24 Apr 2009

What do you want to learn?

Hi Knitsibs,

I’m gathering data for a project, and would like your help. Can you tell me, please, what knitting thing would you like to learn?

Please share your answers via this poll or, if your next big learning thing isn’t on the list, feel free to leave your answer here.

Many thanks!

Posted on April 24, in Blog


  1. Kathmaxted wrote:

    Hi Brenda,

    I havn’t been able to master the cast off for k2p2 rib, I have mastered other complicated knit skills but this has me stumped. I tried this stitch again very carefully using instructions from my prized Vogue book but it still looked a mess and I unpicked it all and cast off normally!! ach Yep I would love some help.

    Yours (looking foward to May 1st)

    Kath Maxted

    Posted on 4.24.09 ·
  2. Nicole wrote:

    Hi Brenda,

    I’d love to learn twined knitting. I’m a sucker for traditional Scandinavian knitting techniques and I have yet to learn this method.

    Love your podcast!



    Posted on 4.24.09 ·
  3. Janet wrote:

    I’d like to learn how to revise a pattern as I’m knitting it so that I’m satisfied with the end result. Corollary is: I’d like to be able to figure out how much my gauge changes when I go from the swatch (and I do a decent sized swatch) to the actual knitting (which is always looser). If I could come up with some kind of key – say, I increase 1/2 stitch from swatch to final garment, maybe my sweater would fit better.
    Thanks – I love the podcase and am wondering if you do any narration of books for Audible or other companies?

    Posted on 4.24.09 ·
  4. Jane wrote:

    Hi —

    I like to knit socks and I like my dpns, but thought recently that I should branch out and try something new. So, I tried the two circulars from the Cat Bordhi book — didn’t go so well. Socks were bulky (how can sock yarn be bulky?!). I also thought about trying Magic Loop, but I’m a little leery. So, I’m back to my dpns. I’d love really good descriptions of how these work and why many think they are “better” than dpns.


    Posted on 4.25.09 ·
  5. zknitz wrote:


    I think I am one of those people with an insatiable need to learn, and as I learn about knitting techniques I always think that they sound so interesting. However, I only have beginner/intermediate skills so I wonder if I will ever get there. I would love to learn more about several color knitting techniques including: double knitting, fair isle, and Armenian knitting (in the book by Meg Swanson & Joyce Williams).

    Hope this helps your podcast!

    Posted on 4.25.09 ·
  6. Rachel wrote:


    I have to admit color knitting (I mean any knitting in which you use two differently colored yarns) has me really confused. There are so many kinds! Intarsia, Fair Isle, Armenian, double knitting, twining, Bohus (is that a different technique?), and many, many, more that I cannot remember the names of right now. I would adore you forever if you listed all the known types of color knitting (technique vs. style?) and explained what they are, who uses them, and what makes them different. I thought I had it figured out, but then I started hearing about all these different types of color knitting and it is driving me crazy!

    Hope this gives you ideas!

    Posted on 4.25.09 ·
  7. Nancy Coriaty wrote:

    I’ve been knitting for about 6 or 7 months and I would like to find an easier way to learn how to decipher, in an easier manner, all of the symbols – such as wyif, wyib. When I find things like this in a pattern it takes me awhile to find the best place to see them demonstrated and to figure out how to do it. So I’d like to listen to a learning podcast of symbols.

    I don’t know if something like this is possible for a podcast…….

    Posted on 4.26.09 ·
  8. Denyse wrote:

    Hi Brenda,
    I’d like to learn how to knit socks on dpn’s and spin my own sock yarn. I also want to learn how to dye my own yarn for knitting and weaving projects. 🙂 Love your podcast! You rock! 🙂

    Posted on 4.26.09 ·
  9. Barb wrote:

    Hi Brenda,
    I would like to learn how to take old vintage knitting patterns and turn them into “new” patterns by changing the original pattern. For example: I love love love 40s patterns but they never are in my size (xl to 1x), how do I do I change the pattern to reflect my size? The other thing is how to do a clean looking inset sleeve for a sweater. I can do raglans, but the inset sleeve baffles me.
    Thanks, LOVE the show!!

    Posted on 4.27.09 ·
  10. Hmm…I’d like to learn intarsia, but only because it is one of the few knitting techniques I haven’t yet tried. (I’m scared of it!)

    Also, I would really like to learn how to make my own triangular lace shawl pattern using a lace pattern from a stitch dictionary. I realize there must be a formula for this–how to make the pattern increases seem natural–I just have never found good directions for it. This probably requires a lot of math, though, so I’m not sure if I’m really ready for it!

    Posted on 4.28.09 ·
  11. Kelly wrote:

    Hi Brenda,
    I would like to learn to do a sweater with steeks. I have done pretty much everything else that I’d want to do.

    I LOVE your show, and wait for each one.

    Posted on 4.29.09 ·
  12. Liz wrote:


    Ummm… well, other than learning EVERYTHING, I would love to listen to your process (others’ processes as well) for designing knitwear. I often get so inspired, but then don’t want to follow through.

    I just read your description for series 8 (so excited!) and I was thinking that the inspiration we crafty types have to keep making things that can be easily bought would be an interesting topic. it’s an inclination I find myself continually defending to acquaintances and loved ones alike, and would love to hear other people’s opinions.

    And darning! I can, but it’s never very pretty. (Can darning be pretty?)

    Posted on 4.30.09 ·
  13. Samantha wrote:

    Even though I’ve been knitting for a couple of years, I’ve made mostly square pieces such as scarves or afghans. I’d love to learn how to turn a heel on a sock and learn how to create a thumb gusset to make some fingerless gloves or mittens. These two skills still seem to elude me.
    Thank you so much for continuing to create an entertaining and informative podcast. I anticipate each and every episode.

    Posted on 5.3.09 ·
  14. Gill wrote:

    I’d like to learn Entrelac – I think I spelled it right! I have a pattern sitting here, but don’t feel comfortable yet starting it.. it’s just a scary and the woman at the shop told me how easy it is… NOT for me.. I need coaching!

    Posted on 5.3.09 ·
  15. Liz wrote:

    Gil: I learned entrelac from a piece in Interweave Knits Spring 2007 (link: http://www.interweaveknits.com/preview/2007_spring.asp ). If you can track this magazine down, it’s the best for great visual step-by-step instructions!

    Posted on 5.5.09 ·
  16. Jackie wrote:

    One word sums up what I fear the most, yet really want to learn: Steeks.

    Seriously, I’m terrified of practicing on the gauge swatch!

    BTW, love the podcast and look forward to your next series

    Posted on 5.8.09 ·
  17. Penelope Ziarnik wrote:

    Hi Brenda,

    I’d love to learn the Eastern Uncrossed Method of knitting. I took a class in it a year or so ago, but life intervened and I only made it to one of the three classes, so I didn’t learn it after all. I want to knit faster, and Addi Turbos only go so far!

    Penelope Ziarnik

    Posted on 5.9.09 ·
  18. Karyn wrote:

    I love the podcast! I started listenting at the beginning. Where else would one start? I listen everyday on the train as I knit. I’m still about 2 years behind the rest of the gang, but I’m catching up rapidly! I would love to learn how to steek so I can make a sweater in one piece.

    Posted on 5.10.09 ·
  19. Martha wrote:

    I would like to learn how to take the yarn you love and make it into a basic sweater, that I love, with out a pattern. I guess designing. And have it turn out right!

    Posted on 5.11.09 ·
  20. ketseke wrote:

    so glad you are back 🙂 just discovered cast-on recently, and still plowing through the eps – knitting…
    i’d listen to you talk about paint dry – but beyond that?

    (sorry if these are repeats)

    techniques – knitting with roving
    principles – the history of knitting without patterns to get a perfect fit
    famous knitters – Elizabeth Zimmerman percentage knitting

    Posted on 5.11.09 ·
  21. Carol Bateman wrote:

    Hi Brenda
    Great listening to your new series , although i am still into the Muses.

    I would love to get my head round gauge. Yes I’ve got books that tell me what to do but it needs your

    “knitspeak” to be the thread though the Labyrinth of stitches. Please help to clear the fog from my wooly brain !!

    Posted on 5.13.09 ·
  22. Adrian wrote:

    I’d love to learn to make hope chest items ie: wedding ring shawls, bridal hankies, etc.

    Posted on 5.13.09 ·
  23. I enjoy listening to your podcast … thanks for the ongoing inspiration!

    Twined knitting is something I’d especially like to learn how to do. Also some techniques like lifted increasing (even with numerous internet and book directions) have me puzzled so there are a few tips and techniques that are of interest to me.

    Posted on 5.17.09 ·
  24. Ellen wrote:

    I second the idea of learning how to update vintage patterns for modern sized women. I have a few vintage items but they are too small for me to wear. I like the clean lines and bracelet length sleeves, though. Designer Maggie Jackson says that most older (middle aged?) women have lovely collar bones and I’ve noticed vintage patterns often show them off.

    Sad to say, I could wear my mother’s college cardigans when I was sixth grade. She’s a teeny Italian waif and I have the lumbering Dad genes. I did wear the argyle socks she knit for my dad, however. I snagged those in high school. I do not, however, want to learn how to knit them.

    Posted on 5.21.09 ·
  25. Denise~ wrote:

    Fair Isle knitting has been my goal for two years now. Not sure why I keep avoiding it….probably all that tangled up working yarn that scares my organized tidy side. I envision it all in messy knots.

    Posted on 5.26.09 ·
  26. Gayle wrote:

    I would love to learn to steek. That would be cool.

    Posted on 6.1.09 ·
  27. Kayleigh wrote:

    Hey Brenda,
    I’m not sure if this counts, but I feel like just how to do the little bits of finishing– like how to sew yarn ends into the fabric so they won’t come out, instead of tying knots, stuff like that, would be really helpful. It’s very basic, but I feel like I still don’t know exactly how I’m supposed to do the little stuff like that.
    Thanks and looking forward to seeing this project come to fruition!

    Posted on 6.4.09 ·
  28. Erin R. wrote:

    My gran’s got a series of removable collars that are orphaned from a set of sweaters. Mini-embellishments that can jazz up your basics sound fun. I little frippery out of bits and bobs perhaps, that can cheerful up your make do and mend. I like your Ms Beatons for similar reasons. I’d love ideas in that direction. 🙂

    Posted on 6.4.09 ·
  29. Lucy Williams wrote:

    Hi Brenda,
    I love listening to your podcast. it is an indulgent treat to set aside some alone time armed with knitting, tea and a pen and paper (there are so many exciting things to look up). I listen to each podcast at least more than once. Your book review is also excellent. Cast on has introduced me to so many great things : Elizabeth Zimmerman toe up socks, audio books, …….

    Anyway, I’d like to learn to knit lace and fair isle and different casting off techniques,

    Thank you Brenda, your hard work is wonderful, inspiring and much appreciated

    Posted on 6.9.09 ·
  30. Joan wrote:

    Hi Brenda – sorry this is so late, but one thing I’d really like to learn is how to do intarsia without losing my mind.
    Still loving your podcast! Well done!

    Posted on 6.19.09 ·
  31. Sheila wrote:

    Hi Brenda

    something I have wondered about – how does steeking fit into the philosophy of ´make do and mend´. I know while growing up, all of our jumpers were unravelled, wool washed and re-used as something. I do this with my children´s jumpers now – some are new vests, some are afghans, sometime the wool is remixed for fairisle patterns. If I had done steeked jumpers, I would be left with a stack of short pieces of wool I couldn´t use. So I knit in one piece to the armholes, then back and forth on the front and back, kitchener the shoulders, and then pick up stitiches to knit the sleeves.

    Just wondering what you would use the wool from a steeked jumper for?

    Loving the new series, brw!

    Posted on 6.27.09 ·
  32. soychai wrote:

    I am enjoying your verbal knitting magazine! As to he poll… if it’s still going on… I would love to learn how to knit socks from cast on to bind off and every step in between. Please! Thank you!

    Soy Chai … as in soy chai latte

    Posted on 7.6.09 ·
  33. Debbie wrote:

    Hi, Brenda! I love your podcasts and am working my way through them (I just found you a couple of weeks ago). Tried to use the poll, but the link kept timing out.

    I heard you mention that knitting backwards was on the list, and I would like to learn that technique. Haven’t looked for a tutorial on youtube yet, although I’m sure there is one. I’d also like to learn continental knitting so my fair isle knitting goes faster (using both hands just HAS to help, don’t you think?)

    I envy you living in the British Isles, and have a dream to live in Scotland one day.

    Thanks for all your hard work on air! Keep on ‘casting, because you’re wonderful!

    Posted on 7.13.09 ·
  34. I want to learn to do double knitting where one side is the negative and the other side is the positive of the design. I just purchased Lucy Neatby’s dvd and have watched it once. I think I can do this.

    My knitting goal for this year has been to learn some color knitting techniques. I have made the Reversible Vest from Knit One Below. The technique itself is simple, but the execution of it can be challenging, especially correcting mistakes.

    Posted on 7.13.09 ·
  35. I guess the two things I would like to learn would be double knitting and steeking. Actually steeking is more an act of courage, not of ability. I would also like to see if there is a way to “alter” knitting. I have a really nice vest that I made to fit my bust, but it swims at my waist. Is there any way I can put some darts to define my waist.

    Posted on 7.21.09 ·
  36. judy dunworth wrote:

    I have one faroese shawl pattern that I have begun and ripped out three times. Something is amiss. With me or with the pattern. I have looked for more information and the patterns I have found are not all that attractive. So- I understand that the deal that makes these especially useful garments is the way they are shaped around the shoulders and don’t require frequent adjustment and occupying your hands keeping them in place. The long ends can even be tied around the waist and knotted in back – further securing the whole thing. I am pretty good with lace knitting and could probably create my own pattern if I could get clear about that shoulder shaping. Wikipedia says these are begun at the bottom and worked up. The pattern i struggled with began at the neck and worked down. I am very much enjoying listening to you while I knit.

    Posted on 7.21.09 ·
  37. Ann wrote:

    Two at a time toe up socks.

    That’s it.

    Posted on 7.27.09 ·
  38. I would like to learn to do cables and I want to start and finish a sweater. I currently have my second attempt at a first pair of socks started. I am using magic loop and required a short lesson last time I was up in Anchorage to get that started. The fist attempt was on dpns and that sock became a baby hat. 🙂 I learned smocking recently in a cool scarf pattern (smock a rouch) and was very proud of myself. I am sure I can stumble through cables too but have yet not tried. I recently picked up some cute top down sweater patterns and am going to start one soon. There is one good knitting store here but not a huge knitting community to jump into. I yearn for some regular get togethers with people who really love to knit.

    Whitney Robertson, Juneau, Alaska

    Posted on 7.31.09 ·
  39. Robin wrote:

    I want to learn to cable. 🙂

    Posted on 8.6.09 ·

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