Totally off topic: Want to learn to knit? I wrote a knitting book for my neice and nephew

This year as I was shopping for gifts for my niece and nephew, I decided to get them some supplies for learning how to knit. I wanted to give them a book to go with it, but I was underwhelmed by the choices of beginner books at the store. So because I apparently take the long way on everything, I wrote my own.  I gave it to them as a PDF, and also had it printed out and sent to them.

So since I went to the trouble, it might as well be of use to more than just two people. So here it is as a PDF, help yourself. Click on the picture and you’ll get a Dropbox link.


I came up with a couple of very easy example projects, and took photos of my hands and the whole process against the background of my mom’s gold-colored tablecloth.

The details: I wrote this to go with a kit I put together for each of them, including a set of straight needles, a circular needle, a full ball of yarn, and half a ball of yarn with several rows of garter stitch already started. Most knitting books start with learning to cast on, followed by learning to knit. That makes sense if you are starting from scratch, but the first couple of rows are the hardest and the way you start makes more sense if you basically know how to knit a bit first. So I wrote the book starting off with knitting garter stitch on a piece that’s already started. You can still use the book if you don’t have that, just skip to the cast-on part. I gave instructions for a knitted cast-on, because I think that’s the easiest for beginner knitters and it’s pretty intuitive.



I took pictures and wrote descriptions for both English and Continental styles of holding the working yarn. The two projects are a garter stitch ear warmer (also works as a neck warmer/cowl) that’s knitted back and forth, and a stockinette hat with a ribbed edge and a pompom knitted in the round on circular needles. The yarn I used is Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick, because it’s inexepensive and readily available – plus extra bulky yarn like this means even a beginner can finish a satisfying project pretty quickly. The needles I mention in the book are actually a little smaller than what I’d really recommend, but Michael’s was pretty cleaned out right before Xmas and that’s what they had.

Anyway, I hope you’ll have a look and maybe learn to knit! Or put together a similar kit to give someone who might enjoy it.

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