A few years ago, I learned to knit as a way of coping with cold weather and long, dark nights. I reasoned it would give me something productive to do and yield a warm and lovely hat or scarf in return. Coworkers showed me how to knit at lunchtime and we often hurriedly finished our meal in order to have more time for knitting.
The recipe for any knitting pattern is comprised of special stitches that are abbreviated as k1, yo k5, m1, skp, and so forth. Sometimes a pattern will explain how to perform certain stitches, but most often it assumes you already know how. Tackling a complicated technique such as cable is made easier when you can watch it being performed. If you don’t have a knitting friend handy, there’s always the television or computer. One source for learning techniques is Knit and Crochet Today, a PBS television series, which is available on DVD.
Hosted by Brett Bara, editor in chief of Crochet Today magazine, each half-hour episode features a guest crafter demonstrating a project and technique. The lighting and camera angles are perfect for watching, reversing, and replaying very carefully until you can accomplish the new technique. The DVD also includes PDFs of patterns featured on the programs so you can create the same hat, scarf or blanket as seen on TV.
In addition, each episode highlights a charity project, such as baby blankets or livelihood development projects in Africa. One episode featured an interview with novelist Debbie Macomber. Macomber tells how dyslexia prevented her from learning to read until she was in fifth grade, but that “knitting gave the self-esteem I so badly needed as a child.” Macomber’s first novel, The Shop on Blossom Street, was set in a yarn store and led to other knitting themed novels. It also inspired a series of pattern books, Knit Along with Debbie Macomber, the proceeds of which benefit World Vision for Children.
If you’re looking to improve your technique or gain inspiration for other projects, cozy up to the television and watch this show.
Knit and Crochet Today