Knitting, Chinese food and teaching friends the craft

My friend Ashleigh asked me if I would teach her how to knit near the beginning of the semester. I told her I’d gladly show her how– I figure it’s best to pass the addiction to someone else… that way I won’t feel as bad when I spend mountains of money on yarn and the likes because I know someone else who does the same thing!

So last Thursday, after I was done with classes and she was done with work, I met up with her and we went to Loop. She has no supplies and I need new supplies (of course because when don’t I need new supplies?) so we went with the best of intentions. I figured teaching her on either 8s or 9s would be best. They’re right in the middle of the spectrum and very easy to work with.

OK so here’s the skinny on Needles. I highly recommend getting Bamboo needles. They are very light so you won’t have to worry about your wrists getting tired or cramping up, and they warm to the heat of your hands so they’re incredibly comfortable. If you, however, are a purist, you can still buy the metal needles (some people just love the way they sound and feel in their hands when knitting) but I think you may soon find that they’re too heavy and your wrists will start to hurt. The prices are near the same, so no reason to splurge on those darker bamboo needles that cost almost 20 dollars for a pair of 9s. Clover Takumi makes an entire line of lightweight bamboo needles and they’re beautiful to look at as well as to use. Prices range from 8 dollars to 15 dollars, depending on the size and length of the needles. Takumi also makes the full range of Circular and Double Pointed needles for the same price range.

Next- the low down on yarn.
When you’re first starting out, you probably shouldn’t spend a ton of money on the yarn you use, unless you have a clear destination in mind for the skein and you know you’re going to want to continue with crafting. It’s usually best to go with some sort of mix blend because it’s 4 bucks a skein rather than 14. Ashleigh and I went to Loop, so it’s not really the kind of place to get really cheap yarn. I knew she’d want something she can wear though… so I figured she’d want something a little higher quality (You can still get nice quality yarn for relatively cheap… you just have to pay attention to yardage and prices). All I’m was going start her out with was a scarf anyway.

What to make: When I showed her how to knit, I started by teaching Ashleigh how to cast on and then to do a simple garter stitch. I figure she’ll want something easy that she can call her own so a Go Go Garter Stitch scarf from “Stitch n Bitch” (Ravel it!) would do the trick. I had a lot more planned for her but we stopped after teaching her the knit stitch because she needed to get comfy with the needles.

So we got set up and started knitting for an hour or so until we got hungry and got some Chinese. She’s doing great so far and I hope I wasn’t too bad of a teacher!

I love the feeling of teaching someone how to make something of their own. Knitting is really simple and fun to do and I highly hope that many more people around me will want to learn to knit. I may be able to start my own Stitch n Bitch crew!


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