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Get Ready, Get Set, Knit

With cooler weather just around the corner, now is the time to knit something to keep you or a loved one warm this winter. If you are not a knitter don’t worry, it’s easier than you think. Don’t let words like knit, purl, cast on, yarn over or decrease two fill you with anxiety. They are the terms used to guide you through your project and are explained in almost every knitting book or Web site.

For the novice knitter a dishcloth or scarf makes a great first project. Patterns for these easy projects can be found in many books and free Internet sites. All it takes is a little time and imagination for you to make a work of art all your own.

First, decide what you want to make, then find the pattern, pick some yarn and you are on your way. Some yarns are easier to work with than others, but there are so many wool, cotton, natural fiber and acrylic yarns available in such a wide variety of style and color that you are sure to find many to suit your needs and budget.

Needles are the other essential knitting supply. They come in a wide variety of materials and lengths. Metal, wood, plastic and bamboo needles are all common. Some needles combine two materials such as wooden needles with metal tips or fiberglass needles with metal tips. Fiberglass coatings on some metal needles provide a super smooth surface that helps the yarn slide easily on the needle. Bamboo needles are lighter in weight than large metal needles. This can be an advantage if you are working on a large piece of knitting.

The library has many great knitting books filled with instructions, patterns and tips for the both novice and experienced knitters. Take a look at these books for some great ideas, instructions, and knitting tips:

One-Skein Wonders series  by Judith Durant
These projects are fun and fast and offer a broad range of projects all knit from one skein of yarn.

Knitting For Dummies by Pam Allen, Tracy Barr and Shannon Okey
This guide shows you how to create beautiful, timeless pieces whether you're new to knitting or ready for more advanced patterns. From scarves and sweaters to bags, and more, you'll find projects for practicing and perfecting your skills. Plus, you get the latest knitting techniques and resources.

Scarves and Shawls for Yarn Lovers: Knitting with Simple Patterns and Amazing Yarns by Carri Hammett
Easy patterns that make the most of novelty and decorative yarns. Knitters will learn the secrets of combining colors and textures while creating stunning accessories in no time. The easy knit stitches and techniques are taught step by step with photographs.

Knitting New Scarves: 27 Distinctly Modern Designs by Lynne Barr
Every scarf is shown in its finished form in beautiful photographs. When unusual techniques are called for, up-close, step-by-step photos are provided as well. Every scarf in this collection accessible for all levels of knitters.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Knitting Projects illustrated by Barbara Morgenroth
A step-by-step instruction book for beginning to intermediate knitters featuring 30 projects to wear or make for friends, including hats, mittens, scarves, neck warmers, shawls, wraps, and sweaters. Each project includes variations, recommendations, types of needles and yarn required, suggested substitutions, care and completion time.

Here are some helpful Web sites:

www.knittingpatterncentral.com Knitting instruction, tips and free patterns
www.lionbrand.com Thousands of free knitting patterns from Lion Brand Yarn
www.knittingonthenet.com Over 500 free knitting patterns of all types, from easy to advanced. New patterns are frequently added
www.dailyknitter.com Patterns and knitting help

So, there you have it--plenty of places to learn how to knit and find ideas as well as patterns. And there is still plenty of time before the cold weather sets in to work on your project. So give it a try… and don’t forget you can always ask a knitter for help.
We love to share our love of knitting with new knitters.