Beginner Knitting 101

So you are wanting to start knitting? Maybe you have watched some videos on it.  Maybe you just want to start making a baby blanket for a new baby. But where do you start? There is a lot to consider.

The options at yarn stores are overwhelming, and all the labels make no sense. Don’t worry you are not the only one overwhelmed by the knitting isles at your local craft stores. If you have a local yarn store. This is a great place to start, looking for the right project, and yarn. 

If you don’t have a local yarn store, the post below will help you start to figure out how to learn to knit. Where and how to choose yarn and needles, and get you started on the path to knitting enjoyment. It really is the perfect fidget toy. Fun, challenging and productive all in one.

Yarn

This may seem obvious.  You can’t knit without yarn. However, good yarn is expensive.  Beginning knitters often need to unravel, redo, and repeat the process as they learn. This can ruin good yarn.  

There are a lot of mistakes, that has to happen as you learn to knit. It’s a normal part of the process. When starting a brand new project you can purchase second-hand yarn, ask a friend to give you some, or just purchase inexpensive yarn. When you have settled on the project and feel comfortable with the new stitch pattern, consider how the finished product will be used. 

For baby blankets,  look for sturdy but easily washable yarn. Baby blankets get used and abused quite a bit, so the yarn has to be up for that type of use.  For afghans and blankets, something softer and not quite so sturdy since afghans and blankets generally don’t get washed as often. 

Expense is also a consideration. Good quality yarn is not cheap. husbands tend to roll their eyes when wives head off to the yarn store because they know that yarn will easily cost a chunk of change.  However, the adage you get what you pay for is true. If you want the finished product to last, you have to purchase good yarn.

Needles

Another one that seems obvious – until you get to the knitting aisle and see a wall of needles.  Which one do you choose? The cute little needles that are freakishly adorable? Or those big honking needs that Hulk’s grandmother uses?  For beginners, try a size 10 to a size 13. They are a good size to hold and manipulate the yarn without hands cramping.  

When you decide on a project and pattern, there is usually a suggested needle size. Do not deviate from what is suggested because the pattern will not turn out. Gauge is a topic for another post.

Time

Time is something else to consider. Most people don’t sit down and learn to knit in an hour or so. It takes time to practice. Where do busy people find the time?  Seriously!! Most people work full-time, have kids, take care of the house, etc. So when do you find the time to knit? 

It is found in 2 places.  The first place can be time is watching a show or the news. Knitting is the perfect fidget toy. When the show ends, most people us that as a timer, or their binge-watching time. 

The second-place to find time is in the car while waiting for kids.  Lots of knitters keep a project in the car that doesn’t really need to have a set pattern. If practice runs late, no problem –there is a project to pass the time. Carving out time is difficult for anyone, but it is necessary when learning to knit.

Support

Knitting can be frustrating.  It is important to find a knitting buddy. YouTube videos can be very helpful, but they don’t help if you run into an issue that isn’t covered in the video.  A knitting buddy can help.  

Mothers, knitting friends, a knitting class, are all great places to find a knitting buddy.  However, that is not a possibility for most people. Check the yarn store for beginning knitting classes.  Try looking for a church that had a working mom’s knitting group that meets monthly. The human support is nice so that you have help and not get frustrated and just quit.

In conclusion, with the right tools and support knitting is a great way to de-stress and reduce anxiety. Gain enjoyment from picking a project, buying the yarn, finishing the project, and then giving a gift that was made with love.