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!
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.
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.
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.
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!