can go loopy, or I can knit. Your choice.
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pyewackett
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
388 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2009 :  8:51:24 PM  Show Profile Send pyewackett a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I second (or third?) the sweater route. That was my first project after scarves, and it's great for learning a number of new things, including sizing, importance of gauge (not so critical on scarves), following patterns, finishing techniques and more.

I benefitted from taking a sweater class. The teacher (and everyone else!) knew it was my first, so I had lots of help. Maybe try a baby cardigan - it takes less yarn, uses the same techniques, and you can add a lot to your skills inventory.

If it's not sweater time for you yet, think about knitting a neck cowl (smoke ring) - you'll build on your knitting in the round skills. (Have you tried Magic Loop yet?)

Whatever you pick, make sure it's a project and yarn you really like. Good luck, and have fun!
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socker
Chatty Knitter

258 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2009 :  08:40:16 AM  Show Profile Send socker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I knit a potholder, then mittens, then a hat in the round........then a pair of socks.
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Wen
Permanent Resident

Australia
3244 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2009 :  1:31:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit Wen's Homepage Send Wen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I started on sweaters after progressing from coathanger covers (scarves can many years later) My first sweater had dropped shoulders and a boat neck so that the only shaping was in the sleeve, next one had a round neck. My third was shaped with a yoke knitted in the round with a fairisle pattern. Really if you can increase and decrease then you can make anything as my Mother told me when I was a teenager.



Wen


http://www.flickr.com/photos/wen1965/sets/72157612251840708/show/ FO 2009
http://www.flickr.com/groups/kr_members/
http://wenswoolgatherings.blogspot.com/
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simple knitter
Chatty Knitter

USA
112 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2009 :  2:54:52 PM  Show Profile  Send simple knitter a Yahoo! Message Send simple knitter a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My opinion is (gulp), not a sweater. Pleae don't stone me! I try to find patterns that I am comfortable with. Sweaters are nice but to me can seem intimidating. Do what you are comfortable with. Potholders, scarves, hats, gloves, socks, and other things like that. If ya want to make something big, maybe an afgan is good, simple patterns, big results. good Luck!
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fiddlerbird555
Permanent Resident

USA
1429 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2009 :  4:00:30 PM  Show Profile Send fiddlerbird555 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
No stoning from this direction. My first knitted project was a sweater. Then I didn't knit for another 10 years. I still have the sweater though. It was a very forgiving pattern that came out large but pretty, and is good for hanging around the house. (And yes, it was long enough ago that all the yarn I could find was acrylic.)

____________________________________________________

I can go loopy, or I can knit. Your choice.
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miele
Chatty Knitter

USA
284 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2009 :  5:10:36 PM  Show Profile Send miele a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Vviolet, I recommend a sweater, if it appeals to you. Good for you for taking those classes. I love your descriptions (espec the beaded scarf class!)...so now you have figured out that there is a lot out there, a lot of different directions for you to head in...I suggest that you look at a lot of books, a lot of patterns. Head for the public library and search the shelves (746.432) and you will find something simple that will speak to you, and go for it. You have mastered some basic skills in those classes that will take you far.
Best of luck and enjoy!
Ellen
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abt1950
Permanent Resident

3019 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2009 :  5:34:33 PM  Show Profile Send abt1950 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Another sweater vote here. You'll learn a lot about garment construction from knitting a basic sweater. If a sweater that's big enough to fit yourself seems too intimidating, knit something in a child's size. Even if you don't have a child to give it to, it can always be donated to charity.

There are a lot of patterns out there in knitting magazines, both online and in stores. There are a lot of free patterns online too. Take a look around and find something you like. If you're not already on Ravelry, join. They have a wonderful data base of patterns and you can see how different people have interpreted the pattern.

Whatever you choose to knit, make it something to stretch your knitting muscles. The best way to become an accomplished knitter is to keep choosing projects where you have to do things you haven't done before. Skills build on other skills, and pretty soon stuff that seemed complicated at first becomes basic.

Good luck--and have fun!

Anne in NJ

Knit long and prosper
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vviolet
Chatty Knitter

148 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2009 :  1:23:29 PM  Show Profile Send vviolet a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My heartfelt thanks to all that gave their input. It is valuable to me because you have "been through it" a lot more than I have. Also, your replies make me feel special and included, like I fit in with a bunch of really nice people.



"I always try to do that what I cannot do in order to learn how to do it." -- Picasso
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Mocha
Permanent Resident

Singapore
2903 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2009 :  11:03:18 PM  Show Profile Send Mocha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Violet, let your heart tell you what to knit. There are plenty of patterns link in KR and just believe that if you knit per instructions, it'll be ok. If not, bring your question/problem here.
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Grand-moogi
Seriously Hooked

Australia
783 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2009 :  12:03:11 AM  Show Profile Send Grand-moogi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What I am knitting at the moment is something different that might appeal to lots of people. It is a steering wheel cover. Here in Australia it is so hot that the steering wheel of the car gets way too hot to handle. I measured the steering wheel round the outside of the circle (119 cms) and then measured it around the thickness (about 10 cms). I am using a cotton acrylic yarn - some scraps that I had and I am using it double and using smaller needles so it is tight. I am knitting a long strip in garter stitch - to give it grip. It will have to be tight so it does not slip on the steering wheel. I will stretch it to measure it so when I put it on it will be as taught as I can get it. I thought about it for a while before I began. When the strip is finished, I will join the ends, put it round the steering wheel and sew it in place. It is a good idea for something simple to knit for use in very hot weather.
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shar1ford
New Pal

USA
13 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2009 :  04:33:01 AM  Show Profile Send shar1ford a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sounds like you've been busy and have a really good knitting foundation now. I know what you mean about the beaded scarf!! $70 for the kit and class and it was frustrating as all get out constantly pushing down those "loaded" beads. After that class I wish I had been loaded!! after all the things you have done, I think you should try the Knitting Pure and Simple neck down rolled collar sweather. It was fun and easy!! Don't try reading ahead though, just do the pattern as it tells you and you won't have any trouble. Or, you could try socks on the Magic Loop. They have great videos on this method and since most of it is in the round you shouldn't have any trouble. I personally just finished a capelet from the Garn Studio website and it was made from chunky yarn and went really fast. Great for those cold offices!! Uses about 343 (I round off everything to 400) yards of chunky yarn. go to their website and type in "Drops Poncho in Ice." I think it's more like a capelet though not what you would typically call a poncho. Its fun and easy and goes really fast. Good luck and Knit On!!

Sharon L. Ford
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Joann1216@aol.com


Posts

Posted - 02/05/2009 :  06:02:06 AM  Show Profile Send Joann1216@aol.com a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Violet,
Well a good project is a baby blanket which sometimes is boring but if you make it interesting with a seed stitch border then straight knitting, or booties really fast and instant gratification try anything baby small and inexpensive and quick hope this helps, and you are correct this site is great nice people. good luck joanne
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scarfitup
Chatty Knitter

192 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2009 :  06:13:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit scarfitup's Homepage Send scarfitup a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like the baby blanket idea, but definitely not socks or anything that requires you to make TWO of them. The second might never get knitted if you struggle with the first. You might try a triangular scarf or shawl for more forgiving projects before tackling a sweater, IMHO. Good luck and KEEP KNITTING!

Scarf It Up!
http://scarf-it-up.blogspot.com
http://scarfitup.etsy.com
http://flickr.com/photos/scarfitup

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singfasola
New Pal

10 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2009 :  06:26:09 AM  Show Profile Send singfasola a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Violet,

I'm not on the side of sweaters. I think it's a very big leap in terms of how long it will take you to complete it. A sweater can become intimidating once you have the back mostly done and realize that there's still the front and two sleeves to go.

I'm on the side of broadening needle skills. What size needles were your scarves on? Try something on smaller needles (2,3,4), which could be a scarf with a lace kind of pattern. There are many lovely free patterns, and patterns you can buy one at a time, rather than having to buy a book. Or try double-point needles (any size) to make a hat or a pair of mittens. You'll learn about gauge and fit on these smaller items. You can make a great hat on larger DPs with chunky yarn. Ask if your LYS is doing any charity knitting. Not only can you learn mittens and hats, but you'll know that your knitting is for a good cause.

However, I think the real answer is to take on something that you really want to do. All the previous suggestions are excellent. Knit something that you or someone near to you wants or needs.
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Elizabeth D
New Pal

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2009 :  06:57:04 AM  Show Profile Send Elizabeth D a Private Message  Reply with Quote
vviolet, what do you want to accomplish with your next project? Are you more interested in making something specific, or in expanding your skills? One thing that can be kind of fun is playing with stitch patterns. Get a copy of Barbara Walker's Learn-to-Knit Afghan Book and either work your way through it or just pick and choose. You can work on that gradually, or obsessively, as you prefer! If you want to make a garment, I'd agree that the Knitting Pure and Simple patterns are a good place to start -- they're very clear, and they make a nice finished product. You might also consider a cowl or neckwarmer, or a pair of fingerless mittens.
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