So you’ve decided to start knitting. Congratulations! I started knitting almost 20 years ago by watching a video and plowed along through lots of frustration, trial, and error.
I really like diving into things and learning independently, but I wish I had engaged with others along the way instead of trying to learn all alone! Now I regularly talk about knitting with anyone who will listen and we end up sharing so many common mishaps and learning from each other. Here are seven things I wish someone had told me when I started knitting.
I can’t stress this enough. If you want to be able to knit the next row of stitches, just relax a little bit. Don’t hold the needles or the yarn too tight. As you progress, you’ll develop a rhythm and the stitches will even out.
2. Give yourself time to learn a new skill
Think back to the days when you learned to ride a bike, tie your shoes, or even play an instrument. They were big life steps and they took some time to master. Knitting is a skill that needs a bit of time and patience learn the techniques. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get the hang of it in five minutes. Stick with it a while longer and you’ll be knitting like a pro in no time.
3. Enjoy the process of knitting
The completion of a finished project is very rewarding, but don’t forget to enjoy the journey along the way. You are in the driver’s seat when your knitting! You get to choose the needles, yarn, and project you will be knitting. Enjoy working each and every stitch and remember they are the building blocks to that completed project made with your own hands.
4. Give yourself permission to make mistakes
When I started knitting and was complaining about some of the mistakes in my project, my good friend Dorothy put her hand on my arm and said, “Mistakes in your knitting are between you and God.” It was a good reminder that as humans, we aren’t perfect and mistake will happen especially when you are learning. Give yourself permission to make some mistakes and just enjoy the process of learning and mastering a new skill.
5. Remember knitting is a hobby
Knitting isn’t a college class and you aren’t being graded on it. Those are important things to remember in a world where people are driven to success. Knitting is a hobby you do for yourself to promote health and wellness while creating something with your own hands. There’s no need to keep score with others. Just relax and enjoy the process and the ability you have to create.
Have fun when you knit! Know going into this that when you start, not everything is going to be perfect. Take a step back and laugh at some of the mistakes you've made. Knit with others and share. You'll be surprised and happy to hear that most knitters have made the same mistakes or worse along the way. I recommend reading Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's book, "Things I Learned from Knitting...whether I wanted to or not." You'll find a kindred spirit from this bestselling author as plows her way through projects stitch by stitch and find the humor in every knitting mishap.
7. Practice! Repetition improves your skills
As with any new skill, give yourself time to get the hang of it. With every project (and every stitch) you'll find yourself improving. Stick with it and I promise you'll begin to see amazing results.
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What are some knitting tips you'd like to share with new knitters? What else would help you become a better knitter?