Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tips for Knitting Newbies

Last year my cute and very talented friend taught me how to knit. It was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me, and now I'm an addict! And I want the entire world to learn to knit, so I've created this list of newbie knitting tips!

1. RELAX! Okay, just breathe. It's gonna be okay. Yes, you're going to painfully slow at first. Yes, you'll probably have to unravel and start over a lot. I know, I know. You just want to start out knitting as gorgeously as your neighbor or grandma or that blogger that you've never met. Don't be too hard on yourself when you have to throw out that tangled yarn disaster that was supposed to be a hat! Just go get the ice cream from the freezer and relax. Then fearlessly start over!

2. Learn knitting abbreviations. Or at least keep a chart of the abbreviations handy! It's so much less confusing and stressful when you know what your pattern is talking about! I like this chart.

3. After spending a little time practicing different knitting stitches, it's important that your first real knitting project be something that you actually love and want to make!  While is needs to be something fairly simple, it still should be something that you can't wait to see finished! My friend who taught me how to knit recommended the Aston baby hat, which was perfect for me! I had zero desire to spend hours on a long, boring scarf or keep plucking out sampler swatches. And as a pregnant momma, baby hats were something I yearned to learn to knit :) Because it was something I really truly wanted to create, I was motivated and determined to finish it...even after I had to start over like 6 times!

4. Don't pick up those needles when you're tired. Just don't. I know, you want to finish that hat. I know you're dying to see what that baby cardigan will look like when completed. But trust me, you'll get it done faster if you just wait until you're feeling more alert. Because if you start a stitchin' when you're sleepy, pretty soon you'll be misinterpreting that pattern and dropping stitches by accident and just making a mess of things!

5. Slow and steady wins the race! If it takes you 5 minutes to make that bobble stitch, it's ok. In time you'll get faster, but for now, go as slow as you need. Because if you rush it you'll probably make a mess of things!

6. Learn about yarn weight. It will be so much less confusing to learn now then when you're at the yarn shop frantically digging around for the right kind of yarn for that pattern! 

7. Most importantly, DON'T GIVE UP! Chalk up each mistake to a learning experience. Before you know it you'll be addicted to knitting just like the rest of us yarn-a-holics!

Since I'm still a newbie knitter myself...what tips would you add to this list?

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