A List Of The Top Knit Patterns For The Winter 2011-2012 Season

By Katina Flores

As the weather turns chillier, many people start thinking about their cardigan knitting patterns, wondering what they should make this year. Although it's certainly possible to knit all year round, most of the classic pieces are intended for wearing or using during the winter. Options for knit items are as unconstrained as the minds of the people who think them up.

For people who are considering taking up the hobby, the basics are easiest to learn using a combination of internet videos and a good book and quality yarns. The book can explain the various methods of basic knitting, while also offering some easy patterns to get started with. But seeing the stitches actually be done in a video or in person often makes them much easier to comprehend.

A long, straight piece of work, scarves are a great first project, and the end result can make a good gift. For those just moving on from the basics, scarves are also a great way to practice some more complicated, decorative stitches. Just be sure that any scarf you make is made of soft, non-scratchy yarn that can be washed, so that the wearer can enjoy it.

Traditional, somewhat more complicated options include hats, sweaters, and mittens. Blankets are easy to make but can be embellished with fancy stitches to make them more interesting. However, this is a large project to take on. Don't expect that your first attempt at any of these will be perfect, or you're likely to be disappointed.

Unfortunately for those who love it, knitting isn't particularly cheap. Craft-store quality yarn that comes with a low price tag will only do for the most basic of applications. One way to get good yarn is to purchase old thrift store sweaters and unravel them yourself. However, this usually means not knowing what type or gauge of yarn you will be getting ahead of time.

A bag sale is when a yarn store puts a bunch of different yarns that they are trying to get rid of in a bag, and sells the whole thing at a steep discount. This is a good way to get yarn cheap, but the downside is that you won't just get the kind you want. This can make it a better or not so good option, depending on what you want.

Ideas for knitting projects are as varied as the things people can think up. Felted materials can be made easily and in interesting shapes and sizes by making them knit beforehand. Books on the subject are available, or the internet makes a great tutor, as in many other cases.

When you've made a few things and are feeling comfortable with knitting patterns, you're likely to want to ditch them. This is a great step in every knitter's life, when they start to feel comfortable changing details, mixing up stitch types, and finally, perhaps making something completely from scratch, following only their own plan.

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