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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!

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

Slouchy Cabled Bauble Hat

Slouchy bauble hat knitting pattern www.margoknits.com
(this post contains affiliate links to products I use and recommend to my readers.)
 I created this pattern with baubles in mind. I love the look of the cables intermingling with the baubles in a seemingly random pattern. This pattern is really easy and entertaining to knit! You can make it slouchy like I did, or start the decreases sooner for a tighter fit. Buy the pattern and start knitting today!

 


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Triangle Stitch Sunglass Case Free Knitting Pattern

Oh summer knitting. After knitting a few shawls, I just wanted a short and chic project. So I created this sunglass case to keep my sunglasses safe in my purse!

 

You will need to know:
Knit
Purl
How to sew a seam

 

Matierals:
Martha Stewart Merino Yarn (1 skein= approx 120 yds) (colorway: peacock)
-Or any worsted medium weight yarn
Size 7 knitting needles
Darning needle for weaving ends and sewing seams

 

Begin Pattern:

 

Co 20 sts.

 

1. K5 *K9, P1, rep from * until 5 sts. rem. K5
2. K5 *K2, P8 rep from * until 5 sts. rem. K5
3. K5, *K7, P3 rep from * until 5 sts. rem. K5
4. K5*K4, P6 rep from * until 5 sts. rem. K5
5. K5*K5 P5 rep from * until 5 sts. rem. K5
6. K5 *K6, P4 rep from * until 5 sts. rem. K5
7. K5 *K3, P7, rep from * until 5 sts. rem. K5
8. K5 *K8, P2, rep from * until 5 sts. rem. K5
9. K5 *K1, P9 rep from * until 5 sts. rem. K5

 

10. K5, *P9, K1  rep from * until 5 sts. rem. K5
11. K5, *P2, K8  rep from * until 5 sts. rem. K5
12. K5, *P7, K3  rep from * until 5 sts. rem. K5
13. K5, P4, K6  rep from * until 5 sts. rem. K5
14. K5 *P5, K5  rep from * until 5 sts. rem. K5
15. K5 *P6, K4  rep from * until 5 sts. rem. K5
16. K5 *P3, K7  rep from * until 5 sts. rem. K5
17. K5 *P8, K2  rep from * until 5 sts. rem. K5
18. K5 *P1, K9  rep from * until 5 sts. rem. K5

 

Repeat rows 1-18 3 times

 

Begin Back

 

Knit until piece measures 12” flat.
Bind off and sew the side seams together.
Wet and block to get a flatter look to the stitches.

 

Cable Crown Super Bulky Headband

I call this one the “crown headband” because it’s so big, it kind of looks like a crown. Kind of a winter interpretation of the flower crown trend. It’s a really simple pattern, and is a great way to practice cables! I get compliments on mine a lot, and am currently knitting some in other colors as gifts (for myself).

Note: This pattern starts with a provisional cast on with waste yarn, and is finished with a 3 needle bind off. If you prefer to just sew the seams together at the end, then just cast normally with your working yarn.

 
Materials:
Us Size 13 knitting needles
Cable needle or DPN
Darning needle for sewing seams and/or weaving in ends
waste yarn (you can just use some yarn from the skein of hometown USA, or use a contrasing color super bulky yarn to make it easier to see)

YARN SUGGESTIONS:

Lion Brand Thick n’ Quick

Abbreviations:
CO: Cast on
K: knit
P: purl
C6F: Cable 6 front (sl next 3 stitches to CN & hold in front, k 3, k3 from CN)
C6B: Cable 6 back (sl next 3 stitches onto cn & hold in back, k3, k3 from cn)
sl: slip
sts: stitches
cn: cable needle
Pattern:
Provisional cast on 11 stitches with waste yarn, or if you prefer not to use the provisional cast on method, just cast on your stitches as normal, and you will sew your seam together at the end.
Row 1: K11
Row 2: k1 P9 K1
Row 3: k1 C6F (sl next 3 stitches to CN & hold in front, k 3, k3 from CN), k4
Row 4: k1 p9 k1
Row 5: k 11
Row 6: k1, p9, k1
Row 7: k4,C6B (sl next 3 stitches onto cn & hold in back, k3, k3 from cn), k1
Row 8: k1, p9, k1
Repeat rows 1-8 until desired length- (about 18-19 ” is good for a 20-21″ head, this headband will stretch when worn a couple times. )
Remove waste yarn, and place stitches on needle. Use 3 needle bind off to seam headband. You can watch a great video on how to do a 3 needle bind off here.  If you chose not to use the provisional cast on, then just sew the seams together.
 Weave in ends and enjoy your crown, you’ve earned it!

 


Spring Shawl: Fresh Photos

 

 

I needed some fresh, spring photos for my ‘Design Your Own Crescent Shawl’ knitting pattern, and we were lucky to have an 80 degree day in between thunderstorms last week! After this long winter, I’ve never been so happy to have sun-burn!


New & Notable

New & Notable is a new series where I will be showcasing my favorite new patterns of the week! This week I was inspired by soft grays, blues, and creams. Probably something to do with the beautiful thunderstorms we’ve been having!

Enjoy!

On My Needles

I’m working on 2 new and exciting projects right now, and I can’t wait to get them done & photographed to share with you! I’ve really been inspired by stockinette stitch, summer shawls, and stripes. Here’s a sneak preview of what I’m working on: 1 free pattern, and 1 for sale.