To Knit Or To Purl?

by Nicki on January 14, 2009

in Series


Thanks for joining me for the second part of the Almost Lost Domestic Arts series. The purpose of this series is to bring you information about some fantastic domestic arts that have almost gotten lost in our technology- and consumer-driven culture. The first segment was on sewing. Today I’m talking about knitting and crocheting.

I am a true beginner at both knitting and crocheting. My grandma taught me how to crochet when I was young and I made several blankets. I really enjoyed it, but then I didn’t do it again for a LONG time. Now I’m having trouble remembering and I don’t know anyone personally that can sit with me and remind me of the basics.

Knitting is something I’ve only picked up over the past few winters. I learned the basic ‘knit stitch‘ and I was off making one scarf after another. I got brave this winter and made this hat. Learning to knit and remembering how to crochet have been soothing to me. Although I’m just a beginner I’m learning there is a whole world of knitting and crocheting out there that is bigger than the blankets and scarves that I’ve created.

Why Knit Or Crochet? There are several reasons that I can already rattle off for you, even though I’m just a beginner.

  • Money Saver. Of course I bring this up first. My friend Amanda, who gave me a lot of tips for this post, introduced me to the idea of ‘frogging.’ Basically, you unravel an old, knitted piece that you no longer care for and re-use the yarn. Here’s a great site to check out for more info on that. I also have to bring up gift-giving. You can create some beautiful, thoughtful gifts with knitting and crocheting that will be personal and meaningful while also remaining inexpensive. Baby items are a good place to start and of course, scarves! You gotta love knitting one, long straight rectangle.
  • Sanity Saver. Once you get the hang of knitting or crocheting it doesn’t take too much thought. Of course, if you are working on a more complicated pattern you will be more involved, but basically you can sit and knit something simple while watching your favorite show or talking with a friend. Some people need to relax but have a hard time sitting still – this is for you.
  • Heat Saver. Ok, I just like the “Saver” thing I had going. Knitted and crocheted things are very warm and they last. I crocheted a queen-size blanket for my husband about 7 years ago or so.  We are blanket snugglers, so we have quite a few throw blankets. We were just marveling the other day at how strange it is that the knitted/crocheted blankets are the warmest. It doesn’t seem like they would be very warm because of all the holes in them, but they are the warmest ones we have.

Considering that I’m a beginner, I can’t personally give you a ton of advice on this topic, but I know several people that can. I enlisted them.

First, Kate from Curiositys wrote a post as part of this series. She gives some fantastic resources for beginning knitters. She suggests a couple books to check out along with some websites with tutorials and free patterns.  She also does another great thing – she explains what some of the abbreviations mean. I know one frustrating thing for me has been not understanding some of the patterns that I’ve found. Kate includes a pattern in her post for an adorable knit cuff. Her pattern is easy to follow and the pictures are very helpful. Also in her post is one of my favorite things that she has made, this lap blanket. It isn’t for a beginner, but I am DYING to try it.

SouleMama posted recently on knitting listing some resources for beginning knitters. She also had readers comment how they began knitting. The things she creates are beautiful. If you’re at all interested in knitting you’ll be inspired by browsing her site.

My friend Amanda, who really should have a blog, also told me about the site Ravelry. The site says, “Ravelry is a place for knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, and dyers to keep track of their yarn, tools, and pattern information, and look to others for ideas and inspiration.” Amanda said it’s great because you can see pictures of the same pattern made by different people from all over the world. If you’re looking to join a community to get some inspiration this would be something great to check out.

Hopefully you find some helpful resources here. What’s your level of experience with knitting or crocheting? Do you have any tips to add? Please leave them in the comments! 

Be sure to check back next Wednesday for the third part of this series on Cooking From Scratch. If you’d like to participate I’d be happy to include you, simply go here and see what to do.

Why I do what I do ~ I just found a raisin stuck to the bottom of my foot. That can only happen to a mom. How lucky am I? :-)

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Imperfectly Frugal : Domestic Cents
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1 Jason January 14, 2009 at 9:36 pm

My wife is a fantastic crocheter – she can whip up a scarf or shawl in a day or two, and has made quite a few cute little toys as well. I’ve dabbled in it (we used to go along to a crochet get-together, so I was crocheting just to “fit in” :-) ), but I’m not very good at it.

Revelry is a great site for lots of different patterns (although more and more are becoming pay only unfortunately) – definitely worth checking out.

Jason’s last blog post..Don’t Be Penny Wise, Pound Foolish


2 Emma January 19, 2009 at 12:52 pm

I love knitting.Despite the fact that I have been knitting for about 3 years, I am still a beginner, and don’t know very many different stitches.I also recommend ravelry!It is a great site.Another helpful site would be, or these videos on youtube:

Emma’s last blog post..Wickedly Green….


3 Hilary Kay January 26, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Love the post! My mother has been instilling her love for knitting in me. I’ve only made scarves and blankets so far but I’m wanting to start some harder projects soon!

Hilary Kay’s last blog post..Blog Carnivals


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