I can’t remember if I started crocheting or knitting on a loom first. I started my kids with loom knitting because they are still able to make a useable item even if they can’t get the tension right.
With the loom it’s really hard to do stitches wrong so the kids are usually happy with their creation, and it’s encouraging for them to continue on with textile arts.
We have tried to teach my daughter to crochet a few times but she doesn’t place the crochet hook in the same place all the time, it ends up so tight she can’t get the hook into her project. She has a bunch of started and abandoned textile projects around the house but that is the way I started too.
I had this exact Eeyore latch hook kit when I was a kid and I didn’t finish it until I was in my 20’s! I still have it laying around to make it into something. I plan to make it into a pillow for my youngest daughter’s room, someday…
I bought my oldest daughter an Olaf latch hook kit but she hasn’t gotten any farther than I did as a kid. Knowing this latch hook wouldn’t be the 1st textile are I recommend to beginners.
I learned how to crochet from my mom, her childhood neighbor, Ms. Pat from my day care center, and my grandmother.
I know that learning sometimes takes awhile and sometimes you have to learn the same thing several times before it clicks. Knitting is something that I didn’t figure out until I was an adult and I didn’t get good at it until I tried knitting in a giant size!
Seeing the stitches in a huge size when Arm Knitting helped me understand and learn what was happening with the yarn. Since this worked for me with knitting, I plan to get my oldest a Huge Crochet Needle Set because I think it might help her see where she should put her crochet needle in her project.
I’m also hoping she won’t pull her yarn so tight but that is something you learn with experience. I like to tell beginners that you want your project to lay flat. If it’s curling your stiches are too tight. Since she keeps getting frustrated with the regular sized crochet needles she keeps moving to other projects (which is typical for beginners so I don’t discourage it).
These days she is more into using the loom her god parents got her. I helped her string the loom to do the non-yarn products that came with the Melissa and Doug Loom.
I did have to help her string the loom and then I had to read the instructions to remove projects from the loom. It had been a LONG time since I had last weaved and I didn’t remember the process of removing projects.
I’d love to tell you removing your project is easy but it’s definitely a bit of a process and takes patience to not ruin your project as you remove it. We did manage it and the kids still like weaving with yarn but they still enjoy the knitting with their looms better.
What is my favorite these days? Well while I love crochet I have discovered that knitting stitches are so much stretchy-er then crochet stitches!
This has been such a game changer for me as I crocheted a lot of clothing and accessories that either didn’t stretch enough to fit or became droopy because they were too big. I learned how to knit by making ear warmers on needles I picked up at the thrift store.
There are lots of knitting kits available if you can’t get needles from a friend or at your local consignment shop.
I like this Learning Knitting Kit in particular because it includes instructions for left handers. If you have left handers in your family you know how much of a challenge it is to reverse the instructions, it is not for the faint of heart!
I wouldn’t expect that you will be able to learn how to knit from a book alone. I never could and I started learning how to tie special knots with my survivalist father at the age of 2. You tube is an amazing resource for learning how to knit as it does help to watch the process.
Just know that there are different knitting techniques out there, so if you find a helpful video make sure to save it so you don’t have to re-learn a new knitting technique every time you have been away from knitting for awhile.
If you get frustrated DON’T THROW AWAY YOUR KNITTING KIT! Just stash it in a drawer for awhile and come back to it later. Knitting looms are an easy way to start wrapping your head around the idea of how knitting stiches are formed.
Serenity knitting looms (or knitting boards) are a great way to make larger projects without knitting needles. You will have to decide whether or not you like to glue pegs to your board or if you’d rather them be removable.
It does seem that most prefer the look of chunky yarn with projects on these looms, and did you know that you can do smaller projects on these too? You don’t have to use all the pegs available and you can make flat panels from just a couple of inches up to the 55″ wide! I considered making a front and back panel for a sweater on this but ended up going a different route.
The serenity looms are a nice way to get familiar with that knitting stitch and when you are ready to come back and try your knitting needles again they will be there! Those beginner knitting kits usually come with several different project patterns too, so once you figure out the knitting basics you will have different fun projects to choose from.
These days I am loving my US size 13 circular knitting needles with chunky Wool-Ease Yarn! I got lucky and found my wool-ease yarn half price at Ollie’s Bargain Outlet a few seasons ago and am just getting around to using it this year.
When I first started knitting on my needles “way back when” I couldn’t figure out why when I picked my knitting project back up it would sometimes look different when I started again. I only knew the knitting stitch and had no clue that if I turned the project around it was the “purl stitch” side.
When you knit with the circular needles you learn how to form a knit and a purl stitch without turning your project. The 1st project I tried with the circular needles was ribbing for a hat.
I knitted and purled, and messed up, and pulled out my project, and restarted probably 7 times before I learned how to identify what a knit stitch and purl stitch looked like on my project. When I finally figured that out the world of knitting opened up and I could make beautiful stretchy ribbing!!
I am now experimenting with whether or not I can make a sweater on the 36″ circular needles I have. Wish me luck! It’s definitely a lot of stiches to try and fit on my needles all at once. I could have tried to make a front and back panel instead but I am hoping the circular method will work because that means less assembly and that the front and back of my sweater will match without a lot of effort and counting on my part!
For the ribbing I prefer the Old Norwegian style cast on. I included a video showing that cast on stitch at the end of this post.
There are plenty of different cast on’s to choose from but this is one that gets you a ton of stretch and it’s pretty amazing for ribbing. It’s a little more complicated than other cast on methods but I have faith you can figure it out, and that once you get it you will be jumping for joy over how well your knitting projects fit!
The only textile art we do that I didn’t mention in this post is sewing. I also love sewing and I am trying to get better at it. A friend just reached out to me and asked if I wanted a box of patterns donated to their charity. Apparently they never sold and they needed a home or were headed to the trash! I of course volunteered to receive any and all unwanted crafting and art supplies for the rest of forever!
I am hoping some of these patterns will help me learn how to sew a real pocket. That’s a little confusing to try and learn from a youtube video with no pattern pieces. My plan is to figure out how to make my own leggings with pockets and then expand into making my perfect yoga dress pants.
Honestly though it’s a lot easier to knit these days because I don’t have to be at the sewing machine. Knitting also requires less sharp objects and so it’s a safer activity to do around my toddler and puppy!
I love crafts in general but I spend a lot of my crafting time doing textile arts. I find that a lot of my textile time is in the winter as I really like crocheting and knitting when it’s cold out. I do find I do more sewing in the summer.
Are textile arts seasonal for you too or do you have a favorite textile art you stick with? What is your favorite textile art currently? What is your favorite yarn project ever? Feel free to answer in the comments or tag me on social!
I love seeing what everyone enjoys making and I especially love Instagram for the crafting community there. If you haven’t discovered the textile art community on Instagram what are you waiting for!
I do hope that this post inspired you to keep taking steps to learn all you can on your textile journey. Would you like to learn how to do a specific type of textile project? I take suggestions on what kind of tutorials to create so send me your ideas.
Anyway thanks for reading about mine and my family’s textile journey. If you’d like to write about your own crafting or art journey for my blog reach out and lets chat about it!
As promised here is my video explaining how to do my favorite cast on stitch. I hope it helps!
If you have any questions leave a comment for me. Thanks for spending time with me today!
Take care everyone, happy crafting, and happy learning!