In this post, you will see knitting tips for beginners for those of you who have just started your knitting journey.
If one of your goals is to pick up the needles and start knitting then we have this to say to you…
A huge welcome to the knitting community!
Knitting is very good for your mental health, helping to reduce stress and anxiety and also your physical health too.
It can give you a sense of accomplishment and the chance to meet a community full of fellow knitters who are ready to cheer you on, share their knitting secrets, and give you helpful advice.
You can learn all about the benefits of knitting here –Why Knitting Is Good For You.
What Can You Do With Knitting…
So have you ever seen a gorgeous knitted item in a shop window and thought hmmm I wonder if I can make that?
Knitting is one of the hobbies that you will never regret getting into because it’s also a life skill.
Make all sorts of things…
You can make everything your heart desires from sweaters, hats, scarves, shawls, socks, bags, and even knitted decorative items for your house.
You can make things for yourself, gifts for your friends and family, and of course, it’s a way to give back to your community by making items for those in need.
And if knitting is something you want to pursue career-wise many makers sell their finished products in shops, craft fairs, and websites like Etsy.
Learn All About Knitting Online
Moreover, all the informative materials you need to make your knitting projects can be found for free or very budget-friendly online.
Learn to knit with easy knitting patterns, plus step-by-step photo and video tutorials can be found online.
If you are a book fan you could also find books with stitch tutorials and patterns.
You could also join knitting lessons online where you can learn to knit online or face-to-face in your local yarn store.
And you can find very budget-friendly supplies both online and in your local stores.
But if you haven’t ever picked up a pair of knitting needles, all this might look a little bit like a mountain to climb.
As with everything new we dive into, knitting can be a bit difficult to understand.
And all the information online, while being extremely helpful can be overwhelming to the novice knitter who is looking for where to start.
And of course, the more you search the more questions you have…
- How to cast on?
- How to cast off?
- How do I do a basic knit stitch?
- What is a purl stitch?
- What does knitting on the wrong side mean?
Take a breath and take it slow, at the beginning all you need are the knitting basics.
Knitting can be a little overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it, you will love the outcome.
Knitting Tips For Beginners
So after years of knitting and designing knitwear patterns, I’ve collected my best knitting tips for beginners to help you along your knitting journey and answer the most common questions newbies have.
- The crucial thing to remember is that knitting is fun, and there are no knitting police that will tell you how to knit, which pattern, and which knitting needles to use.
- Don’t be afraid to try, just do it, practice makes perfect.
- Also, make sure to document your progress, in a notebook or binder.
- Keep that first knitting project forever, to show yourself how you started and how far you have come. All journeys have a beginning. You will want to have a reminder of your first stitches.
- Moreover, learn to be open to taking advice.
- My suggestion is if someone is trying to help you learn, respect their time and effort, and actually do what they are suggesting. They have your success at heart.
- And don’t be afraid to ask questions, no matter how simple or silly the question may seem. We were all beginners once.
- Hear me talk through more tips on my YouTube channel here.
My best tip is – Practice.
Practice on an easy pattern to start with so you don’t get discouraged.
Don’t expect the first projects to look perfect…it takes time to develop technique and tension.
Keep a notebook.
Use it to keep records of anything you make, the size of needles, the yarn used and how much, how many stitches and rows to the inch, the pattern source, and the measurements of the finished item.
You’ll be glad you did!
Take a picture of everything you make and write notes as to the pattern and how you changed it.
You won’t remember.
Count the number of stitches in every row or two and make sure they correspond with the pattern.
Easy for a beginner to miss the last stitch of a row.
Something it took me weeks to figure out when I first started knitting and I couldn’t figure out how I was adding stitches.
Yarn towards you when purling and yarn away from you when knitting.
Your first project should be small.
A king-size blanket is a daunting task for even a seasoned yarn artist…don’t let that be the first project.
It’s too big, you’ll lose interest in the craft when it inevitably gets boring, probably less than 10 rows in.
Small projects are great because you get that feeling of accomplishment a heck of a lot sooner than you would do making a giant blanket.
A project that requires one skein of yarn is a perfect idea.
And don’t feel like you *must* move on from scarves.
There are lots of beautiful cowl and scarf patterns for all skill levels.
When first starting knitting and learning it’s a good idea to choose a beginner-level pattern.
Beginner-level patterns are always made with basic stitches, include a step-by-step tutorial and help you practice your first knitting stitches.
Once you feel comfortable enough with the basic patterns you can move on to easy patterns and learn more knitting skills.
Use materials you love.
Don’t worry about “wasting” the good stuff on learning.
You will enjoy it more and have an easier time learning if you have quality materials.
Life is too short to knit with a cheap/scratchy ball of yarn.
Buy as nice quality yarn as you can afford.
Learn all about yarn weights here.
Shopping for knitting supplies is lots of fun but at first start with a pair of needles, smooth yarn, and maybe stitch markers.
Don’t worry you will build your knitting kit in no time.
As you start to collect more yarn you may want to invest in a ball winder and yarn swift to ‘cake’ skeins of yarn and make it easy.
Often skeins have knots and you can easily wind them into cakes with the right tools.
If you dropped a stitch in the middle of a row don’t panic!
Dropped stitches are part of the process and there is a simple way to fix them.
Don’t stretch your project as the dropped stitch will ladder down and you lose more stitches.
So If you are knitting, carry a crochet hook with you and you won’t have to tear out rows if you drop a stitch, just crochet it up to the working row.
Start knitting with chunky/bulky wool and thick needles.
The thicker your yarn the quicker your project knits up, it’s easier to grip, easier to see your stitches and spot any mistakes.
Lace, fingering, and all the thin yarns look extremely beautiful but are not ideal for new knitters.
And don’t start with dark-colored yarn, it will make it harder to spot mistakes.
Learn all about yarn types here and how to read a yarn label here.
There are many different types of yarn, wool, cotton, acrylic yarn, and blends of natural fibers.
And while the type of yarn you will use in a project depends on the pattern you will make.
There is no right yarn but some fibers are harder to manipulate than others, as knitting beginners what you are looking for in a yarn is elasticity and durability.
That’s the only way your project will survive.
A wool or wool blend bulky yarn will be your best friend.
There is no right or wrong knitting needle size but for your first knitting projects, big straight needles are the best choice.
Circular needles look very interesting but are not ideal if you are just starting out, plus a circular knitting pattern is not ideal for a beginner.
Also if you can choose wooden needles instead of metal this is better as it’s harder for your stitches to slip.
Bamboo needles are ideal for a beginning knitter.
When it comes to knitting needle materials it really depends on your personal preferences whether you like bamboo knitting needles, metal needles, or plastic needles it’s up to you.
Check out the best knitting needles for beginners here.
Always check the recommended needle size in the pattern you are going to make, knitting needles impact the look of your finished product.
Choosing a different size knitting needles than the recommended ones will completely change the pattern.
All knitting stitches require practice, so making swatches is a great idea before starting your knitting pattern if you are a newbie.
But the easiest knitting stitch would be the garter stitch.
It’s the most basic knitting stitch pattern and the first stitch knitters experiment with.
The next best stitch to move to is the purl stitch.
The combination of knit and purl stitches creates the stockinette stitch. It’s essential to practice the basic knitting stitch patterns at first.
Check out 12 Simple Knitting Stitches For Beginners here.
Yes, you could knit as people with a dominant right hand do but you might find the process harder.
Many left-handed knitters prefer to do mirror knitting which is knitting in reverse.
Meaning they move their stitches from the right needle to the left needle.
If you have a dominant left hand and want to try it, you can easily find an instructional video on Youtube.
The difference between the two methods comes down to little things like in which hand you are holding the working yarn.
In the English method, you are holding the yarn in your right hand and in the continental in your left.
There is no right way to knit, whether you prefer the English method or the continental your finished project will be the same.
Left-handed makers and crocheters usually prefer the continental method.
You can try both ways and choose the one that makes you feel like a better knitter.
Read one row at a time, then knit bit by bit until you’re comfortable with the instructions.
Looking at the pattern as a whole can be daunting!
Take your time, research anything you don’t understand, and watch video tutorials on stitches and techniques referred to in the pattern.
There are many free video tutorials on YouTube you can watch.
Also, it’s important to recognize your skill level and the pattern’s skill level.
Take it easy, choose easy patterns for newbies.
Choosing a more advanced pattern when you are just starting will only overwhelm you and make you give up.
Learn how to read knitting patterns here.
As a newbie, knitting can be overwhelming but one thing that will help you in your knitting journey is being organized.
Keeping your knitting supplies, and your projects in a nice knitting bag will go a long way.
You don’t want to be looking around your house for your yarn and wooden needles when you are in the mood to knit.
Especially if you have pets, dogs and cats are notorious yarn thieves.
Read more here – 12 Must-Have Yarn Bags For Your Projects
You will make mistakes.
Don’t be discouraged by making errors, it’s part of life – including knitting!
Even the most experienced knitter/crocheter has had to frog.
Like everything in life, the way you will really learn a skill is by trial and error.
Of course, you will make mistakes and have to pull out rows or even start from the beginning, watch the same tutorial, again and again, it’s part of the process.
Count your rows, don’t hold your yarn and needles too tightly and everything will work out.
And the most important thing is to take your time, remember you are knitting for fun.
Plus, If you are feeling tired, take a break and stretch.