7.03.2014

Getting into Knitting: From a Beginner's Perspective

Beginner Knitter Thoughts:

I made a goal for myself to learn nalbinding this year. Long ago a kind co-worker tried to teach me to knit and it didn't turn out well despite my love of sewing and crafting. Youthful impatience perhaps? So when I was thinking about what I should learn this year I decided on nalbinding not knowing that it would lead me back down the knitting path. I am a beginner knitter in all sense of the word and have primarily just made practice squares, scarves, and circle scarves but I thought I could give some very beginner insight into getting "reluctantly" started with knitting!

Where to buy:

When I first decided I wanted to get into knitting I was a little apprehensive on what I should buy or how much I should spend when I was looking to knitting supplies. I didn't want to splurge if I ended up not enjoying it again. I decided to hit up the nearest second hand store and the knitting section did not disappoint! Needles for $0.69 and bags of yarn for no more that $3. I would highly recommend going the second hand route because if you decide knitting isn't for you, you've only invested a fiver in it! So far all my needles are from Value Village with the exception of my wooden round needles (BUT I had a 50% off coupon at Michaels so I thought I would go wild). It did take a couple of trips to amass my good deals but it was definitely worth it. Besides when you are just starting out you definitely don't need everything at once.

What to get:


Large wooden needles: By far the easiest to learn on. My problem at first was making my knit so tight (on small metal needles) I couldn't even continue on with it but switching to large wooden needles make it so so much easier to learn on! I am definitely a bit fan of the wooden needles!


Large wooden circular needles: After you have practices on your straight needles for awhile you are going to want to make something a bit different. I am a huge fan of circle scarves and they are so easy to make with the circular needles!


Second hand yarn: While you learn you will inevitably waste some yarn. For practising I used second hand wool. When I decided I was confident enough to make a circle scarf I would actually wear I bought some nice soft wool from Michaels (with a coupon of course!).


Double Pointed Needles (DPNs): After you've mastered your circular needles and straight needles you will most likely need to get a set of DPN's for socks and mittens. I would have preferred these to be wood also because I find them very sticky but you can't beat $0.69 to practice on! There is a way to use your circular needles to create the smaller round knits as well but I haven't used that method yet.


Accessories: You will also need regular scissors (obviously!), a tapestry needle to weave in the ends, and some stitch markers. I made some out of a wire coat hanger. I should write another post on all the uses for a wire coat hanger! Possibly the most useful thing to have kicking around!


Other stuff: A notebook is always a good idea, even just to jot down notes about how many stitches you need to do or where you left off. I got the stitch counter at Value Village as well but I honestly haven't used it yet.

Where to learn:


I primarily used Sheep and Stitch to learn the basics. It is a clean, easy to navigate site that has plenty of videos to follow as well as instructional videos with 2 free patterns that you can follow along in. My current project is making wrist warmers and that will hopefully turn into actual mittens but baby steps here! I've used a mix of free patterns on the internet and youtube to find videos on any parts I don't understand. It's a good thing I have all that $3 yarn because I've made about 5 awful and unusable attempts at wrist warmers! Sixth times a charm?

What to Knit:

Pinterest: Obviously a very valuable resource for inspiration but also very helpful to find free patterns without having to dig around websites too much. Check out my Knit Board to see what I plan on making.

Ravelry: This is a very intimidating website! I find it tough to navigate and not very user friendly but it does seem to be a wealth of information and patterns. You will need to sign up and I think it may be a website I just need to get more used to.

Fringe Association: Talk about beautiful knitting products! I want everything from this store and the blog has really great free patterns.

Toft Luxury British Knit: This is another beautiful store that also sells kits with the yarn and patterns included. They have free patterns you can "purchase" as well that are emailed to you.

Sheep and Stitch: As I mentioned Sheep and Stitch patterns are perfect for beginners because they have an instructional video that goes along with it.

What are you waiting for?? Get knitting!


2 comments:

  1. I can only say: Yes, get knitting!!!

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  2. Yay, so glad you learned to knit, its such a great thing, and fun to do while watching tv etc! Thats one thing I miss from home - my yarn stash! Im working on socks atm. Hope you get lots of things knitted and continue to enjoy it!

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