Knitting Community

Welcome to the Learn to Knit KAL! Tell us something about yourself. Why do you want to learn to knit? Or, if you're already a knitter, how did you learn?

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Hi! I'm Peggy, and I'm one of the moderators of this KAL. I've been knitting regularly since about 1957, although I learned to knit in 1950. Of course, that was before I was born. Knitting is a passion with me, but I've made every mistake in the book, I think. I hope I can help a few of you out. Happy knitting? --P
Hi! I'm Susan, the Blue Lake Knitter. I've been knitting for nearly four years, and will be one of your moderators for this KAL. I have knit a lot of different things: afghans, socks, sweaters, dog sweaters, mittens, scarves. I am also a spinner... well, at least for the last four months. I love to knit and I knit every day. If you have a question that I can answer I will be glad to help. Please tell us something about yourself, why you want to learn to knit; or if you already are a knitter, what you hope to learn in this KAL.

Glad to have you in the Knitting Community

I'm Annekat; I taught myself to knit from library books. (Purl took me awhile to get, and then I got mad and threw the book across the room.) :O. I'm always trying out new things and learning new knitting techniques.
Welcome Annekat! I used to do anything I could to avoid the purl st! Being adventurous is an asset in knitting, isn't it! --P
I'm Kali, but as that is nowhere in my name, I am happy to be called Sunshine. I, too, taught myself to knit from books, and had troubles much like AnneKat, except I got Knit and Purl mixed up, so all of my simple patterns came out backwards.

I've been knitting for seven or eight years now, but only gained confidence as a knitter about 18 months ago when I decided I could try more things, and (ironically) found Knit Picks Harmony needles. Kelly really knows what she's talking about when she says that your knitting needles can make all the difference.

I still have tons of questions, but am happy to answer questions for other people as well.
Nice to have you with us Kali. You have been knitting a lot longer than I have, and I'm sure since you are self taught (like me), you will have a lot of insight to share with people new to knitting.

What are you knitting right now? I'm knitting a shawl and a pair of socks.

Kali: I had a friend who wondered why all her K sts came out twisted. She was knitting into the back of the st. It's hard to learn from books, isn't it? Yes, I love my Harmony needles. I'm going to try out the Zephyrs soon, too. --P
I got a couple of Zephyrs last week, and love them. They are super light weight with just enough give to be good for tight situations (like cables)... I'd say they would be good for people with arthritis in their hands... even less pressure than the Harmony's.
I hope my Zephyrs come soon! I'm dying to try them! --P

Hi Kali,

I was taught to knit many years ago by a German friend but just recently picked it back up. Then and now, I struggle with gauging. I've purchased the harmony needles and love them. Unfortunatley they haven't helped me with my gauging. My problem is, I think, I must knit tightly because I just purchased the Garden Cardigan by Jennifer Thompson. I purchased the suggested yarn and needles from knit picks. Here is the problem, I cannot get the gauge with the suggested needles. I would have to cast on very, very  loosely causing my work to look very messy. Any suggestions for achieving the gauge without going to a much larger needle?


everyone tends to knit a bit differently, and have different gauge. The suggested needles are just that- a suggestion of where to begin, so you may have to change needle sizes. The right size needle will give you nice looking stitches and the proper gauge at the same time. I tend to knit loosely, and sometimes have to take things down 2 needle sizes to get gauge. anneKat  

Hi Melissa,


It looks like someone has basically already answered your question, but I just wanted to reinforce the fact that everyone has a different tension, and what kittenseventoes wrote is very true...the needle size mentioned in any pattern is merely a suggested starting point.


It takes a bit of practice to know what your tension generally is like, but looser knitters can go down in needle size and tighter knitters go up in size. What needle you end up using in the end is really not too important, what is more important is that you are getting the correct amount of stitches per inch and that you like the look/feel of the fabric.


Also, it is good to note here that my tension also changes depending on what I am knitting...for example, my gauge is different depending on if I am using bamboo vs metal needles, or even straight vs circular needles.


Good luck in your project, and if you have any other questions, the KP community is a super resource.


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