How I taught mySelf (and my children) to knit

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How I taught mySelf to knit | Indigo Mama | Lunation

I could knit when I was a child. We learned how to knit at school. I remember I made the coolest elephant for a friend for her birthday. The elephant had a little purple dress and slippers and all. It was a labour of love. My friend loved elephants. A few months after her birthday we had a falling out. I heard on the grapevine that she had thrown the elephant in the fire. I think that was when I stopped knitting.

Now, a grown-up, I really wanted to knit again! I’m so keen to get self-sufficient You know!? And I love knitted things. I love the texture of bulky merino and soft alpaca and recycled silk and… Plus, this year I’ve learned about a new cold. The Mountain Winter is cold. It’s not like Canberra. It’s foul. I need more knitted things!

And of course, as a home educator, it was a great opportunity to learn with my children. We have been blessed to have a great friendship with a Waldorf inspired family this year and as I watched those children knit themselves all sorts of awesome things, I decided it was time.

We started by making our own knitting needles. You can read about that on our Out of School Colab blog, where we record our home educating Journey. After the needles were made I had to get my head back around knitting. Sure, I’ve knitted before but that was twenty years ago. I couldn’t even remember how to begin.

So I Pinned a bunch of knitting tutorials and ideas and decided that our trip to the beach at the start of November would be the perfect Space to spend knitting. We were all ready to go – then I freaked out and asked my Mum to cast on the stitches for us. One step at a time yeah! If she cast on, surely we could manage the knitting part on our own. After all, we had the power of YouTube!

How I taught mySelf to knit | Indigo Mama | Lunation

I was intending to knit a basic square. I found this post which gave instruction for basic knitting, and then You can send your square to orphanages in Africa, where they put them all together and sew into blankets for the children. Perfect!! So off we went to the beach, knitting bags in hand, ready to finish a square in a week!

And at the beach, I couldn’t get any internet service. Like maybe half a bar if You stand on the particular angle in the particular place when the wind is blowing in a particular way… all I could open on my iPad was this post with instruction. No YouTube. Oh the horror!

I did think of calling for help. We were holidaying with lots of crafty People, and I even organised to meet up with one of the knitting mums to get a face-to-face tutorial. But then my Indigo-will-not-give-in-must-Work-it-out-for-mySelf Nature kicked in and I tried and tried until it seemed that it was working. Hurrah! Ok, so there were a few dropped stitches but it was knitting!

The children learned too, with this great verse, that my friend Jenn from Lavendilly House posted as a comment on my Pinterest post. The children still say it sometimes when they are knitting and it really helps to remember the order of how to do the stitches.

How I taught mySelf to knit | Indigo Mama | Lunation

Upon returning home, every night I sat on the couch while Perfect Husband Bolj watched the TV and I worked on my square. In between, I unravelled quality wool form jumpers I pickud up from the op-shop. I am careful to purchase pure wool and handmade jumpers. There is so much wool in a jumper and I have now filled my knitting basket with reused wool (make sure You wash the jumper in cold water first) and wool jumpers that I find that are a bit felted, I just wash in hot water and shove in the dryer to use as felt (project coming soon).

When the square was finished, I jumped to the next level : this vest also for the African orphanages. And when that was almost finished I was sure I’d be able to knit, You know, toys and stuff.

How I taught mySelf to knit | Indigo Mama | Lunation

I purchased two patterns : a Skele and a Ninja in early November with the intention of finishing them for birthday presents in November. They ended up being presents for Christmas, but I’m still fairly stoked about that.

This ninja looked simple. I don’t know why I thought he’d be simple, maybe because he’s all the same colour. Turns out, he is knitted in the round. Do You know what that means!? Four needles!! But thanks to the amazing world of YouTube I figured it out. Knitting in the round really isn’t any more difficult than normal knitting, it’s just more fiddly.

How I taught mySelf to knit | Indigo Mama | Lunation How I taught mySelf to knit | Indigo Mama | Lunation

Here are some of the tutorials I watched to get my head around knitting in the round.

When I moved onto the Skele, the pattern was written with different terms to the ninja, so it was a bit confusing at first. But, all it takes is a quick google check – which then usually sends You to YouTube and it’s not too hard to sort out.

How I taught mySelf to knit | Indigo Mama | Lunation

These two patterns, plus the African Orphanage vest really gave me heaps of skills for my knitting basket. I’m now confident to design some-what simple patterns for other projects too. All of these below have been my own pattern (except the Skele). Yeah, sometimes it doesn’t turn out properly, but I just rip it off the needle, unravel, and start again.

How I taught mySelf to knit | Indigo Mama | Lunation How I taught mySelf to knit | Indigo Mama | Lunation How I taught mySelf to knit | Indigo Mama | Lunation

I’m addicted. But the real moral to this story os that if there’s something that You think is really difficult and You have to wait until You can learn it as a skill, get off your arse and try it – YouTube is your friend! You just might find a new obsession – I mean hobby!

What projects are You planning for 2013? I wanna hear about it!


Hollie B. | Indigo Mama and Awesome Wife | Lunation


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