Fall has landed and knitting season is in full gear. Welcome back to all of our established stick-handlers, and a hearty welcome to the newcomers. Gift season is coming up in a few months, and we believe that even the greenest knitter can combine hobby and holiday budgets – you just need a little inspiration and guidance. To get you started …
Your new best friend is a website for knitters & crocheters, Ravelry.com. Ravelry is knitters’ Mecca and most of our links go there. It is free to join Ravelry, and you don’t have to give them any information you don’t want to. They won’t spam you or sell your e-mail address, but if you are concerned feel free to use a ‘junk’ or spare e-mail address to sign up (ie. gmail, yahoo or hotmail).
There is a TON of free technical support on the internet. Knittinghelp.com is an excellent place for novices to start, and Knitting Daily has an excellent glossary of terms. There are many good videos on Youtube from Knit Picks and Berroco. Techknitting is the place for those more experienced who want a detailed explanation.
Leave about 5 to 6 inch tails (ends), to make weaving in easier.
Knitting and crochet patterns are a bit like Recipes. They give you your ingredients first, and then directions, often written with standardized abbreviations. An explanation of the abbreviations used, or glossary, is usually included, or you can look them up on the internet. For more on how to read patterns there are some good instruction via the Craft Yarn Council.
Knitting needles come in a variety of sizing systems: Metric is the standard in Canada, Europe, Australia & New Zealand. The US has it’s own system, as do the Japanese. If you have old needles that came from Canada or the UK, they might be sized in the older UK system. See this chart for details. Contemporary patterns will give you a needle size based on the country in which it was published. Vintage patterns often give sizes in the old UK system. The easiest way to find out what size your needle is to buy an affordable (approx $3.50 to $4) little gadget called a Needle Gauge, which measures the circumference of your needle and tells you what it is in the various sizes.
These gauntlets are fast, simple, and very satisfying. They make quick, easy gifts that stand out.
They use 1 skein of Noro Odori, a soft & comfortable yarn that changes colour all by itself (it feels like Noro Taiyo, but it’s thicker). The yarn’s texture and depth of colour works with the simple design to create extra interest and a unique, handmade aesthetic.
Many of the links posted here are from Ravelry.com, a free website for knitters and crocheters. If you don’t have your own account you can use ours: login: knitomatic2, password: knitomatic. But you should get your own account fast, ’cause you’re going to LOVE it!
It’s not really a try last minute gift, but this is what I have been thinking about lately ….. fingerless gloves/mitts/gauntlets (whatever they are called). It’s more of a “keep yourself occupied over the holiday” kind of theme. Plus, the mitties are a project which travel well.
If you have problems with the DPNs on the move, you can try a few other alternatives, including knitting with 2 circular needles, the magic loop technique using 1 long circular needle, or picking up a pair of really short circulars (addi makes 12cm circs ad clover makes 9cm circs). If you have the DPNs keep them around to finish the thumb (if applicable)
Oh, and included below is a slew of different skill levels, ranging from Absolute Beginner to Intermediate, but they are organized in order of prettiness of pictures.