Friday, January 29, 2010

Knitting techniques online - where to start?

Need to learn a new cast-on method, find tips on inserting a zipper in your cardigan, or cut your first steek? Trying to alter a sweater pattern or fix a cable mistake? Or maybe you're just learning to knit, and need videos of the basics.

It's never been easier to get knitting help from the Internet. From the earliest days of blogging, knit bloggers posted great tips and photo tutorials. Now that Internet video is accessible to most people, there's a how-to video for any knitting technique you can think of.

It can be a little bewildering to sort through these resources. They are scattered all over the Web; sites with lots of tutorials tend to be poorly organized (if they are organized at all), and some of the videos in particular are not very good. On the Knitfinder how-to page I've collected the very best of these links and organized them for you by topic, all on one page. It's easy to find exactly what you're looking for--just click on a keyword in the alphabetical list on the left, or use Ctrl F to search the page.

Here are a few more good collections of general knitting help for all levels, from beginner to geek-expert. These not only offer good content, but are reasonably organized so you can find what you need.

Launched in 2004, Amy and Sheldon Finlay's site is a collection of short, clear technique videos, all free. A great place to start if you're learning to knit. Advanced techniques such as magic loop, Kitchener stitch, stranded knitting and double knitting are here too. Videos are also collected on a CD available for purchase, and there's a glossary of knitting abbreviations and an online discussion forum.

Knit Picks tutorial collection 
Good basic collection covering most techniques beginning to intermediate knitters will need. Includes videos and a glossary of abbreviations. Fairly well arranged; there's an A-Z index of techniques, so it's pretty easy to find what you need. Knit Picks also has a YouTube channel with more than 100 videos.

Since 2006, this site has published dozens of in-depth, clear, illustrated explanations of knitting techniques and problems. Everything from basic cast-ons to very detailed analysis of short-row uses and techniques. Invaluable and a bit geeky. Lots of unusual problems and issues are covered. Index of posts by topic is here.

Knitty articles
Knitty has published lots of good technique articles over the years. Archived articles are listed here by topic. Theresa Stenersen's column "Techniques with Theresa" has covered most of the basics; here is a list of subjects. For other Knitty articles on specific techniques, see the Knitfinder how-to page.

Drops Design YouTube channel
90+ technique videos without audio, supplemented with written instructions. If you want to see a technique demonstrated without being distracted by talking, these are for you.

and...great knitting teachers on YouTube

Many knitting luminaries are on YouTube, often in Knitting Daily TV segments. Unfortunately, there's no easy way to find them. Try searching for a favorite teacher's name. Two with channels of their own:

Lucy Neatby
has eight great videos on provisional cast-ons, double knitting, bobbles, and "navajo" knitting, among other things. 
Cat Bordhi has 24 videos on sock knitting, moebius knitting, and other techniques. Some real gems among her tips.

Check out the Knitfinder how-tos, and drop me a line if there's a technique you can't find, or you've got a favorite tutorial or video you'd like to see added to the list. I tuck in new links whenever I come across a good one. New today - the "bar none" increase popularized by Meg Swansen, and new color knitting videos from Berroco.

Coming soon: new content for the Knitfinder resource section--look for pages on color knitting and online pattern sources in the next couple of weeks. Also, stay tuned for a new weekly blog feature - the best new patterns available online, from all over the world.

Happy knitting!

1 comment:

  1. This is of fantastic help. Members of my knitting groups and I thank you immensely.