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Chelsey Sharpe

Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace. -Confucius

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Learning Project

A Close to My Learning Project

Throughout the last semester, I have been working on this knitting learning project. It is hard to believe that the time has come to end it. I chose to knit because I did not have a clue to how to knit. Many people throughout my life have told me that knitting is too hard for a Lefty to learn or that you need a left-handed person to show you how. However, this is not the case anymore, throughout my learning project I have learned to knit using Youtube and various other websites to get me started. I now can say I’m a knitter for life.

During my journey, I have learned how to hold the needles, what a knit stitch and purl stitch are. The stitches I have learned:

  • Knit stitch
  • Purl stitch
  • slip stitch
  • knit, yarn over, knit
  • pass one over stitch
  • knit two together
  • purl two together
  • garter stitch
  • increase by a stitch
  • decrease by a stitch
  • stitch one below
  • zig zag

I have joined knitting a knitting community through Ravelry, I now post my questions and get feedback from my peers. I also learned that Youtube is a valuable tool when it comes to learning. Not only did I watch Youtube video to learn how to do different stitches, but I have also posted some videos of my own.

I have tried many different patterns, most of which have failed. I have completed 4 different patterns that are used for making dishcloths and I have started a scarf. Through these patterns, I have learned to read the language of knitting (which is mostly abbreviations). I also learned to gauge and find the right tools that are needed.  Having the right tool important to be successful in any learning project. I have learned that short needles are not the best for what I make and that the size (width) of the needle really does matter.

Lastly, I have been able to pass on my knowledge through this blog and twitter. I hope that my readers are able to pick up knitting as easy as I was able too. Here is a progression of my work:

 

 

Purple- K1 into stitch below
Multicolour- K1, yarn over, K1

 

Photo credit: Me

 

How to do a Knit stitch and a Purl Stitch

The knit stitch and the purl stitch are the two basic stitches that all pattern start with. The knit stitch you start with the left handed needle going under the stitch on the right-hand needle. With the purl stitch, the left-hand needle goes in front of the right-hand needle with the yarn also in front, you then hook twist and pull through the yarn. I have created a video to help with the instructions. Please excuse the bad camera angle, my camera man was not listening to me.

* Unfortunately my video is not uploading to Youtube at this time, as soon as it is available I will post it*

This Lefty Learned to Zig Zag.

I finally pulled off a pattern that looks like there is a zig zag to it but honestly I just knitted in rows. This is how I did it: knit 3, knit forward and back in the same stitch, knit 4, slip stitch one, knit two together, knit 4, knit forward and back in the same stitch, Repeat. It was so simple, I love the new design of my dishcloth that I am making.

During this pattern, I also learned to add different colors which I thought would be super hard but it was a breeze, all you do it pick up the next color while stitching. So instead of going green on the next row, you stitch in blue. Make sure to keep at least 6 inches of yarn as a tail and you are set.

Here is a pic of my latest work. Click here is you want to try this pattern for yourself.

 

Photo credit: Me

There is also I typo in the pattern only cast on 40 stitch not 43.

Learning to Read a Pattern

Last night I was struggling with a new pattern and thought I could not be the only beginner struggling. When teaching in a classroom, we are helping different languages all the time. Some languages we teach include spoken language, the language of math and the language of code.  If the student does not understand the language, they then get frustrated and shut down. That was my reaction last night, I could not understand the language of the pattern I was trying. I got frustrated and stopped doing what I was knitting. After awhile, I decided that I would try again. That made the difference when I came back to the pattern with a clear mind I was able to figure out what was being asked.

I have found the abbreviations are popular when it comes to knitting patterns. Some abbreviations that I have come across include:

  • inc, an increase
  • K1, Knit one stitch
  • P1, Purl one stitch
  • Sl1, slip stitch
  • psso, pass slip stitch over
  • P3tog, purl 3 together
  • K1 YO K1 knit one, yarn over, knit one.

Confusing right, that is what I thought. I have been learning the language of knitting by doing a copy and paste of the abbreviation into Google. Google usually produces an explanation and a video to watch.

Here are the pattern instructions that confused me last night.

Instructions found at:
https://s3.amazonaws.com/spinrite/LILY-SnC-K-ChangingColorsKnitDishcloth-WEB.pdf

The highlighted area is still confusing to me, although, my project is starting to look right. If you understand this language please comment below and tell me what I am supposed to be doing. Do I just increase 2 stitches or do I increase 42? What is the stand alone 42 stitches?

 

Tips for starting to knit (left handed)

I have been think of how can I help other left-handed want to be knitters to knit. I struggled and still am not the best at knitting but I have come up with some tricks and have found so extremely useful websites that can help when you are struggling.

First trick- cast on and then rip it out several times. I find that if the cast on is not how tight you want the stitches to be, ripping it out and starting over gain is extremely helpful. Now, most people would not agree with me but I think of it this way. The cast on is the most important part of your project. If the cast on is too loose or too tight then the rest of the rows will not turn out right. Plus there is something that is satisfactory when it comes to ripping out stitches.

 

Second- Learn the codes for the pattern. This sounds silly but if you don’t know what K1 or P1 means then you have no chance to understanding the pattern. I found that just putting the abbreviations into google is extremely useful. Since google knows everything it comes up with the term and videos that show how to knit that way.

 

Lastly, There are many websites out there to help you learn to knit but you have to be extremely picky on which ones to follow. WikiHow has a page on left-handed knitting but not videos (I need the videos to learn). Knitting Left-handed for dummies looks good but it only gives you a start then wants you to buy the book. Finally, LearningtoKnit.com is a good, However, once again there is only pictures and instructions. At least the pictures should you set by step.

 

Remember like everything practice makes perfect, my projects look scary but I’m just learning and moving at my own speed. You don’t need to be the best, everyone started somewhere.

 

Ps. I found a machine that you can buy that knits for you, because why not.

 

What there is Math in Knitting?

Many people do not realize how much math goes into knitting. Math is in every pattern, for example, there is counting involved in casting, counting the number of rows and the length of the pattern is given in inches. Lastly, math is used to increase or decrease the number of stitches in a row.

The website is called How to Increase Stitches Evenly Across a Row created by Lucia, helps take the math out of the pattern for you. The author set up the website to automatically figure out where to increase stitches when to insert them evenly, Brillant!  The website requires the number of stitches in the row and how many to increase by, It then does the math. Lucia even tells you two different ways you can increase. Taking out the work of figuring it out.

Photo Credit: Garnstudio Drops design via Google Images

Knitting… my new favourite past time

I have been reflecting on my learning project and I have come to the conclusion that knitting is my new hobby. I love sitting down on the couch after a long day, pulling out my latest knitting pattern and knitting up a storm. I have started to take on new stitches like the knit1, yarn over, knit1, which just basically just adding a stitch to your line. I have also learned to knit1 into the stitch below. That means that you stitch under the live stitch you are on. I will add the videos on how to do this below.

I’ll just keep on doing my thing and see what happens. I have also decided that my friends will all be getting dishcloths for Christmas this year. My question to you is, what pattern should I do? go on the link above and let me know what should be my next dishcloth pattern. I have also given up on the scarf I was making. It is now spring and knitting a scarf now seems pointless.

 

Purple- K1 into stitch below
Multicolour- K1, yarn over, K1

 

Is knitting becoming popular again?

So haven’t really posted anything new about my learning project in a long time. Not that I was super busy with midterm assignments being due, but because I have run into a lull. I have found a knitting community that shares patterns and ideas to help beginners. I have started and stopped and restarted projects. My next step will be to produce an instructional video that will help with learning to knit left handed. But I need someone to hold the camera for me. However, with all these set backs I have looked into whether or not knitting is becoming popular again.

I posed this question onto Google and found an article that states that knitting becomes more popular when the season changes and if celebrities are doing it.  This just makes sense, in winter many people spend more time at home and knitting is just easy to pick up.  I also have had discussions about knitting with many people and they say that they knit to relax. I am also finding this to be true. At night, when I’m ready to relax on the couch I pick up my knitting turn on a relaxing tv show and just knit. It is almost blissful.

My project that I am working on right now is a scarf. I have made a ton of mistakes but I am learning to let that go and just keep on going. I found the pattern for this scarf on Ravelry.

Let me know how I’m doing, or how should I get out of my knitting lull. Any productive suggestions will be considered.

 

There is a whole knitting community out there.

So I have been working away knitting on my knitting project. It is all fun but I was like what kind of support is out there when I need help. Well, let me tell you there is a lot in the knitting community. I just signed up for Ravelry this is an online community that has it all for beginners to the experienced.

This community has different patterns, forums and places to purchase yarn. I have been finding that the forum is where the beginners communicate about how their projects are going and a place to ask questions. I also like the Ravelry as a place where you can link your own blog so other knitters can connect.

As a continue to explore this online community, I wonder if you belong to a community for your learning project. What does your community provide you? Do you feel like the community is there to support you?

Please leave your comments below

Happy Learning Everyone!

Photo credit: leanforward_photos
Photo credit: leanforward_photos

 

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