There have been many a time around UY when a knitter has come in looking to convert another. I think it might be in our knitterly nature to want to bring others over to the dark side. We wish to inflict our loop obsession on the masses in order to have people to knit with I think. Knitters love company. Not only do knitters come in looking to help out the beginner in their lives but others as well. ‘My (insert relation here) wants to learn how to knit, what will they need to get started?’. Well, let me offer some advice.
First I think a good beginner book is essential. Something the NK (new knitter) can reference later in his or her knitting career as well as something to get them started. As you all know, I usually recommend the Stitch and Bitch book for this purpose but there are also a couple of great Vogue knitting books that make excellent references. I feel that a good beginner book should have excellent diagrams and should be easy to use, these are your two main criteria.
The other item an NK needs is their very first project. There are really a lot of options in this category but I beg you knitter: do not start them out with a sock, a cable, some lace. This will only deter them! Are there exceptions to this rule? Of course. But it really helps your walking if you learn to sit up first!
So I recommend the faithful fool proof scarf. You need some worsted weight yarn (maybe a little thicker if you prefer), needles to match, and a healthy dose of garter stitch. Why garter you ask? While it may seem dull knitting a scarf in garter stitch will give you an even tension by the end, pretty much every time. It’s also pretty forgiving on any missed stitches etc. and the texture of a garter scarf is great for warmth and fashion. If you’re not sure just tell the lovely ladies at UY how wide you want your scarf and they will happily give you an idea of how many stitches to cast on. It’s that simple!
Last but not least I would turn a new knitter on to Ravelry. If you don’t know what Ravelry is, it’s kind of like facebook for knitters, only better. You can put your projects on Raverly to share them with the knitting world, you can organize your knitting stash and needles, you can find both free and pay patterns galore, search for yarn information, well, the list is really endless. I absolutely love Ravelry and spend probably too much time on that site. I could really go on for days about it! So add a little note in the NK’s card or put a sticky note on their new reference book with the note: www.ravelry.com