Introducing Skill Set: Beginning Knitting!

By Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner
June 21, 2021

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21 Comments
  • Comments are working again! So glad!

    • I would love to give this fabulous skill set box to my daughter, but she is allergic to wool. Would it be possible to put together a box with synthetic or non-wool yarn? Thanks!

  • So happy this day has finally come!

  • Congrats you two! And to your wonderful team. I am currently working on some linen hand towels from your first book and remembering what a breath of fresh air it was for then new knitter me.
    I bet your new book becomes a classic!

  • This is such a good idea, and the related goodies look perfect! I’m already pushing it to my beginner knitters!

  • Brilliant! Very likely THE book I have hoped for. Your producing your own yarn is stellar, simply over the moon. So ridiculously happy for all involved.

  • I am really glad to see such a kit – it looks very thoughtfully prepared. I have taught many elementary school children how to knit, for 10 years in the Before Time, and it looks like your kit would be a great gift for new knitters. Just a thought – did you explain how to wind a skein of wool? One of my little knitters showed up one day, trying to knit with a yarn right from the skein!

    • Thanks so much for your kind words!

      We do teach how to wind a ball of yarn, so I hope your small folks will find it helpful. 

      How wonderful that you’ve been teaching knitting to children for so long. Wow!

  • What I would like is a clear set of instructions for left handed people too old to retrain that right hand easily.

  • This sounds so wonderful. I have two daughters that knit, one granddaughter knits and one crochets. I’m excited to start a granddaughter on the same path. I will be ordering this lovely book and a box to get her started. Thanks to all of you for your hard work, and being here for all of us.

  • Is it by coincidence or by intent that your new book has 108 pages, a number of great significance in Buddhism and Hinduism?

  • It just occurred to me that you might think there was criticism or suspicion behind my comment about “108”. There’s not. By coincidence or intent, I think it’s delightful! Looking forward to seeing your new work. Thanks for doing it!

    • Thank you for pointing that out! It was a coincidence, but a happy one that kind of blows my mind. I’m thrilled also because 108 is a multiple of 18, my favorite number for sentimental reasons and also for its prominence in Jewish numerology.

  • Is continental shown in the book?

    • Looks great! Q: are both English and Continental methods taught? See that someone asked below in this chain; however, could not find a reply.

      Bought a beginner’s kit online from a well-known shop here in NYC for my granddaughter’s birthday, not knowing it only taught the English throw method. She has had a bit of prior instruction using the Continental method, and became very confused. As this was during early COVID it was long-distance and difficult to figure out the problem. She is now discouraged and am so hoping to get her back on course. Maybe your app and book will be the right thing.

      Many thanks for all the wonderful work you do!

      • Hi everyone,

        The book does not teach Continental. It was a priority to not overwhelm a beginner with many choices, so we show one way–throwing, while showing very clearly the path the yarn needs to take to form stitches. If a beginning is already knitting another way, they should knit that way! Comfort is key! The instructions are adaptable to different styles of knitting, especially when it gets into the increases/decreases, etc., where the style of knitting is not as relevant as what happens to the stitches on the needle.

  • Skill Set is already a big hit here at Camp Nana, even though we’re not yet in session. DH’s family raised Rambouillet before transitioning to cattle and feed only in the late 80s. (I did too when we lived there in the 70s.) He’s been asking for something knit of Rambouillet. A merino/silk cap with an alpaca lining just didn’t quite rock his world.
    The kids were here yesterday picking blueberries and got to see their sets. They are beyond excited. The graphics on the tote and bag really caught their eyes. The illustrations in the book are perfect. (I love that they are generic rather than style-specific as I’ll be teaching them to knit, and purl, in both directions. When I was learning to “knit backwards” well into my knitting life I found it awkward at first. A forum commenter posted she learned both directions in school when she first learned to knit. That seems like a plan for a righty to teach two lefties. Hopefully they’ll be comfortable in both directions before too long.) I think I’ll be adding a line drawing, though, for knitting into the back loop in kfb.
    The tools are top-notch. I love that the circular needle is an addi square rocket. I find those SO much easier to hold, and the finger grooves (notches) also help separate the stitches as they near the points. (I’m currently knitting Shetland lace with mohair and I’m convinced my square Addis are contributing to my success.)
    Congratulations on the launch and thank you for your perfect timing.

  • This is a great book even for experienced knitters who can rely on it to support them in schooling new knitters. Even years of knitting may fail you when looking for the right way to show an aspirant how it’s done. Thank you for the gift of your guidance.

  • Just a small consideration, everything looks so perfect and pretty but I think it would help beginning knitters to have the yarn wound into balls/cakes. Though, this does get them into a yarn shop to have their yarn wound, which–if that was your intention–was very clever of you.

    • Hi Kirstin! The book definitely has a lesson in winding yarn by hand, so our hope is that the enterprising new knitter will find it easy enough to manage–with the bonus of giving them more time to work with their yarn and gain that skill. Of course, new knitters will beeline for a yarn shop no matter what once they get started knitting, there is no doubt about that!

  • I love the idea of having a copy for myself and one to give away!
    I knit Continental and that’s what I teach when someone asks me to teach them, does this book teach one style or both or does it matter? Thank you!