It’s a lot of fun and easier than you might think to learn to knit. Whether you’ve never picked up a needle before or just need a refresher, this guide to the fundamentals and beyond offers everything you need to get started.
Essential Knitting Skills and Tools
Knitting requires a number of fundamental abilities. You will utilize these techniques and stitches in every knitting project. The knit and purl stitches are the building blocks for more complicated stitches that you’ll learn later. You must start with the following fundamentals:
- Making a slip knot and casting on
- Forming the knit stitch
- Forming the purl stitch
- Binding off (sometimes called casting off)
One easy knitting project, the creation of a square, may teach you all of these skills.
A few basic knitting tools are also required to get started. At first, just get a ball of yarn, a pair of needles, and a crochet hook or yarn needle. Save your money until you get started and have a clearer understanding of what you need since the rest will come later.
Picking a Good Pattern for Beginners
Once you understand the fundamentals, choose your first project. Starting with a little, flat object that doesn’t require shaping is a smart option.
Scarves are an excellent place to start since their length requires you to fully learn the fundamental stitches. Also, knitting a flat square for a dishcloth is a simple, enjoyable job. Both of these crafts are helpful, and seeing your finished knitwear encourages you to continue knitting.
The knitting skill level is typically indicated on patterns so you may pick a decent beginner project.
Even beginning patterns appear to be written in code in many cases. You’ll need to become proficient at reading patterns and familiar with knitting abbreviations.
When you have completed knitting, your work is not yet complete. You may need to complete one or more of the following before your job is finished, depending on the project:
- Incorporating ends
- Knitting for blocking
- Completing seams
Many knitters prefer the knitting process to these finishing chores. Although they’re not really enjoyable, you cannot appreciate what you have made without them. Learn to love (or at least appreciate) these abilities and you’ll stop having a backlog of incomplete tasks.
Learning New Skills
There are various different skills to practice once you’re confident in the fundamentals and have completed one or two projects. Several of them are appropriate for beginners, as follows:
- I-cord construction
- Stripes knitted
- Using circular needles
However, don’t be scared to challenge yourself. Try not to take on too much at once. You only need to make a sequence of loops across a row of stitches to knit. The majority of patterns do a great job of describing complicated or unusual procedures, and you can always do a search for the solutions.
Every knitter experiences difficulties now and then, but most knitting errors are simple to correct. When you make a mistake, the worst thing that can happen is that you have to throw your work away and start over (knitters have a sense of humor and call this frogging). Some errors, like a stitch that was dropped, can be corrected in less dramatic ways. These are a few typical issues:
- Addressing the issue of knitting holes
- How to fix a dropped stitch
Additionally, you should become familiar with proper stitch orientation so that you can correctly reposition the stitches on your needle if (and when) they come off.
New knitting equipment are hard to resist for knitters who are obsessive about the craft.
Knitting needles come in three different varieties:
The majority of rectangular crafts, including scarves and washcloths, are worked on straight needles.
Two needle heads are joined by a cord to form circular needles. Because they retain more stitches than straight needles, you need them for bigger items like blankets. They are also employed for items that are worked in the round, such as seamless sweater bodies and hats.
Needles with two points
For smaller, round-joined crafts like mittens or a hat crown, double-point needles are employed. It’s common practice to begin a project on circular needles before switching to double points as you near the binding off stage.
Gorgeous yarn, oh! There are so many different sorts of it, in various weights, fabrics, and colors. There is far too much to list here, but suffice it to say: yarn. Feel it, adore it, buy it, and hoard it.
When you’re through with your craft or wish to swap colors, you’ll need a pair of scissors to cut the yarn. Actually, you may use any scissors you have on hand! But if you knit more, you might want to get a smaller set of snips that you can carry around with you.
These tiny, vibrant rings slide onto your needles to denote certain locations in your pattern. If you need to mark a location on the project itself to go back to later in the design, several markers can be clipped straight onto a stitch.
Stitch holders like big safety pins. You merely place the stitches onto a holder when a design instructs you to set some aside for later.
Instead of specifying the number of rows, some patterns provide the number of inches. When sewing pairs of items, such as mittens or sleeves, a flexible measuring tape will be essential. It’s not a good idea to assume that your sleeves are all the same length.
There are other uses for crochet hooks. They can be used for a variety of different things, such as making a provisional cast-on or picking up misplaced stitches.
A row counter can help you maintain an accurate count when some designs call for you to keep track of the precise number of rows you have knit. Some row counters are needle-attached devices with a number dial that you rotate after each row. Some only have a button that you click. Yes, there are smartphone applications for that as well.
Swift and Winder
If you buy one of these, you won’t have to wait around at the yarn shop for your 10 hanks of sweater yarn to be wound ever again.
Yarn guides make it possible to handle two colors simultaneously without having them become tangled. Additionally, using the tool will help you knit with consistent tension.
Wool Wash Kit
It can be intimidating to wash knits for the first time, especially if you’re using more expensive yarns. A wool wash kit eliminates all the guessing by providing you with a mild soap and even a unique basin designed just for knits. Beginners simply need to look at the yarn label to see how to care for it.