If you haven’t already noticed, I LOVE to knit and I even mentioned it in my first post. I know it’s weird because usually knitting is associated with a senior citizen knitting ugly Christmas sweaters for her grandkids. Obviously senior citizens knit but so do a lot of younger people and some beautiful things are created. Knitting is a fantastic creative outlet and it’s portable!
One of the biggest compliments I get is when people can’t believe that my hand knit treasures were actually made by me and not bought at a store. They’re also surprised cause they say they’re modern and dare I say it, stylish (check out this diy here). Knitting can be whatever you want it to be and it all depends on the fibres and colours you use. There are incredible yarns out there that feel like a dream and look amazing.
I’m hoping that this post can get a few of you to try this timeless craft. Knitting relaxes me and makes me smile (especially when people look at me funny on my morning commute while I’m knitting next to them). Thanks to knitting waiting at airports and flying on my own aren’t such a drag.
I go to a knitting class every week (I can hear the giggling:-)) however it’s also a get together. We’re quite an eclectic mix of women and we have an amazing teacher (Rosa) who knows everything there is to know about knitting. We take our own projects and she helps us with mistakes (so many mistakes…), designs, and techniques. She’s the kind of knitter that you show her a picture of something and she’ll tell you how to knit it! Rosa’s the bees knees and I totally look forward to my class.
I’m more of a structured knitter because I like to follow a pattern but knitting has helped me to loosen up a bit and just try stuff. Knitting is unique because you can really personalise a garment to your taste and body shape. A pattern is set but if you want to cinch in at the waste or make longer sleeves, those are all easy fixes in knitting. And if it doesn’t look right, just rip out the stitches and try something else (I still hate ripping stitches out but sometimes it just has to be done). Knitting totally relaxes me but when I first started I was so tense that my hands hurt cause I held the needles with so much determination! Thankfully this went away shortly after starting and practice always helps.
You don’t need to go to a knitting class to learn to knit cause you can find everything you need on YouTube but a class is a fun way to get to know others that share a common interest. Here are some great YouTube videos in case some of you are curious enough to give this a try. You just need a couple of knitting needles, some yarn, and a little bit of patience.
My favourite knitting shop in Madrid is called El Punto Madrid and the staff there is super helpful and they have a great selection of yarns and tools to choose from. We Are Knitters also offers knitting kits with huge needles and fat yarn so your projects are done in no time, pretty much the closest thing you’ll get to instant gratification for a knitter. The We Are Knitters website also offers how to videos and lots of inspiration.
CASTING ON: First thing you need to know is how to cast-on. Casting on is adding your stitches to your needles so you can start knitting. There are lots of different ways to cast-on but my favourite cast-on is a long-tail cast-on because it gives you a very nice edge. Here’s a great video.
KNIT STITCH: There are only two stitches in knitting and the first one is the knit stitch. Watch this video.
PURL STITCH: The second stitch is the purl stich and you’ll find a great tutorial here.
BINDING OFF: The last thing you need to do is bind off your work which takes your piece off the needles. Check this video out.
There are thousands of knitting videos on YouTube and it’s just a matter of typing in what you’re looking for.
Another great resource for knitters is www.ravelry.com. This is an amazing website where you’ll find thousands of patterns, yarns, groups, and projects for knitters. It’s great because they don’t bombard you with a million e-mails or advertising; Ravelry is an amazing community filled with people who genuinely love fibre crafts and are willing to help, share, and have a good laugh any time. I try to log all of my knitting projects on this website as a catalogue for myself but it’s also helpful to other knitters because you can add comments, modifications, ideas, etc. Here’s a glimpse of my ravelry page.
This is what I’m working on as we speak. I can’t wait to try on the final product! I have a feeling I will be wearing this sweater a lot this winter.
I hope I’ve inspired a few of you to step into this wonderfully creative world and I’d love to hear how it went. Do you have any old school hobbies?