Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Learning to Knit: Branching Out and Reflecting

Once a month I blog about fiber crafts other than crochet. I do this because I value learning and I think there are many benefits to be gained from trying new things. I have decided to put my ideas into practice and have recently been learning to knit in addition to my crochet. All I did was buy some needles, get some recommendations from friends, and search for good tutorials online. I started small.

I certainly ripped out my work and started over several times. However, slowly and surely I made my way. After learning a simple "cast on" (similar concept to a base chain) I learned to make garter stitch fabric, made by making only "knit" stitches.

Then I learned how to do the "purl" stitch. This meant that I could do all knits on one side and all purls on the other, making what's called a stockinette stitch. See the little v's?

Being a beginning knitter has really helped me to reflect on my crochet and my pattern writing. I have several patterns in testing right now and learning something new reminds me of what it's like when you're unsure and trying your best. I am refocusing on making sure all of my instructions, pictures, and diagrams are accessible and inviting. It's easy to forget that I've spent hours and hours and hours crocheting. Things that used to be difficult for me barely register anymore. However, I'm now sitting and wondering things like "How do I fix that stitch I dropped?", "How do I count my rows?", and "Did I just do a knit or a purl? I don't even know..." Struggle is good for us. It forces us to work hard :)

Have you tried something new lately, perhaps one of the crafts I've mentioned for Fiber Arts Friday?


  1. When I was teaching myself to knit, I discovered the pros and cons of crochet over knitting. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts about the subject!

    1. Well, my experience is very limited, but I'll tell you what I think so far :) Crochet grows much more quickly, so there's the time advantage. However, knitted fabric feels much more flexible and stretchy. There's also the fact that there are fewer stitches to learn in knitting since everything is make with some kind of combination of knit or purl, but I rather like the complexity and versatility of crochet more since there is more to learn and there are more ways to use what you've learned. Crochet also seems to be much easier to fix! What do you think?

  2. I like the fact that crochet is all on one hook, one stitch at a time, but with knitting there are two needles to hold and multiple stitches 'live' at once and I feel like my work is irrevocably broken if more than 2 fall off the needles! I am clumsy with two needles. The other thing about knitting that confuses me is having two sides to each stitch; e.g. front leg, back leg, but which is which depends on whether one is on the RS or WS or knit side or purl side and sometimes the knit is RS and sometimes purl is RS! I am sure with practice it will become as intuitive as crochet's right and wrong sides. I prefer crochet because it can do all sorts of things instead of just in rows and rounds.


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