If you've read my blog, you'll know that I've written a how-to-knit book: Idiot's Guides: Knitting ! It's a nice thick paperback, packed with step-by-step photo tutorials, 22 knitting patterns, and several stitch pattern galleries.
Although the book is geared towards the absolute beginner, this doesn't mean more experienced knitters won't enjoy it. I loved designing the projects, really getting my teeth into designing with simplicity in mind. Each project builds sequentially on the skills learned in each chapter, but also maximizes what you can do with your knitting skills. The Idiot's Guide motto is "as easy as it gets" and that was key to how we approached the table of contents. You start with the basics and learn knitting skills and techniques, step by step, moving at your own pace. By the time you get to the end, you've equipped yourself with almost every skill you need for most intermediate patterns.
Here are a few peeks at the patterns included in the book:
Garter Stitch Washcloths
The beginning: after you learn your foundation skills—casting on, the knit stitch, binding off, basic finishing—you can move right in to your first project. The humble garter stitch swatch is transformed into a pretty little washcloth. Make a stack of these washcloths and bundle them with a nice bar of soap, and you've got a lovely handmade gift.
Follow the washcloths up with a lovely Spa Towel. An easy rectangle with seed stitch details, the pattern is easily adapted. You could turn this into a blanket or scarf.
Striped Baby Hat
After you've learned garter and stockinette stitch, you're ready to add some colour with the Striped Baby Hat. Step-by-step photo tutorials show you how to join new colours and carry yarn up the edge of your knitting. And there's a how-to for the tassels!
Striped Baby Jacket
Love knitting for babies? This pattern is really versatile, and goes nicely with the Striped Baby Hat. The Striped Baby Jacket is seamless and worked in worsted weight yarn, making it a great stashbuster and a quick gift. The step-by-step photos guide you through the construction of knitting a top-down, seamless, raglan sweater. Practice on this baby size, and you'll be ready to move on to adult size and make something for yourself!
Another great quick-knit from the learning section. After learning how to combining knits and purls, you can start making more complex textures, like these Chevron Coasters.
Moving beyond the rectangle: learn how to increase, decrease and shape your knitting! Then practice with these sweet little leafy ornaments.
Looking for a quick gift that takes a single ball of yarn? These pretty little wristlets are so easy: simple rectangles with a hint of diamond motif, two little seams and buttons, and you're done.
Eyelet Triangular Shawl
Idiot's Guide Knitting Eyelet Triangular Shawl And believe it or not, by the time you have learned the basics—knit and purl, casting on, binding off—plus a little bit of increasing and decreasing, you're ready for a full sized project like this triangular shawl. A simple triangle with eyelets and garter stitch in sport weight yarn. And with this introduction to top-down shawl construction, you will be able to choose from hundreds of patterns on Ravelry using the same basic technique!
Idiot's Guide Knitting Cabled Headband Knitted cables are a fascinating knitting tradition. They can look complex, but even ornate cables share the basic idea of twisting groups of stitches. Learn how to hold your stitches in front or in back, twist them to form a cable, then how to arrange these twists in different combinations for totally different effects. The Cabled Headband is a great practice project. And you could very easily take the basic motif, multiply it, and use this cable and rib combo for a scarf!
Branching Eyelet Scarf
Lace knitting is enjoying a comeback, and looks daunting at first. Step into lace with this easy introduction. Lace is all about the way increases and decreases are combined in knitting, adding movement to the normally vertical stitches. This scarf has an easily memorized pattern and a very satisfying texture.
Traditional Guernsey (or "gansey") sweaters from the British Isles demonstrate how much can be done with the humble knit and purl combination. This Gansey Scarf is inspired by archival photos of Guernsey sweaters, and makes a great beginner project.