Today’s question, How did you learn how to knit?, was addressed in an earlier post on the blog. However, I was telling more of an ‘origin story’ at that point: it’s not very helpful for anyone who wants to learn to knit themselves.
I’m lucky enough that I live with someone who learned to knit before me! Having someone on hand to teach is extremely valuable in many ways – not only do you have a model there to watch you and help correct mistakes, but an in-person teacher can help you with techniques that you just don’t have the dexterity or eyes to figure out just yet. Em did casting on for me for my first few projects, troubleshot my weird errors as I got the hang of the basics, and fixed mistakes (while teaching me some of the tips and tricks as we went.)
Your knitting teacher can also encourage your slightly weird beginner projects by posing for goofy photos!
A good chunk of my learning, however, was self-driven. Em and I have ended up specializing in very different sub-categories of knitting technique, and most things I know about lace and everything I know about colorwork, I taught myself. First and foremost, there are excellent YouTube videos for every technique under the sun (that is most of how Em learned to knit, in fact.) The website knitting.about.com also has a lot of excellently categorized articles. A lot of beginner patterns on Ravelry contain tutorials for the techniques needed to complete the pattern.Finally, the knitting blogosphere has an endless supply of tips, tricks, articles, videos, and gifsets for anything you’d need to know – we’ve collected some of the ones we like on the ‘techniques’ tag on our connected Tumblr blog.
Yes, we do have a Tumblr! We mostly use it to collect inspiration, patterns, and techiques, although we do cross-post what we write here as well.
I’m still learning a lot. I picked up a new texture stitch for one of my Christmas projects, did a really zany colorwork brim technique I’d never seen before, and I’m planning to cast on an entirely new shawl construction method as my present to myself after the holidays. And I’m teaching – my wife has expressed interest in at least picking up the basics, and Em has started making curious noises about possibly picking up some very fine-weight stranded colorwork after all. The fun of learning never really ends… not when there’s a deep history of a craft, and an endless future of projects. And that’s exactly the way I like it.