It’s safe to say that my life has revolved around knitting lately. I was actually caught by another teacher knitting in a classroom during lunch while subbing last week. I am really enjoying making my scarf and am so excited with how it is turning out. I knit so much yesterday that my fingers actually hurt by the end of the night.
So far, I’ve learned how to “cast on” (a.k.a. get started) and how to do a garter stitch (my scarf is made entirely of garter stitches). I would say my scarf is maybe 1/3 of the way finished. For casting on, I learned first by watching a video from Knittinghelp.com.
I caught on really quickly because it reminded me of playing cat’s cradle with yarn when I was little. I practiced casting on until I felt confident. It was finally time to begin the garter stitch… but my challenge definitely arose when I just could not figure out, for whatever reason, how to move on to actually doing the garter stitch after casting on. My knitting never looked like the video, which was frustrating. My rows looked like they were missing stitches. I decided that I needed to watch more than one video to find the one which best met my needs for casting on. After looking at a few more, I found a video for casting on by needle, rather than by hand (there are two ways to cast on, and I had no idea!).
After watching and re-watching the video for quite some time, I finally felt like I had it and could maneuver on to the garter stitch within the same video. I ended up bouncing back and forth between the “casting on by needle” video and the original one I found in my last NLP post for “super-beginners”.
Both of these videos had very up-close views of the knitting, which made it easy to follow and learn. They did not have a lot of background noise, making it easy to focus. The video from knittinghelp.com had these features as well, but I stopped using it when I couldn’t master going from casting on to the garter stitch. I didn’t feel like it was the video for me. I learned that I am definitely an auditory as well as visual learner, though. I found one video which was close-up of the hands with NO NARRATING at all, so I thought it would be great to watch.
Turns out, I need to hear the steps as well as see them. I was way too distracted by the music, and couldn’t read and watch at the same time.
I only used help forums when I needed to figure out the materials for getting started. I would rather just read what someone says about materials – most videos assumed you already knew what type of yarn and needles to buy. In the forum, I felt like people were more personal and said exactly what worked/did not work for them. The responses in the forums from knittinghelp.com were what I used and the member’s responses pointed me in exactly the right direction.
Below are some photos to show my progress, and a short clip about a key moment in my learning. Despite the fact that I want to see how beautiful my scarf looks at all times, it is MUCH easier to knit when your stitches are bunched up close together on the needle. It leads to less pain in your fingers, too.
I can’t wait to show you the finished product. Stay tuned!