Finding a hobby that allows you to work with your hands can be very fulfilling. It’s a good way to keep busy, stay mentally sharp, and challenge yourself to learn and master a new skill. In the age of coronavirus especially, people are looking for activities to try that offer somewhere new to put their focus. As far as fun, accessible, and useful options go, knitting has been rising up toward the head of the pack.
Getting started as a knitter is an exciting, but often frustrating, endeavor. With a little time and patience though, you’ll get a handle on the technique and be cranking out project after project before you know it. Here are a few beginner tips to help you find your groove and fall in love with knitting!
1) Start with plain yarn and circular needles.
When you embark upon any new crafting adventure, it’s always best to keep things simple until you build up your skill and develop your technique a little more. For knitting, that means using plain yarn for the first few pieces.
Plain yarn (nothing fluffy, loopy, or too bulky) is easier to work with and, more importantly, cheaper. There’s no sense in spending money on luxurious yarn until your skill is a bit more reliable. You should also avoid dark yarn while starting out, as it will be more difficult to see what you’re doing. As for needles, circular (as opposed to straight) are generally lighter-weight and easier to use.
2) Don’t skip the swatch.
You may be eager to jump right in and create that beautiful scarf or hat you have in mind, but you should always start with a swatch, at least at first. Knitting a swatch gives you valuable practice. It’s basically an opportunity to work out any kinks with a new yarn, set of needles, pattern (check out ravelry for some great free patterns rated by skill level), or technique before you begin the actual piece. Especially while you’re still learning, this practice can save you a lot of time and money on mistakes that mess up your project and make you unable or unlikely to use or gift the final product.
Making a swatch also allows you to check the gauge, which is the number of stitches per inch and number of rows per inch. This is not so important for items like scarves, but essential to get the size that you want for sweaters or hats.
3) Get inspired by other knitters.
Being around other knitters or looking at their work is a great way to learn, generate project ideas, and stay motivated (especially through those first few pieces). Try joining a knitting group or finding a few friends who are into knitting. Knitting together and talking about your progress is a good way to keep yourself accountable. Or, watch video tutorials online or simply look at other artists’ work to get inspired.
In addition to unique quilt collages, I also make a wide array of custom-knitted items here at Tobi Collage. If you need something to spark your mind or soul and create something amazing, any one of my one-of-a-kind fiber art pieces will do the trick! Each project is filled with colors, materials, and patterns that tell a story or express a message that inspired me, which, I hope, in turn inspires you.
Shop my fiber artwork online today!