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Knitting tips for beginners

A lady knitting with yellow and blue yarn

Knitting is a popular hobby and it can bring endless joy to people’s lives. It is also really useful as there are so many things you can create through knitting which ranges from clothing to dishcloths.

Knitting is an inclusive activity too as people of all ages can enjoy the hobby, from older people with mobility problems who need to use aids like stairlifts to younger adults.

If you want to learn how to knit or you have just started out and want to find out how you can get good at knitting, then you’ve come to the right place because this guide looks at the essential tips you can follow right away.

The top beginner knitting tips

  • Choose the right needles
  • Use spare yarn to try out new techniques
  • Make sure you have all the equipment
  • Join a knitting group
  • Start on a small project first
  • YouTube can be a great resource
  • Master the knit stitch before moving on

Choose the right needles

Double-point needles and yarn

Choosing the right needles from the beginning is important as unlike yarn, your needles need to carry you through all future knitting projects.

You need to consider picking the right needle sizes and choosing ones that are sturdy as well as comfortable. One way you can do this is to visit your local yarn store and try a few pairs of needles in your hands to find out which ones suit you best.

There are lots of different types of needles which range from 8 single-pointed bamboo needles to aluminium needles. One of the most popular types of needles for beginners are circular needles as this type of needle spares you from having a lot of weight hanging off of one end of the needles as you start and finish your rows because the project will always be resting in your lap in front of you.

Many people find it easier to hold circular needles rather than single-pointed needles. Another option that beginners should consider is to buy an interchangeable needle set as this will mean you have every knitting needle size you will need.

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Use spare yarn to try out new techniques

Spare yarn in a box

When you are learning how to knit or are trying out new techniques, you should use spare yarn to practice as this will mean you aren’t ruining the yarn that you are intending to use.

Using spare yarn to test your new skills is something that Phil from the Twisted Yarn believes all beginners should try.

“My advice to you - and to anyone learning new knitting skills whether beginner or advanced - would be to try out the technique in question using spare yarn. Far too often I see people begin working on some ambitious project which doesn't succeed. It's always better to try out the technique in question using spare yarn. Make your mistakes where it doesn't matter so that you can progress to achieving beautiful work on the real thing!

“Knitting is a great hobby because it engages both your creative and your mathematical brain. You can knit simple, mindless, things or you can knit complex things - there's a project for you out there somewhere, whatever your needs.”

Make sure you have all the equipment

Equipment for knitting

Making sure you have all the equipment for knitting is half the battle and any beginner kit should include items like a good needle, a measuring tape, a small pair of scissors and plenty of stitch markers.

You might not be familiar with stitch markers if you are just starting out, but these help you to keep track of when to increase or decrease the item you are knitting, when the repeat begins or ends, and where the round starts and how many times you have increased.

Having stitch markers in different colours is a good idea as you can use one colour to represent the beginning of a round, and one that keeps track of where your repeat begins and ends.

Join a knitting group

Lady knits in a group

Joining a local knitting group that meets up regularly or even joining a group on social media is a great idea for beginners as this will help you to progress. By joining a group you can ask any questions you have and you will be able to get a quick response.

Joining a group is something that All Free Knitting, a directory for knitting groups and sites, thinks is a great idea if you are looking to start knitting.

“Joining a local knitting group, or creating one with your knitting friends, can be one of the best ways to stay motivated and get help when you’re stuck or want to learn a new skill.

“Having a group of knitters around you will also keep you accountable, and you'll be more likely to knit everywhere you go! Knitting wherever you go can help you work on your speed and keep your fingers nimble. Bring along a lightweight project when you’re leaving the house and pull it out whenever you have some downtime.”

ALSO READ: Top tips for learning a new skill

Start on a small project first

Red Woollen gloves

Once you have your yarn and needles, and all your other equipment, you can start working on your first knitting project.

One of the best knitting tips for beginners that any experienced knitter will give you is when you are just starting out you should start on small projects first rather than diving straight into a big project.

Instead of knitting something like a scarf as your first project, you should instead look to knit up something small like a swatch. You just need to knit a small square of fabric when you are first starting out as you will want to learn how to cast on and knit.

If you are looking to learn to knit, then by making something like a swatch is great for a first project as you will be able to address any issues you encounter without worrying about ruining something like a scarf.

Below are some other items which are great beginner-friendly knitting projects:

  • Dishcloths
  • Vivi Vest
  • A mug cosy
  • Fingerless gloves

YouTube can be a great resource

It doesn’t matter if you are looking for knitting hacks or want to learn more about what the difference is between a purl stitch, and a stockinette stitch, there will undoubtedly be a video on YouTube that you can watch.

From beginner techniques such as casting on and purls to more advanced techniques such as Magic Loop and German Short Rows, there are instructional videos on YouTube.

Below are just some of the most popular YouTubers you can follow for knitting tips and more:

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Master the knit stitch before moving on

Needles and yarn on a table

Everybody learns differently, but you shouldn’t try to move on too quickly. It is vital that you ensure you have learnt the knit stitch before moving on and learning a new knitting skill or another type of knitting stitch such as the purl stitch.

You don’t want to confuse yourself by moving onto a new technique and find yourself confusing knit and purl down the line as you will then need to go right back to the beginning and follow a step-by-step guide on how to knit stitch.

It is a common mistake as some knitters start including a purl stitch instead of a knit stitch in their work and that has then messed up their knitting patterns. There are plenty of videos on the different types of stitches you can do, so make sure you do your research!

This article shares some of the top knitting tips for beginners, so if you are interested in trying your hand at this popular activity, then these should help you on your way.

If you need any help with your mobility at home, you can get in touch with us to enquire about installing a curved stair lift and we will help improve your independence.

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This news article is from Companion Stairlifts. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.