7 Top Tips for Newbie Knitters
If you are a newbie knitter, there's a good chance you're feeling pretty overwhelmed by everything there is to learn.
Knitting is really quite simple once you've learnt the basics, but just grasping the basics can seem like a herculean task when you're drowning in jargon!
In an attempt to make things a little more simple for you, I've put together 7 of my top tips for newbie knitters in the following infographic. If you scroll down you'll see that I've elaborated on each of the points in more detail.
1. Start SMALL
Now, I know you, you've seen a beautiful, hand knitted... something. You loved it so much that you thought "wow! I want to make one of those!"
I’m not here to say you can’t make one of those - in fact, I 110% KNOW you can. I’m just saying a lace shawl probably isn't your best bet for a first project.
You will feel overwhelmed by complicated techniques and incomprehensible jargon, get in a big tangle, throw down your brand new needles and vow never to touch a ball of yarn again.
Instead, try something really small. As boring as it is, a simple square is perfect; however if that is just too dull for you, something simple, such as a phone case would be great. In fact, it was my first project!
People tend to think knitting a scarf is the logical jumping off point. It’s really not. It takes too long, and the repetition gets old FAST.
2. Use BIG yarn...
...For bigger newbie projects such as scarves or hats. On the label it will say “chunky”, “bulky” or “12 ply”, depending on whereabouts you are in the world.
Chunky yarn knits up INCREDIBLY fast, especially on a smaller project, which is precisely what you need when you first start out. Instant gratification is a great motivator!
(It also makes it easier to see what you're doing, especially if you have bad eyesight like me!)
3. Cheap yarn is your friend* (for now)
I know, I know. You want to build up your yarn stash.
You've seen loads of beautiful skeins of yummy expensive yarn on Instagram and yarn stash memes featuring Maggie Smith, and you want in on that life.
When you first start knitting, I guarantee you will make a tonne of mistakes, which is fine - making mistakes is how we learn. I guarantee you will still make a tonne of mistakes even when you're an advanced knitter, the difference is by that stage you will know how to fix your mistakes.
You'll probably be quite grumpy if you've spent loads of money on a beautiful luxurious yarn, only to drop a stitch, make a big hole and not know how to fix it.
Cheap yarn will do fine when you're just starting out, I promise.
* Just be aware, there's cheap, and then there's just plain bad quality.
4. Don't panic about your cast on
Casting on when you've never picked up a set of needles before can be pretty intimidating, and is enough to put the faint hearted off knitting for good.
Are you faint hearted? Nope, I didn't think so. Good for you!
Casting on is just one tiny element in the grand scheme of things, and you will improve.
When I teach people how to knit in person, I never teach them the cast on first, I do that bit for them, and just show them the stitches. At this stage you just need loops on your needle that you will be able to knit into.
Watch my video...
...or ask someone who knows how to knit to cast on for you. This point takes me onto Top Tip Number 5...
5. Ask for help
Knitting is a skill that has been passed down from generation to generation.
Everyone has their own methods and techniques, and as a rule, knitters are a warm generous bunch who will most likely be happy to help.
Ravelry is a fantastic resource for knitting advice.
6. Master the knit stitch
Become best friends with it. Practice it over, and over and over and over and.... You catch my drift.
The knit stitch is the foundation of everything you are going to learn. All knitting is a variation of the knit and the purl stitch, and the purl stitch is just a backwards knit stitch.
So really, take my word for it; knit stitch is king - why do you think it's called knitting? ;)
7. Practice Makes Perfect!
Turns out, the age-old cliché is true!
Knitting is meant to be fun! It's challenging, yes, but I know you can do it!
We don't have to knit out of necessity anymore, yet so many people still do it.... Surely that proves that it's not just practical, but it's enjoyable too!
So, if you’re a COMPLETE newbie, and would love to learn to knit but have no idea where to start, click below to sign up for me FREE knitting course, From Newbie to Know-It-All, which teaches you everything you need to know to get started knitting!