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Monday, November 12, 2012

Books and Videos and Cables, Oh My!

I made cables!


For some reason, I've always thought knowing how to do cables was the mark of a Very Serious Knitter.  Now I've learned and I don't feel any different.  It's kind of like having a birthday.  I am glad I know how to do them now, though, and I'm going to make a hat or a baby sweater or something that looks nice cabled.  

I wrote in my last post that some people (like me) aren't big fans of knitting swatches, but I wanted to this time because I didn't want the pressure of trying out a new technique while trying to knit a whole item.   So last weekend, I sat down with a DVD of.......Henry V, starring Kenneth Branagh, also known as my imaginary boyfriend.

I was also sitting down with a copy of Expand Your Knitting Skills because it was long past time for me to get over my cable fears.  So I opened it up to the pattern for the Starter Cable Scarf, read the instructions for cables, and learned to cable with a minimum of crying and sweating.  I was using 'practice yarn', which is just some scraps from yarn that mysteriously turned up in my stash.  Since I didn't have much of it, I only knit for 10 or 12 inches.  By that point, I had used the cable needle enough to realize it wasn't all that tricky or scary.  The pattern is for an entire scarf, and I totally recommend it to you if you want to learn to knit cables, but don't want to knit something that can't be used and enjoyed.

This morning, I sat down with the DVD I Can't I'm Knitting Cables, Bobbles, & Lace.  It helped me figure out eyelets last week, and I wanted to try the nine-stitch braid.  So I did that as well, and it didn't even hurt.  Amazing! 

I started writing this as a compare and contrast type of post, and I was going to recommend that you check out a book or DVD that just shows you certain stitches and then you should buy something that has patterns.  But forget that.  Do what you want, but if you're in the mood to take advice: buy. 

Better yet, borrow a book from a friend or check it out from your library.  If you really, really like it, then buy a copy.  That's what I did with a lot of my pregnancy and baby books, and I think it's probably what I'm going to do with the DVD.

I need both of these in my arsenal.

It may seem like a bit 'much' to have instructional materials for stitches you're used to doing, but it can come in handy.  It's nice to have a refresher on stitches you might not make very often.  It's also great to have it on hand if you want to loan it to a friend--especially if he or she has a different learning style than you.  If you like learning from books, your books probably won't do a lot of good for someone who likes watching videos.  If you're like me, and you need to have the book in your lap and the DVD playing for some stitches (why is a simple yarnover so difficult?!), then you should definitely get your hands on both.






If I'm doing something wrong, please don't tell me in the comments.  Let me know if you're more of a book or a video person.  Actually, I don't want to go twenty years doing this upside or backwards like I did with purling.  Fine, maybe let me know if I'm doing something wrong.  But really, what kind of learner are you?


6 comments:

  1. I like to watch videos when trying to learn new stitches or can't remember how to make a certain stitch or technique that I don't use often.

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    1. I think I like books the best because you don't have to worry about pausing anything, but sometimes you just can't beat watching every move someone else makes to really get the hang of things!

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  2. I'm glad that your pursuit was less painful than expected. Your swatches look beautiful. I have always wanted to learn different knit stitches. Maybe I should learn by making scarves???? Anyway, Great Job!

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    1. Thanks! I'm a little annoyed that I waited so long to try. I think scarves are a great way to try out new stitches--you repeat the techniques often enough to memorize them, and then you have a scarf to show for it. Thanks again!

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  3. I learn new techniques easier by watching a video. Your cables look really good.

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    1. Thanks for letting me know--and for the compliment! I wonder if videos are the preferred method of learning now. A friend on Facebook said that she was checking the book she bought just so she'd know what search for on YouTube!

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