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Knit to purl-fection
How to knit

04/02/15
By Allie Ginwala aginwala@hippopress.com



A craft that’s both relaxing and social, knitting can be done anywhere as long as you have the proper tools. 

“I can’t put a sewing machine in my purse, but I can always have a ball of yarn and needles,” said Tammy Gross, library assistant at Goffstown Public Library and local knit and crochet instructor.
 
Getting started
Selecting a first project depends on what type of learner you are. Someone who wants something repetitive to get a feel for the movement should try a scarf. If a little more variety is needed to tackle the challenge, take on a pair of mittens. 
“The passion for each individual project is what pushes them,” Gross said, so if you want to learn, find what inspires your creativity.
 
Tips and tools
One of the first things to master is holding the yarn, which is mostly based on personal preference. Gross said the two main styles are continental knitting and English knitting. Gross uses continental knitting, which puts the yarn in the left hand, while English knitting has the yarn in the right hand for “throwing the yarn.”
When choosing needles, make sure they’re a comfortable width. 
“As if you're holding a pencil or pen, so that might be size 7 or 8 needle,” Gross said. “An 8 is comfortable in most people’s hands.”
With that size needle, go with worsted weight yarn, which fits well. As for type of fiber, Gross recommends starting out with a wool yarn in a solid color. It will feel comfortable to the touch and create neat and beautiful stitches. 
“[It] makes the whole process enjoyable because you get to look at [and feel] something nice as you work.”
 
Learn by reading, watching and doing
Gross learned to knit at a young age by studying library books. 
“When I wanted to make mittens I remember getting books from the library and reading until I got it,” Gross said. “I was determined to do everything and do it well.”
While reading from a book taught Gross and may work for others, she recommends checking out YouTube videos or taking a workshop with fellow knitters. 
“They give a lot of encouragement,” she said. 
Regardless of the format, the best way to learn is to keep practicing.  
“No matter which way you learn … I always tell people the most important thing is to practice,” training your fingers and developing muscle memory, Gross said.  
 
As seen in the April 2, 2015 issue of the Hippo.





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