Knitting 101 Bootcamp: July 17 & 18

Have you ever wanted to learn to knit but never had time? Then join us on July 17 and 18 for our Knitting 101 2-day Bootcamp from 2:30–4:30p.m! (Yes, you must attend both sessions).

Learn how to start a project, knit, purl, and finish a project! Our end result will (hopefully turn out to) be an adorable mini hot drink cozy!

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Cute cozy on a mason jar! You can put yours on whatever you please!

Sign up today! Limited spots remain! Grades 6–12 only please.

Learn Needlecrafts in the Vortex Anytime!

We’ve added two new crafting kits to the Vortex: Crochet and Knitting!

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Knitting

The Knitting Kit includes:

  • Book: Teach Yourself Visually—Knitting
  • Book: Teach Yourself Visually—Circular Knitting
  • Black yarn
  • Red yarn
  • Green chunky yarn
  • Blue yarn
  • Round knitting loom
  • Knitting loom pic
  • List of Helpful Youtube Links
  • Set of double pointed needles (5 individual needles)
  • Blue scissors and 3 yarn needles
  • One pair of knitting needles
  • Circular Knitting Needles
  • Instructions for Knitting Loom

 

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Crochet

The Crochet Kit includes:

  • Book: Teach Yourself Visually: Crochet
  • Book: Connect the Shapes Crochet Motifs
  • Three yarn needles of various sizes
  • One pair of orange Scissors
  • List of Helpful Youtube Links
  • Red crochet hook
  • Green yarn
  • Yellow yarn
  • White yarn

The kits can be borrowed with a school ID or a library card for use in the Vortex. Try it out today!

Last Needlecraft & a Movie: May 9th @ 5PM

Hey guys! Are you still procrastinating on any needlecrafts you may have?

May 9th is your last chance to watch a movie and work on a needlecraft in the Vortex! (Ignoring the fact that you can’t bring a project to work on during normal movie nights, shhhh, I won’t tell if you won’t.)

So gather your Cross Stitch, Crochet, and/or Knitting projects and bring them to the library! We want to see what you’re working on!

Teen Beginner Needlecraft Classes

Did you tell yourself that this is the year you’re finally going to learn to knit? This is the year you can stop lying to yourself!

Come to the Vortex to sign up for our beginners class on January 20th @ 6 P.M. to learn the basics for a knitting a scarf of a single color. The materials you’ll need to bring with you are:

  • 1 skein of worsted weight yarn (recommended brand: simply soft).
  • 1 set of US size 8 (5.0mm) straight knitting needles. (recommended material: bamboo)
  • 1 (single needle or a set) of yarn needles.

Knitting not your thing?

We’ll also have a beginners course for those who’d like to learn to crochet on Feb. 17th at 6 P.M. The materials for this class are similar but you crochet with a hook instead of needles!

  • 1 skein of worsted weight yarn (recommended brand: simply soft).
  • 1 US size H-8 (5.0mm) crochet hook.
  • 1 (single needle or a set) of yarn needles.

Already know how to knit or crochet?

Needlecraft & a Movie is still a thing! The next meeting is Jan. 11th at 5 P.M! Let’s all craft together!

Knitting: Making Round Things!

Heads up to everyone reading that Needlecraft & a Movie is still a thing for teens in grades 6-12! We meet in the Vortex in Fountaindale Public Library at 5PM! Registration is not required, just your beautiful self and whatever needlecraft project you’re working on! Can be knitting, crochet, cross-stitch or anything else dealing with needlecrafts!

The next meeting is December 7th at 5PM.

Never knitted or crocheted before but you’d like to learn? Visit these posts!

The rest of today’s post will focus on knitting things in the round!

So you’ve mastered rectangular things (or maybe not and just want something new to learn. It’s all good here.)!

ARE YOU READY TO TACKLE ROUND THINGS??

Of course you are!

There are two major ways to knit in the round:

Using a Circular Needle or Double Pointed Needles.

Tutorial from Knitpicks that teaches both methods!

**Important Note** Regardless of which method you prefer, knitting in the round is like making a giant spiral of woven yarn, so you will need a stitch marker to let yourself know when your row begins and ends (You can either buy these or make your own using jump rings slightly bigger than your needles.).

At a Glance Shopping List:

Here’s a quick list for people who just want to know what they need for knitting in the round.

Read further if you want actual brand and size recommendations.

  • One Circular Needle
  • One Set of Double Pointed Needles
  • Some stitch markers or jump rings

Circular Needles

Circular needles are especially great for beginners wanting to knit in the round because there are fewer needles for you to have to manage while trying to make the object of your desire! A circular needle is two needles that are connected to each other by a long tube of plastic as pictured below!

How-to Links

circular needle

(Yarn.com)

Circular needles are my favorite thing to knit with for multiple reasons!

1: You never have to search around looking for that second needle because both ends are connected by a long skinny tube of plastic, it’s impossible to lose one of your needles! Yay!

2:  Not only can you use circular needles to make round things, you can also use them to make GINORMOUS rectangular things! (Like blankets!) Ever wondered how people knit blankets? It’s with a really long circular needle! I have an amazing one that’s 60 inches long that I love to use because it gives me plenty of room for my stitches without it bunching up so I can see my design I’m working on clearly!

gurren lagann blanket

This was made by me using a 47″ Addi Turbo Circular Needle!

Recommended Cheapo Brand:

Brand: Clover Bamboo Circular Needles
Size: 7 or 8
Length: Depends on what you’re making! Making a hat? 12-16.” Making a blanket? The bigger the better! This can range between 29” to 60” depending on the brand.

This brand can be found at most stores that sells knitting supplies.

These are pretty good! I’ve used them and the bamboo doesn’t hurt my hands. I’ve tried the cheapo metal needles you can get, but after a while the metal hurts my hands and I’m just not a fan of the feeling. If it’s all you can afford, they’re fine, but bamboo is definitely much easier to work with.

Recommended Not-so Cheapo Brand:

Addi Turbo Circular Needles.

These are the best things ever and I love them. I cannot explain how much I love them, but oh boy do I. All my good circular needles are this brand. They can be found on amazon in a huge variety of needle sizes and lengths! I have a 12”, 47” and two 60” circular needles in size 8. I also have a 45” in size 10. I love all of them. The only downside is that they are on the more expensive side, but if you’re serious about knitting and plan on keeping with it (and not just saying that you’ll keep with it but actually do!), I say go for it.

Double Pointed Needles

While I love using my circular needles, sometimes using double pointed can be better such as if you’re knitting very small things (like the start of a drawstring bag). A super small circular needle can be harder to manage than double pointed needles.

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This was made using 7″ size 7 bamboo double pointed needles!

How-to Links

double pointed needles

(yarn.com)

Recommended Material:

Bamboo or Plastic.

Why?

Using plastic or bamboo needles gives something for your stitches to grasp slightly onto. Avoid metal at all costs, especially as a beginner. The metal is slippery (I haven’t tried higher-end brands so I can’t say this is true for all metals but the cheapo metal definitely) and it causes your stitches to fall off very easily if you don’t have many stitches on each needle. Spend the extra dollar or two and get bamboo! You will thank yourself!

My recommended brand can be found at most stores: Clover Bamboo
Size: 7 or 8
Length: 7in long

Patterns:

 

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read)

So all that was pretty long, I know. So let me sum it up briefly for you guys who went all TL;DR on me.

  • Two types of needles: Circular or Double Pointed
  • Avoid metal needles until you’re used to what you’re doing
  • Don’t forget at least one stitch marker because knitting in the round is like making a giant spiral! You need to know where your row begins and ends!
  • Practice! Practice! Practice!

Hope to see you guys at Needlecraft & a Movie on December 7th at 5PM! Any knitting questions or advice? Feel free to comment below!
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Ashe

 

So You Want to Knit: Resources for Getting Started

Starting June 26th, the Vortex will be holding a monthly Needles & a Movie event! You can bring in any sort of needle craft you’d like to work on while watching a movie. It starts at 3PM and will run until about 5PM (depending on the length of the film).

What’s that? You don’t know any needle crafts but want to learn? Lucky you! In this post, we’re going to focus on learning to knit.

In the age of the internet, picking up new skills and hobbies is easy because you no longer have to know someone in person to teach you; the only limit on learning is time.

My favorite method of learning by far is watching videos on the internet because you can replay it over and over and it’ll never get frustrated!

Zelda Blanket

With time, patience and practice, you too, can make something like this! (I MADE THIS BEAUTY. )


One of the best sites out there to learn from is New Stitch A Day. They have a gazillion videos for what seems like every type of stitch for knitting out there. The provided link will bring you right to their beginner’s section.

I recommend doing the videos in the following order:

  1. How to Make A Slipknot
  2. How to Knit the Knitted Cast On
  3. How to Knit the Knit Stitch
  4. How to Knit the Garter Stitch
  5. How to Knit the Purl Stitch
  6. How to Knit the Stockinette Stitch
  7. The Basic Knit Bind Off

 After viewing those videos enough times and you feel comfortable enough with your abilities, feel free to venture out onto the rest of their website! (They also have crochet on their site but that’s a post for another day!)

Another helpful place to learn to knit (and actually the YouTube channel I learned from!) is the Knit Witch.

A lot of the stuff she has is also on New Stitch a Day, but she explains things slightly differently so it all depends on who makes more sense to you!  Just follow her videos in the same order as the ones from New Stitch a Day.

If you want some book resources, the library has plenty as well!

Don’t delay, knit today!
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Ashe