I’m dusting off the cobwebs of my little blog to share my latest fixation and hobby with you… knitting. I receive an overwhelming amount of direct messages in response to my knitting posts and projects I thought i’d just go ahead and compile all of my thoughts and tips into a blog post for easy reference! So if you’re curious about knitting, where to start, what my top tips and resources are, you’ve come to the right place. Knitting for beginners, (from a beginner hehe) and how to start knitting by yours truly.
Benefits of Knitting:
I started knitting for two reasons, the first being, I have expensive taste lol. I was always falling in love with merino wool knits and cashmere cardigans way outside of my budget and I figured it would be more affordable to just knit them myself. And secondly, I needed a hobby that would keep me off my phone and digital screens and serve as a therapeutic and mindfulness exercise. Knitting has been that and more for me! Something about the repetative motion and the creative outlet is so calming and refreshing for me, I truly have fallen in love with it. There’s also nothing like the satisfaction of completing a garment or finished object, it’s addicting actually.
Like any craft or hobby, there’s a long list of supplies and tools that can be used for different projects. But if your goal is to knit apparel and knit garments these are the things I think you need to start with:
- Circular knitting needles: these are my preferred needles to knit on as they are much more comfortable to knit with and give you the versatility to knit different kinds of projects.
- Stitch Markers: these are so helpful and often used in apparel knitting. you can make your own out of scrap yarn if needed but they are relatively affordable as well.
- Yarn: now there’s all sorts of types of yarn out there- that’s a different blog post for another day -but my advice to you is to find a pattern you like and knit with the yarn suggested until you feel confident enough to try other yarns!
- Scissors: any scissors will do, but a small pair that fit in your knitting bag is great because you never want to be without a pair of scissors when knitting a project.
- Tapestry needle or yarn needle: these are like $2 at hobby lobby
Leaning The Basics:
There are four steps you should learn before starting your first project.
- Casting On: this is the first step to starting a project which is basically creating the loops or stitches on your needles to begin your project. There are different methods for casting on but: Here’s a great video on long tail cast on (which is my preferred method of casting on)
- Knit Stitch: this is the foundation of most knitting projects. Here’s a video on how to knit a knit stitch
- Purl Stitch: this stitch complements the knit stitch and opens up a wide range of stitch patterns. Here’s a video on how to knit a purl stitch
- Binding Off: or Casting Off” this is the end step to removing your project from your needles. There are a few different methods similar to casting on but: Here’s a video on one way to cast off
You’re ready to start knitting bestie! Now entering your Granny Era…welcome, it’s so fun here, you’ll never want to leave. I always recommend starting with a BEANIE; because no one wants to wear a plain ole scarf. Well, maybe you do, but I think a beanie is the perfect starter project because you’ll learn how to “knit in the round” which is really common for apparel knitting and let’s be honest, we all just want to learn how to knit a cozy sweater right?
You can follow along with my Knit a Beanie Blog Post here or you can head over to Youtube or Etsy or Ravelry and find a pattern or video to follow there.
Next Up: Here are my favorite fiber knitting artists for beginner patterns and resources
- Bethany at Well Loved Knits
- Kara at Kara Knit-Eng
- Brenda at Brenda Made This
- Wool And The Gang
- Cam at A Honey Knits
Patterns I’ve knit and LOVED as a beginner knitter:
Hazy Skies Sweater (this is the first sweater I attempted after I failed a year prior haha)
The Sable Sweater I LOVE THIS PATTERN! Bethany has helpful youtube video tutorials and it’s knit in the round so you don’t have to sew anything together at the end! Don’t let it intimidate you, just give it a try! I have now knit this same sweater FIVE TIMES.
Need To Have Cardigan This was my first attempt at a knit cardigan and Brenda’s patterns are amazing and so easy to follow
Things that will make your work more “legit”:
There are a few things you can do to set yourself apart and make your early projects more refined and “proper.” The first being, weave in your ends. When you finish a knit piece you’ll inevitably have loose strands of yarn hanging from your object, use your tapestry needle to weave in those strands to make your piece look finished. Here’s a great video for that Secondly, BLOCKING. Blocking is one of those tricky things most people avoid (aka me) mostly because it’s time consuming. Blocking a finished object like a sweater helps to relax your yarn and stitches to make it more uniform and make it lay properly. There are a few different ways to block and here’s a great video explaining blocking
Lastly, TRY NEW THINGS:
The biggest tip I can leave you with is to not be afraid of trying new things. As beginners, knitting is new and you’re going to have bumps in the road. You’re going to be googling and youtubing things, you’re going to make mistakes and have no clue how or why, it’s all apart of the process and if you are brave enough to push past it. You’re going to reap the huge reward of a new skillset and craft that you’ll have with you for the rest of your life. I’m here if you ever wanna chat and I hope this was a helpful first guide to getting started. Thanks for being here friends!
-Anna, fellow knitter