I dedicate this blog to the memory of my grandmother.
August 29, 1921 - April 30, 2015
You are not forgotten.

Learning to Knit

I take my knitting bag everywhere, and everywhere I go, people ask about my knitting. Parents of my kids' classmates, receptionists at doctors' offices, officemates, everyone expresses some variation of admiration, mixed with a wistful envy that they could knit like me. Good news for them: I'm not a particularly experienced or skillful knitter (yet)!

I don't want to sound too much like an infomercial, but I learned to knit out of a kit with just a little help from YouTube, and it wasn't hard or complicated or even particularly time-consuming.

Let me introduce you to Klutz Books.

Klutz Books are all about hands-on learning fun stuff. A lot of them are targeted at kids, but a lot of them are fun for any age. Their whole thing is a self-contained, portable package; everything you need to learn the skill or do the activity is contained in or with the book.

This is the one for knitting:
Yup, that's a link.
(Full disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate.)
The purple hat on the front? It comes with three skeins of that yarn. Also, size 8 knitting needles, a yarn needle, a crochet hook, and two buttons (two of the six projects call for buttons). The book has step-by-step instructions on how to cast on (make a row of loops on your needle), how to knit and purl stitch, and cast off.

If the pictures are puzzling, take a look at YouTube. When I couldn't figure out how to purl, I was stubborn and kept trying to figure it out on my own-- for three or four days. Finally, I took a look at a video on how to purl and it was really obvious and simple what I was doing wrong.

I didn't make all the projects here. I did a practice swatch like they outline in the instructions at the beginning. Then I tackled the purse, and gave it to my daughter. And from there, I started making ribbed scarves and baby hats.

So far, knitting has

  1. Provided me a form of therapy, noticeably reducing my stress levels.
  2. Helped me bond with my grandmother before she died.
  3. Given me a great conversation starter with strangers.
  4. Introduced me to a group of local knitters who meet regularly.
  5. Added a useful life skill to my repertoire.
  6. Produced some fantastic presents for friends and relatives.
  7. Led to my most successful blog attempt yet.
...And, okay, also led to a barely-under control yarn addiction and incessant knitting evangelism. Worth the trade-off, in my opinion. ;)