How to Start Knitting

This is my brother-in-law, Kiel (it's pronounced “Kyle,” not “Keeeeel,” for those of you who are wondering).

how to start knitting a hat

Kiel knits things. Really pretty things.

The very first thing that Kiel ever knit was a vest for my son. He walked into a knitting shop and told the owner that he wanted to learn how to knit. She welcomed him into her knitting circle. As simple as that. I kid you not. While the rest of his colleagues in LA are busy hitting the club scene over in Hollywood, Kiel's sitting with a bunch of elderly women learning how to cast on and purl.

Kiel rocks my socks.

The Principles of Knitting

Simon & Schuster sent over The Principles of Knitting for us to review, so I asked Kiel to take a look at it with me. I've been dying to give knitting a real shot one of these days, and figured this would motivate me to actually sit down and do it sooner or later. The book was a huge hit when it was originally published and I've actually heard quite a few crafters refer to it as “the Bible of knitting.” Its sheer size is almost overwhelming. We flipped through it together and Kiel agreed that it's one of the better knitting books for people of all skill sets. It provides every single detail you could possibly want to know about knitting. I'm intimidated.

Kiel offered a few more tips on how to start knitting: start with something simple, like a scarf. Use a medium-thickness yarn and size 8 needles, and join a group if you can. Local craft stores are good resources, and you might actually find a few needlework or yarn shops in your area to take you in the right direction. “There are some things you can't really learn from a book,” he says, “My knitting circle walked me through the steps of casting on and worked with me to adjust the tightness of my knit.”

Personally, I've tried to start knitting twice in the past, and failed miserably both times. I got halfway through a scarf…twice. Kiel says I should just sew them together so I'll have a whole one. One of these days, I'm going to actually sit down with my knitting needles, yarn, handy book and knowledgeable guide and figure this out! You guys hold me to that, okay?