Have you ever thought about learning how to knit some day? I have thought about it many times. I always think about how I have seen ladies who carry their knitting with them just about everywhere. They sit down and away they go. Their hands seem to fly. You can hardly see what the needles are doing they get going so fast. The concept of knitting yarn with two straight needles seemed well beyond me. In many ways it is hard enough getting going with a crochet hook but at least you have the hook to grab the yarn with.
At my local craft store I found a free pattern for a Dust Mop Cover (pictured covering a Swiffer Mop). It said that you could make one for under $2 and that the skill level is 2 out of 5. The pattern seemed fairly straight forward and is made in 3 parts. I decided to give it a try. I have a few tips on things that helped me out
This is my finished Dust Cover. Not bad for my first knitting project. All in all it took me something like two weeks working on it a little every day. Oh and starting over at least 5 times as I got use to learning how to knit.
I found this tutorial on wikihow.com. If you scroll all the way to the bottom of the page you will see other knitting videos that show various steps on how to knit. I like that they are very clear about what they are doing.
It is helpful to roll your yarn into a ball before you start. I found that I could go straight off the skein but that the flow was much more fluid when I had the yard in a ball.
Try to not worry so much about being neat, which is what I was doing. I felt that if I made the loops too loose the end product would look sloppy. When you relax and let the loops be a little larger it is much easier to work the row, and you will find you go faster. Once you have completed a few rows you can look back and see that it does not look sloppy as long as your loops are fairly even in size.
The first row or two after casting on are the hardest rows to work. My theory is that as you complete more rows you have more give from the yarn that has already been worked. The loop on the needle has more slack to stretch from. Another theory I have is that by the time you have reached row 10 or 15 (for the first time) you are more practiced and more relaxed and will be making your loops a little larger and more even.
More than once some of my stitches came off my needle when my 5 year old was trying to get a better look. If you are careful you can put the stitches back on before the whole thing starts coming undone. I had to start over at least once because I had too many stitches come off the needle and I was unable to rescue them.
Besides learning how to knit and purl, the hard part for me was keeping track of how many rows I had done. I picked up some knitting markers. I liked these because you lock them closed. No worries that they will fall off as I am working. I marked the knit rows with orange and the purl rows with green. Once I started using the clips I magically ended up with an even looking pattern. I was able to tell at a glance what stitch I left off with and what I needed to do next. All I had to do was look at the last two markers I had put on to know where I was in the pattern. (if you don't want to buy any and have safety pins you could spray paint some so that you can use them to make what stitch you are one as well as know how many rows you have done.)
The last thing I suggest you get is end caps for your needles. If you don’t want to buy any you could use an old cork. They are helpful so that your project does not slip off your needles when you put it down. (use a rubber band to keep your needles together when not in use)
I hope you try learning how to knit. I was determined to end up with a Swiffer dust cover. It is so much better to learn with an end project in mind. When I finished it and put it on the Swiffer my boys were excited and wanted to try it out. It works great!
Go to Michaels.com to get the instructions for this Knit Dust Cover.