#knitterintraining : THE FRUSTRATION

Hi all!
This post is a little delayed, with good reason.  Over the last week, I have been working towards learning to knit.  The first step for this, from what the Internet told me, is learning how to cast on.  This has become the bane of existence, and almost caused me to give up, and start a new learning project.  However, given that the semester was already half over, I needed to persevere.  And so I did.  And I learned quite a bit about myself as a learner in the process.

For this project, as some of you may recall, I decided I would be relying a lot on YouTube videos.  The channel I decided to use primarily, found here, I struggled with.  Not because it wasn’t good, but because of who I am as a learner.  It turns out, I am not good at following video instructions.  I tried with multiple different videos, and none of them were able to show me to how to cast on.  For nearly 5 hours, off and on throughout the week, I was frustrated, unable to figure out the hand movements they were doing, and how to actually cast on.  Finally, I remembered a tool on YouTube that might just help me.

In the settings, in the wonderful picture I have cropped, there is an option to slow the video down.  I knew about this option, but in my frustrations, it completely slipped my mind.  So, wanting to make this thing work, I went back to the first channel, and slowed the intro video down to 50%.  That made it a lot easier to see the hand movements, and mimic them.  After I understood, I spent the next hour casting on, and taking it apart, repeating this skill until I felt like I mastered it.  Or  I could do it with my eyes closed.  And finally, it worked!  Here is a picture of my latest round of casting on, that will likely turn into my first major project!

As for my first project, I have decided on one of two things.  A pot holder, because it’s simple.  Or an infinity scarf, because they are incredibly comfortable and make good gifts.  I am leaning towards the latter, but I would like to know what you think!  Comment!

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#knitterintraining : The first steps

Hello everyone!

This week, I have taken the first baby steps in my journey to learning how to knit.  Unfortunately, my hectic schedule, which involved a few trips up to Saskatoon, did not permit me to find time to actually sit down and start knitting.  However, I did manage to pick up some knitting needles, yarn, and start looking for resources that might be useful on my journey.

First things first, I learned that there are a variety of different knitting needles.  Not all knitting needles are one size.  Some are smaller to deal with smaller yarn, and some are bigger for thicker yarn.  This is already something new to me, as I thought the only difference in knitting needles was the material they were made out of.  I had a lot to learn.

For the sake of my first needles and yarn,  I went for what I would call a medium thickness yarn, which called for size 18 needles, which is all shown in the picture.  This yarn was suggested by a friend of mine, Kealey, who learned how to knit last year and said the yarn was easy to work with for beginners.  Supposedly, the smaller yarn can be difficult to work with because it’s harder to pick up with the needles, and the bigger yarn can fall apart on you if you aren’t careful.  This is all stuff that is new to me, and it’s been exciting to learn so far.

Finally, let’s talk about resources.  My first thought when I decided to learn to knit was YouTube.  I mean, the amount of DIY projects on YouTube is crazy.  You could learn how to build a functioning car on there if you wanted.  So far, I found one channel that I don’t mind, and that shows promise.  I plan on using this channel, and perhaps adding other channels to my repertoire as time goes on, in order to get the most information possible to learn.  Additionally, on my first post, my classmate, Andrea, suggested a website, that I also plan on incorporating into my learning.  In my opinion, these two resources will provide a strong basis to start knitting, and learning the basics of casting off, and perhaps even making my first item (likely a potholder).

Thanks for reading!  Hope you all have a great week!

#knitterintraining

Hey all!

As those who follow me on twitter may already know, for my learning project I have chosen to learn how to knit.  Now, my choice to knit is coming from a few different places.  First of all, it is something I have never done before.  When I was younger, my grandma taught me how to crochet, but all I ever managed to make was a small ‘necklace’ of white yarn.  I wore that necklace everywhere, until it broke.  Aside from that, I have never worked with anything even remotely similar to knitting.  Second of all, it is what one of my close friends, Kealey, did for her learning project, and she highly recommended it to me.  I can definitely see the benefits from knitting, especially as a teacher.  It can be a valuable tool for self-care and relaxation after a stressful, something essential for all teachers.  Third of all, one day, I was sitting in a tire shop getting an oil change.  While sitting there, there was a lady who was knitting mitts and a toque.  She was telling another lady that she knits entirely for fun, but every year, when Winter hits, she donates a bunch of mitt and toque sets to Salvation Army.  I thought this was a really powerful approach to a hobby.  She was able to turn it into a way to give back, which is something that is appealing to me.  Finally, I wanted to do something I use in the classroom someday.  Knitting can be an interesting tool to show students allowing them to use it in their representations for projects.

My process is simple.  I know nothing about knitting.  Therefore, I have decided to take more of a linear approach to learning.  That means, starting with simple stitches and creations.  Perhaps a potholder to start.  And as needed, I will learn more stitches and patterns in order to expand my arsenal.  To do this, I will employ two primary resources.  Firstly, the Internet.  There are how-to videos for everything on YouTube, whether it is ‘how to pet a cat’ to ‘learning how to knit’.  It will likely be my most valuable resource.  Additionally, the Internet has a variety of helpful websites that I will look into using.  If/when I find a channel on YouTube I like, or a website I like, I will share it with the class!

My other main resource will be my friends and family.  As mentioned earlier, one of my friends already learned how to knit in the context of this course.  In addition to her, my mother and sister are both capable knitters.  I have plenty of people in my life to ask questions to if YouTube just isn’t cutting it for me.

All in all, I am absolutely stoked to learn how to knit.  I think it’ll push me out of my comfort zone, but will allow me to pick up a valuable skill in the process.