Wednesday, January 31, 2007

a DIY guide

I've had some requests recently to learn how to knit, so I thought I'd put together a list of some of my favorite resources, especially those online. I think the best place to learn new techniques is Knitting Help, especially if just looking at pictures isn't enough: they have videos for nearly everything. I still go there! Learn to Knit has some good diagrams on the basic stitches, plus some articles about finding the right yarn for the project as well as some easy peasy patterns. My Craft Book has clear photos of just what you need to get started, plus the site is easy to navigate.

But then what? Knitty is by far the best place for mostly cool and flattering patterns every season, plus they have a great section of articles and techniques, and their archives are easy to navigate. Magknits is also a great resource for free patterns. Now they publish once a month, which is pretty cool. I'm not a fan of their archives page though. As for the patterns that might not make it to these magazines, there's the Island of Misfit Patterns. I love pretty much everything that's on there, plus they can be a great way for a designer to get started. There's still tons of stuff out there, so Knitting Pattern Central keeps track of it in easy to navigate pages, helping you to find the perfect pattern for just about everything. Knitting on the Net is really great too, with a huge list of patterns and stitch patterns for when you want to make something up on the fly.

Okay, so now you know what to do and how to do it. If you want to pass on some kharma, there are tons of places you can help to put your knitting towards a good cause. I think Warm Up America is one of the easiest ways to get involved, all you have to do is knit squares! You can send them in or make it a community project and put together a whole blanket with your friends, then donate it to a shelter or other place in need. Project Linus is the same sort of idea, but specifically for children, which can be more interesting for you than squares, but easily accomplished too. If you're into scarves (whether you're still learning or in need of a break from more complicated projects), look into the Red Scarf Project, that sends care packages to former foster kids in college that don't have a home support system any more. If you want to think globally, check out the Dulaan Project that sends hats, gloves, mittens, sweaters, vests, really anything to needy families in poverty stricken Mongolia. They need all kinds of sizes, especially children's. And finally, if pets are your thing, Snuggles allows you to share your knitting with homeless animals.

These pictures are some of the most famous ones depicting knitting, and because I just turned in a huge art history paper and have art on my brain. Which, I suppose, isn't anything that new, but they're pretty and I don't have much progress of my own to share.

The first Stitch and Bitch meeting on my campus was tonight. I'm leading it this year, and needless to say, I was excited. Until nobody showed up. So I ended up watching Arrested Development with the hosts of the house and drinking a beer.

No comments: