Introduction: Welcome to Knitting

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In this knitting class, I'll teach you the basics of hand knitting. Whether you're an absolute novice or you want to refresh some rusty skills, this beginner class will get you going! You'll be guided through making cozy scarves, hats, and mittens while learning the tools, fibers, and vocabulary you need to take on any knitting project after the class is complete. You'll put in the necessary practice during this class to establish consistency in your own knitting style, which is the key to creating even, professional looking finished projects!

Step 1: Why Knit?

Knitting is a productive, portable, and inexpensive hobby that is fun for all ages. Hand knits make excellent personalized gifts. They have a distinct look and attention to detail that can rarely be replicated in commercially available products.

Studies have shown that knitting can reduce stress and provide relief for sufferers of depression and anxiety. The complex problem solving and repetition have effects on the brain similar to meditation and can help protect your brain against aging. Enjoy the creative satisfaction of making something heartfelt, warm, and beautiful!

Step 2: Class Projects

Garter stitch scarf - Work on your yarn tension and muscle memory in this basic flat project!

Ribbed scarf - Learn to purl and combine with knitting to create ribbing in another basic flat project, using variegated yarn to achieve color effects.

Ribbed hat - Level up to knitting in the round and add a little shaping, and optional stripes! This hat can be worn two ways.

Basic mittens - I promise they're not as hard as you may think. Learn more shaping techniques and finish this class proudly!

Step 3: History of Knitting

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Our ancestors developed knitting as a way to stay warm. Knitting is ancient-- the oldest artifacts are from 11th century Egypt. Before the industrial revolution, hand knits were popular in Europe and traded globally. As mechanical knitting machines were developed, refined, and popularized, hand knitting was increasingly classified as a hobby. The industrial machines were capable of producing large volumes of small-gauge knitted fabric commonly used for underwear, socks, and stockings.

Knit garments saw a significant surge of popularity in the 1920s. Multicolor and cabled sweater designs flourished in the Western sportswear market. Home knitters were encouraged to knit socks, balaclavas, and gloves during the First World War and WWII. Knitwear has been a huge part of fashion ever since.

The hobby of hand knitting suffered a dive in popularity in the 1980s and 90s, but came back strong thanks to the internet (hey, that's us!). If you haven't read it, the History of Knitting page on Wikipedia is fascinating.

Step 4: About Your Instructor

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Hi, I'm Becky Stern! I've been knitting since around age 12, and I learned from my mother. I identify as both a "process" and a "product" knitter because I enjoy the journey as much as the destination. In college I preferred knitting to doodling during lectures as a way to keep my mind present.

In grad school I made internet-famous knitted sculpture. Later, while working for MAKE Magazine, I collaborated on a knitting machine hacking project to knit custom graphics made on the computer.

Like many crafters, I'm a hobby collector. In addition to knitting, I'm also excited about electronics, vintage motorcycles, and making videos on YouTube.

Step 5: Are You Ready?!

I'm excited to embark with you on this knitting journey. You can expect to build confidence over time through the projects in this class. Remember to go easy on yourself when you get frustrated. It's never easy learning something new! Like most worthwhile activities, it takes practice to gain proficiency. Next you'll learn about the tools and materials used to bring knitting projects to life.

About This Instructable

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Bio: Becky Stern is a content creator at Instructables. She has authored hundreds of tutorials about everything from wearable electronics to knitting. Before joining Instructables, Becky ... More »
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