What Do You Need To Be A Truly Fearless Knitter?


Hi Sandi,

I have a question. I've been kind of mulling it over in my brain ever since you posted about fearless knitting and I've decided that it might be best to go to the source.

So, what exactly are people afraid of? I can't imagine that people are actually afraid of knitting, it's just string and sticks. I can, however, think of several things they might be afraid of such as looking or feeling stupid, wasting time, wasting money (by ruining the yarn or not finishing a project) or not enjoying the new technique.

I'd be curious to see what it is that people are actually afraid of.

Sharon H.

Sooo…Are You Fearless or Fearful?

I have a friend (let's call her Peggy) who is learning to knit, and she keeps saying, "Sandi, I can't do this. I am never going to be good enough at this to knit like you do." As she's saying this, Peggy is knitting away on a very lovely bit of scarf. It's garter stitch, and soft, chunky yarn, and I bet she'll wear it every day next winter. And yet, Peggy’s fears about her knitting are getting in the way of her enjoyment of her knitting.

Back to Sharon's original question: What are we afraid of, indeed? What is the difference between a Fearless Knitter and a Fearful Knitter?

The main fear I hear knitters expressing is the fear called "I Can't": I can't be good enough. I can't knit something complex without messing up. I can't make a sweater fit me properly. To these folks, mistakes are somehow glaring evidence of a fatal flaw in their knitting abilities.

Fearless KnitterFolk, on the other hand, have enough confidence to look upon a knitting challenge—be it a new technique, a complicated lace chart, or a big honking mistake—not as a failure, but as a chance to learn something about their knitting, and about themselves as a knitter.

Confident knitters aren't necessarily experts who know every knitting trick under the sun. They do, however, have the ability and skills to move past obstacles in their knitting—especially when that obstacle is themselves.

That said, here's what I'd really like to know:

What are your knitting fears?
What would it take for you to become a truly fearless knitter?
How can Knitting Daily help you to build the skills and the confidence to become a Fearless Knitter?

See, here's the thing: I'm sitting in a building with a vast collection of books about knitting, magazines about knitting, and people who know stuff about knitting that would frighten fish. So: Tell me what you need to become a Fearless Knitter–tutorials? videos? classes? funny stories to make you laugh and realize you're not alone? photo galleries?–and I'll just see what I can do about getting you some Fearless Knitter tools, Knitting Daily-style.

Join me later in the week as I face my fear of failure in the form of a really big (and utterly stupid) mistake in the Gathered Pullover.



Choose next week's free pattern!

All right, folks. I can't make up my mind which pattern to release from our archives as next week's free pattern on Knitting Daily…there are so many to choose from! So I've got it narrowed down to three…and guess what? It's your call from there. Vote for your favorite! The pattern with the most reader votes will be posted next Monday as a free download here on Knitting Daily.




Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? Three projects, all of which have been "learning experiences" for me: the Gathered Pullover, which is now recovering after a visit from Cap'n Frog; a rather untidily grafted hood on my husband's pullover that might need some Knitting Daily magic; and the Secret Knitting Daily project, which also spent some quality time with Cap'n Frog. (Cap'n Frog is a very important member of my family by now.)



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475 thoughts on “What Do You Need To Be A Truly Fearless Knitter?

  1. I realized something prety exciting as I read your questions: I’m not a fearless knitter! I feel like I can pretty much do anything I set my mind to. I might have to start over three times, or maybe the finished product will have a mistake in it, but it’s all a learning experience. I truly feel there’s no knitting technique or project I can’t do if I put my mind to it.

  2. I do think of myself as a fearless knitter…But sometimes taking the time to really read the instructions slowly and one step at a time just seams beyond me. I want to finish the guage swatch and get to the good stuff, fast. That is why I would love to see some videos on a special pattern. You know the old saying a picture is worth a thousand words. Keep up the good work, I love logging in and enjoying a knitting topic.

  3. Well, I must be a fearless knitter, because I believe I can do anything! Okay, maybe not the first time, or even the second, but no pattern is going to get the best of me. If I’m afraid of anything, it’s starting a project that seems too big, and worrying that I’ll never get done. But, I guess that’s what little (easy) projects are for.

  4. I’m not afraid to make knitting mistakes, which is a good thing since I make soooo many! I’m afraid to join in at these knitting shops that have the sit-down-&-knit nights where you bring your own project & socialize. I don’t know any of these people who seem to be so much more skilled & sophisticated than I (& have so much more money for these truly great yarns). I watch them when I browse luscious yarns, longing to join in, but feel too shy to just horn in with strangers! Debra in Norfolk, Virginia

  5. I would love to see a formula or lesson on pattern modifications – particularly for sweaters. The only thing I fear in knitting is investing significant time and money in a sweater only to discover that it may technically fit (i.e. it covers the body for which its intended) but not that it has a long enough waist , big enough bust, narrow enough shoulders – not numerically but for the style of the sweater (which is what I am attracted to in the magazine in the first place) to remain intact. Should I make the waist band or the actual waist longer? This problem keeps me from knitting sweaters more than about once a year when I decide to try again and then ineveitably meet with disaster.

  6. I’ve been knitting for half a century and teaching on and off, one way or another, formally or in-, for at least 30 years. It seems to me that the people who are most fearful are those with a wide perfectionist streak, who think that the sky will fall if they make a mistake. They’re the ones who knit so tightly that they have to use needles several sizes larger to get the right gauge, and whose neck and shoulders get as hard as rocks from the tension. I just keep telling them to relax, they aren’t on trial for murder, and knitting is supposed to be fun. It isn’t required. Their first scarf isn’t going on their transcript. The absolute worst thing that can happen is that, after giving it a try, they will decide that knitting isn’t for them–and even then, they will have learned something.

    But that’s just my theory. I have no personal experience of being fearful of anything remotely related to knitting. I’ve never liked horror movies, and if it were scary, I wouldn’t still be doing it.

  7. My greatest fear is my own impulsiveness. I am so eager to try something new that I don’t always take the time to adequately learn new techniques to do the project as beautifully as possible. :(

  8. I want to be a fearless knitter. My fears are swatching, gaguge and nice (expensive for me) yarns. Swatching gets me. I can never get the gauge right. The sweaters I knit for myself don’t fit. How I long to get it right so I can be worthy of some of the yarns at my LYS. Sigh…

  9. I am a fearless soft, with a couple of gnarly edges I suppose(but kind ones,) happy knitter. I love to learn. I love to reach out and embrace new things and sometimes I want it now…but then, when I feel like that, I pull back & remind myself what I need to do to accomplish all my dream projects/goals – take some lessons!! I am quite proficient reading patterns, but there are times I need extra instruction. It’s so much fun, so greatly satisfying, and I never want to stop!

  10. I’m a “hesitant” knitter. I like to have a lot of information about materials and technique before starting a project. Right now I’d really like to get into lace knitting. I even purchased a book with lace knitting patterns However there are a few things I’d like to know before I start lace knitting: how to choose a good fiber for lace knitting?
    Are there some knitting needles that work better for lace knitting?
    How do I avoid common mistakes?
    What is the same about all lace charts and why some are written differently?
    Last but not least, does it have to be expensive? Fact is I don’t really want to spend a ton of money for one project. I suppose some of these questions could be applied to other types of knitting projects too!

    Lyn Wilson

  11. I suppose wasting money is my biggest fear. I shy away from so many projects because I can’t afford the yarn and subbing is so hard! Not necessarily in the gauge/math sense of subbing, but in the sense of never knowing that the sub yarn will have the same drape, sheen, texture, etc. I would love to learn how to sub fearlessly!

  12. Making a good choice regarding which pattern to knit I think would be my biggest fear. Particular techniques or skills, feh! Those can be learned as you go, or practiced on smaller projects (or swatches!) But to have a better knowledge of what’s worth trying redarding my body type, what’s already in my closet, what I’ll actually wear, or how to tweak a pattern so that it really works for me, that is a challenge for which I often feel ill prepared, and makes me rethink what it is I’ll knit. I know that the more I read, the more I try to work with new techniques, the more confident I’ll become about initial project selection, and adjusting it to work for me. I’m just sometimes frustrated by my learning curve.

  13. I consider myself pretty fearless; I try to learn a new technique with each project (anything from a new cast-on or bind-off to learning how to translate those Japanese symbols).

    But I’ve seen others who are not so fearless. For a long time I thought it merely a mindset, but after watching some people I think it’s a matter of practicing basic skills and understanding how the stitches work, too.

    I have a relative who’s a wonderful artist (watercolors, other media) but who is hesitant re: trying more complex knitting projects. She’s been knitting around 2 years now. I tried to encourage her to try more difficult projects, but then I noticed she’s having difficulties with accidentally picking up extra stitches or dropping stitches (and not realizing it) while doing basic stockinette. I don’t think she’s ready quite yet until she really gets a feel for what she’s doing.

  14. I really don’t like this “fearless/fearful knitting” theme.

    I feel like people, and women especially, pile too many “shoulds” on ourselves and spend too much of our lives feeling guilty and unworthy.

    I gather that “Be a fearless knitter” is intended to end that. But I think it reinforces guilt. To me, “Be a fearless knitter” says “It’s not good enough for you to enjoy a hobby. You have to turn it into a self-improvement project. You have to be constantly vigilant that you have goals that are challenging enough, and that you are working hard enough toward your goals.” “Be a fearless knitter” is yet another way of telling myself I’m not doing “enough”.

    2. Affirmations work, but affirmations need to be stated in a positive manner. The word “fearless” focuses the mind on fear and is negative.

    Let’s say “I am a joyful knitter,” “I love to knit,” “I love to learn new knitting techniques,” “I love to try new projects.”

  15. Sorry Sandy, Cap’tain Frog is a permanent fixture in my house. Just like fish, after a while it stinks. LOL. Too many projects and the span of attention from one KAL to the other, is way to short, for me to do justice to either. So each KALs, who should have been finished by now, are languishing and bemoaning my lack of attention in their basket. So it is not so much fear of knitting, but fear of boredom that I am suffering, so I am attacking to many projects and end up being scattered in to many directions to finish a project. That or I do not want my project to leave home.

  16. I’m with Marie H. I too would like to know how to modify a beautiful pattern to fit my happy Humpty-Dumpty shape (to look so not “Humpty-Dumpty” would be nice!) I’ve made a few sweaters that didn’t come close to fitting & my girls wouldn’t wear to rake leaves in, so I went back to afghans. Sigh…But I’ve been knitting madly on a Jezabel Red cardigan for my college-age daughter & it only lacks a collar to finish it. A few more days & I’m free – I’m going to try & make a cardi-coat type sweater for me! I’ve been saving up for a beautiful LYS yarn & I can hardly wait. (Now if I can find the right pattern…hummm.)

  17. My fears are about wasting my beautiful yarn on something that won’t fit and will end up in a pile somewhere. I can’t tell how sweaters are meant to fit. Close? Loose? Depends on the yarn and the style, but how can you tell? Or I could use cheap yarn and not worry so much, but then I wouldn’t like it anyway. I need lessons on how to decide on fit and measurements. Thanks. AM

  18. I am most definitely a fearless knitter and always have been. The first thing I started in on after my grandmother taught me to knit when I was 11 was a tennis sweater — sport weight, cabled, on size 3 or 4 needles! No one told me I had to stick with beginner projects so I plunged in to knit what I wanted.

    I have written about this very topic on my blog the in the last week. You can see the posts here:

    http://www.jung-at-heart.com/knitting/being_fearless.html

  19. I’d rather look at myself as a “cautious” knitter … oh what the heck! I’m scared silly at the mere mention of knitting socks! and lace, and cables. But I AM really good at garter stitch!

  20. I’d rather look at myself as a “cautious” knitter … oh what the heck! I’m scared silly at the mere mention of knitting socks! and lace, and cables. But I AM really good at garter stitch!

  21. My ‘fear’ is mostly due to disappointment from past projects. Most resent disappointment: Hat for husband from p. 108 of summer 07 Interweave Knits. The “ribbing” looks nice but doesn’t streatch at all. And although I swatched several times, it’s too big! I get so excited about being able to knit something really nice for someone but usually it doesn’t turn out to be as nice as my mind’s image.

  22. When the message came out about “Fearless Knitting”, it was funny because that is exactly what I was planning for the year. I’m a pretty fearless knitter, getting into things where “angels would fear to tread” but I had a fear of stranded knitting – and I really want to make a norwegian sweater. So I decided stranded knitting would be my goal for 2008 – and I just finished my first project!! you can see it at http://mickknits.blogspot.com . What I was afraid of is knitting too tight, getting frustrated, wasting yarn and money but mostly losing my dream when I realized I just couldn’t do it. The hat took 7 tries to start, but I think I’ve got it!

    Thank you so much for encouraging us!!

  23. Sandi: I am a fearless knitter, in that I believe there’s no pattern or stitch I can’t tackle. It’s finishing that scares me beyond belief. I can’t seem to get things together in a smooth fashion. Maybe some videos, classes, knit alongs, whatever on finishing, from basics (how to plan for the finish before you begin) to showing how to attach sleeves, pockets, etc.? Carol B in Los Angeles

  24. What I’m afraid of:

    The math of knitting. I have a mental block against math and wouldn’t you know it – I chose a hobby where math is a very useful skill. ::sigh:: So while I’m all about trying new techniques (cables and lace and short-rows and…), doing the math to make sure that a top fits my ample curves correctly and flattering-ly is so daunting to me that sometimes I just don’t do it.

    So how to get over the math fears?

    p.s. to JannyW – seriously , you wouldn’t believe how easy a basic cable is! really! reallyreallyreally! I’ve taught two relatively new knitters how to cable and they always thought “oh, it’s so hard, I won’t be able to do it”. And then I show them and literally 5 minutes later, they’re happily cabling away. I’ll admit that socks and lace are a bit tougher, but try some cables for confidence-building!

  25. I am always fearful (with many reasons as this has happened to me many times) that any sweater/vest I knit *will not fit*. I hate getting to the point of blocking and seaming and realizing that it. will. not. fit. me.
    :) Nicole

  26. Last year at this time I thought “I’ll never be able to knit a sweater.” But since then, I’ve finished four and am nearly done with a fifth!

    I call these fears “My/Your/Her Mt. Everest”. Cables and sweaters were mine. Colorwork was a friend’s. Psychological blocks that we just need to push beyond. Say “I don’t believe you!” to those fears and anything’s possible.

    What I would like to see is the stuff that can be really troublesome – setting in sleeves so they don’t warp, bubble or otherwise ruin a perfectly nice handknit (can you tell I’m having that problem now?), really detailed details on colorwork for neophytes, the real truth about blocking (do we REALLY have to do it with EVERY item?), etc.

  27. What does it take to be a fearless knitter?

    Time. Time to get old and realize that people who don’t knit are going to think even your worst efforts are the product of genius and the people who do knit are likely to commisserate with your mistakes and ask for advice on how you produced something that really works. (Which will probably be the result of a screw up and you’ll have no idea of how to do it again)

    Time to learn to really love what you’re doing and realize that it isn’t other people’s opinions that count.

  28. I’m fearful about spending a lot of money on a sweater that ends up not fitting or even getting finished because of “technical difficulties”.

    I’m fearful that handknit gifts won’t be used by the recipients. I’ve had this happen with baby gifts. They say, “Oh, how beautiful!” and then never put their children in them. I know I probably shouldn’t care, but I knit them so that can use and wear them.

    L. Haley

  29. I don’t understand anyone being afraid in knitting. The area I’m interested in learning more about is twofold: 1)the process different designers use to design and 2) finishing prowess.

  30. Until Knitting Daily came along, the one knitting task I could not face was ripping out a garment (a few rows, yes, entire garment, no). I have about a dozen WIPs that are almost complete but need serious reworking. In the back of my mind, I keep hoping there is a less radical, more elegant solution, and so my WIP pile grows.

    I ripped out and reskeined the yarn from one sweater after the articles about Cap’n Frog were published. It was a very freeing experience, but I haven’t gone after any other projects.

    Do you have any other fix-it ideas other than ripping that you can pass on?

  31. Knitting to fit is my big bugaboo and limits what and for whom I knit. But I’m always game to try a new stitch or an idea for shapings…so am I fearless or fearful knitter? Not afraid to rip and maybe that is an important point – many fearful knitters don’t want to rip..it’s a sorrowful, but necessary part of learning.

  32. I like to think of myself as a “brave” knitter, as opposed to fearful or fearless, for isn’t the definition of bravery “feel the fear and do it anyway”? I think that forging ahead into the unknown is a basic fact of life of knitting, because you can rarely be sure *exactly* how things will turn out, and that can either be exciting or scary, depending on the degree of risk.

    Certainly the things that cause fear (but don’t prevent me from knitting) are screwing up large amounts of expensive yarn, and wasting precious time. But I do think that educating yourself can help, and for that reason, I’d be all for videos, tutorials, funny stories, the lot.

    Seaming is actually my biggest fear, mainly because I’m just not very good at it, so I would like to learn more about short rowed shoulders, three needle bind off, knitting from the top down etc. Anything to avoid seams.

  33. Just thought of another fear. I have this beautiful alpaca sweater (yes, dpoll, I thought of you because we’ve had this conversation a few times) that only needs the remainder of a hoodie and two short sleeves. I am stuck because I am sure I will run out of yarn. I can’t bear to go any further or check out how much yarn I have left because I’m worried, yes fearful, that I won’t have enough yarn (bought years ago on ebay) and will have to rework part of it in order to get something wearable. And that it will fit.
    :) Nicole

  34. I had to vote for the Hip Hop Coat, as I made it last year for my daughter CECILY. Yes, as in the Beanie. I knit that up in about a day and added the buttons, she loved it! I have some Hip Hop left, and need to do a hat for her.

  35. My fears lay rooted in not wanting to appear foolish when asking for help at my LYS and in not wanting to attempt something I thought was outside my skill level in case it turned out UGH-ly.

    Resources like Knitting Daily and Ravelry have gone a long way towards helping me be a more fearless knitter. The KD topics have answered some questions I didn’t feel like asking at my LYS, and the Ravelry resources let me search pages and pages of info to find answers on my own. But if I can’t find those answers, I know there are thousands of other friendly knitters out there in the world who’ll help without making me feel dumb.

    I tried my very first cable project in 2007 because of KD and Ravelry. I was afraid of messing up the cables before, so I left them alone. Now that I’ve tried them out, I find them very fun! I look forward to trying new techniques and stitches in 2008; and if I get fearful again, I’ll look to KD and Ravelry to help me out. :-)

  36. To help me a fearless knitter, I would like a sort of index of fixes: You dropped a stitch. Here are 3 things you can do (frog it, pick it up, hide it in your UFO pile) with short tutorials that we can select if needed. Another cool thing would be a cross-reference on knitting terms (kitchener stitch is also called grafting stitch) with a tutorial if needed. And a clear, easy to follow video tutorial about weaving in ends!

  37. You know, I’m a bit dyslexic and suffer alot from dyscalculia (problems with numbers & math as my checkbook will atest,) but it doesn’t stop me from trying new things. You just have to learn how to adapt your way of learning techniques to what you want to make. I make colored charts of my patterns on my Excel program so that it speaks in a way I understand it & mount it to one of those magnetic boards & use long refrigerator magnets to show only the row I’m doing at that time. I use a row counter for nearly everything, & I put little clip-type stitch markers every 10 stitches, etc., so I can help keep track of my patterns. I absolutely love cables (but still take it out alot when I’ve gotten 3 or 4″ along & find I’ve flipped the cable needle the wrong way & have an “S” curve right in the middle of my pattern Staghorn because I got confused. Just the joy of watching the design take shape makes me feel so awed that I made this! It doesn’t matter that I took it out a dozen or two times, (well, sometimes!) It’s the satisfaction I feel in the creation of something with my own hands. I just love it!! Don’t dispair, even if it looks funny to someone else, (& my family has given me some comments, believe me), it’s what you feel when you make it that counts. If it gives you joy or peace or even the excitement of creativity, it’s more than worth it. Keep knitting.

  38. I guess you could call me a fearless knitter. If I want to do something badly enough, I’ll always give it a try. What really does “inspire” me to do a project are photos of the item. I’m glad you mentioned that in your post, Sandi, because, for me, that’s often the deciding factor as to whether I’ll give a pattern the go ahead. I think out approach to knitting is often a “personality” trait. Perseverance is a must. If your not a quitter, you’ll become a good (and fearless) knitter!
    Marcia

  39. I try to be a fearless knitter. And I’m getting much better at it. The biggest help has been knitblogs. When I see that even the “superstar” bloggers frog projects, have problems with gauge, etc. I’m willing to accept that in my own knitting. Sometimes a given batch of yarn isn’t meant to be the project that I thought it was meant to be. So, I do something else with it (or trade it to another knitter!). It’s liberating to allow myself to change my mind.

  40. I am a fearful knitter because sometimes i just can’t wrap my head around a problem and solve it. Then i’ve invested a lot of money and time on something that just sits on the shelf unfinished. Case in point – Stephanie P-M’s “The very thought of him”sweater. It’s the “mistake rib” pattern and decreases for the armholes. It says “Keep in pattern” but I can’t figure out how, so it just sits on the shelf – UFO. I’m afraid to try the next thing because i think the somewhat simple-looking instructions will mess me up again…..arrrgghhh. So i am afraid of instructions that look simple but aren’t!

  41. I like to think of myself as a Fearless Knitter who has been knitting since age 10. Mittens on skinny double-point needles were one of my first projects. Now, over 50 years later, I love knitting socks on skinny double-points, blankets and afghans on circular needles, and sweaters that fit much better thanks to more attention to gauge and measurements. I love cables, lace, textures, two-stranded color knitting; am not crazy about intarsia or using very chunky yarns. I’m helped by schematics and detailed measurement specs, stitch charts, and technique diagrams. Keep up the good work! Barbara S, Richford, NY

  42. I fancy myself a fairly fearless knitter, and I have a bunch of first-time-trying-a-new-kind-of-project test subjects to show for it. I think Knitting Daily could help by posting readers’ photos of first-time sweaters or first-time hats or first-time scarves that maybe didn’t turn out like the pattern photo (we all have some stashed away somewhere – admit it…). Being a fearless knitter, in my mind, means not only NOT being afraid to fail miserably your first time out of the shoot, but also unafraid to keep trying. My first sweater could only have fit a one-antlered moose, and my second sweater attempt – which my husband still wears to humor me – had one sleeve about 5 inches longer than the other and seams that were, well, less than tidy. My first scarves had wavy edges, and my first test sock would have fit over a fireman’s boot.

  43. Hi all ? I guess I was lucky: Mum sat down with me and my brother one day, to keep us quiet while ?the baby? slept ? since we are born in successive years, that means I was either three or four ? anyway, I honestly don?t remember learning to knit! And the other thing she taught me was that I could do anything. When I saw the pattern for the little short-sleeved fair isle yoked sweater, done in Kroy sock wool, and said ?Do you think I can do that?? her answer was immediate: ?Of course?. But it says to use a circular needle? I know, I have them (Anyone else remember? the ones with wire twisted on itself to form the cable)

    The comments that I hear from folks who have joined our “guild” – folks who may not be long-time knitters, include: “Oh, I’ll never be as good as any of you!” or, “I don’t have the patience for that” or, “How can I (insert technique/yarn type/any other question here)?” … and I’m worried that I might scare them off with some of my flip answers (“I’ve been knitting since I was 4, you might have a ways to go” or “And you think I do have patience? How do you think I got THIS patient?” – (anyone who knows me, KNOWS that’s a joke!!) and, finally, “I?m stuck on wool, or wool/silk, or superwash sock wool – I don’t know these other fibres, and I’m not interested”

    There, now everyone knows I’m a yarn snob, and sarcastic to boot ? (honestly I only THINK these things) — but I think that’s where the fear-factor comes in: no confidence! Doesn’t matter how much these folks handle in their lives, how capable they are, suddenly, with a new craft – scary!!!

    So how to raise the confidence level, without sounding like a smart-mouth? How to encourage folks, without being patronizing?

    The other thing that does scare me ? I know, you thought nothing would, right? ? is when someone asks if I can teach them how to ?Whatever? — I?m scared to try to teach anyone!

  44. If you are not the fearless type naturally, I think the best thing you can have to become a fearless knitter is a co-pilot: someone patient who is willing to spend time with you to answer questions, show you how to do things, and be general moral support. I AM a fearless knitter, and always have been. I taught myself how to knit in the 80s. I would see things in Vogue Knitting and just dive in. I didn’t have any friends who knit, nor did it ever occur to me that someone in a yarn store would have the time to help me, or that I could take a class. I feel very lucky to be so fearless!

  45. knitting usually doesn’t frighten me but i am terrified of short-rows with the wrap. i would love to knit a pair of twinkletoes, but i’m afraid that i’ll end up with a holey-moley mess. i’ve watched the online videos and have scoured the written versions for the technique. i’ve attempted it and failed miserably. the only reason i made a decent calorimetry was because i used a bulky yarn that could hide the holes! :)

  46. My biggest fear is not knitting everything I want to! I overcome that fear by knitting on whatever is in front of me or order specific yarn for a specific purpose. I knit fearlessly with the mentality that “it’s going to fit someone.” I just hope that someone is me, though it’s not the end of the world if it’s the SIL or best friend, etc. I knit with too many people that need it absolutely perfect every time and I just can handle it! If knitting has to be so perfect all the time, where is the fun of exploring?

  47. I’ve been knitting 40 years and the only thing that I fear is STEEKS! The anxiety of knitting an entire gorgeous sweater knowing that I have to cut it keeps me from even starting. Just can’t do it! Is there something small – like a hat or scarf – that could be used as a practice steeking experience? Cheers, Denise Robinson, Piperlady77@msn.com

  48. I think I am a fearful knitter. I want to learn to knit socks sooooo bad I can taste it. It is like I get to the edge of the water and just can’t jump in. I have several different patterns and since I have 17 grandchildrens and 6 children with spouses that love everything I make for them size isn’t a problem. It will fit someone. Please help me overcome this hurdle. Minnie in Texas

  49. Only thing that really gives me pause with knitting some new thing is: how in the heck is this thing supposed to flow? top down, bottom up? two short row sections? twenty? what are the unusual techniques used? i guess i really wish all patterns came with some kind of overview section. like a map so i can get a feeling for where i’m going. i guess my inner control freak is showing.

  50. Things that help me take leaps outside my comfort zone – a community to support me, challenges to stretch my imagination and give me deadlines, a gallery to see how non-stick people have made their knits work for them, and knittinghelp.com’s wonderful videos that make me think I can do any of the difficult stuff :-)

  51. I am a “joyful knitter” – I agree that maybe “fearless knitter” is a bit negative. I would love to learn how to create my own patterns. A co-worker said to me I knit so beautifully that I should sell what I make. I told her that I would have to write my own patterns as otherwise it would be copyright infringement. She was my secret Santa and bought me a book to learn. And yet, I read it and I must admit I’m intimidated. I’d also like to see (perhaps video) what is meant by making a twisted stitch (I knit continental style) or a twisted purl. I read the descriptions and it might as well be Greek. Probably as I’m mostly self-taught – my grandmother taught me how to cast on, knit, and purl, the rest I’ve discovered on my own. Some rather interesting results over the years LOL

  52. Hi Sandy,
    I fancy myself a fearless knitter! (Could this be the first sign of insanity??) I have not made any incredibly intricate items, but only because they didn’t pique my interest. I knit myself a sweater with a charted rose pattern when I was 14. I don’t think I ever finished it (that was 47 years ago, after all), but that would have been due to short attention span, not fear. Right now the only thing I’m afraid of is that I will strangle the friend I am making socks for with the 2 circular needles I am using for them. I’m continually getting the two balls of yarn tangled, and the needles are all kerfluffel ever since I had to frog one of them………sigh. Just keep giving us your wisdom, your tips, your patterns, and your smiling face! And how lucky are you to have a knitting hubby! Too bad you to are so far apart so much of the time; but I bet you cherish the time you are together. Eagerly awaiting the free pattern to see if my choice won. Linda

  53. I thought I was fearless until I sorted my unfinished projects into separate plastic boxes. Then I cleaned out my garage, with the help of 2 great friends and there were several other old friends on needles, from another time. I am working my way through and I feel better, not great, not fearless, yet.

  54. To be a fearless knitter, you must have a local yarn shop that reassures you that you CAN take the next step. “It’s easy”, they say. It will be if you feel comfortable enough to ask them for help if you should need it. It is all a learning experience that you and the local yarn shop benefit from. You grow as a person and they grow from your upcoming sales. Who knows? You may even develope some other rewarding benefits. Friends that have knitting in common!

  55. I’m afraid of wasting… time and yarn. My free time is really precious right now, so I sometimes don’t feel like there’s as much time to experiment as I’d like. And the frugal Dutch aunt in the back of my head doesn’t want me to waste nice yarn on the less than wonderful results that trying new things sometimes gives.

  56. I think my biggest fear is fear of failure and that others won’t like it.I made my Dad this beautiful ski sweater when I was in college(many years ago).I think I was fearless then.It was a Christmas present.When he tried it on,the cuffs hung down a foot from his hand.I cried!That picture has stayed with me and it has been almost 40 years.I think that Suzanna’s idea of an index of fixes with video tutorials would be awesome in helping with fears.I has also been awesome to know that the superstars of knitting have problems also.

  57. I am already fearlessly knitting in 2008! This past weekend I taught my self to knit the “other way” in preparation of learning stranded 2-color knitting.

    What am I afraid of? Wasting some really beautiful, expensive yarn on a project that doesn’t turn out. That’s really it.

    What would it take to be truly fearless? Support from fellow knitters, by way of their own storie, stories from “average joes”.

    How can knitting Daily help? Publishing those stories for all to read, perhaps a weekly feature (average joe of the week)

    Becky (chilly) WI
    catnurseknits.blogspot.com

  58. i fear:
    fair isle
    changing sizes (i’m floofy)
    steeks

    what will help? maybe something with “beginner fair isle” as the title? will that give me the push to try??? because, it will be, after all, for a beginner…. right?

  59. I need courage. If I am to be a fearless knitter I need to remain confident that I can learn a new technique,pattern, method, without having to suffer the impatience of those who KNOW and make sure I know they know . I have to remain unperturbed when they roll their eyes. I have to run away from them and go into a corner and work it out myself. Your library
    probably won’t work for me -although I wish it would

  60. I worry that I’ll get bored (or frustrated) halfway through a large, expensive project, and then I’ll feel guilty for not wanting to finish it. I also hate hate hate measuring ANYTHING, which makes anything even remotely fitted a challenge. I actually am gaining confidence in my technical skills, but it’s these other things that make me fearful of trying something larger.

  61. I have 2 main fears: seaming and crocheting an edge around something. I will avoid patterns because of the crochet edge, and I tremble when it comes to seams. Maybe a class would help me, so I could see an in-person visual, right in front of me. Jane G

  62. My biggest fear about knitting is that I’ll run out of interest before the piece is finished. (It’s a family trait) There, I said it and I feel so much better! The interest in knit clothing just isn’t there for me, maybe because of all the finishing that has to be done. So I’ll stick to things without much finish work, like shawls, scarves, hats…..

  63. o.k. I have been a more fearful knitter up until recently. I cannot learn from visuals in a book but must be shown things which makes it hard to learn new stuff, BUT after mulling around in my head and even dreaming about it for 2 nights I finally decided to try to sew a sweater together and knit stitches on to a sweater front and back for sleeves. I can’t tell you how many sweaters I have in my closet that are done except for sewing them together but I’m afraid to spoil all my work! I feel like I took a big step by biting the bullet on my current project and it looks pretty good, so far-shoulders sewn and 1 sleeve completed-I also need to learn how to pick up stitches for the neck.
    I’m sure most knitters here are way beyond this! I also want to learn to make socksBut books, videos, visuals won’t help me. I need lessons which are not easy to get or find.

  64. I would consider myself a fearless knitter. I’ve never thought I couldn’t do something because I wasn’t up to the challenge.

    There are things I don’t like to do (intarsia leaps to mind) and things that I am honing my skills at (um, seaming), but by and large, I’m not afraid to try anything.

  65. Gang, its just knitting, a hobby, something most of us do for relaxation, self-expression, and to create pretty things we like to wear. Don’t make it the big chore it seems to be… just because right now Knitting (note capital K) is the biggest thing on the internet and all the cool kids are doing it doesn’t mean you can’t do it your way. I think the concept of being a joyful knitter is spot on. Find what gives you pleasure, master it, seek out something you can do well (garter stitch, ala Brooklyn Tweed, for example) to expand upon and grow your skills at a pace that suits you. it’s like bike riding, learning to read, learning to drive, or any other skill. You need to look inside yourself, figure out what you want to do and how far you want to go and then start down the path. When the student is ready the teacher will appear.

  66. Sandi–I just wrote a detailed blog entry about this. I think that people are afraid to fail; as adults, we expect for some reason that we’ll pick something up and immediately succeed at it. It frustrates us when we learn something slowly, like there’s something wrong with us. I know my students have apologized to me for their first week’s knitting–because they think theirs must be the worst knitting EVER and that I can’t have ever seen another student who had such ‘ugly’ knitting. They seem to forget that I don’t expect perfection from moment one, and that makes them ‘afraid’ to go forward.

    If you want to read about it, my blog post is here: http://divinebird.com/wordpress/?p=77 and you can feel free to refer to it, link to it, or quote it if you want. 😀

  67. I don’t know if I can exactly call this a fear, but I am tired of trying to knit garments that don’t fit. I am in the process of knitting another jacket and am truly taking my time to check, check, check slowly along the way because I want this project to be successful. If I can get one successful jacket/sweater under my belt, I will be very happy. Knitting other pieces that don’t need a guage swatch is not hard. It is harder with the fitted garments.

    Sheri F from San Diego

  68. I think I’m pretty fearless when it comes to knitting – I love to try new patterns and have knit sweaters to Father Christmas (really fun!). What I am afraid of is knitting something fitted – to me, a definite hourglass figure. I’d like to think I can wear the fitted sweater that looks great on the lesser endowed models, but I know that’s not my reality. Also, I’m terrified of inserting a zipper in a one-piece sweater front – I’m talking cutting with scissors after having knitted my heart into a piece! Thanks, Sandy! – Cindy from Escondido, CA

  69. I want to make a sweater I can/want to actually wear. Often I make something and it’s not nearly as nice on me as I would like…a big let down after all that work…the upside is I try to pick patterns that have something new to learn in them. Brenda

  70. Knitter’s Daily has already helped me a lot with my biggest fear – not getting the size just right. Please continue to send help in this area! I love to see the samples on different bodies and tips on fit or modifying for fit.
    My second biggest fear is seaming – I will do anything to avoid it. I love to knit in the round, bottom up or top down and adapt or re-write patterns to avoid dreaded seams.
    Whenever sweaters foil me, I retreat to knitting socks, they always come out just right.

  71. Ok, my biggest fear is to start off on my own, designing my garment to fit me and to run out of yarn only to find out they no longer have that type, dyelot, etc. any longer. I am not the fastest knitter in the world, and this is truly one of my biggest fears and the #1 reason I don’t branch out on my own!

  72. I can’t say whether I am fearless or fearful. I can identify, though, what I might need. Some imagination would be a great place to start–to imagine how a pattern on a model would look on me or someone I love. Then, the technical skills to adapt that pattern so that it just might fit. Some encouragement to get through the rough spots. And finally, I would like the confidence that whatever I knit will look great.

  73. In order to be as fearless as possible I have to choose patterns that are appropriate to my skill level, which is somewhere between advanced beginner and intermediate. In order to stay interested I like to have one new skill in each new project. But to be really fearless I need to know that there is someone somewhere near me who can help me dig out if I get myself really in trouble. There is no LYS in Flagstaff so I rely on my knitting group members. At this time I am afraid of buttonholes, double-knitting, fair isle and patterns where the shaping comes from cables (even though I’m pretty good at cables).

  74. I like to think that I’m not afraid to try anything…until…steaks. Don’t have a good feel for how that would go; so I’m scared of them. There’s also a Mandolin pattern that I’m afraid to commit to, because I have to choose the colour sequence; the lovely people at Philosophers are leaving it up to me, and I’m intimidated by that. Otherwise, I’m just afraid that someday I won’t be able to knit and I’ll still have a stash the size of a small boutique!!

  75. I would like tutorials and videos. I learn much better with visuals. One of the areas I’m afraid of is maintaining pattern when shaping–arm holes, neck and other shapings–so most of my knitting is boring old stockinette. There are many other fears, but I am making progress.

  76. I’m not a fearful knitter, but I find it difficult to get constructive criticism of my knitting because everyone wants to be so inclusive. I just started knitting 1 year ago and I’m able to read a pattern, I’ve made a large variety of items, but I’m certain there are things I could be doing better. I want the knowledgeable around me to share the details that make their knitting superior. How do they perfect their tension (all I ever hear is practice, but there must be something that would help)? What are the tricks they use for finishing that makes their items look hand crafted, not homemade. To me, it’s the difference between being able to follow a recipe and really knowing how to cook.

  77. I’ve been working with 18 college students in a geography of knitting class (http://geographyofknitting.blogspot.com/) this month – some with knitting experience, but many first time knitters. In our first 3 projects I’ve been teaching them to knit things in a size, shape, and style that they want. What I’ve noticed about the fearless ones is that they exude self confidence. They are willing to jump in, teach themselves, and rip out if necessary. Even though I encourage the timid ones with praise over the things they are doing well, they are still afraid of just trying things without me standing over their shoulder. I see the same kind of mental block about knitting that I find in students who think they can’t “do” math or science. Maybe we should try hypnotism.

  78. Sandy,
    Seems you’ve hit a nerve. I think the secret to fearless lies in NOT letting the results define the person. I can make mistakes, rework, rip out, even hate the finished product, but it doesn’t make ME a bad person. Just a person learning a new skill. No one expects perfection while learning!

    I note here a lot of questions about “what style, fit, ease etc. will work on me?” I wonder if you could do something about using fabric patterns to make a “mock up” of the design and check for these kinds of things BEFORE actually picking up needles and yarn. It works in sewing, why not in knitting too? Some information too, about using garments from our own closets to check fit, sizing, and ease before knitting… More information please?

  79. To keep on being a fearless knitter, I need you to keep doing those galleries about FO’s. It helps me think beyond the pattern and its photograph, and it helps me learn to picture the way the garnment will fit MY body. You have been of a great help on the fitting topic so far, keep on the good work !

  80. HI Sandi,
    I am a left handed knitter and crocheter. I found it hard to learn how to do both at first. I was taught right handed and I just couldn’t get the hang of it. Since learning left handed I am a way and can’t seem to stop. As for fearless** YES I am! I never let anything stop me now.
    But I do notice some lefties are afraid of learning and think they can’t do it. I would love to see some instructions for us lefties. It is a little different for us and I found easier to learn with left handed instructions.
    Tanya Saulnier

  81. The whole reason I think I’m a rather fearless knitter is that you can frog without ruining any raw materials, unlike sewing. I would get sick to my stomach as I cut out a pattern, because once it is cut, you’re done. With knitting, when you see a mistake, either frog back, or pull up loops. I’ve been working my nerve up to a crocheted steek, and I’ve searched the internet for video to help. BTW, THANKS (Amy at knittinghelp.com) to all of the people who post videos, for that is how I learned to knit. Videos never get impatient.

  82. I have trouble finishing things. I think that may be because I am always sure what I am making is complete crap by the time I finish it. I suspect that may be a lack of confidence in my color choices, so some hints on that will help!

  83. Fit, fit, fit – is the toughest, not just how to make something to my measurements, but how much ease it should have, etc.. KD’s galleries have addressed this well for those patterns covered. I also need to know how to confidently substitute another yarn, since we Californians don’t have a need for wool or for bulky yarns of any content. I’m afraid that many patterns just won’t look good or last well in another fiber.

  84. What really scares me is making a sweater that must be seamed together. I have made several raglans some knit from the top down, some from the bottom up; but I have never gotten up the courage to make a sweater that needs seams. I would love help and moral support on this one!

  85. Fair Isle and intarsia, especially gloves and socks (little and in the round), are my bugaboos. I am trying swatches, but don’t have the courage to make something. I think tutorials, especially videos, would really help. I know that I am a decent knitter as I can make things fit, I can do lace and cables and pattern stitches, just don’t ask me to change colors!! Thanks for asking.

  86. When I get the “can’ts”, I remember a comment from the owner of a local yarn shop: “It’s knitting, not rocket science!” What makes me fearful is thinking I have to do something EXACTLY the way the instructions say. When I don’t, I think my knitting is inferior.

    Having said that, I like to study knitting techniques. This can be text, photos, or videos. I guess getting multiple opinions helps me believe that variations from the “directions” are ok.

  87. Finishing and getting the size right. I miss those two things every time. I can knit beautiful pieces and then screw them up completely in the finishing; I can measure and end up with a garment that makes me look a mile wide.
    What do I need to remedy this? I think a couple of sessions at my LYS with someone who can help me at critical stages in the project. But for now, I’m knitting a lot of scarves and afghans!

  88. What am I afraid of? That’s easy–Yarn! Well, not yarn, exactly. But I loooooove beautiful yarns, their textures, colors, and especially natural fibers. The problem is I’m staying home to raise my daughter and the budget doesn’t allow me to purchase that beautiful yarn. But once a year, I try to splurge on something really gorgeous that I can put on my shelf and just enjoy it for it’s beauty. I can’t knit with it–I might pick the wrong pattern, accidently make something too small, wrong color scheme. You know the drill. So instead I find I knit with lesser fibers that aren’t as soft as I would like but I can afford them and more importantly can afford to mess up with them. The relative cheap price gives me the freedom to do what I want. Only thing is, when I’m done with a project I’m not quite as satisfied as I would have been with the yarn I truly envisioned the project completed in. Anyway, that’s me, Trish in Albuquerque

  89. I’m a fairly fearless knitter – not always a smart knitter, but very nearly fearless. In the last two years, since discovering the Knitosphere and the wonderful world of socks, I’ve gone from “What, are you crazy? I can’t do THAT!” to “I can do that”. The turning point for me was literally the turning point – my first sock heel! Once you’ve turned your first heel, you KNOW you can do anything, and if you screw it up, you can frog it and THE YARN IS STILL YARN! That’s the really freeing thing about knitting – you may have to give it a wash and hang it up to get the kinks out of it, but you can use it for something else. Can’t say that about sewing – once you cut the fabric, it stays cut. My one fear about knitting is probably fairly obvious, then. The dreaded steek. The mere thought of taking my big sharp sewing scissors to the beautiful knitting over which I’ve laboured for endless hours just gives me the screaming abdabs. So Sandi, is there any chance you’ll fly to Australia and hold my hand while I cut my first steek?

  90. I wouldn’t say that I’m not a fearless knitter, I’ve come to terms with the fact that my technique is always going to look different than anyone else’s, and if I want to make something bad enough I’m going to figure out how. But when reading this article, one person did come to mind: my Mom. Even though she’s been knitting for my whole life, and I’ve only been knitting for a portion of it, there are still many things that she thinks she can’t do. So I have to wonder, what is it that makes me fearless but not her? Well, one thing is that I’ve been watching her knit for years. I’ve seen many projects go unfinished for long periods of time, get ripped out and restarted and I fully understand that each project is a process that may come with many do overs and a few choice expletives. So, what might help your readers is a little background on the birth and life of these beautiful hand knit pieces you feature. Was it so easy that the creator just whipped it up in a few days, or did it take a while…did they think it was difficult…and was it worth all the stress?

  91. I’ll tell you what I’m afraid of…I’m afraid of failing miserably on expensive yarn. I want to make my first sweater, but I’m afraid that it won’t fit when I get done, or I’ll look fat (or fatter) in it. I’ve got “fear of committment” for knitting a sweater!

  92. Hi Sandy! I would consider myself a fearless knitter because I am so anxious to learn all I can about knitting, I don’t believe I would back down from any new project. I am fortunate enough to belong to a wonderful group at my LYS that is very creative and supportive. I would love to see some articles on how to design. As a full-time mom, I would love to be able to design things for my children, and also turn my knitting into a possible career. Thanks for providing this great site! ps– have you given any thought to an on-line community for users to learn from one another? thx again! Julie

  93. I could be a much more fearless knitter if I knew how to adapt knitting patterns to my body type.
    I could say I that I hate investing time in something that won’t look good or fit, but given my large number of UFO’s lying around I’m not sure that is exactly true – I think I may be just afraid of more UFO’s!
    I’d also love to be able to better substitute yarns.
    SWerner

  94. Show mistakes good knitters make and how they fixed them. Tutorials on how-to-fix-problems techniques. Encourage exploration. It’s only yarn; you can always rip it out and try again.

  95. First and foremost, I’ll say that I was fearful of signing up with you, in the fear of receiving a bunch of junk, but I’ve enjoyed every Email I’ve got from you, both the wonderful wordy ones and even the promotional ones. I thought I was a fearless knitter because I’m willing to try anything that catches my fancy. But after one day focusing on my fingers instead of the yarn as I was trying a “new to me” technique (kfb) and saw how my glaring, blindingly WHITE knuckles, I realized that I might indeed be a littttle fearful of doing this. LOL – I now routinely glance at my knuckles to see if I need to take a deep breath and relax. And from there I go on fearlessly. The absolute most helpful thing to me would be video tutorials that LOOP! I sit down with my knitting and try to emulate what I am seeing on screen and then it Ends! … and I am still tangled up in yarn and needles how ever many steps back that I had to concentrate on my hands, yarn, and needles rather than the video … and now have to make the descicion if I’m going to try and move and click the mouse to replay the video with my nose, elbow, or toes, OR (woe is me!) put down what I’m doing to use my hand to move and click the “Replay” on that tutorial.

  96. I had just decided to become a ‘fearless knitter’ when you started talking about it. I knit way to much to keep on buying cheep yarn and making the same things over and over. So, my goal is to aquire patterns and instructions that are challenging! and purchase yarn that is worth my efforts.
    Kay

  97. I think Knitting Daily has done a GREAT job so far of offering us tools to make ourselves better, less fearful knitters. But, I think it’s impossible to banish fear completely from our knitting minds and fingers–to me, it’s an up and down process. On some items, I’m fairly confident that I can succeed and produce something nice looking and wearable (socks, hats, small things). On other items (sweaters, summer camisoles), I begin to be fearful–not of stitches or seaming, but of things that others have mentioned above. For example, I am horrible at matching yarns to patterns. I can rarely afford or find locally the yarn preferred, so I substitute, often with disastrous effects. :) Also, I really appreciate all the attention lately to getting items to fit, because that’s another area I am not good at. SO, to give recommendations–please keep up the great work so far, and also add some attention to yarn qualities and how to substitute yarns, in terms of drape and texture.

  98. I’ve just reread the questions, and…looking at it from the perspective I had when I first struggled with knitting something other than the garter stitch scarf, I could offer a one word answer of –“encouragement.”
    I have been knitting a only a very few years, but my experience has taught me that I can knit anything. For those who are just beginning, or have made a beginning, but various concerns have kept them from persisting at it, I can see where a lack of encouragement would be a problem. They need to be encouraged that they can knit anything. It can’t be said enough that knitting is not hard.
    I come across this “fear” in some people when I teach them to knit. And, I admit it is understandable. They are poised on the edge of garter stitch, looking at my entrelac scarf, or latest sweater, and they are just plain doubtful. But, really nothing is needed but time. Time put into knitting and reading about knitting and you can really knit anything. Perhaps some simple illustrations of: “a year ago I knit this”, and “now I’m knitting this.” Er, assuming one could easily see progress between the two this’s.

  99. I’ve just reread the questions, and…looking at it from the perspective I had when I first struggled with knitting something other than the garter stitch scarf, I could offer a one word answer of –“encouragement.”
    I have been knitting a only a very few years, but my experience has taught me that I can knit anything. For those who are just beginning, or have made a beginning, but various concerns have kept them from persisting at it, I can see where a lack of encouragement would be a problem. They need to be encouraged that they can knit anything. It can’t be said enough that knitting is not hard.
    I come across this “fear” in some people when I teach them to knit. And, I admit it is understandable. They are poised on the edge of garter stitch, looking at my entrelac scarf, or latest sweater, and they are just plain doubtful. But, really nothing is needed but time. Time put into knitting and reading about knitting and you can really knit anything. Perhaps some simple illustrations of: “a year ago I knit this”, and “now I’m knitting this.” Er, assuming one could easily see progress between the two this’s.

  100. I’ve just reread the questions, and…looking at it from the perspective I had when I first struggled with knitting something other than the garter stitch scarf, I could offer a one word answer of –“encouragement.”
    I have been knitting a only a very few years, but my experience has taught me that I can knit anything. For those who are just beginning, or have made a beginning, but various concerns have kept them from persisting at it, I can see where a lack of encouragement would be a problem. They need to be encouraged that they can knit anything. It can’t be said enough that knitting is not hard.
    I come across this “fear” in some people when I teach them to knit. And, I admit it is understandable. They are poised on the edge of garter stitch, looking at my entrelac scarf, or latest sweater, and they are just plain doubtful. But, really nothing is needed but time. Time put into knitting and reading about knitting and you can really knit anything. Perhaps some simple illustrations of: “a year ago I knit this”, and “now I’m knitting this.” Er, assuming one could easily see progress between the two this’s.

  101. Thanks to Elizabeth Zimmermann and her videos and you, and Ann Budd with her books on basic projects in multiple sizes & gauges, I’m becoming more confident in my knitting. I’m a large size woman, and am willing to now try making something to fit me. I know how to adjust patterns to suit the gauge I work to instead of trying to match what someone else got, and seldom make a pattern (or a recipe) exactly as written.

    I’m still somewhat fearful however. I can’t figure out from diagrams how to do the various cast-ons and decreases & increases, and other stitch maneuvers–and more important–when and why to use them. Also, I’d like to do some Fisherman knit styles but cannot figure out how to manipulate the needles. Videos would help figure this out.

    EZ suggested that a hat can be made to try to test out a pattern. Can you provide more information?

    here’s to fearless knitting!

  102. Many knitters fear that, after spending all that money and time on an unfamiliar project, that the result won’t fit or will look terrible. In short, the imagined fear of failure. Small projects build confidence. Also, “Knitters Companion” is my secret resource.

  103. I’ve never thought of myself as a fearful knitter, but reading your posts made me realize that there are things I hesitate to do: knit a sweater for myself & steeks, for example. To be fearless, I have to just do it, not overthink it. I started knitting lace before I knew it was “hard,” and it really wasn’t. Maybe it’s as easy as that.

  104. My ‘fear’ is that I won’t live long enough…like 150 years or so :) to get anything done. I will tackle anything, it is only 1 stitch at a time, a knit or a purl! Enjoy. Susan

  105. I no longer have any knitting fears, but I do avoid knitting stranded colourwork that has three colours in one row. It’s not that I fear it, I just really, really don’t enjoy it.

    I’ve been knitting for over 30 years and I’m now qualified for the title of “Fearless Knitter”, but the key to becoming a fearless knitter is not the number of years you have been knitting, but your attitude during those years toward tackling new challenges.

    I think that a lot of knitters are less fearful when they learn to “read” their knitting and fix their own mistakes. That’s when, in my mind anyway, they become real knitters. Until you can fix your own errors there will always be the fear of making mistakes.

  106. I haven’t ever thought about whether I was a fearless or fearful knitter. I’m more interested in what ever item I’m knitting looks when I’m finished. I don’t even worry about whether it’s finished or not, I can always come back to it at sometime, especially if I need the needles for something else and I’m feeling too stingy to buy more. Fearless knitting is a new concept for me. Being fearless to me means placing myself in a position of danger and hoping I won’t be hurt, eg riding a bicycle on a busy road. I just knit and, after doing for over well 50 years, I’m still learning. So far, I have suffered not lasting injuries from knitting, just very minor ones like piecing the palm of my hand with a 2.25mm dpn while sock knitting. I continue sock knitting – does that make me fearless?:-)

  107. I teach knitting, and the “fear” that I encounter most often is the fear of making a mistake and having to frog or tink it out. I actually had one student who went into cold sweats!! Her hands shock and she couldn’t breath if I said she had to go back and fix anything! I include a session on the very subject and show my classes how easy (albeit BORING) it is to frog or tink, but some just never get over the fear of making a mistake. Being that inhibited about fixing errors prevents so many knitters from taking a risk to change a design or, heaven forbid, strike out on their own. ArleenDale

  108. Like many people who posted here, I think I am a pretty fearless knitter. You know what I am fearful of? That I’ll lose my temper with the negative knitters out there who try to bully the fearless ones. Some example quotes:

    “Ugh, how can you knit with straight needles? Don’t you know circs are better for everything?”

    “Oh, I could never do that” [“that” being a basic cable, or plain stripes, or… you get the idea]

    “Why do you have to put a pattern stitch in everything? Just grab some novelty yarn and get it done quick!” [this from a LYS owner — really]

    “Ugh, you actually like seaming? You’re weird”

    And so on. I fear that this sort of negativity (and I can encounter it in different places, from knitters I’ve never met before) more than anything to do with the actual stitching. I also fear the way that knitters who knit differently can get ostracised for knitting differently (enough!). Bullies out!

  109. I love tutorials and videos and would love to learn more unique techniques like Latvian type things and different stitch patterns. Oh yeah, and tips and tricks on things about how to make my work look more proffessional.

  110. Like Katherine H, I think the fears come from outside ourselves. There are way more people in the world to say that “you can’t do things that way” or “that won’t work” or “my way is better”, than there are people who say “Why don’t you give it a shot?”

    I hate the word fearless. It implies that we must be willing to tackle anything someone else places before us, instead of working on what we like, when we darn well like to.

    I also fear the negativity in the fiber community again crocheters/loom knitters/machine knitters/croknit etc., etc. Why people try to put other people down for trying other techniques is something I just can’t comprehend anymore.

    Any needlecrafter is a fearless one. If you are trying to do something yourself, you have a certain level of fearlessness – after all, you could just go up to Walmart and pick up a pair of socks for $1 – why trying knitting them?

    Fearlessness is in everyone in different amounts. No one should feel like they are being forced by the hobby to do something they don’t like/don’t feel ready for/don’t want to do.

  111. Hi Everyone,

    To me, being a fearless knitter means NEVER being afraid to tear it out and try again. About five years ago (maybe a little longer), I decided I would try not to buy any new yarn, and would work on using my considerable stash (incredible yarns that “I’d fallen in love with” over the previous 20 years). Now that I am down to two big tubs-full (yes, I did buy more in the meanwhile, but I’ve done well at using the stash), I have learned so much about myself as a knitter! I bought all that yarn because “someday” I would feel confident enough to make that lacey-cabley-chart-laden garment. Well, I’ve learned what I enjoy about knitting and what I don’t. I’ve learned all sorts of tricks to help me with my particular knitting idiosyncrasies. An important one is to always have at least two (maybe three) projects going at any one time. This is important because you need something portable to take along, something simple so that you can have a conversation, watch TV or read, and one challenging project to expand your skills. I’ve also learned what gadgets work for me and what ones are a hinderance. Charts need to be laminated and uncovered row-by-row with a post-it. I like to count rows by tying knots in a piece of waste yarn safety-pinned to the project. Colorwork is much simpler for me than any kind of lace. Stockinette stitch is best for knitting at the movies. Making clothes for babies will help you get good at finishing techniques (baby clothes are small and you have to put them together with nice smooth seems). The biggest surprise was learning that I really like making socks! I love reading Knitting Daily and getting inspiration from Sandi and fellow knitters everywhere, Thanks!

  112. I don’t honestly know if I”m fearless or fearful. I know I”m capable of learning. But I”m sort of frustrated with having to learn new abbreviations. Do you realize there are way more knitting abbreviation’s than crochet?
    I keep printing master lists and they are never enough always missing something.
    Then even if I know what they mean I have to go look it up. What about knitting being portable?
    Crochet is soo much easier for me because I can look at a picture and see what they did. Knitting I can’t do that.
    Then there’s the time. I can crochet in a 3rd of the time I can knit. IT also seems like even the “small” projects take forever.
    So I think what would help is a truely huge master list of abbreviations, all links to turorials on how to do the stitch, and a way to move faster.
    Ways to make a project move quicker would be great too. And a good list of books you can take with you that don’t cost a fortune and aren’t huge.
    What books does a newbie knitter need besides Stitch n’ Bitch?

    My next project is some mittens jsut to conquer my fear of dpns and to learn decreasing. :)

  113. I think my personal fear (in knitting) can be put into one statement : I’m afraid of investing a huge amount of time into something that turns out a bizarre unusual and unusable shape or just that I hate. I have noticed I am quite adventurous on smaller projects (thanks to an amazing woman that taught me knitting), but it has taken me 5 years to FINALLY attempt an adult size sweater for me! And, guess what?! It fits and I love it!!!! I’d send pics but can’t figure out how to do email to you.

  114. Hi Sandi: I had a lot of unfinished projects because I always wanted to try new stitches or new patterns and in doing so, started new projects (I usually make baby or full size afghans). In order to satisfy my “need” to try a new cable stitch, or a lace pattern, or modular knitting (or whatever caught my eye), I bought a whole bag of worsted weight cream coloured wool (on sale $2.00/100gram ball). Now when I see a new pattern or stitch I absolutely have to try out, I do a swatch in that wool first to test out the actual pattern, if it turns out good, it becomes part of my sampler afghan, if not, capn frog gets it and we try another stitch/pattern. This way, I find out if I would enjoy knitting a whole project in that pattern but I don’t waste yarn or precious time. My swatches are usually 12 x 12 or 14 x 14 so many patterns can be modified to fit that size. For those of you that don’t like to sew pieces together, I crochet them together instead. That’s my way of being a fearless knitter. I’ve also become quite comfortable with reading patterns with the swatches so when the time comes to make wearables, I’ll be ready.

  115. I think that I am a fearless knitter seeing how I taught myself to knit last January and I am currently working on a sweater, a tank top and an afghan, with 2 scarves finished and a different tank top completed over summer. I think people need to realize that everyone makes mistakes, and practice makes perfect. My family looks at me like I’m crazy when I frog something, but it was a good practice run, and the next time around (or the next or the next after that) I get it right because I can see where I made mistakes and can figure out how to correct them. I’ve used the internet constantly to find solutions to something I can’t quite figure out, and I’ve found numerous places that provide easy to follow advice and directions. Really, it’s all about trying new things and asking for help when you need it. There are no stupid questions, usually there is someone else out there wondering about the same thing. If nothing else, not only do I have friends envious of my knitting, but it has helped me be better focussed in my school work, as I know I *can* figure it out, and I *will* spend the time to do so. If I will spend 4 months making a tank top (with lace, and ribbing, it was my first project knitted in the round) learning countless things, I can spend a few minutes (or hours) learning a new concept in school. The only thing that will stop me from expanding my knitting horizons is myself, so if I see a pattern I just adore, I do it. It’s a huge sense of accomplishment to finish something others doubted you could do, and something you didn’t know how to do.

  116. My knitting fears are as follows:
    -wasting beautiful yarn on a sweater that won’t FIT my unusual shape (overly large boobs on a smallish frame).
    -MY GAUGE CHANGING throughout my projects and consequently changing the fit and style.
    -using the wrong yarn when I’m trying to SUBSTITUTE for the original(even when the sub seems comparable in weight and texture!)
    -combining COLORS THAT BLEED on each other when washed, thus ruining the whole project
    – INTARSIA and FAIR ISLE- fear of the hassle of knotting up the many colors.
    -Choosing a style that won’t look good on my body.

    Thanks for reading! Thanks more for writing to us!!

  117. Well,I messed up and sent the e-mail without finishing.
    I love the fearless knitting logo (hearts and needles). I wish you all would make sew-on patches of this that we could buy and put on sweatshirts or t-shirts.
    Thanks,
    Gay

  118. Well,I messed up and sent the e-mail without finishing.
    I love the fearless knitting logo (hearts and needles). I wish you all would make sew-on patches of this that we could buy and put on sweatshirts or t-shirts.
    Thanks,
    Gay

  119. Well,I messed up and sent the e-mail without finishing.
    I love the fearless knitting logo (hearts and needles). I wish you all would make sew-on patches of this that we could buy and put on sweatshirts or t-shirts.
    Thanks,
    Gay

  120. The one thing I’m most fearful of is putting so much work into a sweater that won’t fit me. I’m high-waisted and haven’t been comfortable trying anything outside of drop sleeves and square body shapes. My femininity is crying out for curves!!

  121. What I need to be a truly fearless knitter is videos of how to do the pattern of the stitches used in the piece being knitted. And most of all, uniformity of symbols used in charts.

  122. funny stories. steeking frightens me witless, but the more funny stories i hear, and the more successes i see (and a few failures/quick emergency fixes) the more comfortable i get with the thought.

  123. Although I am still a fairly new knitter, I feel that I too am fearless; So far I have been willing to tackle anything! The one fear that I do have is not having a support group, such as this one to turn to when I do have a question or am stumped. Sometimes the books and online videos just don’t cut it and you really do need a real live human being to help you out! Dar in California

  124. What am I afraid of??? Well, since I’m on a “teacher budget” I am afraid of spending a lot of money on yarn and a huge investment of time and ending up with something that is a total mess! I am a plus-sized lady, and I appreciate the way that Sandi shows a project on a variety of models. It has helped me with things to think about before knitting something for myself. Sandi, you rock!!

    Lara A. in Houston

  125. Hi Sandy, I guess I qualify as a fearless knitter, because I’ll try anything and keep at it until I can do it competently. For me, the trick is to be patient with myself, because some techniques take a while to master. I do a little teaching and the new or insecure knitters I work with want to see a technique in action, that is being done in a video that they can watch, stop, restart, etc. I also like videos, for the same reason, that seeing something done is easier to understand than still pictures with written directions. That being said, books with patterns set up to introduce new techniques, incrementally, are also helpful. Think learning history or math. Logical progression, building on skills already learned are great.

    I love this site! Keep up the good work!

  126. I used to be a fearful knitter, I would stay clear of any pattern which involved knitting in the round, using circulars or dpns. I thought to myself about what I was afraid of, and it was just fear of the unknown. When I first learned to knit, did I stop myself from progressing from a knit stitch to a purl? No. When I studied knitwear technology at Uni, did I stop myself from progressing from needles to a flat bed? No. So why should I stop here. So, two years ago, gingerly, I bought myself some circulars and dpns and began to learn again and succeeded, which made me feel particularly proud! I am now learning a new technique almost everyday, magic loops, provisional cast ons, short rows, toe up socks, the list is endless, I also taught myself to crochet. With the help of blogging friends, online magazines such as this one, I now see a new technique as a new challenge because if I get stuck it’s so much easier nowadays to get help.
    I’m proud to say I am now a fearless knitter!

  127. I’m fearless knitter, but a very fearfull frogger. I hate ripping out and then having to put back on. Gives me the willies.. brr. I have been known to put something aside for a very long time before I will take it apart. (is 7 years long?) I have also been known to take it to my fav LYS to get help. Medrith takes it off the needles as I cringe, then she puts it back on after the both of us have taken the bad stuff out. scary stuff, but having a pro really helps.

  128. I knit most anything, except large projects. My fear is that I won’t finish. I want to do some lace shawl knitting, but the size of the project is intimidating. Edythe

  129. I guess I’m a fearless knitter. I mean the knitting doesn’t frighten me at all. My technique may need to be improved, but I love knitting. But picking the wrong pattern, investing a certain amount of work and then having someone not like it or have it not look “good” on someone, that makes me…N-E-R-V-O-U-S.

  130. I am a fearless knitter, but I am very fearful of my stash. I love to buy yarn as much as I love to knit it and have noticed that I have bought way more than I will ever ever knit. I am fearful it is taking over….

  131. I am a fearless knitter, but I am very fearful of my stash. I love to buy yarn as much as I love to knit it and have noticed that I have bought way more than I will ever ever knit. I am fearful it is taking over….

  132. re: fearless knitting. Primarily I am afraid that I have spent $$$$ and lots of time to make something that I dont really like afterall and won’t wear or that the person I made it for won’t wear it and love it.
    other than that I will fearlessly jump into a pattern knowing that I will have to take it one stitch at a time sometimes. I also have a great local yarn shop to help if I get stuck and they NEVER make me feel dumb!!

  133. I made a conscious decision lo these many years ago not to go into a shame spiral every time I had to frog my knitting. If it was fun to knit the first time, it’ll be fun the second time around! This has made me the fearless knitter I am today. My only fear was Kitchener Stitch and you, dear Sandi, waved your wand at that and taught me to graft on the needles!
    Thanks!
    Betsey from Louisiana

  134. What I really need to be fearless is a bigger yarn budget! But as for what Knitting Daily can do… I would love so much to have some more info on what will happen with individual fibers. Not WHILE you’re knitting it, but AFTER you’ve worn it for two days. Will the Bonsai Tunic be down to my knees, or what? I don’t want to spend lots of money on super-awesome silk yarn and then have the FO be no good.

  135. I was so excited the other day when I ran across a worksheet for how to measure yourself and map out the measurements for a sweater for MY body (I wonder now where I saw that?) I’m going to find it again so I won’t ever knit a sweater that is too wide and boxy for my body.

    I also took a quilting class and came away with something VERY helpful – I don’t HAVE to be continually learning and advancing my skills. My quilting teacher got to the level she was comfortable with, and stuck with it, making dozens of beautiful quilts and even teaching quilting classes. She wasn’t interested in doing more technical, difficult things – she figured out what she enjoyed and stuck with it. This may be contrary to the idea of being ‘fearless’ at your craft, but what was revealing to me was that she knew herself well enough to know what she wanted, and that is so important to enjoyment.

    thanks for all you do for us!

  136. After having lived for many (won’t say how many) years, I’ve learned that no matter what it is, I can eventually either do it (just about anything), or get over it (mistakes). I also know that if given enough distance, I can go back and fix most knitting and other mistakes. And if I can’t, wellllll, oh well whoops! So yeah, I think I’m a fearless knitter, I just don’t expect too much of myself at any given time!

  137. When I began knitting in earnest, I said,”I’ll never be able to make socks.” Now, I make socks. I said, “I’ll never, ever steek.” One day, I took a deep breath and cut a sweater tube that had taken me three months to knit. It was perfect. The yarn behaved well and I wear the sweater a lot. I said,” I can’t make sweaters that fit.” I read blogs, books, and asked questions. Now I make sweaters for myself, my granddaughters, and my daughters. I saw what I wanted to do, decided if “they” could do it, I could too, and did it. Yes, I ripped, tinked, and sometimes admitted that the finished object was really a knitting lesson, at the same price as a college course at the local campus. But I did learn, and the next time I tried, my work was much better. Knitting is a hobby, something done for enjoyment and expressing the creative side of me. If it were work, or done under pressure, I would go back to cross stitch or baking.

  138. Hi!
    I don’t really have any fears other than being limited to my stash-on-hand just when all the best yarn goes on sale! In terms of projects, I generally think “how hard can this be?” and plunge right ahead. Ignorance is no object! I find out how hard it can be after spending the money, time and resources to get started. Sometimes I finish, sometimes I go to something a little easier or that I have a deadline for. There are lots of projects I have lost interest in stored in my stash. I probably ought to finish them, but then I see this totally cool new pattern I just have to try!
    Audrey M. DeNeui

  139. My biggest fear/problem is getting bored with the projects I chose, especially if they have lots of stockinet. so, some tips on not getting bored, throwing it in the WIP pile and starting a new project. Also, would like help on combining colors and different yarns. And lastly, designing your own projects- how to easily keep track of what you are doing (or Un/Redoing), how to chose the right yarn, what guage is best suited for the project, and maybe even some articles on selling what we make.
    Thanks for asking us what we want to see! =)

  140. A friend of mine started hosting large (100+ people) parties complete with food. His attitude towards the worry was, “There’s always pizza.” I tell my students that with knitting, there’s always starting over, or something can become a gift, or be felted, or returned to its original state: yarn, which can be swapped or, “There’s always eBay!” It’s not like sewing where once you cut, your kind of stuck. You’re never stuck with knitting — just make something else. So there’s no need to be afraid of anything. When I first started to knit, I thought my projects looked like the dog’s breakfast (in some cases with my pug Chester, they still are), but the more you knit, the more you’re practicing and you get better, so keep at it.
    After seeing the neato tattoo image in this post, I am thinking that to be a fearless knitter, one should have that tattoo! LOL!

  141. I am a structured learner. I would like to advance my knitting skills by making increasingly complicated projects. Each project would use previously learned skills, stitches, knowledge, and add a new one. The math thing, the yarn substituting, fixing mistakes, these things send me straight to my lys. The ladies their are constantly reminding me to ask for help. The sit and knit attracts more skilled knitters who answer my questions graciously. They care that I have a successful knitting experience. I feel part of a long line of women who knit. We trade stories about our family’s knitting history. I do not have a lot of money to spend on expensive yarn so I prefer to see small projects. I have a short attention span also. I try to remember that I am not in a competition with better knitters. I too feel that the phrase about being a fearless knitter is not quite the ticket. Perhaps a statement about being a lifelong learner would be a better line of thought. It can be applied to many other parts of our lives too. Jan W

  142. I always tell my friends and my sons that any task you under take is only difficult because you just don’t how to do it yet. Once you learn, it is no longer difficult

  143. I am a almost 63 year old woman and still have a problem to READ instructions. I feel that visual learning is the only way I can do it. Not just because I am over 60 but this has been the issue for most of my life. I start a project and then leave it and do not come back to it. I know that I have no confidence that I can finish it. Seeing the very short examples of how to do a stitch is not enough.

    Just like a book if you had a video that would walk you through all the steps in a row to make a item would really help someone like me. I could rewind and go back until I understand what I have to do and then go on to the next step.

    Have not seen anything like that so wonder now if there really is something that could be done instead of readying a paper. I know that there are so many projects out there to make, but what if there were those choosen few a year that came out in DVD. WOW that would really be nice.

    Thanks for letting me VENT,

    Teri Casteel

  144. What scares me? Yarn.
    I can’t figure out how to substitute yarn in a project. No matter how many times it gets explained – I can’t figure it out.

    I also can’t afford to spend a lot of money on the “nicer” yarn considering this is a hobby I’m still figuring out (and have given up twice).

  145. Friends keep me from fear. I wanted to knit for ages, and it was when a friend bought a book for us to teach ourselves, with some internet videos and teamwork, that it finally stuck. (The visuals are important for me.) And honestly, I didn’t even realize I was holding myself back until I started looking around on Ravelry and the comments earlier this month and thinking, hey, i never finish anything either! and you know–since that, I’ve finished four baby sweaters and a pair of pants I had the pieces for (one was a cardigan–whew!).

  146. I think my biggest fear is that I’ll knit a sweater & it won’t look right on my larger than avg body. I do not want to look stupid or like a “dumb, fat broad”TM
    :>) I love classic, beautiful clothing & I want to make part of it & have it look classy, not clunky.

  147. My fears:
    * picking up stitches (therefore I have several UFOs lying around, because I can’t get up the nerve to try to finish the neck…)
    * dropping stitches and figuring out how to pick them up again; generally, recovering from mistakes
    * frogging — how do you pull knitting out and manage to pick up at a previous row and move on?

    Things that might help me be more fearless (echoing Suzanne B):
    * an index of fixes, e.g. for dropped stiches — with photos/videos or clear drawings
    * short tutorials on some of these kinds of things

    Thanks for asking!

  148. Although I have a number of WIPs that I am “scared to deal with”, in general, I would characterize myself as a fearless knitter. I try new techniques and knit from poorly translated patterns all the time, and this is why:

    I would like to encourage knitters to take a class and/or join a knitting group. My Silicon Valley knitting group formed about 20 years ago (long before it was the hip thing to do — yet the median age of our founders was about 30 at the time!), and it has been a wonderful resource for me over the years. Thanks to them, I learned that there was such a thing as a knitting conference where you can take classes from designers and great teachers, I learned techniques that completely changed my knitting (3 needle bind off, the correct way to do mattress stitch — so stripes line up!, the difference between SSK and K2 tog, etc.), AND I realized that very experienced knitters STILL MAKE MISTAKES.

  149. I have found that we can all learn from each other, no matter the relative experience level. About twelve years ago I had a knitting designer as a house guest. In the evening, we both pulled out our knitting. I was working on a saddle shouldered Aran sweater and wanted to knit the sleeves into the body rather than sew them in later — she showed me how. She was designing a top down Aran knit in the round for a class and couldn’t figure out how to convert one of her stitch patterns from flat to every row on the right side — I work best from charts, so was able to help her out. I got SO much confidence from being able to solve a problem for someone who clearly knew much more than I. (Thanks, Beth!)

    As a postscript, I would love to see a video and accurate drawings for how to do mattress stitch. I have been very disappointed over the last few years at the number of knitting books published with the WRONG technique. Far too often, the writers of the finishing sections of knitting books don’t seem to understand that in order to line up accurately, row 1 & 2 from side A need to be sewn to row 2 & 3 of side B (then 3 & 4 of side A and so on). I have given a number of on the fly classes on this technique since it is so often misunderstood. How about a video and drawings with a 2 row stripe to help more knitters understand? In my experience, once you understand how to do mattress stitch, Kitchener stitch, and 3 needle bind off, you are 90% of the way to great finishing (picking up stitches — 2/3 or 3/4 — and a decent crochet edging are the rest).

  150. Most of the reason people think I’m a terrific knitter is because I’ve mastered the basics of finishing. I still make lots of mistakes, and I don’t always discover them/admit to them until I’m almost finished (which is the reason for about half of my many WIPs), but I DO complete over 50 knitted projects per year (over 70 in years when I ignore other crafts). Yes, this is a large output, but I try to knit every day (it helps me stay sane) and about half of the projects are quickies (hats, scarves, simple socks, simple purses).

    Get out there. Knit in public. Share your knowledge. Be open to learn from others.

    Thanks for another great, thought provoking topic, Sandi!

  151. I knit for pleasure and relaxation, and I knit simple, straightforward items that don’t stress me out. I don’t worry about deadlines, I knit when I feel like it, and I buy yarn when I can afford it. I’ve bought many wonderful books that are helpful when I have a question. I try stitches and patterns when I’m ready and don’t try to push myself too hard. If I want to knit a mindless strip, I buy some soft, pretty yarn and knit a ribbed scarf. I see so many beautiful patterns that I dream of trying, but I am willing to wait until I’m ready. I recently learned a new cast on and a new way to make an increase for a lacey look. When I’m ready, I’ll learn more. I don’t think fear is an issue with knitting–it is a pleasant pastime with plenty of challenges for everyone, which can be completed when the time is right.

  152. Making a sweater fit properly is a concern for me, perhaps even a fear because I am procrastinating on starting my first adult sweater.

    I also have the issue of time to knit because I have two little ones to chase. And I don’t want them to pull apart my projects!

    Wasting money by not using yarn is another issue for me. And this concern was solidified this week when I inherited a retired knitter’s yarn stash. There was more in her stash than I could knit through in a life time. I thought this would be a blessing, but now I feel a bit burdened to use it or lose it! Granted, it’s harder to knit through yarns that don’t excite me (I don’t have time for that!), but it made me think really hard before I buy more stuff. And I’ve been in major finishing mode for all of my quilting and knitting projects before this even started. I guess not being wasteful is important to me!

  153. I have been knitting for many years but more often than not, I knit for other people. I am afraid of knitting something for myself as I worry it will not fit in the end. Your tutorials about pattern modification have been helpful but I still lack the confidence to try on my own. I am not afraid of techniques (entrelac, intarsia, etc.) but am afraid of looking like a big lumpy blob in beautiful yarn.

  154. Tutorials and videos are very helpful. I’ve taken on a lace shawl project with a provisional crocheted cast-on. After trying and failing several times, I went to KnittingHelp.com to watch the vido on how to pick up stitches. Voila! It worked! I’m off and running on my lace project, and excited about it. Sometimes just breaking a technique down into simple steps is all it takes to feel comfortable enough to take it on. I hate being intimidated by “good” knitters, and want to be one of them!

  155. What I need most to be totally fearless is access to instruction that is visual, showing the actual movements. It can be from another knitter or some sort of video tutorial. Static pictures just don’t quite do it for me. I also had to get over the idea that mistakes are bad, rather they are sometimes good because that is how you learn. So knit on and frog as much as you need too. What works in other aspects of life is pretty much the same in knitting.

  156. Recently I gave someone a cabled scarf knitted from a fine Merino wool, and the first thing the person did was ask about what appeared to be loose ends. I had carefully woven in the yarn ends, but one or two had popped out and were visible. Now, this person wasn’t being mean-spirited, but was concerned about whether the scarf was already coming loose at the ends. Many of the items I knit I make with a particular person in mind and I worry that my finished gift isn’t professional-looking enough. I would like to learn more about finishing techniques. Just how do we weave in an end when there is no “wrong side”? Are there secrets to knitting the edge stitch of a scarf or baby blanket so that the finished item has more edge definition? I have only been knitting three years so I still have lots of questions.

  157. What I’m afraid of, what I dislike, is waste. I hate knitting things that never get used. That one screwed up repeat in that sweater I was too lazy to go back and rip out? I never wear the sweater. That mohair that I was perfectly willing to rip out got all…mohairy and won’t let me rip out. That pattern I followed exactly to gauge, exactly to size, exactly to measurement, doesn’t fit right because pattern designer doesn’t realize that *some* of us don’t have our boobs just below our necks.

    What would help? Pattern ‘honesty’. Front, back and side view of a sweater, with the model’s hair out of the frickin’ way.

    Oh, and some help on intarsia. It’s the only thing I’ve never tried because I so fear the dreaded *hole* at the color change that I’m in stark terror that I’ll knit an intarsia something and never wear it.

  158. I feel pretty fearless with all the books and people out there on the web and at my local yarn stores. They are a little out of the way though and so i would like some videos of finishing and sizeing to fit. I don’t mind frogging but i want the finished project something that will be worn.

  159. Dear Sandi,
    Even though I am a very capable and talented woman most of the time, there are times I am fearful and lack the confidence to proceed with my knitting. Fear of failure, fear of making mistakes, fear of doing the wrong thing; fear of not knowing what or how to knit something; it all adds up to something rather over-whelming. To become a truly fearless knitter, I think I would need lots of examples of those who are now “scions of knitting” back in the days when they still made BIG mistakes or didn’t know ANYTHING at all about knitting. As you said, funny stories to make me laugh, stories I can identify with, stories that encourage me to try new techniques and more advanced methods and patterns.

  160. Knitting has helped make me more fearless. It makes me come to terms with mistakes made and then what can be done to correct them – even if it’s starting over!
    With that said, I do enjoy the inspiration that this column provides and the guidance to help me prevent the mistakes. Just because I don’t fear making them doesn’t mean I want to. 😉

  161. The thing I fear most is “not getting it”, as in trying something new and not being able to wrap my brain or fingers around it. Right now I’m in that place with reading charts for Bavarian Twisted/Traveling stitches. That feeling that it has to be able to be done…why can’t I get it? And once I hit that place, I want to find out NOW what the secret is. What am I missing? To that end, online tutorials RULE! Video is best, but good photos work well, too. I’ll be taking a twisted stich class in April, but until then, I remain not a fearless knitter, but a frustrated one!

  162. What helped me become a fearless knitter is a great circle of people who encouraged my exploration of new techniques. The joy and excitement of learning something new fed my desire to look for challenges that have taken me from a hat and scarf knitter to lace, entrelac, cables, and garment shaping.

  163. Knitting has taught me a lot of courage. I have loved the process of knitting and learning to knit. I have learned that it’s ok to make mistakes. I learned self confidence from the benefits of trial and error I don’t have to be brilliant from the git go–a life lesson that transfers well.

    But BUT BUT! I am stuck, terrified of starting a sweater: that combo of GAUGE! +FIT! + EXPENSE! I ‘ve read a lot. I’m focusing on gauge as I knit, making those swatches, but it’s not yet failsafe. I appreciate Knitting Daily and its discussion of fit, but I’m still not sure. I could try a baby sweater (but I just don’t want to). I know I should learn by doing, but what if it doesn’t fit and then the project so expensive. It’s not so cold where I live so a quick heavy sweater would not be useful. Making a sweater is my huge knitting fear.

  164. I’m less afraid about my knitting as being ridiculed for choosing to fill my time with a productive, creative outlet, and/or being pigeonholed into some stereotype of frigid/frustrated spinsters who would rather have needle-time than cuddle-time. I’m 27, single, and people seem to think that I knit because I’m in a holding pattern, just waiting for Mr. Right to magically appear in my life. I’m not. I knit because I love it. I knit because it’s a creative outlet that gives me something to show for time spent, gives me time to think while I knit, or listen, or talk, row after row, round after round. I’d hate to think that I’m missing something by choosing one activity over the other, but at the end of the day, I’m a knitted item to the good, so can I really be missing THAT much?

  165. Permission to make mistakes >;-) I’m teaching my 7 yr old neighbor to knit & one day, while knitting intently, she said “OHHHHH, I made a mistake!” to which I replied, “is it a mistake you can live with?” Her eyes got very big and she said, “Can you do that?” In response I showed her some socks I’d recently finished – pointing out a mistake no one would ever see unless I pointed it out, noting it didn’t change the way the socks fit in any regard, and that it would be hidden by my shoes… I also explained one can’t be sloppy, there need to be the right # of stitches, and gauge needs to be correct, but there are some mistakes which we can live with. She took all this in and a little bit later exclaimed again, “Oh, another mistake!” I didn’t say anything and then she visibly brightened and said with confidence, “This is a mistake I can live with.” She was knitting a coaster we were going to felt, and when she finished knitting and the felting was completed, no one would have ever known there had been a mistake made…

    Being a fearless knitter requires discernment about what mistakes must be attended to, and what can be left to gently remind us of our human-ness…

  166. If I had more moments to experiment with and more pennies to spend, I would be more fearless. I would cast aside all notions of ruining fabulous yarn and spending time on frivolous journies. I go days without knitting because of family commitments and would so like to have at least a half an hour to move forth a project. I am confident and move slowly on new lessons, but can’t bear the thought of wasting the clock or the purse. Thus, I’m more timid than ought. Frivolous homework might free me up. Perhaps KD might toss out a monthly Fearless Project to liberate us! Say, perhaps, knit a washcloth in four colors and one new border stitch…or, see how many darts you can sew on a large swatch…or what have you. Free us KD!

  167. I think I’m almost fearless in knitting. This month I try magic loop, toe-up and 2 socks at the same time. Three new things in one project. I think my only fear is not to finish a big project, wanting to go on with other things before it is finished. I think a knit along would help me finishing or a course. Today I start my course in Norwegian knitting.

  168. I’m already a fearless knitter but I can laugh at myself when I royally mess up a project and am willing to do so. As evidence, I wanted to learn to knit socks on 2 circular needles and have had a time of it trying this technique until I tried a recently released book. I happily knit away on a practice sock until I realized, near the finish, that I had knit a toe on both end of the sock! Rather than feel I had wasted time, I realized I had managed to achieve using 2 circulars to knit a sock, albeit one with 2 toes on each end, and I use it now when I’m teaching and I get that totally annoying “I can’t” from my student. I show it to them to reinforce that no matter what level you consider yourself, mistakes happen, they are learning tools, it’s just sticks and string and have fun! Take the fun over the fear.

  169. The only thing that frightens me (as it does many others) is the thought of wasting precious energy and time knitting a garment that doesn’t fit as it should. Not because I knitted badly, but because I didn’t know how and where to modify it to fit me (more precisely my 32F bust). I’d love to see a pattern for a stylish sweater such as the Gathered Pullover written as an exercise in pattern modification.

  170. Dear Sandi, I have taken some major steps this year to become fearless in my knitting, most have come from reading Knitting Daily and really thinking about what you write. You are preaching a new way of looking at our knitting and ourselves as “in progress” works that need experimentation and practice to evolve into what we (and the knitting)are supposed to be. I am much more relaxed and confident of my skills than ever and I’ve been knitting and selling my work for many years. It really is a lovely feeling! Thanks, Elaine

  171. I would like to consider myself a Fearless Knitter, I am self taught as a grown-up, and I have had formal art training. I look at my knitting as a form of self-expression, so I have never had any phobia about the colors I’m using. My biggest problem is my short attention span, which keeps me knitting small items, like socks and mittens.

    I would like to invite the Fearful Knitters to never be afraid to admit that you need help with your projects, find your help a your LYS or online tutorials, whatever you learning style is.

    For those who think something bad is going to happen if they make a mistake, I suggest that they put their projects in perspective. No one is going to get hurt if you drop a few stitches.

    For those who have relegated their knitting to an “It’s only a hobby mode”, would your attitude change if you were able to use the yarn of your choice?

    Just one more thought for the stash inheritors, knitting with boring yarn, give the boring yarn away to someone who needs it more, or to a senior center, so it won’t go to waste. Your time and enjoyment is worth more than that. You cannot be creative if you are not inspired.
    Rebecca P

  172. More than a knitting Fear, but a knitting reality….I love handknit sweaters, but they NEVER turn out right. The size is always wrong after it is sewn up, and my guage still matches my test swatch, which matches the numbers given on the pattern. I am not sure where I am going wrong, but it is keeping me from knitting sweaters that I DESPERATELY want to make.

  173. I consider myself to be a fearless knitter as I definitely take all mistakes as learning experience and see no pattern as impossible. Sometimes my ambition exceeds my current skill level but hey it’s just fun to try! I’d love to see more tutorials on creating your patterns or modifying patterns to suit your own personal needs/tastes. I’m currently trying to work out how to turn a picture into cabling and am loving the challenge but a guideline would be really helpful!

  174. Finishing is something that gives me the creeps. I always feel like the seams will fall apart after the first washing, the seams are too bulky, etc.
    And I always fear that people will not like the finished object – or it might not fit. How do you know which size an unborn baby will have next summer? I can guess but I always fear the object I’m knitting might be too big or too small to wear at the proper time.
    So it’s not exactly the knitting that I fear, it’s the outcome – well, and the seams. I hate seams.

  175. What am I afraid of? Well most times when I start a sweater in the end it comes out looking like it will fit a linebacker not me. And now since I have lost weight, I have had to rip out a few projects, one even finished, because they were the wrong size. So lately I have stuck with accessories,lately purses becaue I don’t have to worry about them fitting or not.
    I would like to learn how to do Entrelac knitting. I also enjoy doing cables so it’s not like I’m afraid of difficult things, I would just like a sweater to fit me when I’m done!
    Marilyn Sintes

  176. I am afraid of succeeding, I think. As a child, I was deemed to be “no good with her hands”. Now I am knitting a Rod Weitzer jumper called Heaven Tree. I have taught myself Fair Isle using Lucy Neatby DVD’s and by reading Sarah Don and Alice Starmore. But I still don’t think I deserve to make something spectacular. I feel that I am going against my life’s script by knitting. This is truly weird but I have to fight it all the time. I always underestimate my ability to learn and my patience in doing so. I love knitting and craft but do not feel that I should be part of that group of people … as though I am somehow a fraud or an interloper. Strange to write this but your question got me thinking.

  177. Does anybody know of a translation of abbreviations from american (engish?) to danish?
    I love the patterns – but sometimes I have a hard time decoding the meaning.

    Thanks, Charlotte, Coepnhagen, Denmark

  178. Exploration of different techniques, transitions in stitches and tips for prevention of common mistakes would be the best assistance to fearful knitters and allow them to become fearless knitters

  179. Hello, I think I am brave about most things related to knitting, after all one of my favourite things about it is that you can undo should it all go wrong! But I do worry about wasting money. I often sub yarns if, for example, the recommended yarn isn’t readily available in the UK or is too expensive. But I then I worry that the subbed yarn won’t work, won’t drape the same, will just look wrong. I know the answer is to swatch thoroughly but then what if I end up with yarn that I know is wrong because the swatch told me so! So some advice on how to successfully sub yarns would be wonderful. xx

  180. I feel that I am a “Fearless ? (who doesn’t have some fear?)Knitter”. The only things I have not been brave enough to concur are: Double Knitting,(like an afghan with pattern on both sides, but, colors reversed), and Hairpin Lace. Other than those techniques? I have fears of chosing a sweater to knit a friend or family member and guessing the wrong size (I usually do not want someone to know I am making them something). SO, “How does one guesstamate someone elses size and possible measurements? Stealing a piece of their clothing is not an option (I do not live close to any of them).
    I agree with some of the other commenter’s that seeing a picture, as well as reading the how-to, is ALWAYS a plus. Keep up the good work! Your daily knitting articles are always informative with a hint of amusement. It helps to know we are “Not Alone”

  181. I adopted the fearless knitter motto and one of my first step is going to learn sock knitting next Saturday (I don’t know why but I’ve always been afraid of knitting socks by myself)…in English (I’m a French native speaker)…in a new country (I’ve just moved to Ireland) !!! isn’t that a great challenge ? 😉

  182. I?m afraid creating my own pattern meaning if I don?t have any pattern ready for this jumper I want to knit. Then I have to create it on my own…Huuuuiiiii :( If it goes wrong or yarn is wrong or..or..
    I also comper other knitters knit work to my own. And think I?m this funny little knitter and everybody laughs at me…
    Maybe a photographs of funny sweaters would help.

  183. I am so new I don’t even know what to be afraid of! I do know this – I gave birth to 2 children (and the oldest is almost a teen), I teach kindergarten, learned to ski last year – kind of- and am coming up on my 14 year ann. I have lived thru “scary”. I am excited for the new challenges I see in knitting, and need something that is just for me. I have made 2 scarves – and that’s it! Thanks for your great inspiring patterns. I can’t wait to jump in! (Ps – I also found a group of experienced knitters at my local Ben Franklin. I think having an actual person – plus a project you are excited about – helps greatly.)

  184. I think I’m only afraid of not finishing a project that I start. I’ve recently realized that my biggest knitting thrill comes when I see how a new yarn looks knitted-up into fabric. But sometimes after that initial rush it feels like work to finish a project. Oh, and buying a lot of yarn that ends up being a chore to knit with. Very frightening!

  185. Maybe I’ve been knitting too long to be fearful. I love new techniques and immediately grab some stash yarn to try out a new technique to see how it works. Swatches are wonderful – that’s where you figure out how to do that new stitch or technique to perfect it before you touch your beautiful, expensive yarn! “So much beautiful yarn, so little time.” When I get to heaven I hope I’ll have all of it I want.

  186. hello sandi, you ask: So: Tell me what you need to become a Fearless Knitter–tutorials? videos? classes? funny stories to make you laugh and realize you’re not alone? photo galleries?–and I’ll just see what I can do about getting you some Fearless Knitter tools, Knitting Daily-style:
    what i need this year is to learn to get away from the easy raglan sleeves and learn to calculate for “normal” set in sleeves, so yes, a tutorial on HOW to do this without following a pattern, BEING MORE INDEPENDANT!
    thank you,
    Zaz, paris

  187. When I was a child, I tried to learn to knit from some older female members of the family, but they were all too busy. In my early twenties, I decided to teach myself to crochet and bought a book of doilies and picked out the most complicated (with all the stitches up to double treble) and successfully made that and that’s when I realized I didn’t need anyone else’s help and eventually taught myself to knit from reading books and actually putting hands to yarn and needles and I will tackle anything now.

  188. I fearful of a pattern being incorrect or incomprehensible. I know with all the communication we have that I can work through obstacles. You get enthusiastic (like a kid at Christmas) make all your plans (picking yarn – getting gauge) and you finally begin and the pattern has mistakes. I like a knitting challenge not an interpretation challenge. I knit to relax and escape. I am fearful that I will invest time and emotion and end up in an irritated state because of the pattern.

  189. I have been thinking about this question of being a “fearless” vs “fearful” knitter. I guess I am fearless, since I am confident with my knitting. I can tackle most patterns and more importantly, fix most of my mistakes (with help). I think what makes us “fearful” or “fearless” as a knitter is our support system. I knit with a group of women every Monday night at my local knitting store. I started with this group about 3 years ago when I started knitting. With the intructor’s and the group’s support, I have tackled easy and difficult projects (not to say I didn’t whine about some of them or complain about having to rip out a section because of a mistake)and the group’s support has kept me confident in my ability.

    So, I feel knitters need to ask – Who is my knitting mentor (or instructor)? Who can I seek advice about yarns and patterns? Who can teach me a new technique or help fix a problem? Who will suggest (and push) me to try more difficult patterns so I continue to develop as a knitter?

    To me, it is your support system that makes you fearless!

  190. For *years* I was scared to knit anything for my mum because she is a beautiful knitter. Last year she told me that I was a far better knitter than she.

    This year, for her birthday, I think the Embossed Leaves socks. I no longer fear impressing my mum – all I needed was her encouragement.

  191. Sandi —

    While new techniques have never been an issue for me, I’m often REALLY frustrated by yarn substitution.

    Either my budget won’t stretch to the expensive yarn that the pattern calls for, or (because I live in Texas), the yarn would make it WAY too hot. I only have 2 wool sweaters to my name, because I can only wear them a couple of weeks a year, it seems like.

  192. I would describe myself as a “learning ” knitter. I constantly start items that require using a new technique, (I usually have standard socks on the needles also for a contrast)but I enjoy learning something new. I have my share of half-completed projects hidden away from sight but I do finish most that I start. Sometimes I have to hunt for a family member or charity that can use the finished project but I have enjoyed the process. I try very hard to only knit with fibers that will complement the pattern and will be pleasant to knit with. It’s hard to enjoy a FO made with a yarn that scratches, pills etc.
    Connie

  193. Hi Sandi!
    I guess I would qualify as a fearless knitter- I go for all sorts of challenging projects. Some I finish successfully, others I don`t. I knit on busses on work and on quiz nights with my friends, but what noone knows is that I`m really bad at doing colorwork. I have taken on some smaller projects and finished them more or less successfully, but what I really want to do is to make me a pretty fair isle sweather just for myself. I plan on practicing a lot on wristwarmers and such, maybe ene day…

  194. Let’s see…I would have to say that my fears with knitting relate mostly to ‘fit’ as it relates to ‘cost.’ I find myself avoiding gorgeous sweater projects because I’m afraid I’ll invest in all that fabulous yarn only to create a garment that isn’t wearable. Even with all the wonderful posts and galleries relating to proper fit, I am a bit stuck in my fear. You know, just stating the fear has a way of making one want to push through it! I thumb my nose at fear! :)

  195. Time! I have been knitting for over 40 years and can “do” all the technical things – color, cables, design. But I hesitate to start that Magnum Opus afraid that I will never finish it.So, I keep starting – and sometimes finishing – tons of small projects.

  196. Im a pretty feerless knitter. I feel as if I have been knitting forever, and have knitted just about anything. However, I dont care what you all say, I am NOT going to steek EVER! I have noticed, Sandy makes mistakes. She has admitted them. Mistakes to me are just a chance to do more knitting! Just last week, I casted on for a pair of socks. By the second row, I knew my gauge was off. I kept knitting. I turned the heel (thinking, this aint right) and I finished the gussets (this aint right) and I was getting down to the decreases at the toe, looked at my work, pulled out the needles….frogged that ole sock back to a ball of yarn! My husband thought I would cuss….he gave me a funny look, I said, I get to knit another sock! I have knit some really butt ugly sweaters in my time…and you know….they are the favorites of anyone they come in contact with. Knitting is fun. Its appreciated. Its our gift to ourselve, and those that we love…..one day, I want to knit for me!
    Kelley

  197. I feel so much better after reading that, I am a fearless knitter….I’ll try anything, ok, I haven’t tried cables yet but thats just laziness on my part. One of my first projects was a tie on a size 2 needle and now I have finished my first man-sweater for my husband. I really haven’t been knitting as long as most but what really helped me to overcome was learning how to read the foreign language of patterns and finding good books showing techniques. This website has been my favorite resourse lately, thank you Sandi for bringing us out of our knitting closets!

  198. I am a person who needs to “see” to learn. Videos and tutorials with pictures step by step are great ideas. If I read directions only I am lost but if someone can show something to me it is mine forever! That is why I love my knitting instructor – she has endless patience.

  199. Actually, I think I started out as a fearless knitter, and made a lot of mistakes (including a lovely alpaca cardigan that is in the frog pile because I didn’t know enough to know that alpaca won’t hold its shape, but silly me, no way was I going to spend all that time making a sweater and not use really fancy yarn!). Now that I’ve learned more, I wouldn’t say I’m fearful, but I’m more cautious and give a lot more thought to which yarn I purchase for a particular project.

    The one thing that scares me still is steeks–I have a Fair Isle cardi awaiting cutting the sleeve steeks, and it’s easy to put it on the back burner with all my other WIPs in the way. I have plenty of references from IK and online, so I don’t know if it’s actual fear or just procrastination.

  200. Fearless Knitting? I started knitting when I was four, according to my mother. I was so young I don’t remember so I have to take her word for it. I was fearless back then… making all sorts of funky clothes for my Barbie. Now, it’s a different story. In short, what I need is INSPIRATION. Whether it be in the form of a beautiful pattern, some fabulous wool or just chatting about knitting with my friends. If I don’t venture outside my day-to-day life to seek inspiration, I stick to what I know… which usually ends up being socks.

  201. My biggest fear is making something that either doesn’t fit or looks like I made it for a monster from some remote planet with three arms. That’s a lot of work to put into something that doesn’t work. And I cannot STAND to frog. I WILL, but I’m not a fan.

  202. Finishing – finishing, finishing finishing. It is such a let down to have spent weeks painstakingly exicuting each stitch in a pattern, and then putting it together and coming out with a funky seam here, or a strange pucker there. Books have gotten better. Domiknitrix has really good pictures and descriptions, and the new interweave best of book has a more comprehensive “intermediate” level instruction section, but that is my biggest struggle. finishing.

  203. I encouraged my sister to learn to knit. She took lessons and I have watched her go from a fearful to more confident, may not quite fearless knitter. Encouragement helped her along the way, from me, her teachers, and others. She taught a friend to knit and now they knit together. Community and relationships are important ingredients in gaining confidence.

  204. I’m still afraid of fair isle, intricate cables, and dpns. Oh my!
    Is there an emerald city for knitting? I could just ask the wizard for the “noive” to take on that beautiful tiffany box blue cabled cardi I’ve been eyeing…

  205. I’m afraid of knitting sweaters in pieces. There’s a number of baby sweaters I want to try, but I’m afraid! I’m afraid the pieces won’t be even, and I’ll block them to fix it and it will be worse.

    What I really need is someone to sit next to me during the hard parts and help me. Sooo, videos, shared stories, helpful hints – all would be appreciated. Or, Sandi, you could come to my house once every other week or so to help me figure out what I’m doing! :)

  206. My biggest fears are designing my own patterns. I really like seamless knits, top-down or bottom up or clever construction with little seaming. I would really like a tutorial/video on steeking and different types of seamless sweater construction.

  207. I have a small bin of yarns I love yet can?t bring myself to use. When I buy one or more balls of more expensive yarns it sits unused because I don?t know what to make of it. It has to be something special. I can?t ?waste? any of it swatching. I can?t make any mistakes because I don?t know how it will react to being frogged. I don?t want to make anything I won?t love. I can?t afford to get more.

    How can you help? Darned it I know. I?m considering therapy. *grins*

    ~Chris, a Texas/Idaho snowbird currently in Kansas

    OTN: yet another Tribble

  208. I will start just about anything, but 1/2 to 3/4 of the way through, I get paralyzed by thoughts of “Will it be too large? too small? Will I run out of yarn?” I can’t bear to invest the time and effort into something that will not turn out how I had planned.

  209. I am teacher and former shop owner and I understand the fear of knitters. Many times my students will exhibit fear and trepidation because they think of me as (and these are their words not mine),as an ‘expert knitter’. This is my retort: “I am no more an ‘expert’ than you….the difference between us is that I have more EXPERIENCE . You too can be ‘expert’ if you continue to knit, be realistic about your level in knitting BUT always seek out challenges in your knitting pattern choices, accept the fact that you might be tearing out your work (part of the craft!!) and above all be RELAXED. Keep those shoulders away from your ears, sit back, learn from you mistakes and lastly. SMILE while you knit!”
    That is my formula to rid fear from knitting. More challenging to some but guarenteed to work.

    Diana

  210. I love to knit and I’m not afraid to try something new or challenging. I do get frustrated with mistakes but I’m learning to embrace the errors that help me learn or make my project unique. I do love hearing of other’s brave knitting adventures. It does encourage me to push on, so to speak. Lorraine

  211. I taught myself to knit about 6 years ago. I made a scarf, then a hat, then picked up DP needles and whipped out a pair of mittens. I truly have no fear in knitting, yet I deal with people all the time that say “I CAN’T”! I work in my LYS and show people every day that they, in fact, CAN do it. At the end of the day, it’s all knits and purls, and once you know those two stitches, you can do anything. I tell my customers to just breathe and enjoy it!

    I can honestly say that each and every project I have made has one glaring (at least to me) mistake, but I figure I can always use that to prove it’s mine if the need arises!

  212. When I began knitting again after years and years I purposefully chose charity projects to learn techniques. I knit washcloth after washcloth in garter stitch to teach myself to knit continental. I knit a baby blanket in stockinette to teach myself the continental purl. I taught myself cables on a Red Scarf project, and knitting in the round on dpn’s on hats for Dulaan. I don’t know why–maybe because no one I know face to face will see it–but learning on charity projects took some of the “scare” out of it. Ultimately, though, we all have to face that “inner” voice that is holding us back. It’s not sticks and string that scare us. It’s ourselves.

  213. Oh, and I forgot to add that I don’t own a sewing machine, so I am interested in crocheted steeks and what you do with those stitches after you have made the cut!

  214. I believe that I am a fearless knitter, My first project 18 years ago was a fairisle sweater for my daughter i loved knitting and never looked back! but I agree with ZAZ that I could use help on how to do real sleeves, I have trouble with the shaping to the shoulder area. My daughters have long arms, and generally I change the measurements from the wrist to the underarm, or where the sleeve attaches to the sweater, but then the shaping ends up adding more length than I expect and then they are too long.

  215. I’ve been told I’m a fearless knitter or at least a rare variety of knitter. I taught myself to knit solely from books. A friend had taught me to crochet a few years prior, and I wanted to broaden my horizons. I didn’t even know a knitter at the time. Since then everything I’ve learned about knitting has been from books or online tutorials, including recently learning how to knit socks. And they fit me, even!

  216. I can be a “pretty brave” knitter. I really enjoy trying new techniques or unusual patterns. Where I become timid is when I face a potential project that has really expensive materials, looks like it will require great attention to detail or a long time to finish. There might be some things that would help with some of these problems:
    Perhaps there should be a website where you can sell off the partially finished projects that require quality yarn that have become boring or frustrating. Someone with more patience or courage could buy the unfinished project (at a substantial discount) and either finish it if they happen to be your size and able to match you gauge or (more likely) pull it out and recycle the yarn.

    Some patterns and techniques can be difficult to figure out from the directions in magazines. In these days of the internet, it would be great to have postings that present the same material in different formats to aid a knitter in understanding the tricky bits. Actually, where there are patterns with a number of different directions for different rows, the presentation in a magazine where instructions wrap around rows and string together (which I know is needed in a publication) I find that I misread or misunderstand a lot. If we could just get the instructions in a more verbose format with, perhaps, one knit row per line of instructions, that would be great. I would love to be able to download and print something like that.

    Some of the more demanding patterns and techniques are a lot more approachable if the finished article is not all that large. There is less risk of losing interest. Another interesting option would be several “incarnations” of a technique: a small item using relatively small amounts of yarn and a larger project. Another interesting idea would be bail-out projects. I have knit the back of the sweater and I can tell I will never finish it. Can I repurpose what I have knit into another item? And then what can I do with the leftover yarn?

  217. I wish I were a slightly more fearful knitter. Fear is a useful survival skill, even when it comes to fibers! I need to control myself when it comes to starting new knitting projects, I have a tendancy to dive right in without thinking things through enough. That being said, there is nothing like casting on and taking off on a new adventure…

  218. Last year I took up loom knitting; this year to be fearless I offered to teach a brief class to my co-workers (I work at a large University). I am afraid of seeming unprofessional in my beginner teaching (that no one will share my enthusiasm). I would love to see sites such as yours encourage loom knitting so we have some very public support and patterns.

  219. What gets me to knit fearlessly are gorgeous patterns that I want to make so badly that I’m willing to learn whatever I have to to make them, like Pomatomus – looked really intimidating, but gorgeous, so I learned how to make socks with a shifting beginning of round, read a complicated lace chart, and do tons of ktbl.

  220. The only thing in knitting that scares me at the moment is pain. I’ve been diagnosed with tennis elbow and the prescribed treatment is simply rest as the condition is caused by an overstrain. Obviously this means no knitting. I can do that for a shorter while, but not in the long run as I miss my dear hobby. Alas, the pain comes back. It would be nice to know if there are ways of preventing strain injuries and knitting on happily&healthily.

  221. I think to be truly fearless I have to overcome my fear of math and gauge and use them together to create my own pattern to be used by others. And I need to try stranded knitting again. I used to be pretty good at it.

  222. My greatest knitting fear is: that I will spend the $$$, and a lot of time and not like the end product. Or, that it just doesn’t look like I had pictured it to look on me.

  223. I try to look at knitting as a ZEN experience, where else in life can you undo your mistakes with such a simple act as pulling a thread.

    But I still want everything to look perfect, well maybe not perfect but GOOD. I am intimidated by those who ae so much better than I, I want to create projects that are imnpressive and awe inspiring.

    My goal this year is to become accomlished with cables. My first project, Central Park Hoodie came out pretty well but emphasized the things I need to learn, SEAMING and finishing.

    Videos, I learn best by seeing and am always looking for videos rather than written instructions.

  224. I have that perfectionist streak Roxane mentioned. And have been stymied by the idea that a Good Knitter knits perfect stiches everytime, never looses track of the chart, and thinks frog is an amphibian. Isn’t that where all the pretty things in IK come from? Good Knitters? For a long time I kept my knitting practice to myself because I feared that someone would look at something I’d knitted and say: “um, that’s hideous”. I hope to be a Decent Knitter someday, so I keep practicing. So far, so good!

  225. I am a new knitter. I am also a FORMERLY fearful knitter. Early on, I embarked on a simple sweater for my son. I was terrified: that after logging hours and hours on the needles, I would make a mistake that would require me to rip it all out and start again (only happened once); I would make a mistake and miss it and learn “too late” to save the sweater; I wouldn’t finish it before he outgrew it. By the time I got to knitting the shoulders together, using circular needles for the first time for the neck, picking up stitches for the sleeves, I was a little paralyzed. I got some help from an experienced knitter, read, looked at diagrams, and still felt paralyzed. Finally, I decided that it’s just knitting. If I screw it up, no one will die, and my self-esteem will still be intact, if a bit bruised. I also realized that in my life, I have learned to practice law, drive a car, raise four children, and do any number of things without throwing up my hands in helpless despair. I finally decided that I could do this. What was I afraid of? Nothing. The unknown. But now, I’m not afraid anymore. And I finished the sweater, which was adorable, and fit him (until my husband shrunk it a week later, but that’s another story).

  226. I’m fearful when it comes to finishing – I just can’t figure out how to do it correctly and it seems like the books I have gloss over the subject. Even something as simple as weaving in ends – what’s the best way to do it so they don’t show? Videos would be fantastic, but even clearly written directions with photographs would be a big help. Drawings are good for conveying the the idea in theory – but they are idealized and seem a far cry from real life.

  227. Let’s see. There is the fitting issue, concerns about color choices and combinations, and ability or lack thereof to do cables, intarsia, fair isle. All can be solved, I think, by practice and experience!

  228. I really liked the lady that said she was a *brave* knitter. Me, too. I have fears, but will attempt things in spite of them. I am 53 years old and I’ve been knitting less than a year. I’ve done many projects including the mohair lace shawl I am currently knitting for my Mom. (OK, mohair doesn’t scare me anymore. LOL.)

    I have beautiful yarns for probably 4 planned sweaters, but knitting one to fit is my concern. Also, technical stumbling blocks, like understanding HOW to make it fit. I know that if I started attending my LYS’s Sitch n Bitch, I could get these questions answered, but I feel shy to attend one. So I guess I would appreciate tutorials on fit, too. And thanks for this, Sandi. Sure is good to see that many of us share the same fears; but continue to be brave enough to do the thing we love!

  229. I think my only fear about my knitting is that the finished garment won’t suit me at all. The photo galleries you post of sweaters from the magazine is a superb idea and helps me get a sense of how the sweater will look on me. One other thing – I teach knitting at my LYS and I find this attitude of “I’ll never be good enough” seems to come from our adult impatience with learning something new. As I tell my students – relax, breathe, enjoy the ride! You already are good enough. (And, of course, practice makes perfect!)

  230. I don’t really disagree with your definition of a “Fearless Knitter,” but mine is different. I think I am a Fearless Knitter – not afraid to try anything in knitting regardless of the level of difficulty given or whether you know what you are doing. I believe in learn as you go.

  231. Fear! I have it! It is called fearaphobia! I consider myself an expert knitter, but when it comes to the really “fabulous” wonderful yarns…I have to have them….THEN the fear sets in. I have 15 skeins of Jasper and it is still sitting on my work table looking and pleading at me to do something with it! But…I am so afraid that I will not pick the right pattern, will I screw up the yarn by making too many mistakes because my confidence has widdled down to AOMG I can’t do this! So I conquer my fear to fearless by returning the Jasper to my LYS to get Berrocco Comfort to “comfort” my anxiety!! Hmmm, what have I done??!! Sue

  232. I’m scared of actually working out a pattern for myself and then knitting it, even though I have the great Twisted Sisters book and other stuff to tell me how. I’ve done an Ann Budd one but not my own entire design. To make me confident – an instruction that says it will work if you “do x y and z” with no variables. Fliss

  233. My two answers are:
    One: It is the ignorance of the math necessary. I’d like to be able to translate straight knitting patterns so I can knit them in the round when they involve complicated stitch patterns and multiples. Oh yes, and reversible. Case in point: I have a rib pattern for a scarf that I?d love to knit into a cowl. There are 27 stitches. One side is K3, P3, ending in K3. The reverse side is P1, K1, ending in P1. Can I do this in the round?
    Two: Interpreting patterns. So many patterns are written poorly for intermediate knitting; assuming too much. Yes, I know it is to save space on the page (editorially speaking), but that’s not helpful unless one has a better knitter sitting at one’s elbow. I have the requisite ?how to? books but that doesn?t always help. I have read and re-read a lot of patterns totally befuddled although written by popular designers.

    Renee A

  234. Hi Sandi,
    I’m a fearless knitter. I started knitting last July (07). I’ve made several baby blankets and I’m currently trying to knit my first pair of socks. Yes, it is daunting to think about what happens if they don’t fit the person they are for. But I love a challenge. And every new thing I learn just makes me want to try the next difficult task. I have several projects going at once from dish clothes and baby blankets and socks. My next goal for myself is a cable blanket and then a sweater.
    If I tell myself I can’t then I’m limiting my abilities of what I can do without every trying. If I try and fail I can get help to succeed. But if I fail to try then I fail indeed.
    Sherri N

  235. Great question about being or not being a fearless knitter.

    I am fearFUL about knitting on double pointed needles and it makes me very sad because it leaves me out of the sock/hat/tube loop. I had a teacher once who mocked me publicly about the way I held all of the needles and never picked them up again. Talk about picking up sticks! Boy do I wish I could, but I’ve got this block now that sits on my shoulder like a skinny grinning pock-marked elf… What to do?

    Sarah WZ

  236. I am determined to learn to knit beyond basics this year. I have to admit that I am a bit nervous because I have always run into problems trying to figure out what they are talking about in a pattern. In my two attempts I have actually had to abandon the project because I could not figure it out. I want to get past that road block so I vote for tutorials, videos, classes and anything else that will get me past this.

  237. My fear is that I won’t be able to keep up in classes, that I’ll fall behind and slow everybody down. I took a sock class with Lucy Neatby and that is exactly what happened — even though Ms. Neatby was extremely gracious and helpful, I still felt awful.

  238. The thing I fear most is miles upon miles of plain stockinette stitch. Right now I have too many UFOs to count (and many miles of stockinette to cover). I love the instant gratification of knitting on large needles with bulky yarn BUT I am a curvy woman and bulky yarn just doesn’t flatter. I would love more patterns that are relatively fast to finish in non-bulky yarn. That being said, I just hope that KNITTING DAILY continues on forever, and brings us more of what makes it so great – tutorials! videos! classes! funny stories to make you laugh and realize you’re not alone! photo galleries!– YES ALL OF THE ABOVE!!
    -Jessica Y

  239. Hi Sandi, I’m a fearless knitter, and I think some of the factors are an ability to read a pattern stitch by stitch, and often an ability to read my knitting. I used to be good at the math, but now am more careful. I think it helps to assume you can do it, rather than the reverse.

  240. I’m a pretty fearless knitter, but I’m frequently disappointed with my projects because the seem “limp”. I love to make fancy baby hats with wonderfully soft yarn (from my LYS), but they often are “limp”. I have problems with gauge and ALWAYS swatch, but sometimes by the time I get the gauge right the stitch is very loose.
    I also would LOVE to have some help in fitting sweaters. I’d love to know how to be sure it will fit long before I’ve done all that work.
    BTW, my LYS owner says I’m a much better knitter than I give myself credit for!
    Candy A.

  241. I think the biggest thing I fear is the disappointment in the finished piece. I work so long on a sweater and then it doesn’t fit right, that disappointment keeps me from trying again. But I’m trying to overcome that and start smaller. After several disappointments, I’m starting again and making a sweater for my toddler daughter. This time I’m paying more attention to what I’m doing at every step of the process. I just pray the result will be a success. Time will tell, since I’m not finished yet.

  242. Sandi,

    I think Roxane M is right. It’s the type A personalities who are afraid to try something new for fear of failure. For most of my knitting life, I was one of them. I wouldn’t try cables; I certainly wouldn’t try dpns so socks were out.

    Now that I’m getting to the over-the-hill point and have learned to journal and deal with my earlier life, I find that I also dealt with my knitting fears. When I returned to knitting this last time, my first project was lace. That one was followed by cables and socks. Not only that, I felt confident enough to actually experiment and decide what method of knitting-in-the-round I really liked best.

    The changes in me have made knitting fun. I’ll try anything now.

    Barb T

  243. My problem is that I am always changing patterns to fit me, but I get almost to the end, it doesn’t QUITE fit, and I’m afraid to rip something out to fix it so that it WILL fit me. How far back do I rip? Do I really need to rip? What if I just finish this, give it to a friend and then never do this again (this one HAS worked, but only occasionally). Otherwise, I’m all for trying new things. And, over the years, the number of patterns that I change to fit me, actually are fitting me more often. I guess it just comes with experience.

  244. Scarves, blankets, socks, afghans, etc. are fairly straight forward and cause less fear. Could it be that doing a sweater or something more complicated be a sign of revealing one’s inner self?

    David

  245. FOr the most part, I do feel I am A fearless knitter….However, I just started using DPN’s last night LOL. I am not afraid to try any new project…But Iit has to ‘catch my eye’ first. I do fear BIG projects : Sweaters, afghans, Swing coats. I just know I am horrible at finishing and not becoming bored with the project.
    What could we use? Videos, or animated illustrations? Pattern help. Alas, to be good at knitting (or crocheting ) My Grandmother use to say ” You have to be a good ripper, before you become a good knitter” ( frog- rippit)

  246. I am think I am most afraid of wasting my time. What I mean is that there are so many beautiful, fantastic things I want to make, and what if I spend all my valuable time making something that ultimately doesn’t look good? There are so many patterns and yarns I want to try, I find myself racing through projects.

  247. Sandi,
    I am a fearless knitter. I can’t think of a time that I was afraid of any project or found a particular technique daunting. I love knitting with all my heart. It is my passion, my life, and what keeps me sane and moving forward in life. I also find, as a result of being “fearless” that there isn’t anything–at all–that I can not knit. I have seen patterns with ratings “beginner, advanced, expert, etc”. How would I rate? I can knit anything, even if the pattern is poorly written and has an incredible amount of mistakes. I often take only a picture of a knitted item and say, “Wow, I really like that!” and knit it up for myself or someone else, without a pattern. I would consider myself truly “fearless”, which is why I put your “fearless knitter” button on my blog.

  248. I really appreciate (and apparently need) to see explanations of how to do certain things by more than one source/teacher. Right now I am working on the central park hoodie, and I am a bit fearful of doing the seams – how should they be done? (will i wimp out and crochet them together? can i get the hang of the matress stitch? is there another way to do it?) and i’m not sure i understand how to do the 3 needle bindoff that would be very nice to know to finish the hood part…but i’m continuing in the hopes that i will get INSPIRED and just be able to do what i need to do to complete the project.

  249. I think I must be subconsciously fearful of knitting sweaters. I have the yarn for at least two sweaters in my stash, and I have yet to make one. (Well, there was that one on chunky yarn awhile back that would’ve fit an elephant, but we won’t go there.) I’m scared both of the fact that my finishing skills are in desperate need of help – everything from mattress stitch to kitchener stitch – and the concern that the pattern won’t be appropriate for my body. As far as finishing goes, I’m not afraid of darning needles. But if I saw how to do these things, I might actually “get” it and feel confident about it.

  250. I don’t mean to sound boastful, but I have pretty much been a fearless knitter from day 1. Once I’ve read a pattern and figured out any special stitch techiques necessary, I can pretty much do anything. I will say one thing that slightly intimidates me is steeks. The thought of cutting hours of knitting effort is a little spooky, but I’m sure I’ll get around to it soon. Probably start with small swatches first! As far as how Knitting Daily can help me to become more fearless… well, just by being here helps me every time I read it. Keep up the good work, Sandi

  251. Like others here, I fear altering a pattern to fit my figure, which is a size 2X, especially when the pattern is written to fit a size 16 as the largest size! I’m great at math, but fear I’ll perform the expansion process incorrectly, putting the increases in the wrong places.

    Second, I fear finishing a project, for fear it won’t look good, or that I won’t have enough yarn or that I’ll finish it incorrectly. I want a finished article to look nice, as if it came from a boutique, and find some finishing techniques don’t look as good as others. I’m constantly gathering new finishing techniques in hopes that I”ll find just what I need for one of my projects.

  252. What do I need to be a truly fearless knitter?? I have been knitting for a little over a yr. I take classes, I buy books, I ask questions. I have made scarves, socks, gauntlets, bags, and yes even a sweater. I think that I learn more from my mistakes and “frogging”. I am not afraid to make something that doesn’t turn out because I’ll study it, rip it and start over. I go to a truly awesome yarn shop (Three Kittens) for all of my yarn supplies (it’s my Happy Place!!) and i take classes there also. The staff (Janine, Tiffany, Cis, Laura, Shawn) have made me a fearless knitter. they answer any questions I have and tell me that I can master any project that I start. After all, if you can make socks, you can make anything.

  253. I need tutorials with really clear pictures and instructions. I am becoming a Fearless Knitter. Already I have accomplished a long time goal–I actually completed a sock and did it on the Magic Loop. I am so pleased with it, I think I will frame it. I have done the 4 corners dishcloth and
    now I have tackled the Danica Scarf using double strands of yarn and changing colors with each triangle or diamond. I am knitting it for my 14 year old son who didn’t like the self striping yarns, he wanted 4 totally different but coordinating colors. All of these have been real challenges since I hadn’t knitted in over 20 years.

  254. Hmm… I guess I’m pretty fearless, as I’m not afraid of any pattern. What I try to do though is realize my limitations as a knitter, namely boredom. I have to make sure I don’t pick a pattern that is so tedious or so time consuming that I lose interest. I’ve got a couple of those in my UFO list that I’m trying to get off the list this year. Wish me luck!

  255. I thought I was a fearless knitter, then I got stuck.
    I am knitting a sweater with no seams to sew up at the end. Well I am stuck on the sleeves.I picked up stitches around the opening, knitting in short rows to allow for the increase every 4th row, but it just doesn’t look right.
    Has any one else tried this with success?
    Anne kraftyknitter@hotmail.com

  256. I think what I fear is that my mistakes will be so horrendous that they will be completely un-fixable. That being said, I have been know to often leave a mistake in place and go on, because nobody’s perfect — and no-one should try to be. (Good, yes, even excellent. But perfect? No.)

    The thing that makes me a fearless knitter is a hand to hold, so to speak. I find that a demonstration, followed by encouragement and a pat on the back, go a long way in raising my confidence level.

  257. I’ve been knitting for about 4 yrs now & have made some terrific things. I’ve always admired cables but stayed away from knitting them since I thought they’d be “too hard” to master. Just last night I pulled out a pattern for a hat knitted sideways with 2 different cable patterns running the length. Lo and behold, line by line, it’s not so hard. Sure, you have to pay attention, but the joy is so immediate! I can’t wait to wear this hat (sure hoping it’s still cold when I finish it!) and NO, I’m not gifting this one– it’s for me this time, a testament to my stick-to-it-tiveness (is that really a word?!) and the realization that cables aren’t so hard that they can’t be done.

    What would I like to help me along from Knitting Daily? I’d love silly stories or cartoons to encourage me, and a file of tutorials (like our file of free patterns) that we can access in the middle of the night when everyone else is asleep & we’re up knitting!

  258. I guess the only thing I fear about knitting is the possibility of going off my nut mad because I can’t figure out a pattern and I’m stuck without being able to move forward. I’m in that place now trying to knit my very first socks and am at the heel part of the pattern and it says “HEEL FLAP
    Place 20 sts. on one needle. Row 1: Sl1, Purl across; Row 2: Sl1, K1 across; Repeat these 2 rows for a total of 20 rows” When my logical part of my mind explains to me that doing what the pattern says would leave a long piece of yarn between my last knit on the previous round and the first one after S11 and I can’t understand why they want me to do that.

    I fear that I’m going to get so frustrated that I’m going to give up and never finish the pattern and as a result never learn how to knit socks.

    However I think as a fearless knitter I just accept that I may need to find other resources – such as posting here 😉 – or another sock pattern because darnit all – I know I can knit socks, or I will know even if I have to walk away from it for a few days or so.

    My next fear(ful)less step is to try some colorwork/fair isle work where it’s OK to have strands of yarn on the inside/wrong side of a knitting project and learn to accept that is OK too :).

  259. Well, I’m not afraid to try anything…have no trouble taking something on and re-doing however many times are required. My trouble is I need more tutoring on a few areas to feel I have perfected technique – I’d love to get my hands on more information regarding fair isle techniques, intarsia techniques (theme – more than one fiber at a time kind of freaks me out), and professional finishing (I’ve got seams and setting in sleeves down, it’s picking up button bands and collars that seem to challenge. Sounds like I would be in heaven walking through the archives of Interweave Knits…lucky you!!

  260. What I would really like to know to be a fearless kniitter is how to successfully substitute different needles and/or yarns. I have given myself permission to never use anything smaller than 3.5 mm needles again, and this means worrying about all those changes to the pattern. How about the same sweater pattern on different needles or with different yarns? What changes to a pattern are really critical?
    Laureen vL

  261. Projects that cause fear:

    1.Spending hours on sweaters that don?t fit!
    The Winter Refined Aran jacket, the sleeves are too long and I need to adjust the length. Waiting for idea inspiration and Cap?n Frog to finish the project.

    2.
    Steeks.
    Front and sleeves.

    3.Finishing
    What should the inside of a sweater really look like? How do folks who professionally finish items for knitters view a project? How do you weave in ends so they don?t pop out?

    I appreciate lessons with lots of visuals in small doses; the sweaters modeled by staff helps with project decisions. Enjoy the Knitting Daily! Thank you!

  262. Sometimes I think I’m a fearless knitter. I’ve done tons of projects scarfs socks and just finished a quiver for my husband for his arrows for archery.

    The quiver was extreemly exciting since I modifed a wine bottle cover and just made it up as I went along.

    But, a sweater, whew the though scares me. I’m going to conquer this fear this year. I think for me the fear is the time/money/energy put into the item only to have it not look good or fit right. I sew so I have a good idea of what should look good on me. But, perhaps that’s what a lot of people fear. The inability to try on the darn thing before you make it.

    You all help out here by having people of different shapes and sized try on a sweater and post it. I love that!

    Wish me luck in my sweater project. Hopefully I’ll finish everything else up and be starting it next month!

  263. In the past year I’ve learned a lot through knitting workshops, but I still have trouble with matching sweater sleeves with the backs and fronts of sweaters. Would love more on that. Lyda

  264. In the past year I’ve learned a lot through knitting workshops, but I still have trouble with matching sweater sleeves with the backs and fronts of sweaters. Would love more on that. Lyda

  265. I get frustrated following instructions and then it ends up not looking very nice and professional. For instance, I knitted up a buttonband on a cardigan following instructions (picking up a certain # of sts) and it appeared rippling. Then I read in a book you’re suppose to PU only 3 to every 4 sts. So, how do I know when to follow instructions? I know it’s a learning curve but I have 3 unfinished cardigans. Maybe offer a LYS class ‘BYO unfinished cardis’?

  266. This was just the post I needed! I’ve been knitting a funky little scarf for a prize for Bunko this Friday and thought I was fearlessly knitting a new, cute scarf. I was actually knitting in fear that whoever wins the scarf would hate it. Now, I’m working on this lovely, funky scarf proud of what I’ve done and not worried about whether someone likes or dislikes it. It’s a scarf- if they don’t like it, they can donate it. Right?

  267. What do I need to be a “fearless knitter”? Encouragement! A lesson I learned recently, don’t be afraid to rip back and try again and again and again. Don’t be afraid to admit the mistake might be in the pattern. I love stories of knitters’ trials and triumphs.

  268. Fear Factor: Yeah, I’ve got fears. I’m fearless when I knit with cheap yarns, but expensive yarns…that’s another story, especially when I’m learning something new. Like I’m knitting a sweater and I’m getting to a place where I’m wondering what the heck I’m doing. What would help me out is hearing voices from guest writers about times a pattern was altered and it was a totally new type of project all at once. I’d like to know how they got passed their fears.

  269. I would like to make an adult sweater. I’ve made baby sweaters, because at some point they always fit! But I’m afraid I won’t figure out how to change the pattern of a big sweater to fit me. I would love a tutorial and video together showing how to do this.

  270. I am not actually afraid, after all it is just knitting. But I tend to get crazy frustrated sometimes, prompting my husband to ask yet again why I do all this. Because I can.

  271. Re: Knitting Fearlessly – I think my problem is the difference between reality and expectation. I look at a pattern and my expectation is that what I knit will look exactly the same as the picture on the front of the pattern, and fit me as well. My reality, however, is somewhat short of that expectation!

    I think what I need is to gain a better understanding of what styles look best on different body types, and also the features of different types of yarn. I managed to knit a beautiful Counterpane Pullover, but had to perform a yarn substitution as my LYS didn’t have the required yarn. The sweater looks great but the yarn is pilling all over the place and it’s a bit of a disappointment. I’ve worn it half-a-dozen times and it already looks tatty.

  272. My fellow knitters at work think of me as a fearless knitter, but that is because they haven’t dared to make mistakes and learn from them. There is so much I don’t know about knitting that I want to learn. I’m cautious, but I do try to stretch my boundaries.

    To be a more fearless knitter, I want more videos of techniques…I want someone to show me how to do entrelac and lace knitting and how to finish something so my ends don’t show through. I want the patience to tackle a large project, like a sweater.

  273. “To these folks, mistakes are somehow glaring evidence of a fatal flaw in their knitting abilities”… to which I would like to add, some people see it as a fatal flaw in themselves. I share this from experience. :) After only 9 years of knitting, I see knitting as a microcosm of my life. I was timid in my life and afraid of making mistakes. I took that fear everywhere with me, including into my knitting. But knitting itself has somehow taught me what 34 years of life have not, at least not on their own: That mistakes are almost always fixable, if I have the patience; that most mistakes are only noticed by me; that someone, somewhere will have the knowledge that I need to continue on; and my very favorite, that I can accomplish ANYTHING one stitch (or step) at a time.

  274. I have been knitting and crocheting for about a year. I have done blankets, scarfs, a purse, open-fingered gloves (scary, but very easy actually to crochet) but what scares me the most is cable stitching. I am so scared to even try something with more than two needles that the first thing I look for in a pattern is to make sure nothing is cabled!
    Barbra Volpe
    pnkchica

  275. I am at this point in time the Queen of Fear. I have a mountain of yarn, books, needles, but I am stuck like a deer in the headlights. I am afraid of the following: of making something that won’t feet, of gauges, of making something gross and ugly. And ya know what…I teach knit and crochet! I do this for a living sometimes. I always tell my students to make a gauge and to try. That it is a self esteem issue: if you can believe that you can do it…then you can. Worst case scenario you just rip it out and start again. Do I listen to my own advice? Nooooooooh!
    Trudi
    Cambridge, MA

  276. I believe to be a fearless knitter you have to be able to laugh at yourself. Especially when you make a mistake. I think of a visit from the “frogmonster” is an aditional chance to have that fantastic yarn roll through my hands again. I also think that when I make something that doesn’t fit me it gives me a chance to brighten someone elses day. It could be someone I know or donating it to a charity I work with here. You have to truly love knitting to be fearless.

  277. I’m a brand new beginner.I have been teaching myself to crochet and knit.I Already love both(as well as my cross stitch). I do believe that my sewing backround has helped and I have sourounded myself with books, patterns,ect.I have also bookmarked every single site I have come across that has info on either.I’m not scared to do either a bit nervouse is more like it.Afraid things will not come out well.I seem to do the best when I can go to video or step by step illustaration,when I get stuck.Something that will show every single little thing,Books have a tendency to not show quite all.I get nervous about ruining a yarn especially when so many are so costly.Wich would be the other worry having to use a substitute,will it hang well, have the same kind of sheen and hold,or will it look flat and hangeee.The only other thing that would be great is if I had someone was close to me who I could go to if I get stuck.Otherwise I don’t let the mistakes put me down I just start again,and again,lol.Beyong this I love what I’m doing and learning and I want to learn it faster. Thanks for the post,it’s nice to know I’m not alone.Heather in Wis.

  278. I have been knitting for over 50 years. Started when I was a little girl. I’ve been teaching and designing for the last 30 years. I’ve never thought of myself as a fearless knitter, as I like to push myself to the limit. I get very bored if I just knit stockinette st. There is no stitch that I can’t do. But there are times when I do get suck on a pattern. It’s because of 1- I didn’t read it right. 2- Pattern was written wrong. 3- or the rare moments that I couldn’t figure it out what they wanted me to do. In that case, I have to find someone to brainstorm with. I live on a small summer resort island close to NYC Fire Island,live there year round. I’m the expert knitter winter and summer and teach here also. I try looking through all my books and magazines (100’s), try the internet, and if I’m lucky (since I’m in a wheelchair) get someone to take me to one of the best knitting store on Long Island. It would be great to have a chat room where you could go and ask your question and get an immediate answer. Whether the answer would be where to go to get the answer or the answer itself. I also believe in having the right tools for every project. Right now I just started a bulky weight vest with cables in merino wool and I’m using #10 glass needles. Copied & laminated the chart. And using the magnetic chart holder. It just makes everything easier to follow. And the glass needles are so warm in my hands. There is nothing like starting a new project.

  279. When I started knitting 7 years ago I frogged,tinked, ripped constantly. I am a frustrated perfectionist have been all my life, when asked what knitting was my DH said “well you knit some stitches, then you rip them out, knit some more, rip them out” so I laughingly said Honey its “Unknitting”. Moral of story I learned more from “Unknitting” then from any book re knitting, telling a knit st from a purl, how to set (mount) a stitch, etc. But no matter how good I have gotten at putting the stitches together, Finishing is the main problem (malabrigo sweater sits on the table for fear of seaming). So I agree with others, more info on how to finish, how to change patterns, how to subsitute yarn, how to adapt gauge if I can’t match theirs but want this yarn, standard terms or at least a this means same as that list, how to translate patterns from straight to knitting in the round, I know how to short row but why, what exactly does it do for fit, still don’t get “ease”, wish I did but I don’t. So bottom line seems to be more tutorials, written or video on techniques for fit, finishing,subsituting,etc. Love the review, great way to wakeup.

  280. When I started knitting, a friend gave me the best advice… Every project you pick should have a technique that you haven’t tried yet. And don’t worry about having to rip it out, because you can re-use the yarn.

  281. Guess I did not really answer the ? For me to be truly fearless all it would take is more time, money, and to lose 40 lbs (fit would be less of an issue), since thats unlikely sitting on my mmm knitting, guess I am stuck with the fears I have.

  282. I remember when I was a new knitter I feared the “unknown”. Such as, what do I do if… I drop a stitch, I drop a bunch of stitches; I make a mistake, I make a mistake, but don’t know I’ve made it, etc. I was afraid (or maybe anxious is the better word) because I didn’t know everything about knitting, and I didn’t know what my learning curve would be or needed to be. What fixed everything was time and practice. My first projects were all in garter stitch (and all rectangular). Then I bought books written for kids (I was 36 at the time) to learn about increases and decreases. Then I moved on to books and magazines to learn more techniques as I felt ready to try new things. I just kept trying new things and practicing.

  283. I wouldn’t say I’m afraid of anything, but hesitant is a very good word. I’m hesitant to take on some of the truly large projects because I don’t want to lose interest, some of the fancier yarns because I don’t want to ruin them if I need to tink back, etc. It’s mostly caused by the ephemeral equation of money spent and time taken. I enjoy knitting, but I still want to make something come out right.

  284. I bounce between fearless and fearful – I am fearful of the time a peice will take, will I get bored in the middle. One sweater took me 5 years to finish. But I can be fearless – a beautiful yarn and I zip along. Reading these posts helps me to be more fearless. The the folks with only 1 sock – christmas stockings you only have to do 1. Either that or like my favorite pair of socks – they don’t match!

  285. I would have to say my biggest fear in knitting is spending a lot of money (I’m a young stay at home mom) and time (again I’m a young stay at home mom) on something that will not fit me or I wont like to wear as soon as it’s off the needles. One solution I have found in this “New Year of Knitting Fearlessly” is socks: they are small enough that even if I use the most expensive yarn it will only take one skein. And if it takes a while and nds up looking awful I will wear them anyway! Another thing that has helped me is Ravelry: that site is like the biggest knitting group around. You can look up any pattern, yarn whatever and someone out there will have som+ething to say. May we all “Knit Long and Prosper” and “May the Force be with you!”

  286. I think that I fear not being able to figure out how to do a stitch or to knit the way that I think the pattern says to knit and put in all that work and have it be wrong and not know how to fix it and then I have wasted all that time and money just to throw it in a closet and not have a finished piece.

  287. I want to learn more about yarn and subsituting yarn in patterns. What does DK weight mean? What is the differnce between sport weight and worsted weight? What happens if I substitute acrylic for wool in the same weight?

  288. My knitting fears are of making a mistake and having to rip out, or not knowing enough to be able to understand the directions and consequently not finishing the project. Also, will it really fit?
    In spite of my fears, I knit what I want and learn along the way.
    In the pursuit of fearless knitting, I would love to know the ins and outs, and the whys and wherefores of knitting. Be it whatever kind of sweater, sock, hat… I am currently reading books on sweater design, and would love to take classes or watch videos on the subject.

  289. I have knit for 3 years and made many mistakes, but have not once felt fear or apprehension about knitting. I regularly teach classes and have designed many patterns for sale at my local yarn shop. My belief is that your knitting is a reflection of your attitude, not the other way around. If you are a fearful knitter, then you may be fearful in other parts of your life. Examine and alter your approach to many of life’s “problems” and your knitting will become fearless as well. Like FDR said… “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. Fear not; knit on!

    Dr. Catharine

  290. I am a fearful knitter, I guess, because I can’t make heads or tails of the patterns for more than a square, and I’m too chicken to ask anyone who’s a decent knitter, for fear of being mocked as a newbie… so I picked up crochet, which I kick-butt at, instead! 😉 Someday I’ll learn to knit a sock, but in the meantime, I’ll just gaze in awe at those of you who know what in the heck it means to “add a second ball of yarn” to make a collar on a sweater. Do I need to grow more hands for this? What the heck?! 😉

  291. As I bite off large chunks of a lace pattern and digest them row by row, I have been thinking about how I’ve become a fearless “dragonslaying” knitter! It is only a few short years ago that I spent a whole winter knitting cotton dish clothes, until I felt comfortable enought to move on to something more challenging.

    I do feel that there has been a big shift in my attitude towards stitches. I used to be overwhelmed at the number of them. The anxiety I would experience while looking out over a vast sea of stormy, waving stitches would make my head spin. Since reading and knitting during this past year with Knitting Daily, I now approach each stitch ONE AT A TIME, knowing that there is a place and an instruction for it. I don’t have to decide anything. I just have to follow the pattern. Learning to “read” the stitches I’ve completed lets me find my way back to an error, correct it and then continue on. Somehow a new level of patience has decended on me and I am determined to press forward!

    As for my other fear – using up my wool (I have a whole barn full of freshly sheared wool each spring) I’m challenging that fear too and am determined to knit all that I can, reminding myself that I will die knitting and have to will my wool stash to my children (who probably won’t appreciate and love it as much as I do).

    Keep up the good work Sandi. I love your sense of humour and vast knowledge on knitting!

  292. I too am a questioning, often fearful, knitter who wants to become more fearless. I think that finding a knitting mentor would be valuable in helping me over the ‘purls and bumps’ of knitting as I continue to gain confidence in trying new projects.

  293. I know something that I am scared to try, Cables! And I usually think of myself as someone willing to take on knitting challenges, but for some reason, cables seem so intimidating! Any ideas for an easy beginning cable project?

  294. This year I have designed two items – my first attempts at designing. It came as a natural offshoot of my knitting. I wanted something that I had no pattern for. Recording what you do as you do it is crucial to this process. It’s a lot trickier to write the pattern than it is to follow someone else’s pattern. So I would like help to learn the writing of patterns from original designs or variations of existing designs.

  295. A knitting mentor is a great idea. Our knitting group mentors everyone who needs any kind of help. We have people who have never knit before to long expereinced folks. Everyone needs and gets help, as needed. It is always a joy to watch someone with no knitting experience become a person who gives knitting gifts. One of our male knitters did that exact thing this past year. I love helping people to become competent at what they do. Often, it means that I have to slow down and really watch what my hands do nearly automatically in order to teach/show someone else how to do something. It makes me focus too and I get better at the technique for the slow down and teaching. I’ll help you all I can. Join our group at Monday mornings at 10:00 am in Greensboro, NC at Paneras on Market Street. See ya soon.

  296. I became a fearless knitter while I knit my first lace scarf. For some reason, knitting lace scared the “bejesus” out of me – I don’t know…maybe it was all of the intentional holes in the fabric. One day I decided that I was going to knit lace…I found a beautiful pattern (16 row repeat) – found some beautiful lace weight alpaca…and worked my way through the two inches. It took me a several hours but after a couple of froggings…I could see the beautiful pattern develop and I could actually recognize what my next row was going to be…I was hooked!!! I figured it I made it through that…I could knit anything! I wear that scarf every day in the winter – it’s my favorite piece of knitting to date. So, my suggestion is to tackle what you fear the most – it’s a great feeling to get it done…thank goodness that knitting is not rocket science!!!

  297. Consider me another vote for tutorials and videos – especially videos. I learn much better if I can first see someone perform the task I want to do. One of my fears is not being able to succeed with a project because I cannot correctly interpret the pattern instructions. I’ve taken classes at my LYS, of course. These really help because you can see an experienced knitter perform a task and then try to repeat it. However – and this is one of my other fears – I am a slow knitter and that doesn’t seem to be changing even with experience. It’s usually difficult for me to keep up in a class… and I’ve stopped attending quite so many as I did when I was first learning. My feelings of inadequacy at being the slowest knitter in the room are finally getting to me – another reason videos work out so well. I can watch a technique (over and over if necessary) without feeling like I’m holding up a class or getting left behind.

  298. I’m less afraid of trying new things than I was a year ago. A few successful projects have made me almost fearless. (lace trimmed shrug, lace mitts, and sweaters in the round, and a couple with colorwork, and one with beads – I even dug out old copies of Interweave knits to try the things I rejected at the time because “I can’t” do that.) But now I’m on the prowl for new techniques and more challenging projects. I’ll take whatever you want to throw my way.

  299. What can Knitting Daily do to help encourage Fearless Knitting? I think there needs to be more emphasis on it being ok not to be a perfect knitter, but a faithful knitter. That not everyone learns or improves on the same curve and that even tremendously experienced knitters screw up (after 53 years of knitting, I still mess up seed stitch). It’s ok to ask for help if you just don’t get it, and to continue to seek help until you do. Not every project is for every knitter. IT IS ABSOLUTELY OK TO TAKE SOMETHING YOU STARTED AND HATE ON A TRIP TO THE FROG POND!!!!!! You are, as Elizabeth Zimmerman said, the boss of your knitting, it you don’t like it, either rip it out or change it until you do like it. It is perfectly acceptable for a garter stitch scarf to take a month or more to knit, especially if you don’t have a lot of time (even if you do), or energy, or you want to be sure you’re doing it right, or because the person sitting next to you finished overnight. You are not a failure because you knit your way and in your own time frame. It’s ok to enjoy the process as well as the product.

    We have made such a to do about our knitting being perfect and knit quickly and so precisely that we forget we are ourselves and we need to let some of that go.

  300. I would love to become a fearless knitter – I recently tried to push myself past the comfort zone of knit and purl with a little lace work. I tried the Wool Peddler’s Shawl and did great all through the garter stitch part – then I hit the lace and thats where the trouble started. I began by taking a positive approach to the learning curve and told myself that mistakes are part of the process of learning. Then the weekend came and I spent the entire weekend working on it. I did not once get an entire row in without having to rip it back. You’d think a little thing like one extra stitch couldn’t send a person into hysterics, but my husband and sons can testify as to what happens – it can turn a reasonable calm person into a real B_TCH – and that rhymes with stitch! One !@##$##@@ extra stitch to be exact! I am convinced that the author of my pattern is a sadist and that there are a whole lot of people involved in a conspiracy against my producing this shawl – including the ladies at the yarn store! The long and short of the story is more short than long – I ripped out the WHOLE thing! Therapeutic ripping you could say. That’ll teach em – that and the chocolate bar I ate!

    So here is the honest to goodness truth about my knitting fear – that I will feel like a failure which proved to be true last weekend. It is hard to learn a new skill.

    How can you help? 1. Send me a knitting grandmother who will teach me everything – if that is not possible then perhaps some stories about other knitters who have pushed themselves to learn. Kind of like a knitting version of a weight loss before and after story. 2. Some suggestions for learning how to knit lace. 3. Some knitting patterns that are a little more simple. Many of the ones I see on this site are much to complicated for me. I think I need to challenge myself in baby-steps. One small skill learned at a time.
    Thanks, Michelle Donald. White Rock, BC Canada

  301. When I first began knitting, my first project was a sweater in a “block” pattern. I was “afraid” of cables and didn’t try them for THREE years, then I saw how silly my fear was. I don’t know if I would say I am a “fearless” knitter now, but I have decided to challenge myself this year and learn entrelac. I plan to do those great stockings from the Spring 2007 issue.

    What I get “accused” of the most is being “patient”! That’s really not one of my “virtues.” However, I am VERY STUBBORN! That’s a quality that helps me stick to a project and finish it and master a difficult technique.

    With that, sign me, the Stubborn (not patient or fearless) Knitter!

  302. I gave up knitting sweaters or other things to “fit”, and moved on to my own socks from the toe up, lots of shawls then lace from my handspun, adapting stitch patterns from IK and other sources. Now in FL, don’t need sweaters.

  303. My knitting problems are:
    Usually I find it difficult to match the listed gauge for patterns. Going one needle up or down does not seem to bring the solution either.
    Gauge itself is also a difficulty in as much as when I knit the garment itself, my gauge changes, slightly but it changes!
    I also have problems with design. What looks good to me designed on paper, will not pan out in reality.
    Is this a hopeless case?

  304. I don’t know if I actually fear anything about knitting. I think the better word is intimidation. I have been knitting pretty much non-stop for almost a year and a half now and there are still quite a few things out there that intimidate the heck out of me. For example, color work. Sure I can handle a stripe, but anything else just looks too confusing. Another thing is big lace projects. I can handle flat things like scarves and shawls, but actual sweaters are very intimidating. I absolutely love the Hepburn cardigan in the Lace Style book, but I still haven’t worked up the nerve to try it. What would be most helpful for me in getting over my fears would be someone sitting next to me holding my hand through these intimidating projects, but in lieu of that how about some video tutorials or something.

    As an aside, this year my knitting fearlessly consists of actually making adult sized garments (not just gathering the yarn for them). I’ve made quite a few sweaters for my daughter (age 3), but this year my husband and I will reap the benefits of my craft. I’m currently working on a beautiful cabled sweater for my husband. It’s going very well, but the hardest part is having the patience to actually knit the entire 150 odd stitches up to the required 26″ length! I’m used to whipping out a whole sweater in 3 weeks, not just the back of one. But I’m trying to persevere. At least when I make my next sweater (something for myself) it’ll be a little bit smaller!

  305. In the past any fear I had about my knitting centered on a fear of failure. I worried that if I finished something, it wouldn’t be good enough, or it wouldn’t fit or look stupid.
    Recently I have become a fearless knitter because I have given myself permission to rip out if it isn’t working, or looks poorly or I just don’t like it.
    Now I know that I can try anything and if I don’t like it, I can stop, rip it back and reuse the yarn for something else! Actually, I got a great lesson about that right here! Thanks Sandi for all you do for us knitters! Kathy

  306. I am basically a beginner knitter. I’m afraid of almost everything other than hats and scarves. I would *love* a tutorial on how to put a sweater together. I see the cute little diagrams and they mean nothing to me. Can you show me how to put together a sweater? If so, you’ll be my new best friend.

  307. My “fear” (although I’m pretty brave) is not doing enough of the “boring prep work”….I almost always swatch, but I often get in trouble if I skip re-winding the yarn- I hate it (esp hate it and isn’t hate a sister spirit of fear?)when I hit a KNOT (esp in expensive yarn….) at a place where it is hard to deal with….I dislike obvious knots and FEAR they could even cause a blister in socks! I prefer to have my yarn prepared so this does not happen . So, I often force myself to hold off on the knitting and check it all. Other fears would be not having enough yarn (must balance with wasting $$ on “likely extra”) , time constraints (why can’t I buy knot free???),and challenges of “nicely” including washing instructions with items.
    Thanks for Asking!!!
    Wendy

  308. I’ve been a pretty fearless knitter with everything except garments. I’m a little “fluffy”, so I know that I will need to adapt a garment to fit my body. So, a big question for me is – how do I know where to put in short rows for shaping? How wide should they be and how many rows do I add? Tutorials on issues such as fit would be greatly appreciated. Also, a video section for specific techniques would be great – especially if they tie into specific projects. For example, I’ve read articles on set-in sleeves, but I’ve never seen how it actually comes together.

    Sorry for the ramble! Thanks for listening!

    Lisa

  309. I think classes make for fearless knitting. A friendly atmosphere, a chance to try something I wouldn’t normally do and someone that know’s what they are doing so I can ask questions and get help fixing mistakes!!

  310. Well I guess I should respond since it was my question :) Thanks Sandi for putting it up and thanks everyone for answering. It is very interesting.

    I’m a fearless knitter, although it had never occurred to me to think of it that way. I suppose it probably has something to do with being a process person. I used to be afraid of getting buried in unfinished projects, but now I just rip them out if they’ve been sitting there too long and use the yarn for something else. I like the act of knitting, I don’t care what the finished object is like too much or even if it ever gets done. I tend to make up at least as many sweater patterns as I knit other people’s designs and the ones I do make from patterns are highly modified to fit me. Lace, cables, fair isle, intarsia…well I don’t do much intarsia because of the ends, but I will do it if it’s appropriate to the project. My projects get frogged when they become too boring, not when they become too hard.

    Knitting is my hobby and I enjoy it. Of course, I enjoy being challenged. Ever since I was young, the best way to get me to do something was to tell me that I wasn’t able to 😉 I refuse to believe it.

  311. what do I fear? well, as my skills improve, I fear less and less, so it’s not so much fear as frustration when a project doesn’t go as planned, either because the yarn I selected wasn’t right for the project, or I messed it up due to my own boo-boo’s or bad instructions. The good news is, once I get over my frustration, I usually rip out the project, put the yarn back in my stash for another day, and move on to the next project. But the ONE thing I have the most trouble with is knitting a sweater for myself that fits properly, and the ONE thing that I “fear” is a big lace knitting project. It’s on my to do list (I want to knit a wedding ring shawl for my grandaughter, fortunately she’s only 4, so I have time to work up my courage). Other than that, while me may use the word fear, it’s more just a lack of confidence in our skills to tackle a certain project that we may feel is beyond our abilities. I have found that I know when I’m ready to move on to learn something new. I never thought I’d knit socks, well voila, I have a drawer full of hand knit socks, I never thought I would knit sweaters, and well, I’m knitting away on them (granted for grandchildren, where fit is not so critical) and I could go on, but bottom line is each one of knows when we are ready to move to the next level in our knitting, and I’m getting very close to that wedding ring shawl stage.

  312. These are my knitting fears, which aren’t fears so much as hestitations: I am fearful of choosing a yarn that will not look as lovely after wearing and washing as it does new–some yarns get fuzzy, loopy, faded, or pilled. I am fearful of running out of yarn when making socks, so I start at the toe. I am fearful of line-by-line patterns having dreadful errors, so I don’t knit up patterns without schematics, charts and photos of every aspect of the knitted item.

  313. Hi Sandi and fellow knitters, My mother taught me the really basic basics as she understood them around 45 years ago. I taught myself everything I know by doing increasingly more difficult patterns. I learned from the schematics and the printed directions. Of course, now I know all about gauge swatches, and mistakes in printed patterns. About 20 years ago, I designed a primitive sweater for myself. I know lots more about that now, too. At my LYS, the owner calls me the “lace lady” and tells everyone I do hard patterns. The only thing I haven’t tried is steeks. I guess I would have to classify myself as a fearless knitter, or I would have stopped at scarves years ago. Claire F.

  314. I am afraid to take the plunge and start designing. I feel like I’m capable, and sometimes I know what I want but can’t find a pattern, but I just can’t do it. Because of this, I’m very thankful for articles on construction and materials.

  315. When it comes to technique I am a fearless knitter. I’ll try any stitch, any pattern, good at the math, good at the fit, good at helping others. But the most fearful part for me is the color combining. I become the hesitant, if not fearful knitter, when deciding which yarn would be good for which project. I’ve done enough hunting and gathering for a lifetime of knitting but making the decision of color is always, for lack of a better word, intimidating. I made a hoodie, loved the color, fit and style, then decided to add a 2nd yarn in the border. It looked just fine as I was knitting and now that it is finished it’s ghastly. So how does one become more proficient with color? How do you get to something that’s simply amazing instead of elementary and just OK? That’s the kind of help I’d like to see.

  316. In reading the comments, I realized there are things I fear or least don’t feel ready to tackle:
    Steeks — what?? YOU want me to CUT my knitting????
    Color work — I’m a “thrower” so knitting with color usually winds up being a tangled mess.

    Note to self: Learn to knit continental :-)

  317. I really don’t think it’s about the knitting. I think it’s how you live your life in general. If you have confidence and you don’t subscribe to the “oh, i couldn’t possibly do that” philosophy then you can be fearless in your knitting. Who cares if you make a mistake when you try something new? That’s how we learn in life and in knitting.

  318. Unfortunately, my lack of “daring knitting” isn’t due to fear as much as it is due to the severe time constraints of a typical, busy, modern life. IF I knew that I had lots of time to try new things and perfect a new skill, then I would be more likely to do so. With the limited amount of knitting time that I have available, I want to be able to create something that the intended recipient (and that may be me!) can actually use/wear, and not just an “experiment.” That said, I do learn from my mistakes, but I often grumble a lot about them and how much time I’ve lost to fixing them.

  319. I have an incredible stash from a variety of sources mostly yard sales and thrift stores. Although I didn’t spend much on it I know it is VERY expensive yarn. Example: Jaeger, Mohair Spun, and Green Mountain Spinnery, Mountain Mohair. I am afraid to use it as it will then be gone or maybe I will have picked the wrong pattern and regret that I have used it.

  320. I guess I started out as a “Fearless Knitter”. My mother taught me to knit as a child. I did it for a year and didn’t come back to knitting until I was in college. That lasted for another year. Since then I have been knitting regularly since 2001. Until then, I didn’t have a lot of support and just tackled a pattern if I liked it. I just did what the instructions said to do and things worked out. (I don’t really remember paying attention to the difficulty level of a project.) I truly believe this is what led me to an intermediate/experienced level of knitting. I never had anyone tell me I couldn’t do something or that it was too complicated.

  321. Knitting patterns don’t always contain enough info. I am afraid I won’t be able to figure out the amount of ease the designer has worked into the design. This leads to wrong sizing choices. I’m afraid that I won’t know how tall the model is, because it IS important to know by how much I need to lengthen, and I am afraid that I will have made (as I have done TWICE in the last year) a just slightly bad yarn substitution (e.g. I made a Jameison sweater using the same weight of yarn in a Knitpicks Merino)which will change the whole look of the fabric. I’m learning, but can’t there be this info in the pattern instructions? Example: Bust measurement 34 including 2″ wearing ease, made for standard height 5’4 with Lorioli DK. This yarn gives a drapey fabric similar to bamboo or soysilk yarns.
    PS. Reading old IK am coming across WPI. Am suspecting that this may be the answer to my third fear. Am reimpressed by the amount of info that’s PACKED into that mag. My best to you, and Eunny, whose blog I miss.

  322. I’m definitely fearful of a lot of knitting things: Steeks, short rows with a wrap, bobbles. It took me two years to figure out how to turn a heel to make my first pair of socks. I must have ripped it out over half a dozen times until a light bulb went on. So I know that eventually I will figure things out, but I guess it’s the worry of wasting material that scares me most. Good yarn is expensive these days. I am also middle-aged, and think that other knitters must think i”m better than I am just because I have been knitting for so long.
    You know what would help? At the top of a pattern where it says if it’s for beginners, experienced, or advanced knitters? I am scared to try anything that says advanced: could we come up with a less scary system, like saying what techniques are required in this project, or if any techniques are taught in this project? That way, if you know increasind, decreasing, colorwork, but not cables, and the project calls for cables, you wouldn’t be scared off if you knew that you could do everything but that one technique before starting.

    And lace,yeah, lace is scary for sure.

  323. I taught myself to knit from the Stitch ‘N Bitch book for my 25th birthday. I started with the Beginner’s Basic II ribbed scarf for myself then moved to a seed stitch scarf for my daughter. I then tried colorwork in a ribbed scarf for my husband in his Alma Mater’s colors and moved quickly on to a cabled scarf in Griffindor colors for my son. I made a couple swatches from interesting but not too hard patterns in the Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Vol. 1. I then started on a two color, queen size blanket from the Rib and Welt pattern in the same book and two years later I’ve only finished two panels. My thoughtful husband surprised me for Christmas two years ago with a sock kit, which I have yet to start. My daughter’s blanket is a pile of less than half the color blocks needed to finish and I regret the $150 yarn choice I made. I am 19 wks pregnant with my third and last child and would LOVE to start this wonderful maternity sweater from an issue of Interweave Knits, but I fear I would have to make it for one on my sisters in law who is not yet pregnant in order for her to receive it in time to wear it.
    I fear that I don’t know enough to do more than a rectangular shape or a baby hat. The lingo is still somewhat foreign and reading patterns without SEEING what is being described is sometimes difficult. I also don’t knit as long or as often as I’d like and it takes forever to finish something, so I feel a bit depressed about that.

  324. I have found knitting videos VERY helpful in overcoming “knitting fears.” I would love to see more videos about special techniques. I think I am a fearless knitter… I like trying new things and pushing myself to learn new techniques, but usually I end up doing my own pattern instead of following one. I guess I need to overcome a fear of patterns? :)

  325. hi sandy ,
    I have always considered myself to be a new knitter ( I’ve been knitting for about 12 years or more) .I say this because I knit continental style with my loops reversed for my knit stitches and wrap wrong for my purls which makes them oriented backswards on the needles for continental but ok for throwers. Does this make any sense ? So needles to say patterns and charts are quite the challenge especially when I’ve know idea what it should look like overall.I’ve struggled over and over again trying to figure many a pattern out only to give up. I’ve tried to learn myself to fix my knitting style but alas I have yet to conquer it. I would love to know if anyone out there in the knitting kingdom is like me and how they handle patterns.
    knittfully yours
    Beth Purdy

  326. To the people who are afraid of steeks – there is no need to do them! Anything (or most things) knit in the round can be knit as a flat fabric and then sewn together. Yes, you will probably have to purl on the wrong side, and some people seem to find doing fairisle by purl more difficult. It seems to me that steeking is a technique introduced just to learn a new technique. I want to be able to unpick and reknit the wool of any knitting I do, so I would never steek. I’m afraid of trying entre-lace, just in case I find out I don’t like doing it.

  327. I think my biggest knitting fear is fear of guage- and having to rip it out and start all over again and again with resentment and tears building till I fall into the pit of depression because I can’t be perfect and this knitting is stupid anyway. And I could have been reading that book.

    Well, not that bad. But that is what is happening- with a hat and a (first) sweater. But I’m determined to be more fearless this year and have frogged the hat twice and the sweater once.

    I think what helps me is actually doing it- it usally turns out that it’s not that bad. I also think the perfectionist streak helps- I want to do a good job and have something that looks nice and will keep at it till I get there or decide I’ve bit off a bit too much and save it for another time.

    It helps to know that others are/were in the same boat and survived. It helps to be in a mixed group of knitters- I can help others and feel accomplished and also be helped by others more accomplished than I.

    As to how KD can help- perhaps occasional blogposts/stories on Disastrous knitting and how it was salvaged! Or- how I figured it out. Humor is good.

    It’s only yarn.

  328. Customizing sweaters to fit (I am 5″10, tall, long waisted), and choosing appropriate yarns for the patterns are my biggest challenges right now. I can knit anything, but will it look well done and fit?

  329. Yes, yes, yes! Videos! Tutorials! Funny Stories!
    Fearless? Heck, yeah! I have learned so much from you (all) in a very short time-just from this blog!
    I am a self-taught knitter, without access to a LYS, so my best and most favorite resource is the Internet. I have learned more in the past 2 years online than the 20 years I’ve been knitting! This year: double knitting, and SOCKS! And magic loop!
    I love that there are so many ways to do one thing, like the many different cast on and offs…I love to learn these ‘new-to-me-‘ techniques, but would like a guide to know when the best time to use each one, etc.
    So much to learn!
    Thank you Sandi, for your questions, and all of your guidance!
    Marissa

  330. See, this is the reason I like knitting- for me, it’s a way to make mistakes and do things without having to worry about being embarrassed that I did them wrong. I’m not afraid of making mistakes- as long as no one else can see them!

    I think I’m definitely a fearless knitter. I don’t balk at anything.

  331. I have absolutely NO knitting fears! But I do have two pearls of wisdom to share:
    1) There are only two stitches- knit and purl. If you can do them, you can do anything. The only thing that makes one pattern different from another is the arrangement of those knits and purls.
    2)Remember, no one else had done it until they did it for the first time, either. Read it again. Think about it. EVERYONE had a ‘first time they ever …’. NO ONE started as an expert.

    Did I say I’m a perfect knitter? Absolutely not. I make mistakes. And I take them out (sometimes tearfully) and hopefully learn something. Or I leave them in and modify the design. But there is absolutely nothing to fear in knitting. Dive in!

    ok – there is something to fear — that it will take over and ultimately consume your every waking moment. aaaaaaaaaaa……. help me…. so little time, so much to try.
    KAT
    Plainwell, MI

  332. Something that would help me knit fearlessly (after reading up on it…) is that great bunch of articles from old issues that used to be on the Interweave Knits site and disappeared about a year ago. They were fabulously to-the-point articles about casting on, vertical buttonbands, all kinds of stuff. I miss them! It was way easier to find them online if I had a burning question, than to go through all my back issues (and start reading patterns).
    Also, it would be nice to have an endless supply of yarn and a full set of Addis, but I’ll wait for the next contest :)
    Pat in Ottawa

  333. In the past year, I’ve taught myself lace, cables, and actually made a sweater that fit. (if you knew me, you’d know what a giant miracle that was …), and I discovered that all those scary charts aren’t so scary after all. (And ripping out an entire sweater can be good cardio.) So I consider myself pretty fearless when it comes to the ol’ sticks and strings. If someone else can do it, why can’t I? But the one thing that still fills my heart with dread in any pattern is picking up stiches. I can usually do okay on one side, but the other … it’s a horrid mess and rather embarassing. I’ve learned how to cover the hideous so it’s noticable only to me, but I’d LOVE to know the zen secret behind the Perfect Pickup.

  334. The thing that holds me back most often is choosing stitch patterns to combine in a project. I am concerned that they won’t look right together when I’m done, so I usually stick with the original pattern.

  335. Okay, I’ll bite. I consider myself a fearless knitter – new techniques and projects don’t scare me, I think of them as new adventures, new things to try and to learn… and hey, it’s all knitting, so it’s fun! If I hit a snag, I look online or to my local resources (LYS, guild) for help. I have so far stopped short of doing “large” (adult sized) projects that have to fit, but it is because of my fear of wasting money. I have heard and read so many laments on podcasts and blogs about projects gone wrong, and I have such a limited budget to work with, that I am afraid to invest in a sweater’s worth of nice yarn only to end up with something unwearable. I actually wouldn’t mind the process, and the learning – I’m really a process knitter – but I just can’t justify spending $60 or more on yarn when the project may blow up in my face! I do have a goal to knit a sweater for myself by May of this year though. I’m just going to bit the bullet and go for it. You have been very encourging, so I’m game!

  336. I am a fearless knitter, but when it comes to putting the finished knitted pieces together…..that’s when I procrastinate! I think I am fearful that it won’t come together well or that my finishing skills don’t match up to my knitting prowess. In all reality, how often do you go up and inspect someone’s side seams when you look at a sweater, but for some reason “finishing-angst” still keeps many a completely knitted sweater in pieces in a bag at my home!

  337. Sandi, It would help me become fearless if you came over and knit with me on Friday nights. Hmmm with that not being possible I don’t know how I can be helped. (a bit of levity is always nice)
    Thanks for a great topic and I look forward to becoming fearless!!

  338. My fear or hang-up about knitting is the finishing. Where seams and “weaving in ends” is concerned, I hit a brick wall. Also, I try to use cones of yarn rather than have a bunch of ends to deal with. The Russian join is OK for fine yarns but the heavier ones are too bulky for my taste. Mary Mauz – CO

  339. I’m a completely fearless knitter. I didn’t start out that way, but it didn’t take long for the fearlessness to kick in. It’s odd that in many areas of my life, I’m a perfectionist; but knitting is different. I just frog if something doesn’t go right (or let it go–depends on the situation).

    Sure, I end up with wonky FOs sometimes, but that’s all part of the experience for me. And, if they’re really wonky, I frog them. I don’t consider having to frog a project (even a something as time and labor-intensive as a sweater) a defeat, nor do I consider all the time I spent knitting it a waste. It’s a learning experience.

    I guess since I’m a process knitter, the end result isn’t as important to me as the joy of working my way there. No project is too challenging; after all, every project is knit one stitch at a time. Knitting isn’t so scary if you think of it that way.

  340. Here’s how you can help me: I’ve goofed; how do I undo 2 or 3 rows of knitting & gather up all the stitches on my needles again? I’d sure appreciate short cut, sure-fire techniques.
    Also on those end stitches: how do you know if you’ve undone the last stitch on the previous row or the first stitch on the new row???
    Thanks.

  341. Hi Sandi
    I’m game for trying just about anything for knitting, I would love to see some good knitting video tutorials. Sometimes “seeing it” just makes it so much easier.

  342. I’m shocked that only 1 person mentioned physical pain as a “fear factor.” I’ve been crocheting and knitting since childhood, and I’ve been in body-wide severe pain, with chronic severe migraines and neurological symptoms like numb hands for over 18 yrs. For me, knitting IS a stitch by stitch effort, and every single one hurts. Its hurts to read patterns/charts with my eyes, hold a book, hold the needles, tension the yarn…yet, I adore yarn, to knit & crochet, to give gifts infused with love. Any resources about new “assistive devices” would be great (updated frequently, perhaps with e-mail notification). I’m also an audio-learner. While I definitely also vote for video demos of stitches, I’d benefit equally from audio-only lessons describing the movements step-by-step.
    Besides any project requiring seaming/finishing that would cause me too much neck pain, my panicky moment came when I read recently in a famous book that I was holding my yarn “incorrectly” in my left hand. I knit Continental, and I hold the yarn so that it comes off of the back of my extended index finger. I ran around searching through all of my knitting books, and they all disagreed with each other about whether the yarn should come from behind the finger or in front. One book even had conflicting photographs side by side. What I did learn, and haven’t solved, is that the yarn-guide that I bought, thinking it would be useful if I ever wanted to try two-stranded color knitting with both yarns held in my left hand running through the yarn guide, is that using that guide requires that the yarns pass in front of the index finger. I tried knitting with one strand coming off the front of my finger, and the yarn moved to an uncomfortable position for purling. I finally laughed off the panic, figuring that all of the gifts I’ve made over many years didn’t suffer from the method I learned from my elders. Knitters in other countries even pass the yarn over their necks!

  343. To be a truly fearless knitter, I need help substituting yarns. How to choose a yarn that will work for the pattern I have without the risk of buying too little or having to make major adjustments to the pattern. The labels just don’t help…..

  344. I’m probably only afraid of accumulating way too much stash! But I am a bit intimidated by my goal to become a far out knit designer for plus-size people and others. From you folks, I would first of all love t-shirts, bags, and other paraphernalia with that fearless knitter logo on them! After that, more fabulous galleries of items with different-sized models; more advice on adapting for plus; more plus-size patterns. And how about some contests for beginning designers!?!?

  345. What a hoot! I can’t even fathom someone saying they fear knitting because they might end up with unfinished projects. If that were true, there wouldn’t be anyone left knitting! Besides, knitting is so forgiving — you make a mistake, you rip it out and try again. Hate the color? Give it to that person who coo’ed over it. Texture wrong? Think outside the box; it’s right for something. The joy of knitting rests in the act of creating — and to truly create, no fear is needed.

  346. I am a fearless knitter. I will tackle anything. I just have one thing I can not get mind around. Short rows and pick up loop. I would appreciate a video or some kind of tutorial that would step through several rows of the process.

  347. Hey, y’all! I don’t know why people are fearful of knitting, either! I taught myself to crochet a few years ago, then the next year I taught myself to knit. After knitting a wad of those silly furry scarves, I was sick of flat stuff, so I jumped into socks. What a hoot! I’m just finishing up a pair of vertical striped button-up socks that have taught me how to do color work (which I guess I WAS fearful of!) so now, what’s to be afraid of? Knitting is my therapy!

  348. When knitting items that may be complex, but where gauge doesn’t really matter or where maintaining gauge is easier (cabled scarves; lacey shawls; baby sweaters), I feel pretty fearless. I’m forgiving of myself, my mistakes, and my learning curve. However, on larger items that really require consistent gauge over a variety of pieces (i.e. a sweater for myself) I freak out. I have no confidence that I can maintain gauge for 5 square feet of fabric, even though I’ve done it for items that are 2 or 3 square feet of fabric many times over. I need help to conquer my fear with some sage, zen advice. :)

  349. It’s amazing how much a video presentation of a new (translation: scary) technique can quell my fears. Seeing it done in a really clear way makes me think it’s not so difficult. Reading about it (especially when the concept is new to me) can cause more stress because I feel like I don’t even have the skills to make sense of the instructions.

  350. I just wanted to say this knitting daily blog is what helps me to be a fearless knitter…talking about techniques, mistakes, how to fix them, ideas for projects. I have a long way to go as a knitter, but due to time constraints, I’ve had to learn by reading books–and this blog– much more than classes. Keep talking about different techniques, like lace, cables, and stranded colorwork (all of which I have more to learn about). I’ve learned so much about sizing from you! Thanks so much, Sandi and your staff!

  351. Hi Sandi,
    Well, I have to say I’m not afraid of techniques. I’ve dabbled in cables, lace, socks, and colorwork aside from normal knit-purl patterns. I am afraid of sweaters! I’m not afraid of gauge swatching, but I think maybe I’m afraid I just won’t finish a sweater. Or maybe I’m afraid to buy a sweater’s worth of yarn at one time. I love to buy nice yarn like baby alpaca and nice soft wool, but I don’t know how to buy $100 at one time. Somehow it doesn’t hurt if you do it 2 balls at a time? I started a little shrug-sweater, to try and ease into it, but the poor thing is half-done in a ziploc bag in the stash closet while I work on my customary small projects like scarves, hats, socks and potholders. I pretty much only knit when I’m traveling (which is every week — I fly for a living), so “large” projects like sweaters or afghans that don’t fit in my lunchbag (I obviously don’t use it for carrying lunch!) don’t get to go. My mother pointed out that I’d easily knit enough cables for a sweater in the 4 cabled scarves I gave away for Christmas this year. I have to admit that she’s probably right on sheer stitch number. How does one embark on a sweater?

  352. You know, I think I am a LITTLE bit of a perfectionist and that makes me fearful. Usually, there’s a really basic element in knitting that’s threatening to be a disaster down the road–for example, sewing seams. I can do it, but how are you REALLY supposed to do it (So it looks nice and not cobbled together!)? It really helps to have resources that show techniques, like a video clip. Thanks for the discussion and for all the patterns you share!

  353. To be a Fearless Knitter, I need to be less of a perfectionist and enjoy the process. I spend so much time picking apart my projects that I don’t finish. My goal this year is to finish my projects and enjoy how they turn out and realize that the mistakes are what I need to learn from in order to be a better knitter. Beth W.

  354. It’s so true. I just noticed that the sweater I’m knitting has one ball that is obviously the wrong dyelot(the very first ball). A year ago, I would have been uset, ripped the whole thing out and started over. Now, I figure I’ll finish it and see how it looks. If it’s obvious, I’ll unpick my cast on and knit back up with a new ball. Being fearless is sweet!

  355. I am trying to learn to knit on my own. I could use videos (step by step) of different techniques, ie. caston, slip stitches, etc. and a easy explantion of how to read a pattern. I hope to someday become a fearless knitter. Thanks. Donna K in CT

  356. It seems to me that many of our fears about technique, yarn exchanges, finishing, etc., are things we can learn. But what strikes me is the fear many of us have that we will knit–maybe even complete a garment, and will hate it, or it will not fit,or it will not suit us.
    Help with these issues is not in a knitter’s hands. Knitting magazines and patterns rely on a photograph or two to “sell” the design, and this is often “Fashion Photography “,difficult to see details, hanging on skinny, TALL models, much of the design in shadow, other parts so highly lit they can’t be seen.
    I think magazines have to decide: they are being purchased for the designs, and therefore are responsible as a craft publication. It is a huge issue: Japanese knitting magazines assume advanced technique and publish only the bare bones of a design. British magazines on the whole assume their tried and true method of writing for “blind followers” as EZ would say. Our US knitting scene is very fluid, with assumptions made all over the place on the part of designers of patterns and knitters alike. Magazines work to solve the technique problems with the small sections at the back of the design section, but so much more would be helpful: more pictures of special details, pictures of the backs of garments, technically lit garments, along with the fashion looks, comments on the yarn characteristics needed to get the look of the design (drape vs. lofty , etc.) It is a difficult issue…. .there is also the business relationship that a magazine has with the yarn companies, and the fuzziness goes on and on. I don’t think we knitters can expect a Knitwear Design Publication to turn over and publish knitting techniques the way, say, “Threads” magazine lays out sewing directions, but why not try? Maybe a new magazine? Probably not sexy enough, though—but knitters are underserved, and videos aren’t the only answer! Ah me… I ramble …. sorry

  357. I think it’s having the support to be fearless. One of the things I love about knitting is that there are endless challenges and new techniques to learn, and I enjoy doing it on my own. But I have found many of my friends need encouragement and to have someone by their side to tackle something new.

  358. Support from others around definitely helps, but for me, it was just a matter figuring out that I could knit in the continental style rather than struggling with the throw method. Wow, did that make the difference! Now I just need to be more comfortable with frogging a project when it doesn’t work/fit/etc. and picking easier patterns to modify for my own size weirdnesses. And reading all the knitting info possible!

  359. Hey, my name is Peggy! But I ain’t afraid of nuffin.

    Truly- My first project (a thigh high stocking) I ripped and re-knit 3 times. As soon as you stop being afraid of ripping- you’ll be a fearless knitter.

  360. Did anyone notice tattoo artist Hannah Aitchison of LA Ink knitting on tonight’s episode? There was purple yarn involved. Cool to see a cool chic with needles in her hands!

  361. I can truthfully say I am a FEARLESS KNITTER! I taught myself to knit over 30 years ago-determined to knit myself a hooded sweater I had seen in a French nitting magazine..do it or die and I did it!!I wore that sweater for years. I will tackle anything if it involves knit/purl and any variation thereof. I tell my knitting class this-if you can knit and purl then you can do anything. Along with that I think you have to have patience, love of learning, faith in yourself and an ability to persevere-even after several sessions with the Frog-it happens to everyone-no exclusions. This month I’ve added a new skill which will enhance my knitting…I’ve learned to spin wool and make my own yarn.

  362. I’ve overcome my fear of frogging (I just don’t like to do it!). That, and knowing how to fix mistakes, has helped tremendously to become more confident. I guess what I really need to be a more fearless knitter is more time – time to be able to work more complex patterns uninterrupted, time to make corrections, time to try different patterns and projects (and not just the ones that give quick gratification), more time to enjoy knitting! Oh, and more money to buy those really interesting and exotic yarns that always catch my eye but would cost way too much to make anything but a hat or gloves.

  363. Dear Sandi,

    I have been knitting seriously for about six months now (after a very long hiatus) and I have to say since the beginning I have been a fearless knitter! I have tackled things that my friend’s have said that beginners don’t usually try. I have made several bags, some wonderful hats for the holidays and I have also been working on a cowl and a lovely fan lace shawl. I do fly by the seat of my pants some of the time, but I get such pleasure out of what I am creating! As a flight attendant it is also nice to have something other than soduku to do during those long hours at night when all of my passengers are asleep and I want to occupy my time in between walks through the cabin.
    I think fearless knitting is just picking up the habit/hobby and embracing it and the willingness to try new things…like the cable hats I want to make and the sweater I want to tackle this year, ooh and that yummy skirt I saw and am dying to make. Oh yeah and I really want to finish that alien scarf I started for my brother’s birthday next month and that hat I started for myself. I also bought some yarn that I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with yet! (have I gone too far)!

    Penelope, NYC

  364. While I understand the concepts of gauge, ease, etc., I am afraid of that sick realisation that the project you have just spent so much time and money on, is not actually flattering or wearable when you finally get to try it on. Sometimes it is fixable (depending on how you feel about frogging) by adjusting the pattern to fit my pear-shaped body, but more often it is because the garment on me does not remotely resemble the styled fashion photograph on the model in the pattern. Sometimes it is because the pattern isn’t honest, like my Rowan chanel jacket in Rowan Biggy Print, where the weight of the sleeves in this chunky wool was so great that the whole jacket stretched horrifically across the shoulders and no hint in the instructions on how to deal with that. (frogged). I wish there was some way that you could try on a sample in your size before committing the time and money! Sharon in the UK

  365. This might seem minor to a lot of knitters, but my biggest fear is learning how to knit on double point needles! I’ve been knitting for decades now, but for some reason, that’s one part of knitting I’ve shied away from, even though I’ve tried it off and on a few times. I’d give anything to be able to make a pair of socks!! From there I’d like to dabble in fair isle or other pattern knitting. Then I’d truly be happy!! The size of the item doesn’t scare me – it’s the technique that does.

  366. I used to be fearful when I was new at it, I hated making a pattern and it not fitting after all that work! I didn’t know any other knitters to envy (or learn why swatches were important from), so not being good enough was not my fear. I gradually got fearless, I guess with experience I was less afraid of failing.

  367. I?ve never had much fear: ?I can?t? doesn?t happen, but ?Oh, this is going to make me batty? occurs a lot! I?ve knitting lace this past year, so I now realize that won?t drive me nuts. But entrelac and fair isle? I?ve read about ways to make those techniques easier: knitting backwards and knitting continental and English simultaneously. A whole new skill set for that left hand! How sane is that? I?ll try will entrelac this year, because I bought a sweet felted backpack pattern 8 years ago. A tiny bit of insanity never hurt anyone!

  368. Wow! What a great set of questions! I’ve been a knitter for 30+ years, but have never really challenged myself until recently. Well, maybe I should preface that by saying my first project (after teaching myself how to knit from a library book) was a scarf and my second was a fair isle sweater. Go figure. Of course, the sweater was WAY too big, so when I did knit, it was simple scarfs and kids’ sweaters … you know, no one really checks the fit on kids’ sweaters. Now that I know what the word “gauge” means (I guess I’m a very slow learner), I’d like to be able to tackle sweaters for myself that actually fit, but I just don’t know where you’re supposed to adjust the patterns to your measurements. However, it won’t stop me from trying, but it does scare me!

  369. Hi! I’m Soledad fron Buenos aires, my English is, actually very basic….but I want to thank you for your welcome and I’ll try to discover “poco a poco” this page…It seems terrific!!!
    Regards!!!

  370. Ok – here’s the thing: been knitting since I was about 11 or 12 (56 now). I have on and off times (sometimes for quite awhile). I get excited planning a project – but it’s being sure of the fit and getting gauge right that is my main obstacle. When I get to the “or needle size to obtain gauge”, and I switch to another size, I NEVER get exactly what directions say it should be -so I’m never guaranteed the correct measurements. I know you’ve had posts on getting the gauge, but it just never seems to work for me. This is probably my biggest obstacle to becoming a fearless knitter.

    Debbie O. in Stratford CT

  371. I have a general fear about anything that I do. This world isn’t made for left handed knitters , crocheters, or anything else that has to be done by a left hander. It is imposssible to buy books for left handed people.

  372. Dear Sandi – I just posted but forgot to say how much I LOVE your column – I especially loved the one where you were in Canada with your husband – keep up the good work!

    Debbie O. in Stratford CT (again)

  373. I have a general fear about anything that I do. This world isn’t made for left handed knitters , crocheters, or anything else that has to be done by a left hander. It is imposssible to buy books for left handed people.

  374. I am most afraid of a garment not fitting after taking precise measurements and making a gauge swatch. I have done all the right things in the past and still, the piece is too big, too short, or too small. What I have learned is that certain yarns are more stretchy than others and I am trying to factor that in from the beginning. What would be helpful is for IK to include the expected ease measurement in their patterns. Certain fibers behave so differently and even knowing that I STILL have had projects not fit as given in the pattern.
    Also, could IK add postscripts perhaps at the end of each pattern with instructions to modify a pattern for bigger busts, wider waists, fatter arms, etc. I love curves and would love a sweater to look fitted but the patterns just don’t guide you in modifications AT ALL.

  375. My fear is screwing up beyond redemption. I hate picking the wrong yarn for a project. You find the most beautiful yarn – it’s soft and luscious, but when you start knitting the pattern, something isn’t quite right. So I frog it and the yarn just sits in my stash. I’m hesitant to try it again.

    As for how KD can help me become a more fearless knitter, I love hearing funny stories about how other people deal with mistakes. I also would love to see galleries of projects done with different yarns. Sometimes the suggested yarn is not available or is too expensive.

  376. I got half way through a sweater for my sweetie, when I realized I had made a mistake and began to frog. (I’m crocheting a sweater and had one arm on the bottom of the sweater :p

    My sweetie asked me if I had decided to change the yarn! Inquiring minds found out that he really didn’t like the yarn, but didn’t want to hurt my feelings! LOL!

    So, I’ve got 10 more skeins of yarn in my stash, and I’m swatching again with new yarn. As this is only my second garment, I am determined to Crochet Fearlessly! The mistake stories about garments are what make them so much more fun and memorable.

  377. I’m totally fearless about choosing yarns and patterns and having great visions about my finished projects. There aren’t any stitches or projects that scare me any more. The only thing I’m still ‘fearful’ about (well, really frustrated is a better word) is FIT. I know that practice and experience are a good part of learning how to get a great fit, but I’ve been having trouble with this for years now! I do my gauge swatches and calculate for my size (I’m a large-boned gal), but things are almost always too big and end up looking sloppy and so I don’t wear my beautiful creations. I think I’ve finally got the perfect fitting socks this year, but I sure would love some expert advice on fit for knitted garments….like some rules of thumb on how much different types of stitches will stretch, how much ease should be planned into a garment, how much does ribbing stretch, etc. etc. THANKS KNITTING DAILY!

  378. As I am a belgian knitter,what would really help me out is some way of translating als the abbreviations that they use in english.There isn’t that much to find in Dutch,and,apparently not so many cool stuff either.This,dear fellow knitters,would be like heaven for me :-).
    Knit on!

  379. Knitting fears? Seems like a silly question. There are many things to be fearful of in life?loss, illness, violence–but knitting is not a fearful thing. It?s just rubbing sticks and a string together to make beautiful and useful things for oneself and others. It affords the opportunity to make new friends. It provides opportunities to learn and explore through books, DVDs, and the web. And, unlike life, if you make a mistake with something you love, you can rip it out and do it over.

  380. Hi Sandi,

    For me the fear is of the yarn: the combination of cost and concern about whether I will both love knitting with it, and be happy with how it hangs and how it wears over time. I’d love to have a good source for reviews for yarns. In an ideal world, patterns would come with not only the yarn used, but a short list of a few suggestions at 3-5 different cost levels (from “trying out a new skill or sweater style” or, in sewing parlance “wearable muslin” to “special splurge, and you’ll know it was worth it while you’re knitting, and every time you wear it afterwards”). Another thing I would love to see in all patterns is something I’ve only seen on Kate Gilbert’s website. Along with each picture and description in her catalogue, she provides a box listing the skills needed. I find this more useful than “skill level” — it tells me what I need to know, learn, or brush up on to enjoy knitting an object I already like. This is especially good because, like many knitters, I’m mostly a just-in-time learner.

  381. My fear is that I will make a big absent-minded mistake in the middle of a project or forget my place and have to unravel it all. My solution: I write out each row on a separate line of graph paper. Then I check each row off as I finish. It takes time in the beginning, but I save time by not losing my place.

  382. I think one big thing that’s stopping me from truly knitting fearlessly is my own body. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but I always feel like, just because my sweater won’t look on me like it did on the magazine model, that it will look bad. And who wants to knit for herself when that’s how she feels? I need to get over it. My body is just fine — it’s healthy and it loves to wear wooly knits. What more could I ask for, really?

  383. I’d really like an RSS feed of the newsletters, patterns, and other helpful content. If you’ve never used it before, it’s great. You can put it on your Google home page and you can see when there’s new content.

  384. After not knitting for many years, I started an afgan with one color and circular needles. After ~14″ of work, I discovered a mistake. On the recommendation of my cousin, I took the work to a neighborhood yarn shop,where one of the local wizards undid my work in the middle (!), made the correction, and knitted it back together perfectly. After watching that, I have been a fearless and continuous knitter ever since. Mentorship is invaluable!

  385. I’m not fearful, but what I need help with is colourwork. How to get the right tension for your stranding, and not get a different stitch size at the change of colour – although even in books I see this occuring. The sweater galleries have been great at showing how things fit different body shapes (a problem that seems to come up a few times in comments) and how to change the pattern. I’d never really thought about negative ease before. Unfortunately you can’t try something on before you knit it, so we have to become aware of what suits us and realise that what we want to knit may not be what we want to wear.

  386. Starting a project on dpn’s. I can finish a project w/them but can not seem to get my fingers, hands whatever to co-operate in starting w/dpn’s>< I so want to make socks and this pattern for a round sweater. My work hours do not allow me to go to sit-n-stitches. I need a start to finish video project. Up close views:)

  387. I think being a fearless knitter is just a state of mind. Making up your mind that you can make that certin something even if it seems beyond your abilities. But how can your abilities grow if you dont stretch yourself? Yeah, so its hard, so it might not fit, but how will you know or learn unless you try? Work at it! You might surprise yourself!

  388. Hi Sandi,

    I truly love to knit and do so constantly. But my “biggest problem” is knitting a sweater for myself. The couple times I’ve done so, even though fit, finishing, and everything was fine, I just couldn’t bring myself to wear something I’d made, for fear it looked “homespun”. Eventually I ended up giving them away.

    At the moment I’m knitting a Dale of Norway, which is turning out beautifully, but I’m hoping this too doesn’t end up as the others. Am I the only knitter with this weird fear? =)

    Cindi – Southern California

  389. Hi,
    I would like to hear more stories of problems people have had and their solutions. I would also be interested in on-line classes on different techniques and a place to ask questions when we get stuck. Thanks!

  390. There are three things I need to be a fearless knitter: Support, support and support :) If I know there is someone/somewhere I can go that will help get me out of trouble, then I’m game. Lots of people I know knit, but they are 3000 miles away, and it’s hard to explain a knitting problem over the phone (believe me, I’ve tried!) I also feel funny about those drop-in knitting groups. I’m not a “joiner” by nature, and it takes me a while to gather up the courage to go to a group without feeling like I’m intruding. My lys has very nice people, and they have always been most gracious in answering my questions, but I feel like I’m a bother. Online knitting sites are sometimes helpful, but I feel like I need someone looking over my shoulder until I know I understand the technique. Classes are good, but sometimes too expensive for me. I guess I wish it was a little easier to get involved in a local knitting group-maybe making introductions by email/phone first and having someone there when you show up to make introductions, etc. would make it easier for needy knitters like me to get involved.

  391. This post might not be for me, but then, I’ve never been afraid of my knitting.

    Everyday I hear people say, “Oh, I could NEVER do that!” To which I reply: OF COURSE YOU CAN! Knitting consists of two stitches. That’s it. Two. Everything that follows is simply a matter of placement. It’s why I love knitting, because two simple stitches can create an infinite variety of patterns. If you know how to knit and you know how to purl, you can make anything. I don’t understand what there is to be afraid of. And if you make a mistake? So what! Rip it out! Who cares? If you simply can’t bring yourself to rip it out, then repeat the mistake periodically and now you have a pattern, bye-bye mistake.

    Knitting is YOURS. Just because you’re following a pattern doesn’t mean every single stitch must or even SHOULD be the same as in the pattern. This is your knitting project, make it yours. Choose the yarn YOU want, not the yarn the pattern says you must use. If that color looks bad on you; change it. If the shape will be a bit loose or tight, change it. If you make a mistake, rip it or repeat it, either way the mistake is gone and you’ve owned your knitting.

    And remember, the whole point is to have fun! If you’re stressing over following a pattern exactly, and worrying about every little detail, you’re not relaxing and you’re not having fun. Give yourself the freedom, and the permission, to frog an entire sweater if you discover it’s a bad fit or you no longer enjoy the pattern.

    Lastly, stop comparing yourself to others. This is YOUR knitting, that is THEIR knitting. They might knit faster, but they might have more mistakes than you; they might have fewer mistakes, but they might have to frog things more often; they might have followed the pattern more exactly, but you might have better shaping. Stop comparing (read: judging) yourself and find your own knitting style. Most of all, don’t be afraid to experiment. You might just surprise yourself!

  392. I would like to know how to repair mistakes without “un-knitting” every stitch back to the mistake or completely unravelling the entire project and starting over! (You didn’t say it had to be rational *grin*).
    Also, I am not confident about how to add yarn of a different color when knitting stripes. I still knit though!

  393. Sandi, I can’t imagine knitting at a soccar game or during a TV interview. I can’t even knit around a group of talking people or one person, unless I’m doing only knit or purl, no pattern or design. or the design has been memorized/understood so I just have to look to see where I’m at. But not to look, oh my gosh. I totally understand why you put the cable in the wrong place. I think of knitting as a meditation, time doesn’t really count, if I do many rounds or rip, it’s all the same. Time well spent, I try to do each next project with an eye to doing something I haven’t tried before. The knitting always waits patiently for me to pick it up, if it’s been a really long time, I am happily aware of the time that has passed and realize that everything has it’s own time to come to the fore. No fear, knitting is a pleasure.
    Thanks for all your hints and encouragement.
    B. Pollack-Silver

  394. I solved my fearful thoughts in knitting – forgetting my place as I don’t knit every day, sometimes weeks go by. Anyway, my solution was to use graph paper and write out the pattern row by row and check off the row when I completed it. I have also put the pattern into a table on my computer. By either method, I always know where I am and I can make matching pieces or socks if I haven’t decided to knit both at the same time using seperate skeins of yarn.
    Nancy H. from Ohio

  395. What I need to be a fearless knitter: I need knit-a-longs. It would be a great idea to have a knit-along with a specific type of pattern seperated into parts. For example a sock pattern using magic loop. A sign-up for the knit-along or an email of somewhat setting up the materials to be used, the dates and times of the knit-along, where to find it on the net could be emailed to the signed-up participants to view the video knit-along. The participants could see what they are supposed to be doing and knit it at the same time.

  396. I am a fearless knitter and I am sure I owe that to the people who have taught me. Having someone point out early on that even if it seems to be a disaster, no one dies or is even injured by ‘bad’ knitting. Plus we get all the do overs that we can stand, and get to learn a thing or two from those mistakes. That’s why when I teach friends to knit I bring along a few things that involved fixing (or adjusting to)errors, but turned out very well in the end. Knowing that experienced knitters hit snags too puts the effort into perspective for a newbie.

  397. I agree with Stef Maruch and Jenny B (and likely other’s whose blogs I didn’t yet read). Let’s not put so much pressure on ourselves to be fearless. Be joyful. There are so many things to fear in life, big things like suffering, disease, etc. Why make knitting into something negative when it’s a positive. Sure, it can be frustrating sometimes, but move on. I’m a joyful knitter and I have goals (like finishing those pesky socks I set aside for a few months until I could stand to look at them again).
    This has been an interesting post and obviously has generated lots of thought. It’s my first ever post on line, that’s how much it has motivated me.
    Knit on joyfully!

  398. I’m a novice knitter. I think I’m fairly fearless because I will attempt most anything with good instructions. My problem is I don’t know how to correct mistakes. I would love to see video/discussions/how-to’s on recognizing what type of mistake has been made and how to fix it.

  399. Hi, Sandi! I can relate to others’ comments. I was once a Fearful knitter…a picture of what I would like to knit, would stand out and say “It’s too difficult and you could not do it.” I have since been told that FEAR is simply—False Evidence Appearing Real….and it is!! I am now a Fearless knitter and the pictures no longer have their say! Having more time to really look at a pattern has also helped, as lack of time prevented me from even trying. So hang in there, all of the fearful knitters and “it may not happen overnight, but IT WILL HAPPEN!” I was also wondering Sandi, is there a formula for converting gauges and yarns for patterns, please? I live in Australia, where yarn which knits to 5.5sts. per inch on 4mm. needles is our most common yarn, as is your aran weight yarn. Your patterns are so lovely, but our Aran weights are few and far between, and in colours also, and are very costly.
    Regards

  400. I agree with Becky M. 1/21 – my fear also stems from disappointment in previous projects. I spent a large amt. of $ on baby alpaca yarn to make a shawl only to have it stretch far too much in the front and not enough in the back. This happened when I tried it on for size and blocking didn’t rectify the problem. Then I made a long sleeve shrug with merino wool – again spending a great deal on the yarn – only having the sleeves hanging loosely when the pattern showed the sleeves clinging to the arm. Because of the support of my friends of my Friday night knitting group at the LYS, I am going to unseam the arms and wear it as a shawl. I have always been afraid of blocking – never seeing that it did much good – one time, unfortunately, a shop owner told me to run the poncho under warm water, gently remove the water and lay out to dry – well, the poncho grew to the size of Omar the Tentmaker – I let it dry, ripped the entire thing out and reknitted it. Since this incident, I have learnead more about blocking, and will continue to try and hopefully be more successful. I have not given up. The support of my friends at my Friday night LYS group have been great. I think that maybe I need to learn more about different types of yarns so that I might have a better idea of what types of yarns work best for certain projects – especially when a yarn substition is required. I have to say that I am not afraid of ripping. I would much rather rip than continually looking back at a mistake and letting it get the best of me so I just rip or as I call it, knit backwards, fix the problem and continue on a much happer knitter.

    Kathie M.

  401. In 1995, I had a carpal tunnel operation on my right hand. I’ve been afraid to knit ever since. Then, as I was going through some old knitting magazines before discarding them, I got bitten by the knitting bug again, and decided that I could start off with small projects, such as mittens and scarves. I’ve just finished a scarf for one of my two granddaughters, and have finished up a moebius scarf that was half-done. There’s a pair of mittens that lack a thumb on one hand, and a cap I started BCT (Before Carpal Tunnel) I take time out frequently to do some hand exercises.So far, so good.

  402. My fear is trying to make anything to fit. What if I spend the money for the beautiful yarn and invest all the time, only to complete the project and find it doesn’t fit?????? :-( Sooo…. I continue to knit beautiful scarves and wraps. Oh how I’d love to knit a sweater to wear.

  403. Hola Sandi – I just wanted to say thank you to all of the fearless knitters out there. I am a new knitter and I’ve been working on scrafs(really easy ones)but just last night I finished my son’s fruit bennie that I’ve been working on for weeks. And if it wasn’t for the other knitters comments I think that bennie would never be finished.
    Sincerely Brandy FEARLESS KNITTER !!!!

  404. Well, I must say that I am fearful that after weaving in my ends in a pattern that they will just start sticking out. I never know what to do about that except cut the darn yarn. Also, I have an aversion of patterns with yarns of many colors because I can never attach the old yarn to the new yarn in a very neat way. I have tried doing the russian join thing to no avail. Most other joins just don’t hold. I wish someone could show me a good join that is not too complicated.

  405. I am definitely not a fearless knitter. My technique and skill with the needles is just fine, but sadly I find that most patterns do not fit me. I’ve always wanted to knit a sweater with intricate cables all over. I’ve done numerous samples of cables and know I can handle the technique, but I am afraid to even begin because so often I am frustrated after spending hours knitting a top that looks beautiful on the model only to have it fit me poorly when done. I’ve tried taking measurements and adapting as I go, but I have yet to figure out how to do it correctly. About the only thing I can get right is adding an inch or two for sleeve length. I would love to read how others deal with the problem of adapting patterns without first knitting up the whole project, taking measurements, and noting where to increase and decrease before making a second one to fit.

  406. You can be a Fearless Knitter if you know how to take back. I remember learning how to undo a stitch while making my 9″ square for Brownies and it was very liberating! I could fix anything! My other hint for everyone is something my mother said once and that is “Don’t read the knitting pattern in advance in order to make sense of it. Just follow it step-by-step.”

  407. I think what would be very helpful for me would be to do a tutorial on how to adjust patterns for “big girls”, maybe explain short row shaping and where and how if they help. I love the way you have shown a certain garment on different body types, but I have no idea as an “advanced beginner” how to adjust a pattern. I envy looking at how people have modified patterns.

  408. For me to be a fearless knitter I would have to have the right yarn for the project. Where I live you can only get cheap yarns and the patterns for those yarns aren’t usually what I want and I find substituting yarns to be extremely hard and a real pain. I’d love to have some fancy imported yarn for a project and a nice pattern to go with it.

  409. One of my frustrations in my relatively short knitting experience is receiving terribly incorrect information from my LYSs – especially regarding yarn substitution. This has happened 3 times in 3 different shops (2 of them considered very reputable; the other I should have known better). The cost – in time and yarn – has been significant. There is much to learn!!

  410. Fear of tackling a new technique or a challenging pattern can be daunting. More so is the fear of scorn and/or the lack of patience shown by experienced knitters when sharing knowledge with those of more tentative skill. I once witnessed a very big name knitter get irritated with a workshop participant who dared to twice ask for help. It was a HUGE example of how not to share the joy of the craft and welcome others into the fold.

  411. Here’s the book I wish a knitting expert out there in KnittingLand would write: a very hand-holding primer on design so that people will be armed with enough knowledge to modify patterns to ensure fit (this would reduce fear and increase enjoyment). It would cover:
    1. How to obtain accurate measurements
    2. What to DO with the measurements once you’ve obtained them.
    3. Step by step how to do the math involved in calculating cast-on, increases and decreases
    4. An in-depth discussion on how to choose what amount of ease to knit for, including photos.
    5. A concise easy to follow discussion of seam-free techniques, especially the knitted-in set-in sleeve, so that people can completely avoid the problem of sleeve caps. Pros and cons of bottom up seamless and top-down seamless.
    6. Techniques to make your garment look better such as tubular cast on/off, short rows, short rowed shoulders, slipped stitch edges and three needle bind-off. (And don’t give ALL the variations on these – just choose a few that are doable and look good).
    7. Accompanying DVD with all these techniques on ONE DVD (not 8 DVDs with all the techniques scattered around randomly, at 30 bucks a pop, so you have to buy them all even if you’re only interested in five minutes of each one).

    Just a thought :)

  412. Just to add one more thing to the above table of contents to my ideal knitting book: how to add shaping, such as for waist, bust, or sleeves (I’ve seen one extremely popular pullover design with a surprising amount of sleeve shaping) including a discussion of how much to add and where.

    Thanks for listening 😉

  413. I don’t really understand what the fear thing in knitting is. I work outdoors, and I fear a tree falling on me, or falling off a cliff, or finding a dead body, but it doesn’t stop me from working. As for knitting, I don’t fear anything – there’s lots that I need to learn, but if I was afraid to learn I’d really get nowhere in the world. And there are techniques that are annoying and frustrating, but I’m not scared of them, I’ll have a go. I agree that we need to support each other to learn and master skills, but to put fear into it overcomplicates and confuses.

  414. Here is the key to becoming a fearless knitter: daughters! My daughters re-introduced the art of knitting to me and have been the force to change me from a fearful knitter to a fearless knitter. They are nothing but encouraging! “Mom, you can do that!, Mom, you already know how to do that, now just move the stitch!”, “Mom, don’t worry. There is nothing you do that cannot be undone or fixed!” I thank God every day for them and what they have given me.

  415. I just bought the Piecework magazine featuring the poetry mittens on the cover. The information provided inside was so brief that it immediately made me say, “I can’t do that. I don’t know how.” Specifically, the instructions state that one must know how to graft stitches, but it doesn’t provide any instruction or resources. Second, it says, “after you decide on a size and gauge you should chart out your poem yourself.” It doesn’t say how to do any of this. The poem charted as an example contains many letters that are actually split between different pieces of the knitting, even running from the hand to the thumb. It doesn’t say how to learn to chart words so that they fit properly across the entire piece, with proper spacing between letters, where to obtain an alphabet to use, or how to factor in extra, blank, stitches to be used for the many seams required. What it does say is that the techniques are hard and suited to an advanced knitter. Since this project was featured on the cover, it should’ve provided a LOT more guidance and instruction. There were many more pages about the other mitten pattern offered in the magazine (fingerless), and it seems possible to make those because the designers coach us and show graphics of the unique techniques used. Interweave did a “bait and switch” by featuring on the cover a pattern that had absolutely minimal instruction but was clearly the most appealing item to photograph. As many people noted, the issue is extremely thin, and it cost $5.99 plus tax, so a few more pages of help to make the featured pattern accessible/manageable to the average reader of that magazine were definitely in order. I don’t want to buy a magazine that makes me feel unskilled and unable to become skilled. My Mom drove to two bookstores to find this issue for me after Interweave and KD promoted it. Help! Want to do a tutorial on the poetry mittens for us? Please?

  416. To be a fearless knitter I need to learn how to knit faster. This year I want to knit my first sweater but I fear I will never finish it before it goes out of style. Is there a trick or tips for knitting faster?
    Connie H

  417. Today I frogged a lace shawl that I have been working on (nope, I don’t use lifelines – it’s just knitting, not mountain climbing). I was in the last five rows before bind-off, when I got stuck on stupid and FUBARed it – GAH! I tried to save it, but… I love lace knitting, but hadn’t enjoyed knitting that shawl from the start – and I’m not really sure why. So, I made the decision to spend no more time on it and to the ball-winder it went.

    I will find another project that the yarn is perfect for, and I will find a better yarn for the pattern. Having knit the pattern once already, I will do it better the next time. There are worse things than not being a “fearless knitter”. I think it’s worse to be a knitter who gets so caught up in the product that the joy of the process is lost. The frogging was worth it, because it reminded me of that.

  418. All I need to be a ‘fearless’ knitter is a sheep to look at – that always makes me calm – no matter how baaaaad something might become! Carole Fanning, Marietta, GA

  419. I certainly am a fearless knitter. I have frogged the increase stitches on the sleeves of my Oriel Lace blouse (Interweave Knits Summer ’07) twice now and am about to do it again because the stitches are caddywhampus . After looking at my blog, cherylsknitfits.com, I realize that I have frogged these sleeves before when I realized that I read the directions wrong. As I said in the blog, “This really sucks, but I love knitting so much I don’t really mind.” It just gives me a chance to work this lovely pattern again, and again, and again….

  420. I would like to think that I am a fearless knitter. The very first project that I took on when I learned to knit was a sweater for myself it should have been easy but I had to make it harder that it was in the pattern. The pattern called for all one color but I thought that was borring so I had to stripe it with 5 colors changing every 5 or 6 rows. After that sweater I am willing to try almost anything. I am now knitting a lace sweater that I have ripped out 4 times, I think that the 5 time is the trick. I look at all my mistakes and trips to the frog pond as a learning experience not a bad thing, I just got to learn my lesson the hard way. Oh and by the way my first sweater has two mistakes in it (and yes they are visible) but I still wear it with pride because the only one that notices them is me.

  421. I always seem to get “lost” in the patterns, especially the patterns in magazines that are super short hand. I would love some insider tips on how to keep track of where you are in a pattern without having to spend 20 minutes every time I pick up my knitting to count stitches and re-read the pattern to find the correct row. Also, I “fear” there might be a mistake in the pattern, I know everyone is human and these do happen, and I’m not experienced enough to catch the mistake and fix it myself while knitting.

  422. I love knitting and am usually ready to try anything. The three things that worry me when I’m considering taking on a new, maybe more challenging project are:
    1. Finishing (seaming in particular)
    2. What garment shapes are right for my body (or the body I’m knitting for). and, weirdly enough,
    3. Color. I’m not very confident about which colors look good on me or what colors look good together.

  423. I’m another one whose only solid “fear” is wasting money. I’m perfectly content to rip something back seventeen times and try again, but will the yarn I choose stand up to that abuse? Will it behave decently with regular wear-and-tear, and will I even like working with it? It’s not so bad for small projects–if I choose a hat yarn or sock yarn that ends up not working out, then I’m only out $10-30. If it’s a sweater? Ouch.

  424. I fear knitting where the complex design is patterned on every row, as in some true laces or Arans. I can do this in the round, but am flummoxed by flat patterns where I have to read from right to left on one row, then left to right on the next while mentally changing the chart symbols to the opposite manipulation for the left to rights. This is a real hangup for me, and it means I have to reject many designs I would like to knit.

  425. What happens a lot to me is I start a project then have to put it down and don’t get back to it for a long while. So I always hate to start challenging projects for fear that I won’t be able to figure out where I left off. Especially if I am working on some with a lot of design elements. I wish I had a good way to remmber where and what I was doing when I left the project.

  426. I never wanted to knit until Isaw a sweater in Vogue Knitting. It was tunic length in a sandy color w/ intarsia seashells in cotton yarn. I HAD TO HAVE THIS SWEATER! Bought the yarn and a how to knitting book and made the sweater. After doing the finish work I proudly took it to work to show the other knitters what I had done and one person pointed out that I had knitted in the back loop of every knit stitch. Since the yarn was a cotton/rayon it actually enhanced the raised stitch. I looked a it again and decided that I liked it better and told them that. That was a first project and I haven’t looked back. You are the master of you knitting, no one else. Only you can decide to be paralyzed or not. When I made that sweater I didn’t know any better and in doing so was already freed from convention. Am I fearless? You bet I am!!!

  427. I would have to say that when I began knitting I definitely was full of fear. I bought myself a few different sized needles, found a wonderful group of woman who were willing to help me and also a knitting shop that had absolutely every kind of yarn you could ask for. I think that my best friend getting pregnant began my fearless quest of doing a project and finishing it. I can confidently say now after making 3 baby blankets, a cowl and a lovely wrap for myself and many scarfs that I am going to conquer my fear of socks next.

  428. Hi Sandi,
    I guess I am a fearless knitter. My first project was a knitted & felted purse. I made it bigger and knitted a pocket inside for my cell phone. I also embellished the front with some simple flowers I designed. I agree with some of the other knitters. Try any pattern that looks fun or pretty to you. You will learn something new. Also don’t be afraid to change things up a little bit.Patterns are guides. Happy Knitting!!!
    Michele

  429. What makes me fearful about being a knitter is patterns that are published but the photos look like they are trying to hide glaring problems with the garment. Sweaters that the sleeves are huge often have the model’s arms crossed. Strange poses for the models are always suspect. Why try to fool us? It only makes us frustrated and makes a knitter avoid trying to knit something more complex than a scarf or a hat,fear comes with anything that requires unexpected modifications for fitting. I would have designers be honest and admit that a full busted woman may need to modify the pattern. PLEASE fully model the fitted garments with full disclosure of the sleeves or unfitted bodice, then my fear may disappear!

  430. I have been knitting for many years. Almost ALL of the patterns in the old McCall’s Needlecraft were terrible!! That made me fearful. I agree with your readers who know that poor photographs are suspect. Without good photos, I cannot judge how the garment will look when finished.
    Incomplete instructions are also frustrating, although sometimes amusing. I bought a fabulous book from Norway, translated into English, and proceeded to knit FOUR lice pattern sweaters before stumbling across the word steeking on a blog. I am not afraid to steek. I just hadn’t ever heard of it. My ancestors weren’t from Norway and that information wasn’t tatooed on my forehead. Complete instructions encourage fearless knitting when the knitter isn’t concerned that they must already know some secret, special information.
    Witnessing also makes me fearless. Although I had seen ads for no rinse wool wash, I never bought any until I read that Sandi uses it. Now I do, too. You cannot trust ads.

  431. I teach people to be fearless from the day they start knitting by pointing out that every single pattern in the world is made up of just the twobasic stitches, plain and purl. Add one method of increasing, one method of decreasing, one method of casting on and one method of casting off and you can do anything. There are of course variations on some of those which make your knitting look better, but I find that telling people that gives them all the confidence they need to get knitting.

  432. Hi! I agree with Stef Maruch… fearless / fearful just shouldn’t be applied to knitting. I knit because I love the relief it provides from daily stresses. I relax when knitting, so relating fear to it is just wrong in my book. I consider myself a “seasoned” knitter. I try things. I knit what I like and I give away what I don’t like. I use cheap yarns for “experimental” projects (i.e., learning new stitches, techniques, etc.) I’ve felted, cabled, worked with multiple colors, and am learning to read charts and buy the more expensive yarns for projects/techniques that I’m comfortable with. I’ve ripped out my current WIP (work in progress) five times so far because I’ve messed up reading the chart, but I’ll get it done! After all, as my wonderful sister and knitting mentor told me “it’s just knitting and purling”. On my list to try? Lace, multi-directional knitting, and spinning. So much yarn, so little time… :)

  433. Fearless=accept the small, largely unnoticable mistakes and move on. over the top perfectionism, in knitting and in life, is not good for one’s personal well-being.

  434. Well, I do think of myself as a fearless knitter, sort of. I don’t fear the knitting, or the mistakes, what the problem is if I knit something for myself I’m overweight. I don’t want to waste the time, the money and the yarn on me when I’m going to lose weight. I guess I could knit lots of socks, they should fit me reguardless of how much I weigh.

  435. I’ve always been a brazen knitter. Knitting far beyond my supposed skill level and treating new techiniques (or ones I should know) as a “need to know basis”. I learn them as I go along. Heck, I knit lace socks on #2 needles as my first non-scarf knitting project. Though, when it comes to sweaters I’m a bit wimpy. I worry that I don’t know enough about shaping to make it fit my curvy plus sized body. I hate the idea of knitting all these panels to sew them together at the end to find that it would have fit just a hair better if I would have decreased for the waist, and let the hip out another inch. What is worse: I find that many patterns for larger sizes aren’t always accurate or even anatomically possible! So here is what I’ve done. I’ve picked a top down, knit in the round, fitted sweater and I’ve started it. So far…it’s right on target. I’ve had to do a lot of shaping (increasing) for the hips, but it’s working. I’m trying to overcome my fear by working on a garment that can be tried on as i knit it. That way I am not mortified when the final seam is sewn and find that it’s a disappointment. I have to admit I’m working on it paralell to some cute lacy socks to alleviate the anxiety, but…I only have the the sleeves left to do on the sweater and to sew some buttons. I’m optimistic so far.

  436. I wrote a long post on my blog about this, but to paraphrase: I think what you need most to be a fearless knitter is to trust in your own abilities, always, first and foremost. Do not dwell on specific issues that other knitters have had. For example, just because knitter x had a heck of a time learning a technique doesn’t mean knitter y will. But because knitter y read/heard about all of knitter x’s issues, now knitter y is scared and intimidated of doing the same thing. To be a fearless knitter, you have to trust in yourself – in your instincts and skills. Read about the problems others have had only as a way of avoiding them yourself – don’t interpret them to mean that you’re doomed too. I think blogs and forums are wonderful things, but that they can lead to intimidation and, for that matter, fear too.

  437. I love, love, love kristine’s term, “brazen knitter.” Yes!

    Be brazen. Try anything. If you don’t like the result, revel in the unraveling and the knowledge that you now have the yarn to try something else. It’s all learning, and it’s all good.

  438. I choose the Matador because I thought it would make a nice gift for my daughter. I am an over sixty, full figured woman and although I liked the jacket that won, I doubt it or any of the patterns for that matter, would be flattering on me.

  439. Same answer as many before me, the SRJ is the only one I could wear, for my figure and age, and it’s the only one I would wear, with my life and activities. It’s classic, thus good for many occasions, but with a little twist, which makes it feel up to date and fun. The Hip Hop coat is cute for someone younger and in a colder climate, but not me. The Matador is so similar to many other shrugs and boleroes around the knitting world, and unflattering to my figure type anyway.

  440. I chose the Matador because I am petite and would love to have a fitted shrug/sweater like the Matador. The Rustic Jacket does not appeal to me at all.
    Charlene G.

  441. My knitting experiences have lead me to be a fearless knitter, but I can only do this through the support from both knitter and non-knitter friends. The friends I have that knit not only support me but know when to let me make my own mistakes, fix them on my own and then celebrate with me with all they’ve got when I can stand up and say that “I did it on my own” without judgment.
    My non-knitter friends not only help unravel projects when I can’t bear to look at them, but are constantly supportive of each new technique and are amazed at each project that gently unfolds or as each garment slowly makes their appearance in my wardrobe, often boasting on my behalf.

    I think the key -at least for myself- to being a fearless knitter is the love and support of people close to you. Without them I wouldn’t be half as ambitious as I am

  442. It’s taken 6 years for me just to figure out how to knit and purl! Making the transition from crochet to knit was difficult for me. I would say that preserverence has made me a fearless knitter- and to become the ultimate fearless knitter would just be to really understand gauge and how to use it our own advantages.

  443. What are your knitting fears?
    That I’ll invest my time (and money) in a project that won’t fit (because I got the gauge wrong or because I used a different yarn other than what was specified), won’t match (ex. dye lot), or otherwise won’t be useful.
    What would it take for you to become a truly fearless knitter?
    Knowing how to read the freakin’ pattern language! I’m sooo tired of hearing, “Well, you’re just supposed to KNOW that!” Are people BORN just knowing stuff??? I must have been standing behind a tree when that knowledge was passed out . . . .
    How can Knitting Daily help you to build the skills and the confidence to become a Fearless Knitter?
    You do it every day. I get better every time I visit the site. Thanks for a job well done! And keep doing it — it might take ME forever!

  444. My greatest fear is knitting something to fit me. I am not a size 2 or even a size 18. I wear a size 32. So most patterns do not come in my size or even close to my size. I would like to learn how to adjust a pattern to fit me. Also the same is true with socks. I do not have skinny little ankles or legs. So how do you know how many stitches to cast on for socks that will fit me?

  445. Hi Sandy, I became a fearless knitter just before christmas. I’m 27 and have been wanting to knit and have watched enviously as others do it with ease. Well I finally decided to pick up a pair of knitting needles and a couple of skeins of red heart yarn and I’m working on my first scarf. I can’t wait to tackle my next project I’m still deciding on whether its going to be socks or a sweater!

  446. I think being a fearless knitter is about being outside of your comfort zone. I’m forever choosing patterns that look great, but are well and truely beyond my skill level. I know that I’m in for hours of frustration and countless episodes of ripping and reknitting. But guess what, I’m getting to be pretty good! A year ago I was struggling to read patterns, while now I’m working with lace, small needles and pattern alterations… way outside my comfort zone. I love the challenges.

  447. I tell my students that no one ever died because they made a mistake in their knitting–and that frequently mistakes actually do become ‘design elements’. Don’t let the yarn or the needles boss you around, but work with them. And most of all, enjoy–because otherwise, you might as well be cleaning the oven!
    Chrisanne G.

  448. To me being a fearless knitter means not being afraid to try patterns and stitches that look difficult. Unfortunately I am always afraid I’ll mess up and there is nothing I hate more than having to tear out the knitting I have already done to correct the mistake. That really scares me. I am retired from the work force now so I have more time to play (yes, knitting is fun) with new stitches and patterns at the more difficult level. Illustrated instruction sheets are very valuable to me as are clearly written instructions. I would love to see more of tnem. Articles about solving various problems when knitting are especially helpful. I’m ready for the challenge now.

  449. I am a fearless knitter (and crocheter) I will try anything once. I did socks as the second project after I learned to knit! All it takes to be fearless is not being a afraid to rip it out! And lifelines are wonderful! Also just because a pattern says it for experienced knitters doesn’t mean that it really is, a lot of times that is because of wording the patterns or charts..try it worst that can happen is that you have to rip!

  450. I think the thing I need to become a fearless knitter is more time so I can try new things. I also need a bigger stash.
    Technique wise, I need to learn more about how to adjust a pattern so it fits over my curves. I still haven’t figured that part out very well. Even when I do careful measuring and a gauge swatch, I still seem to have trouble!

  451. What would make me a fearless knitter? I’m willing to try anything but it drives me crazy to frog…especially if it’s a really nice yarn that cost a bundle. Now if the yarn were free….. :-)

  452. To me there really hasn’t been anything to fear in knitting. My first project (after practicing on a couple swatches) was a garter stitch sweater for myself. It fit and I wore it a lot. My second project was a sweater for my soon-to-be hubby. It was three colors of tan & brown and had a fair isle pattern across the chest. It fit him fine and he wore it a lot until he finally told me that wool made him way to hot! By the way, I tought myself to knit with a book over 20 years ago. I guess I was too ignorant to have fear. So maybe a fearless knitter just doesn’t know she/he has anything to fear! In the past year I have tackled beaded knitting, cables and socks. All new to me. I did take a class for the beaded bag and to learn cables and found that I probably could have figured it out myself. I am going to be teaching some friends how to make socks soon. I just think knitting is fun and anything new to learn just increases the enjoyment. I don’t stress about new or challenging stuff becuase what’s the worse that can happen? All knitting is good, right? So, I guess I don’t know any better to have the fear and have always been a fearless knitter.

  453. I know this topic is “old”, but I want to to tell everyone that I AM A FEARLESS KNITTER!! I am knitting my VERY FIRST SOCK. Really. Me. A sock. On DPN’s. Yes!! Me!!! I don’t know why I was afraid. I LOVE dpn’s. Yes. Me. Well, it wasn’t love at first cast on – but now I think I’ve got the hang of it. yes!! me!!!! (hehehe – I’m almost guidy – I don’t know what I’ll do when I finish it!) Oh, and I’ve finished my CPHoodie – and it looks beautiful.

  454. Fearless or not, like in life, one step at a time, take care of yourself, being patient, I knit but not sure if I am good or not, or how to be one. Be open mind & be observational, don’t need to learn all these from knitting, U can learn them from many others way. Good things will happen when the person willing to wait.

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