July 19, 2008

Knitting FAQ

After a bit of Googling, I've discovered everything that claims to be a FAQ on the topic of knitting is either very specific ("What gauge is most traditional for Fair Isle?") or is actually a sprawling instructional site rather than a list of Q&A's. Now, I've been known to ask some pretty specific questions myself (I just stumped the 'Tips & Techniques' group on Ravelry for like a week by asking how you do plaited basket stitch in the round), and I love those instructional sites as if they are delicious candy (just look at my sidebar links), but I feel there's a need for a sort of quick-reference to basic, general questions. Questions like, "My scarf is fifteen feet long; how do I stop?"

I'm going to need your help for this. I know there aren't a lot of people reading right now, but I also know y'all are smart and curious folks, and you have friends. You see where I'm going with this. Would you darlings be so kind as to ask me questions, and see if other people you know have questions? Anything you've always wondered about? Problems you've come up against?

Especially useful:
- Questions so basic you feel silly for asking them.
- Questions to which you've found multiple conflicting answers.
- Meta-questions; that is, not about the actual knitting or its materials, but about how to find out things, why information is given in a certain format, etc.
- Goofy, funny questions.

Peripherally related questions on other topics, like spinning, crochet, felting, or weaving, are also worth asking, though my answer might well be "Durr, I dunno!"

I'm still working on how best to format this for accessibility, so if there's a particular format you like to see FAQ's presented in, I'd love to know.



Walnutbebop said...

Humm having recently bought stitch markers[and sweet green arm warmers I'm eagerly waiting for 8D] from you I have to admit, I'm more a horder for awesome looking trinkets than a knitter, BUT you've got me curious and already purchasing yarn and needles...so first stupid question that I should've asked before buying....though I didn't see this post until now, ha 8D

"What is recommended for beginners to get?" sizes/sets, metal/wood needles if there's a preference and what's better for what material in general if you notice any?

The knittinghelp.com was hella useful though I'm a bit confused over the purl and knitt, more it's function than "how to".

I think they also briefly noted stitch markers....or making sections to return to in the knitting....and I wasn't paying attention, or couldn't wrap my head around it, seriously, but yes trying to such for their actual use and how to use.....gets nothing but online shops selling them :[

Though I doubt I'd get advanced enough to use them you never know, I did a project similiar ages back and how relaxing it was, drawing all the time gets me huge pains that I can't continue but I think this knitting might make me feel less guilty about sitting in pain and still being creative fiddling with thread :]

Enough rambling any other questions I can think of is materials, rating of yarn quality and weights and the preference for certain knitted items? For example I'd have thought the thicker perhaps heavier yarn would be more suited to scarves or jumpers and lighter for gloves or hats? or is it irrevelent and depends? Also any materials to avoid like the plague?

As for the FAQ layout itself though I don't know if it'll be code-able in blogger I've always been fond of the livejournal faq system, dunno how you could apply it to knitting, perhaps a section of materials, another on knitting, pattern making, another on terminology though there's a nice glossary already again on knittinghel.com and so on.....

I've probably just posted a huge heap of drivel but if it does help I'm glad ....I'll probably think of more questions when my items arrive. When I'm less eager to get started and you're a bit less worklogged with knitting commissions for Luka's sanity I'll be keeping an eye out for your etsy skeins, your collection just looks ...so fun to handle and soft :]

And while I'm rambling I love your creative mojo, honestly, though I'm hella sad I can't have Summerlands on my shelf next to The God Eaters, but it happens I understand :] Keep inspiring the world man!

Jesse said...

Wow, thanks so much! You're the one who bought the moss arm warmers and the voodoo skulls, eh? It's really cool to know who's getting my stuff, I love to imagine it traveling around the world. ^_^

Your questions are really, really great. For instance, I never would've thought of writing about how to use stitch markers, for instance, but if you've never done it it's not obvious, is it?

mosrael said...

Good move - I have tons of questions but am never sure of who might know the answer! To start: is it possible to convert a top-down sock pattern into a toe-up pattern, and vice versa? More q's when I'm not running around...

Also: I conned some poor bastards into giving me a paycheck. I can has fundraising hat!! Would it be best to email you?

Jesse said...

Woot! Congrats on the job!

Best way to get the hat would be to paypal the moneys directly to Luka (muzukashiitanuki@hotmail.com) with a note mentioning which item it's for, and you can describe what you want there, or just tell me here.

I remember you mentioning on the fundraiser post that you don't want wool -- was that you? Did you decide what fiber you'd like instead? When LJ starts compressing the threads, I get lost real fast. :D

mosrael said...

Thanks! I'm waiting for Paypal to finalize the transfer, so it'll take a few days. I'm in the midst of moving, too, so don't be alarmed if I seem to fall off the face of the internets. :P And I've decided to go with wool, it's just a matter of deciding the color now. (I don't suppose you could do a variegated green color with bits of orchid and violet in it? Or would it all blend to brown...)

Jesse said...

Green and violet I could totally do. I've done it before and it looks surprisingly good. By orchid you mean a purplish pink?

mosrael said...

Purplish pink is a good definition. (Like a dignified fuchsia?) So overall, a bunch of foresty green colors with purplish pink bits all up in it. :D And Paypal has finally confirmed my moneys! *headdesk* I'd like to get a pin as well, and perhaps some other goodies, so I'll send it through on the morrow. Sorry it took so long! I remember now why I like checks so much... ><;

Jesse said...

Is no problem, I had other knittings to work on. Now I can just concentrate on yours. :)

mosrael said...

Yay! ^__^ In addition to the hat, I'm going to get a Fireball pin and 15 assorted pins (<-- not fundraising, I know, but I really like pins :). Basically I'm working with $50 Canadian, which would give me room for 2 doujin as well except for the exchange rate...? Hell, I dunno, but if I'm a few dollars over I'll either pick one doujin for now or send you a check, whichever is more convenient. :D

Should I Paypal it all to Luka's account, or divide it up?

Jesse said...

Oops, sorry it took so long to get back to you! Hope you see this! If you want to buy some doujinshi, please order those through the studio store, because that's a different account. And the rest through Luka's personal paypal. Sorry for the inconvenience!

mosrael said...

Yep, I hear ya :) I'll put it through and include the hat specs to confirm which order it is. (I just checked again, and paypal is 'temporarily down'. Grr. *develops a slight twitch*)

Jesse said...

Got your order, dyed the wool, it turned out gorgeous. I think you'll be happy with it. ^_^

mosrael said...

W00t! I can't wait; it sounds awesome. X3

Anonymous said...

Hey, so I just stumbled across this and it seems pretty nifty.
I have a really belated question.

I'm a complete beginner. I made a scarf once and it was an incredibly painful experience. My knitting tends to look like a three year old made it. I think my problem is that I can't get it all to work in one smooth motion so I can't get into any kind of rhythm.
Whenever I'm knitting I invariably have to actually use my hands to get the stitch to slide off one needle and onto the next. I've had people tell me that's because my stitches are too tight, but if I make them looser... it still only help about a third of the time!
Have you ever heard of a similar problem? Solutions? Is there some sort of magical waggle of the fingers I need to be doing?


Jesse said...

Sorry it took me so long to find your question! I have moderation turned on for old posts so I can see when there's a comment -- and then it turns out there's no notification until /after/ I approve the comment. *headdesk*

Anyway, it sounds like your stitches are still too tight, and you also might not be bringing the knitting close enough to the points of the needles. I do tend to use a little flick of my thumb or forefinger to move a stitch off the needle, but most of the motion should be provided by needles, not fingers.

So try loosening up a bit more, leave less needle sticking out in front of the stitch, and see if that helps. To be more specific, I think you'd have to youtube your knitting and let me see what your hands are doing.