Thursday, November 30, 2006

I wish I had known.

I couldn't sleep this morning, so I got up at 5am and spent some time with my knitting. I bound off the neckband of the baby sweater (that's right, just need to seam the arms and sew on the buttons!!!) I knit a few inches on the sock,which I am doing in Magic Loop for the first time. I didn't even read a tutorial. I figured doing socks on two circs had pretty much taught me what I needed to know, so I just cast on and started knitting. And I thought about how far I've come, knitting wise. This time last year I hadn't even knit a whole sock!!

I then thought about things I wish I had known when I was just starting to knit. I think my biggest one would have been this - Don't waste your money building a complete set of straight needles. When I started knitting, I started buying straight needles in every size. Now I never even use them!!! I didn't realize that anything you can knit on straight needles, you can knit on circulars. It seems so obvious now, but I never even thought about it. Of course, had someone tried to tell me that, I probably would have stubbornly insisted that I loved straight needles, and gone about buying them all up. Some things you just need to learn for yourself.

So, what is your big I Wish I Had Known fact?? Tell me in a comment, or post it to your blog and I will come and read it!!


Jillio said...

i was like that. i donated most of my straights to hood river middle school. if anything, i only have the sets i use for stuff like clapotis and the ones gifted to me.
i wish i'd known that size 2's come as either 2.75 mm or 3.0 mm, depending on which brand of needle you buy. sheesh! gauge issues up the wazoo! not to mention mismatched socks!

sheep#100 said...

I donated all of my straight needles to a woman who teaches knitting to kids at her inner city school's knitting club.

The only pair I have now is a set of bloodwood, hand turned, custom made needles for knitting washcloths. (gift)

Melissa said...

Like you, I wish I'd have known about the straights. And the good places to buy yarn online. I ordered from a couple of crappy places before finding the "good stuff"

Annie said...

When I was a rank novice, I didn't entirely *get* the whole thing about different yarn weight. Yeah. I have 4 cones of lace weight red/white wool/cotton slubby yarn. If you knit with 4 strands held together, you get about worsted weight. I must admit that I do really like the resulting knit fabric, but if I had known....

Sonya said...

Well, definitely the straight needle thing. I bought a huge lot of them on ebay. And definitely where to get good yarn and why good yarn is good yarn.

Anonymous said...

My 'I wish I had known' is that I wish I had known how easy socks and sweaters are to knit. For so many years I only knit afghans and scarves etc, because I was sure that sweaters would be too difficult. Then I tried one and wanted to kick myself for not doing it sooner. Then the same thing happened with socks.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had know about circular needle sets. I have a large collection of Susan Bates Circular needles that I hate. I am thinking about getting the new Knitpicks set because I love the cables on their smaller needles...

I also didn't get the whole yarn weight thing, worsted, sport, DK, what??? Now, I am picky enough to say that I think worsted is not as thick as it used to be...

Cathy said...

I'm with you on the straight needles - I have TONS OF THEM and I never ever ever use them! I love my Denise set and those along with my favorite clover dpn's are what I use all the time. :)

~Kristie said...

I think we ALL wish we wouldn't have bought a million straight needles. Luckily, I'm teaching my lil' sis to knit (long distance) & I assured her the best investment she can make is in the KnitPicks Options set. It will save her a LOT of money in the long run I'm sure!

Confessions of a Knitting Diva said...

I would have to agree with the straight needle thing. I have too many, and I don't use them. I have a great collection of circular needles and I love them!!

Anonymous said...

Hm... That's a toughie as I've been knitting for so many years now, there's hardly anything that still surprises me ;) But one thing is for sure - and it's a trap I still run into too often: I wish I had known that one should never ever believe the amount of yarn given for a certain pattern, especially in German knitting magazines. Eventhough my gauge is always as the instructions call for, I will always - and I mean always - run out of yarn if I only buy the amount given. And it's not that it'd be a small difference, I always lack, like, 1 skein or more - and that's way too much I think. By now I've realized I just have to buy more yarn than the given amount, but why in all the world can't they just ask for one or two skeins more in the instructions? It's better to have a bit left than to run out of yarn, isn't it? *Grrr* ;)

somebunnysloveDOTcom said...

Can I say that for me it is "all of the above" answers?? ;) Seriously though, I have a ton of straights which must be used since my Plymouth bamboo set is being replaced (piece fell off and Noble Knits is giving me a NEW set after a year of use!). I have 3-4 cones of silk THREAD which passes for yarn. And I do run out of yarn in projects. Okay... all bases are covered1

KeanaLee said...

I agree with all of the comments I also wish someone would have told me a few of the following things:
1) Straight needles, though useless, make great hair holder-uppers.
2)Buy the Denise needles right out of the gate.
3)NEVER try to knit in the car, you'll get sick.
4)Nobody in your family will ever get your love of yarn, knitting & all thing related to knititng.
5)Yarn is damn expensive!
6)Start making Christmas gift 10 months before Christmas.
7) There is always going to be somebody trying to get you to knit something for them.
8)Take time to Knit something for yourself at least once a month.
9)People think that it's rude to knit during holiday get-together's because your ignoring the family.
10)Your housework will get tossed by the wayside for knitting!

Anonymous said...

Ok, I am still quite new and actually collecting all of those straight needles everyone is talking about. I also purchased a Denise set but have never used them. (I am afraid!) :( But, I will have to agree with a few of the comments above:
1. I have become a snob. I can't believe I made scarves/hats out of cheapo yarn. Now that I have discovered the "real" stuff!
2. It's expensive.
3. My husband thinks I am obsessed and I don't get to knit much at home. (I knit on my lunch hours!)
4. My sister (a fellow crafter) has developed an interest in knitting.
5. It's expensive.
6. I have urges to go to the LYS and hang around the yarn.
7. I can knit in the car (he he!)
Of course, nothing complex!
8. And, definitely, everyone things I knit for others. Hello, it's expensive!!!! I haven't made myself a scarf in a LONG time, much less anything else. I better work on that!
9. I don't like to seam!
10. I read alot of knitting blogs! I love the inspiration, humor and humanity.
Ok, back to work...

Nathalie said...

1. People will ask you to knit more stuff for them than yo can ever possibly knit for them; and you will still have no knitting done for yourself;

2. It's okay to put boundaries on what you agree to knit for people; includign saying "I don't knit for people other than my immediate family"

3. It's okay to break those boundaries if you want to

4. Start Xmas knitting on Boxign DAy for the next year

5. Reading too many blogs will interfere with knitting progress

6. Buy the best quality materials and patterns that you can afford

Procrastiknitter said...

LOL, between you and some of the commenters I also have the same answers. I am also a new knitter and last year was my first CHristmas to knit (I learned 9/05).

My big ones are the secret about circulars and also reading too many blogs interfere with your knitting time. LOL.

Anonymous said...

I learned(the hard way) that you should never buy 1 or 2 skeins at a clearence sale because you"ll try to make something that will need at the very least, 1/2 a skein more!!!And nowhere on this earth will you ever find another skein of that yarn till After you throw the whole mess away. Or, so I've heard.........

MissyJoon said...

I am totally the "I must have every straight needle in every size" girl, ony to be an addi-turbo convert. But unlike some other people, I can't part with them!!!!

Noey D. said...

I'm late to the party, but just want to add my two cents. I agree with the straight needles, and how easy socks are, but I also wish I had known how much free information is on the net.

Anonymous said...

I did the same thing with the needles. Thank goodness they were just the Susan Bates ones (and I wound up donating them to a community rehabilitation center.)

I also remember by BFF telling me that eventually I would only like to knit certain kinds of yarn on certain kinds of needles and thinking she was completely nuts!

Ragan said...

I wish I would have known I really could knit about 10 years ago. I learned when I was 8...but didn't practice etc....and then...started again when my gramma died (she tought me). I should've done more of it when she was alive, so she could've seen what I can do. :)

yarnmaniac said...

Ditto on the needles and buying "good" yarn. Also wish I hadn't just bought one skein of fun yarns without knowing what I'd do with them. They sit there while I buy other yarn for specific projects.

I love my knitting books but there sure is plenty of good info and patterns (for free!) online as well as great blogs!

Anonymous said...

Things I wish I had known from the get-go:

--When knitting with straights, you will always drop one. Sometimes, it will be the one that used to have all the stitches on it.
--Knitting socks is not scary. It's totally addictive and you're much better off thinking it's scary because it's worse than a cocaine habit.
--Don't bother knitting with straights because, when you're not dropping one, you will be poking someone/something with the other end.
--You will develop a strange need to collect single skeins of Cotton Fleece. No good will come of this.
--Mohair makes you itch and thus you will only be able to wear those two gorgeous lace scarves for an hour at a time before feeling the need to claw your own neck off.
--You are a process knitter and thus will give away 90% of your work. 5% will be for you and the other 5% will remain unfinished because you don't actually care about the finished object.
--Like socks, shawls are addictive.
--KnitPicks is your friend.
--Elann has FABULOUS colors and is price-comparable to KnitPicks. You will still feel inexplicably loyal to KnitPicks.

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