My {10} tips to begin knitting efficiently

by Elsa

When I was a little girl, I started knitting scarfs, but never managed to bind them off since I kept losing or adding stitches! My great-grand-mother was the epitome of the perfect lady of her age (she was born in 1889 and died in 1991!) and knew crochet and knitting. It took me quite a long time to take up any wool-work, but at the age of 39, I started crocheting because I thought that knitting was too difficult to learn by myself.

Crochet was fun, but I never went outside of my comfort zone and just crocheted throws and amigurumis. Then I decided to take up knitting.

Here are some of the tips I can give to a newbie knitter like myself that started knitting 18 months ago.


{Tip #1: Find your own method of knitting}

There are numerous ways to knit. Since I began with crochet, I was used to hold my yarn with my left hand. My great-granny taught me to knit the English way, with the yarn in the right hand. Hence my dilemma! I then decided to teach myself how to knit continental-style during one week-end. That’s great for me.


{Tip #2: 4-ply yarn is great!}

It’s never good to try knitting one yarn that has lots of strands because you *might* just catch some strands and not the whole lot of them and, at the next row, you *might* wonder if that’s a full stitch or 2…I loved using Red Heart‘s Super Saver (even if shipping to France is a bit steep!). For my socks, I use Buttinette’s value packs.


{Tip #3: Know your ABC}

Casting on/Binding off, Knit and Purl will be your best friends in your knitting adventure. Youtube is great with very good close-up videos. I set up a Pinterest board as a reference.


{Tip #4: single-point or circular needles?}

I started with single-point straight needles then changed for circular (KnitPro’s are amazing, I even tried the wooden ones for large gauge). It’s a bit different to work with circular, but I like that a lot.


{Tip #5: Choosing an easy project}

OK…I chose socks, one project that many think as “difficult”. It’s not as long as you have an awesome sock-a-long like Winwick Mum‘s. The best! You might want to give it a try.


{Tip #6: Swatch? Gauge? What????}

I was the bad student at the beginning, the one that never took the time to knit her swatch to get the right gauge. What for? Since I was knitting socks for my family, I just needed their feet for reference!!!

Now that I have moved to “trickier” projects like cardigans with “real” yarn (wool+silk+ expensive stuff!), I really take the time to do my swatch!!! And I also block my work. I had to size up my needles for Gustav whereas Humphrey is spot-on…never take things for granted!


{Tip #7: Finding a pattern that attracts you}

That’s not easy, really; Some patterns are worded in a way I don’t really understand!! Ravelry is a gold-mine for free patterns and some designers also offer free patterns so you can get a grasp at their way of explaining things.


{Tip #8: Learn to tink}

Tink??? like in Tinkerbell??? No, that’s knit read from right to left!!! So tinking is unknitting and it must be learnt…trust me…


{Tip #9: Go to a yarn store}

Advice is graciously given there and you can get some help.


{Tip #10: relax!}

I have a strong tendency to be so tensed that my shoulders go up my ears when tackling a new pattern/stitch/etc. So relax…and ENJOY!


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