A bit after Christmas, I went to JoAnn's and purchased a pair of size 8 needles using my customer discount (of course!) Now before you start judging me, let me remind you that I'm a crocheter through and through. I love crochet very much because of its speed, versatility, and artistry. I can crochet things very fast now: a "One skein scarf" for less than 2 hours, a hat for about 1 hour. I can make lacy garments such as the Pepe skirt or thick and bulky hats. And last but not least, crochet can be a piece of art. Just look at doilies: they're made in very thin, almost surgery typed threads but the final products are just stunning!
Having said about all those, it doesn't mean crochet doesn't have its own flaws. Ok, they're not much of "flaws" as "dissatisfactions". I tried many times to make sweaters but they're just so damn thick to wear. For them not to be as thick, instead of using worsted weight yarn I have to use something much smaller which I detest. Moreover, whoever crocheted cables before really know what I'm talking about. At the end of the day, after you finish crocheting those cables you just wish there's a better way to do it.
Another thing that makes me pick up those needles is the ubiquitously available cable sweaters in this season. I went to many different stores and all I could see on sale are cable sweaters. Everywhere!
So after purchasing the knitting needles, I went home and downloaded a how-to instruction from Lion Brand. It's good, at least I good through casting on and knit stitch. Then I came to purl stitch and I started to bitch (hence I understood what Debbie Stoller kind of meant when she named her books "Stitch and Bitch") I tried and tried but I could not make one single purl stitch!
There came help in a form of my roommate. She used to knit when she was a child but didn't touch the needles for very long. With the help of LB and the back of Interweave Crochet she figured out how to purl and showed me. But it didn't mean I was not struggling!
See, there's a problem here: she's an English type knitter who holds her yarn with her right hand. I, on the other hand, is a crocheter and hold my yarn on my left hand. So I struggled and struggled for a while until I figured out how I could purl with yarn from the left. And I did.
So I knitted my heart out for days which is kinda nice. I'm planning to eventually make a crochet/knit hybrid shirt from Interweave Crochet's winter issue. But at the moment, I'm just lapping myself up by making a truly beginner's scarf :D
Tips for the crocheters who want to learn how to knit:
- Buy a good pair of knitting needles. I bought a size 8 pair of Susan Bates' Silvalume. I love Susan Bates' crochet hooks so I figured their knitting needles should be good too. And they are!
- Have a good instructional book for starters. I highly suggest "Stitch and Bitch: the knitter's handbook" It has very detailed instructions for a beginner and the writer wrote with a "tongue in the cheek" humor.
- Start SLOWLY! Knitting is hard so don't expect in one day to learn how to make a sweater. For crocheting, the moment you master chaining, single crochet, double crochet, probably treble crochet, and read patters... you're done! For knitting, there are so many things to do after knit and purl. I really advise you to start slowly, learn at least 3 methods of casting on, and figure out which way you prefer to knit (English or Continental). I'm a continental knitter thanks to my years of crochet.
- If you need help, don't hesitate to ask. Chances are someone in your circle knows how to knit. I am lucky to have my roommate who knitted many sweaters in her life.
- Don't use fancy yarns to practice. Save your $10/skein yarn for something later. For starting, your Red Heart super saver worsted weight yarn will do.
- Practice, practice, practice! The best way is to make a scarf. Don't you remember those good old days when you started crochet? I do! I made a horrible scarf that has curves (I didn't learn the necessity of counting the stitches yet!)
- You still want more? That's it! Now you're good to go. From a crocheter to another, I think knitting is fun because I can make hybrid garments now. And cables will not be such a pain!