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  1. #1
    quikeye Guest

    Default Can anyone help a new knitter? (Advice on yarns, patterns, etc)

    Hi all, I just finished "Stitch & Bi**h" by Debbie Stoller and loved it... I wanted to start knitting for Kai, and have already made a multitude of hats on circulars. (And a bunch of practice swatches and stitches!) I'd like to start with a sweater, but am feeling a little overwhelmed and am prone to overbuying (I still have 150$+ of scrapbooking supplies and no scrapbook pages!) :)

    My problem: I fall in love w/ a yarn and want to find a pattern (baby) to go with it, is that backwards? I keep finding beautiful yarns and want to buy them (online, no close yarn stores here), but don't know if this is a good idea or not. (Plus, I can only guess how much to buy). I can match up stitch gauges on patterns, but I don't know if this is a "good" way to start knitting -- or if I should be finding a pattern and then a yarn? I haven't found a pattern I love yet (or think I am able to accomplish), but so many yarns! :)

    Also, can anyone tell me about the differences in yarns? I know the weights, but I think I'd want to knit with cottons as opposed to wool (not that cold here), but worry cotton may have some bad knitting/finishing effects (pilling, not as easy to knit with). Do you prefer DK weight for baby items (with my practice acrylics, I think I like the dk weight as opposed to the "worsted"-- takes longer but softer and not as bulky)? Or should I stick w/ heavier yarns since I'm new @ this? I'm only planning on working on baby items...

    Thanks! :)

  2. #2
    ellies mom is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Can anyone help a new knitter? (Advice on yarns, patterns, etc)

    It is too bad you don't have a yarn store near by, that would be the ideal situstion. There is a book called The Yarn Girls Guide to Kids Knits. You can get it at Barnes and Noble or Amazon. The reason I'm suggesting this book is because it is put out by a store in NYC. They sell the yarn used in all their projects. You can also search by project and buy a kit. http://www.theyarnco.com/index.html

    I suggest actually getting the book, then ordering online. They offer color schemes for both girls and boys for each project. An excellent all around kitting book is the big fat Vogue one. Debbie Bliss and Erika Knight also have kid books that use splendid yarn with excellent advice.

    Edited to add- I just spent some more time on the Yarn Co. website. You can check out their yarn selection (can't feel:( ) and for each yarn they list patterns it can be used for. So that maybe something that works for you. Good luck.
    Veronica

    Miss Ellie 11/03
    Baby Audrey 4/08

  3. #3
    lisbeth916 Guest

    Default RE: Can anyone help a new knitter? (Advice on yarns, patterns, etc)

    I read this to my mom (she is totally obsessed with knitting) and she suggested a couple groups on yahoo that she says is perfect and all your questions will be answered. The groups are Knittingnovices, Knitlist, and there is another one called Babysweaters. Just go to http://groups.yahoo.com/ and where it says join a group, just type in one of the group names (yes, there are no spaces in the names). HTH, let me know if you have any problems, however, I do not knit, so can't help with that. ~Beth

  4. #4
    sntm's Avatar
    sntm is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Can anyone help a new knitter? (Advice on yarns, patterns, etc)

    I'm a relatively new knitter too! I have an excellent yarn shop here that gave me some advice on a fairly easy pattern.
    http://www.knittingpureandsimple.com/kids.html
    I'm doing the baby pullover #214 in Tahki New Tweed, a merino wool/silk/microfiber combo.

    I agree that cotton would be harder to knit with. I did a scarf for my dad in a yarn that was 75% cotton, 25% wool and it was not very stretchy, so tough if you knit tightly like I and most new knitters do.

    The knitter's review forum has a section on kids patterns.

    I also tend to overbuy (the dilletante knitter from S'n'B!) so I have a lot of fun yarns, but they make terrific scarves or shawls. I've covered most of my Christmas presents.

    I haven't knitted with silk but maybe a silk blend would be light enough? Or Debbie Bliss cotton cashmere? Check out www.theknittinggarden.com for peeks into some DB books.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    shannon
    not-even-pregnant-yet-overachiever
    trying-to-conceive :)
    PREGNANT! EDD 6/9/03
    mama to Jack 6/6/03
    http://www.gynosaur.com/assets/ribbons/ribbon_gold_12m.gif[/img][/url]
    Breastfeeding 15 months and counting

  5. #5
    quikeye Guest

    Default RE: Can anyone help a new knitter? (Advice on yarns, patterns, etc)

    Thanks all so much! I love knitting, but I get so over my head w/ projects that I love having some advice :)

    I checked out the yarn co's site & am going to knit the "koigu hooded cardigan" for kai, once I find the book. No one locally has it! And $30 for a book is kinda steep for me right now, esp. since I'm buying new needles and lots of (beautiful!) yarn for the project. I'm not buying anything from yarn co though-- so I can't get the project pattern from them :( Oh well, it'll figure itself out.

    Thanks again; Kai thanks you too-- he's tired of all of the "practice hats" I've been making! :)

    And maybe when I'm finished with the hooded cardi, I'll start this one:

    http://www.windsorpeak.com/dc/user_files/14330.jpg

    from knitty: http://knitty.com/ISSUEspring04/PATTdevan.html

    Self patterning sock yarn! Awesome! :) Maybe I'll start socks too... See how off track I get! ::grin::

  6. #6
    sntm's Avatar
    sntm is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Can anyone help a new knitter? (Advice on yarns, patterns, etc)

    Ooh, I missed that! I haven't gotten the nerve (or time) to tackle Fair Isle yet, but what a fun cheat! I got to feel some Lorna's Laces sock yarn and it is mighty soft.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    shannon
    not-even-pregnant-yet-overachiever
    trying-to-conceive :)
    PREGNANT! EDD 6/9/03
    mama to Jack 6/6/03
    http://www.gynosaur.com/assets/ribbons/ribbon_gold_12m.gif[/img][/url]
    Breastfeeding 15 months and counting

  7. #7
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    Default RE: Can anyone help a new knitter? (Advice on yarns, patterns, etc)


    >My problem: I fall in love w/ a yarn and want to find a
    >pattern (baby) to go with it, is that backwards? I keep
    >finding beautiful yarns and want to buy them (online, no close
    >yarn stores here), but don't know if this is a good idea or
    >not. (Plus, I can only guess how much to buy)

    In general, it's not a bad thing to start with the yarn, but it's harder if you know you want to make baby stuff (many lovely yarns aren't good for many baby things -- for instance, heavier ones are pretty much limited to making blankets). And it's harder yet online where you can't feel them and pull at them and tell whether or not they come apart. I think in your situation I'd stick with starting with a pattern (or making blankets!)

    >Also, can anyone tell me about the differences in yarns? I
    >know the weights, but I think I'd want to knit with cottons as
    >opposed to wool (not that cold here), but worry cotton may
    >have some bad knitting/finishing effects (pilling, not as easy
    >to knit with).

    Cotton is harder to knit with, because it's not as springy. I think cotton-wool blends are the hardest, though (they're sticky somehow). If you avoid things with ribbing (cotton makes lousy ribbing) and you watch your tension, you're probably OK with all cotton.

    >Do you prefer DK weight for baby items (with my
    >practice acrylics, I think I like the dk weight as opposed to
    >the "worsted"-- takes longer but softer and not as bulky)? Or
    >should I stick w/ heavier yarns since I'm new @ this? I'm only
    >planning on working on baby items...

    Thinner is better, if you have the patience. Although with the acrylic, some of the softness will be due to the yarn itself. A lot of the acrylic worsteds just aren't soft. You can get soft worsted-weight or heavier yarns, which will feel lovely knitted on big needles, but you're back into the blankets...

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