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Five Essential Tips for Beginner Knitters by AllFreeKnitting.com

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Today’s post is brought to you by Kathryn of AllFreeKnitting.com

Five Essential Tips for Beginner Knitters

Hi everyone! It’s Kathryn from AllFreeKnitting.com. Margo was gracious enough to let me talk about one of my favorite topics with you today – essential tips and tricks for beginner knitters.

Diving into the knitting world for the first time can be a bit of an overwhelming experience. There are materials to buy, stitches to learn, and patterns to decipher. Where do you even start?

Fortunately, there are a few key pieces of advice all beginner knitters can learn in order to make their experience more enjoyable and more productive. Sure, I could tell you how to knit and purl or the difference between linen stitch and basketweave stitch, but oftentimes, the most valuable beginner knitting tips have nothing to do with actual techniques.

Let’s dive in and take a look at the tips and tricks every fiber enthusiast should consider.

1. Carefully Curate Your Knitting Supplies


When you’re first starting out, it’s extremely tempting to head to the nearest craft store and stock up on every knitting material available. However, it’s important to practice some restraint and wait until you’ve been knitting for a while before investing in certain tools.


For instance, as you knit, you’ll discover whether you prefer bamboo to aluminum needles and what notions are most useful. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of needles, try out knitting friends’ notions, and see what you like best before investing your money.

If you want to know more about the materials every beginner knitter should have in his or her kit, don’t miss Beginning Knitting Supplies: The Ultimate Knitting Tools List. This handy guide provides a comprehensive overview of what you can and can’t live without when you decide to learn how to knit.

2. Invest in Basic Yarn

With so many gorgeous skeins of yarn on the market, it’s very tempting to buy the prettiest, most glittery one you can get your hands on. However, these fancy yarns are not beginner friendly. It’s best to start with an inexpensive, synthetic worsted-weight yarn in a light color. Working with a light color helps you see the stitches more easily so it’s obvious when you’ve made a mistake.

Once you’ve progressed further in your knitting career and you’re not constantly ripping out stitches, go ahead and invest in some fancy yarns. Sequin-embellished yarns, bead-embellished yarns, eyelash yarns – grab whatever makes your knitter heart happy!

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3. Knit a Gauge Swatch


When you’re following a pattern and you want your finished knits to come out a certain size, it’s essential to knit a gauge swatch. A gauge swatch is the only accurate way to know how big or small your project will be.

You’ll notice the instructions of every knitting pattern include a recommended gauge. This number indicates how many stitches equal one inch of fabric. Your goal is to match the gauge, because even slight variations can make a big difference in your finished product.

Even though it’s tempting to skip this step and dive straight into the pattern, train yourself to always knit a gauge swatch in order to save yourself a lot of time and frustration down the road. You may think it’s enough to use the recommended yarn and needle size, but your individual tension may be different, so the only way to make sure you have the right gauge is to knit a swatch.

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4. Read the Entire Pattern Before You Start to Knit

Before you cast on your stitches, take the time to read the pattern all the way through. Make sure you understand the instructions and imagine yourself knitting each step in order to visualize the final product.

Does each step make sense? Do you understand the overall construction? Do you know how to do the required skills? If not, take the time to think it through and ask yourself why the pattern says to do this or that.

Once you know which parts of a pattern are essential and which ones can be altered (or ignored completely), you can start making changes to better suit your personal preferences. Think of a knitting pattern as a secret code and once you crack the code, you can use that knowledge to make more informed choices.

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5. Breathe and Relax

It’s easy to become frustrated when you’re learning a new skill and knitting is no different. Before you throw your needles across the room in frustration, take a moment to breathe and relax. It may be beneficial to set your project aside for a few hours or even a few days and revisit it with a clear mind.

Knitting when you’re wound up can negatively affect your tension and cause your stitches to tighten. Spend some time getting in the zone before you dive into your project by listening to relaxing music, drinking some soothing tea, meditating for a few minutes, etc.

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember knitting is a fun hobby that should bring you joy, so resist the urge to become completely overwhelmed. Sometimes, a simple change in perspective is all you need to remember why you’re a fiber enthusiast in the first place.

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So there you have it! These five tips for beginner knitters are a great place to start if you’re interested in successfully exploring the wonderful world of fiber arts.

Want to know what materials every beginner knitter needs in order to get started? Be sure to check out Beginning Knitting Supplies: The Ultimate Knitting Tools List.

Thanks to AllFreeKnitting.com for these helpful tips! Looking for a comprehensive collection of free knitting patterns? Look no further! AllFreeKnitting.com has one of the best collections of free knitting patterns for you to enjoy. Happy knitting!

Cora Cowl Cable Knit Infinity Scarf

Free cable knit infinity scarf pattern by Margo Knits

Hey hey and happy Thursday! Remember a few weeks back when I posted the Minty Morning Headband? Well what a difference a gauge makes! Today I’m actually going to be using the exact same pattern as the Minty Morning Headband, but with superbulky yarn to make a cowl!

The Cora Cowl features edge cables, and a big beautiful braided cable right in the middle. I love the effect of cabled edges. I used Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick yarn, and I’m really happy with the way it turned out. The texture of the yarn is so soft, and the cable pattern is my new go to! The Cora Cowl is knit flat, and seamed. You can make it to any length you want.


What you need to make the Cora Cowl

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick n’ Quick

Yardage: 160-180 yards

Needles:

US Size 13 (9.0mm)

Yarn needle for weaving in ends

Cable Needle

Abbreviations:

CO : Cast on

K : Knit

P : Purl

C6F: Cable 6 Front (Slip 3 stitches onto cable needle, and hold in front. Knit 3 from needles, then knit 3 from cable needle).

C6B: Cable 6 Back (Slip 3 stitches onto cable needle, and hold in back. Knit 3 from needles, then knit 3 from cable needle).

Gauge: 18sts. & 12 rows = 4” in cable pattern

You will work the following 8 row repeat stitch pattern until your scarf reaches 43 inches, or your desired length.


Free cable knit infinity scarf pattern

Begin Pattern:

Using US Size 13 (9.0mm) knitting needlles, CO. 28sts.

Row 1, 5: K6, P4, K8, P4, K6

Row 2, 4, 6, 8 : P6, K4, P8, K4, P6

Row 3: C6B, P4,  K2, C6F, P4, C6F

Row 7: C6B, P4,  C6B, K2, P4, C6F

Repeat rows 1-8 until scarf measures 43 inches (109cm)

Cut yarn, leaving about a 14” tail. Fold scarf in half, sew seams together with tail. Weave in all ends. Block if needed. Enjoy!

And if you love free knitting patterns, check out AllFreeKnitting.com!

Minty Morning Headband


FREE headband knitting pattern!

Gosh I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve posted a new knitting pattern! But I’m back at it and what I wanted to share with you was this simple, satisfying pattern that you can finish in an evening! The Minty morning headband features cabled edges, and a middle braided cable.

I only had a little bit of this colorway in Vanna’s Choice yarn left, so I knew I wanted to make something small. If you’re up for a quick, fun, fashionable project, let’s get started!

Begin Pattern:

Using US Size 9 knitting needlles, CO. 28sts.

Row 1, 5: K6, P4, K8, P4, K6

Row 2, 4, 6, 8 : P6, K4, P8, K4, P6

Row 3: C6B, P4,  K2, C6F, P4, C6F

Row 7: C6B, P4,  C6B, K2, P4, C6F

Repeat pattern until headband measures about 17-19 inches, bind off, and sew seam. Enjoy!

And… If you’re looking for more patterns- I’ve just added a new hat pattern to my shop:

The Dottie Hat

The Dottie Hat features a light worsted yarn in a diagonal lace pattern. It’s comfy, cute, and perfect for transitioning into (or out of) winter!

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View the pattern on Ravelry

or

Wham Bam Thank You Lamb!

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Or in this case, alpaca! I knitted up this asymmetrical cowl in an evening of T.V. watching, and man do I love it. The free pattern is a really simple one, and I modified it a little bit by using K1 P1 ribbing instead of Garter stitch. Some nights making up an entire pattern on my own takes too much brain power, so I like to let another designer do the thinking for me.

I grabbed this awesome pattern by Susan Chang on Ravelry, and it only took a couple hours. I wasn’t watching the clock but I’m pretty sure by the end of 2 episodes of The Walking Dead I was done.

All you need to make this cowl is some super bulky yarn ( I used Yarn Bee Effortless Superbulky, which is a nice Alpaca Acrylic blend that you can find at Hobby Lobby), some size US13 (9.0mm) knitting needles, and a yarn needle for weaving ends and sewing the asymmetrical seam. This pattern didn’t even use up the entire skein. In fact I could probably get another one out of it!


Check out the pattern here on Ravelry, and to make my modified version simply work in K1, P1 ribbing and always slip the last 1st st. of the row. I also seamed it a bit differently, more in the middle as you can see in the last photo.

 

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Winter Seeds : Free Seed Stitch Infinity Scarf Knitting Pattern

free seed stitch infinity scarf pattern

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Happy September! Who’s ready for fall yet? I’ll admit, after a year in the Caribbean, I’m excited to break out my jeans, boots, and of course, my yarn! I knitted this infinity scarf in Belize, awaiting the day when I’d actually be able to wear it. Unfortunately, that day has not come as it is 95 degrees here in Ohio. I’m in no rush to say goodbye to the sun, but I am ready to say hello to my cowls!

This is a really simple pattern, and great for beginners. What I love most about my pattern is the yarn. The mint green and gray colorway from Nerd Girl Yarns was so amazing I bought 5 skeins so…. matching hat to come? I think so. Ok, onto the knitting!

 

Please note: This pattern is available to view on the blog for free, if you would like a printable version, it is available for purchase in my Ravelry shop.

Seed Stitch Cowl

What you’ll need:

Yarn:

3 skeins (approx. 384yds / 351m) bulky yarn (I am using hand-dyed yarn from NerdGirlYarns.com, colorway: Eyes bright, chins up, smiles on)



Gauge:

4 sts. and 6 rows = 1” in seed stitch

Needles/Notions:

Us Size 10.5 (6.0mm) 24” (60cm) circular knitting needles

Yarn needle for weaving in ends

Abbreviations:

CO – Cast On

K – Knit

P – Purl

BO – Bind Off

Begin Pattern:

CO 160 sts.

Join in the round and begin round 1.

Round 1: *K1, P1, rep. from * to end of round

Round 2: *P1, K1, rep. from * to end of round

 

Repeat roundss 1 & 2 until scarf width measures 12″ (30cm). Bind off and stay warm! I love a good seed stitch infinity scarf, don’t you? (Beware- your friends will want one too!)

 

For more patterns designed by yours truly, visit my pattern shop!