Do you still have the first thing you ever knitted? I do, and it's a doozy; a sampler of sorts. Here it is, in annotated form:
Kathleen's first knitting "project"
My mom's best friend from high school, Patty, taught me to knit. She sat down with my sister and me and we had a marathon, eight-hour knitting lesson.
Coming from crafty roots, I think both my sister and I had knitting in our bones somewhere, because we took to it immediately. We got the knit stitch down in a couple of hours, so she taught us the purl stitch, and we were off!
Patty was visiting us from Nashville, so when she left, we were on our own. My mom knit back in the day, but she gave it up when we were little, so she couldn't help us much.
|Mimi's beginning knitting swatch looks quite a bit nicer than mine does. Really, though, it doesn't matter how your knitting looks when you're just starting out.
Just keep knitting!
My sister wasn't as enamored with knitting as I was, and she set down her needles for a year or so. I was hooked immediately, so I got the book Vogue Knitting Quick Reference, and used it to try all kinds of stitches.
One of my knitting group members, Mimi, happened to have one of her first swatches, too (shown at left). She made it in her beginning knitting class. Her's looks much neater than mine does, but we're both good knitters now, so the moral of the story is that neatness doesn't much matter in the beginning as long as you get the stitch mechanics down. Practice, practice!
One of the things that Patty taught me, and something that I teach beginners, is that they're not actually making a garment, they're making knitting. This theory can allow beginning knitters to ignore mistakes and just keep going, practicing their skills without worrying that the scarf, hat, etc., that they're making isn't going to look good.
I love this approach.
So if you're a beginner, my advice to you is to keep going. We all started out knowing nothing, and we progressed to knowing a lot! And so will you.
P.S. The Knitting Daily Shop has some great resources and patterns for beginning knitters. Here are some of my favorites:
Beginner's Guide to Knitting: This site has a bunch of good stuff for beginning knitters—both instruction and product suggestions. It's a great place to start.
The Knitter's Companion: You'll find a true companion in this book. If you're stumped, you'll find the solution in this handy reference, and it's sized to be carried along in your knitting bag. The deluxe edition includes a DVD on which author Vicki Square demonstrates every technique in the book. It's invaluable.
Knitting Daily TV: Get your favorite TV show on DVD! Knitting Daily TV is an amazing resource filled with tutorials, information about yarn and patterns. I've watched every episode, and KDTV has made me a better knitter!
The Rainbow Cowl: This beautiful cowl is deceptively easy. It's the perfect project for a beginner, too.
The Pinch Hat: Knit a simple, garter-stitch hat with a stylish twist! This easy project is just the thing for gift knitting.