When we started BiCrafty Bootcamp: Knitting Lessons for Crocheters, we honestly didn’t have any idea what to expect. We knew that Marly Bird team members Cryssi and Kathryn were crocheters who wanted to learn to knit. We knew Marly could use their crochet skills to make learning knitting easier. Plus we had a good guess that other crocheters might be into that, too. So, we set off with a loose plan in place. And now we, along with the 1000+ people who joined us for BiCrafty Bootcamp, can now say, “I learned to knit.” Let’s take a look back at how it went along the way:
The BiCrafty Bootcamp Lesson Plan
Here’s what we ended up with between April and today.
Getting Started With Knitting Basics
“I Learned to Knit” started with basics. First, we gave you a couple of guides: Ultimate Guide to Knitting Needles for Beginners and I’m New To Knitting: What Are The Best Needles For Beginners? Then we began with the lessons:
- Getting started with knitting basics. How to knit cast-on and long-tail cast on and begin to learn the knit stitch.
- Knitting Basics Parts 2. More practice with knit stitch. Learn garter stitch. Learn basic bind off.
- Knitting Basics Part 3. Learn purl stitch and stockinette stitch.
At this point both Cryssi and Kathryn were remembering the joys and challenges of being a beginner again. It was exciting to learn something new with yarn. However, it was tough to get used to the mistakes and slowness of being new at it. Still, both were excited.
Mug Rugs and Coffee Cup Sleeves
These were the first projects we really learned to knit. We did so as we practiced these lessons and skills:
- How to Knit Stripes. Plus we practiced weaving in ends, which can be slightly different in knitting than in crochet.
- Learn How to Knit Ribbing. Specifically, we learned 2×2 knit ribbing.
By this point, Cryssi was already able to say, “I learned to knit.” She was moving easily through the projects. Plus, she was excited about the instant gratification of those small projects. Kathryn was having a tougher time, but this was when she realized that she knits a lot easier on straights than circulars.
How to Knit a Cowl in the Round
This was when we started what would become our first knit accessories set. We began with the knit cowl.
- How to Knit 1×1 Ribbing in the Round.
- How to Knit Seed Stitch (in the round).
- From there, we learned How to Knit Double Moss Stitch in the Round. Plus extra credit: how to knit slip stitch.
- Knit Sampler Stitch Cowl in the Round continued. How to Knit Seersucker stitch and Long Slip Textured stitch.
- Knit Sampler Stitch Cowl in the Round continued.
This was about the stage where Cryssi and Kathryn began to diverge. Both found it hard to switch to working in the round. But Kathryn still hasn’t quite gotten the hang of it so at this point she kind of diverged and just began knitting more as occupational therapy and less in line with the camp’s schedule. Cryssi had a bumpy start on the cowl. However, midway through, she really felt like she was getting it. Although she could’ve said it before, this was where she personally felt she could say, “look, I learned to knit.”
How to Knit a Hat in the Round
At this point the BiCrafty Bootcampers could definitely say, “I learned to knit.” But we weren’t done, yet. It was time to knit a hat with these lessons:
- Begin Knit Sampler Stitch Hat in the Round to Complement Cowl.
- Knit Hat: Latvian Braid. This was one of the favorite techniques people learned. Even experienced knitters were wowed by the look and ease of it.
- Knit Hat: Stranded Knitting.
- Knit Hat: Triangle Lace.
- Wrapping up the Knit Hat: How to Knit Cables and Finish Your Hat on DPNs.
In month three, Kathryn continued watching the videos and writing up the blog posts. At least she could absorb as much information as possible even if she wasn’t knitting a lot yet. Cryssi had trouble with her hat. It wasn’t easy. However, she eventually got there. This goes to remind us that there are ebbs and flows in every learning process. That’s why you’re learning; because you don’t already know. The mistakes you make are helpful because then you better understand how to do more right.
How to Knit Mittens in the Round
Finally, we wrapped up our set with a pair of beautiful knit mittens.
- How to Knit Mittens: Part 1 – Lacy Arrow Stitch Cuff.
- Knit Mittens Part 2: Latvian Braid, picking up stitches, thumb gusset.
- Knit Mittens Part 3: Duplicate stitch, shaping mitten top, kitchener stitch.
Final Wrap-Up Thoughts from Kathryn and Cryssi
Despite not making it too far, Kathryn feels proud of the knitting skills she gained. She can knit and purl on straights, which means she can say, “I learned to knit.” She can also knit on circulars. So, she’ll get there. Overall, she was thrilled to be a part of bootcamp. Her biggest passion is crafting as therapy and she learned a lot about knit therapy through the process. Plus she really loves the Marly Bird community and was happy to be active in the live video chats whenever she could.
One of the things Cryssi realized when talking to someone else about making the knit mittens was that she’s beyond being able to say, “I learned to knit.” The BiCrafty Bootcampers who made it to this stage are really advanced beginners at this point, if not intermediate knitters. If you’re one of them, don’t be afraid to tackle the knit versions of Marly’s upcoming stitchalongs as well as her excellent body of free knitting patterns.
Asked for some wrap-up thoughts, Cryssi said, “I’m just amazed that five months ago I had no idea what I was doing and now I’m an “intermediate knitter.” The weekly challenges from Bootcamp are the only reason I’ve achieved what I have. If I had not stuck with it, then I would have been really upset with myself! I’ve wanted to learn to knit for years. I’m so grateful I finally got to do so with the guidance and leadership from Marly.”
BiCrafty Bootcamp Sponsors
Cryssi also wanted to say, “I can’t thank the sponsors enough for their gracious donations and support.” They gave knitting needles to our team. Moreover, they gave us some good giveaway prizes to let other Bootcampers try their stuff, too. We got such a variety from them. We did reviews for each; here they are in very brief summary:
- Signature Needle Arts Review. With a stiletto point that cuts through yarn like a hot knife through butter, these are a must-have. We also like the storage tubes their DPNs come in.
- ChiaoGoo Knitting Needles. Kathryn loved the bamboo straights. As a beginner Cryssi also liked the bamboo, and she enjoyed working with the interchangeable circulars. We all loved the storage that the supplies came in.
- Jimmy Beans Wool SmartStix Interchangeables. Cryssi loves the ingenious design which includes a measuring tape built directly into the needle.
- Prym. Knitting needles come in such a variety of materials. The plastic of Pryms worked really well for Kathryn; faster than bamboo but not as slick as metal. The team also likes the unique teardrop hook that makes it easy to pick up the yarn when knitting.
By the end of Bootcamp, lots of people said that they were as obsessed with buying knitting needles as they were with buying yarn! So, we created a guide for all your options for how to store knitting needles.
Look Out for BiCrafty Bootcamp: Crochet Lessons for Knitters!
BiCrafty Bootcamp part one has come to an end. If you didn’t keep up with all the lessons, they’re still there for you to work with (for now!) However, we aren’t stopping here on the Marly Bird team. Come September, we’re launching BiCrafty Bootcamp: Crochet Lessons for Knitters. All the newbie knitters from the first bootcamp are welcome to join in for crafting along each week. Plus we hope to make lots of other knitters BiCrafty with these lessons. More from us soon!