The Joy of Knitting
Knitting is the rage right now and with such a busy, crazy world around us it is super wonderful to sneak away from it all and chill with the sweet meditational repetition of knitting. I learned to knit as a child and while for me it is just something I do on a regular basis, it wasn't always that way. I know my Mom felt it was important for me to know how to knit and I was an anxious beginner as I couldn't wait to get started!
Now as a grandmother, I am pondering when my granddaughter will be ready to knit. Being a retired librarian, I have a wealth of experience in working with people, and kids in particular. My grand-girl loves the idea of knitting but I am considering this carefully because I want her to love the fibers and appreciate the artistry, too. There is no rush for her to be a knitter and I am working through a few thoughts I have on what all beginning knitters should know to start this journey.
Do Re Mi
"Start at the beginning - it's a very good place to start". Think about color and what fibers you want to work with. Starting with a basic fiber will give you a chance to just play around with yarn. The options are endless but as a beginner it is best to learn a bit about fiber and what to expect. Whether using a wool or cotton or something else, each has characteristics. It's wonderful to try an arm knitting scarf where you can really learn about the qualities of fiber.
Knitting is a great, soul-filling past time. Think about why you want to knit! If it's to make that gorgeous sweater pattern you saw online, think again! Simple is key to learning basic knit stitches. Keep that goal of making a sweater but to start, I highly recommend practicing a basic garter stitch (all knitting) with around 20 stitches on a needle. This may end up being a wash cloth or a scarf and will give you practice!
Not feeling confident about doing this on your own? Do the buddy system where you and your teacher work on a scarf together! They do some rows in one color and you do some rows in another color. Talk about the differences, mistakes, and improvements. Knitting involves practice and please don't set yourself up for frustration - enjoy the process. We all learn from out mistakes and we love helping each other!
Needles and yarn are perfect for getting started. Yes, there are many notions and tools that you can use when knitting and you aren't going to need them...yet! I recommend using a larger needle at least a size 8 or higher and a bulky, worsted yarn. The reason for this is that your project will work up easier and you will see results quicker. Notions and tools will come in handy once you get the basics down and are ready for the next step!
SOS (Stuck On Stitch)
Simple is key to starting and move forward as your confidence builds. You will get to that sweater pattern! Take small forward steps in your knitting and know their are basic patterns that are great to start with. I also recommend kits for beginners because you will have the yarn you need a long with the pattern so it takes some of the mystery out of knitting. Make it easy so that you do find the joy in knitting.
Stuck on a stitch and need help asap? Sometimes it is best to put down the project and come back to it another day. Getting sucked in to tangles, twists, and holes can be a very dark and frustrating place to be. Take a break and come back tomorrow. After all these years of knitting, there are still days when I need to put down the needles and come back to it another day!
Find support if you need it! Try a YouTube video! Is there a local yarn group? Does your library have a knitting club? Knitters are universally willing to help new knitters and love sharing their passion for this avocation. Don't be timid if you are stumped and remember the gang here at DGY loves to help you and to get you excited about your knitting journey! How can we help you today? xo Janis