I’ve been knitting for as long as I can remember, back when I was little I knitted clothes for my dollies, slippers and once I was brave enough to knit a lacy baby cardigan. Nowadays I love to knit because it helps me to unwind and destress and because it’s addictive and I love it, obviously!! There are so many knitters going public these days, amazing patterns, beautiful yarns and talented knitters who take beautiful magazine worthy pics for us mere mortals to goggle at on social media who wouldn’t want to knit?
With this, there also come’s the ‘thought shalt knit in this way or that way’ brigade who for no reason have decided to re-invent the wheel. People who tell us we have been knitting wrong our whole lives and most probably our mothers and grandmothers before us. Nothing what so ever to do with the fact they need you to purchase their ‘knit this way or your fingers will drop off manual’ . Then there’s also the ‘I invented this pattern for a stocking stitch scarf, and have sole copyright to this stich and pattern’ blah blah blah.
I thought I’d share some knitting things that I have found useful during my years. You may want to try them, you may not no pressure here 🙂
- There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to knit. The end. I learnt to knit the ‘english’ way, whereby I hold the yarn in my right hand. I also was a ‘thrower’ this means that I let go of the needles to wrap my yarn around the stitch and make a new one. Lots of people I suspect were taught this way. My nan used to anchor one needle under her arm and flick the wool over, which is quite impressive and you can get up pretty nifty speeds – check out hazel tindel or Stephanie Mcphee on you tube wowee those gals can knit!! I’ve tried this method and found that the needle tends to take on the curve of my boob after a while, so I don’t knit like this often. I also knit the ‘continental’ way. This is where you hold your yarn in your left hand and sort of pick the stitches. This way is great if you knit on circulars, in the round, or if you have big blocks of ribbing or stocking stitch. My advice for anyone is to learn as many methods as possible. Then you can always be the most comfy when you knit.
- As above, tension your yarn however feels right for you. As you get into the swing of a pattern your tension will probably start to loosen slightly. Go with the flow! It is always a good idea to knit the suggested tension square in a pattern too. Not all knitters tension the same, sometimes you buy a pattern, knit it up, and end with something that look’s like it might fit a child’s doll. Don’t be disheartened!
- I find Norwegian purling great for rib. It’s worth learning as i find it gives a tighter purl. It does take a little practice but there are so many you tube step by step video tutorials out there. Don’t let the awkward looking needle movement put you off learning. This has literally saved my rib.
- Don’t feel like you have to follow a pattern word for word. If it’s not working for you and you feel confident enough add your own little tweaks, who knows it might be amazing
- Don’t be scared of making mistakes. They can be fixed. They can be frogged.
- Take regular breaks. The muscle’s we use when knitting probably aren’t used to that amount of work in your day to day life so remember to take plenty of breaks.
- When counting stitches and someone tries to interrupt or talk to you the only way to respond is with louder counting!! Don’t worry they’ll take the hint. Unless of course it’s your other half asking if you would like a beverage / snack that is entirely a different matter.
- If you have children /pets /curious partners you may want to find a safe place to stash your knitting. I cannot count the times my knitting needles have been bent, broken, lost, used as light sabers and or magic wands, patterns have disappeared and ball’s of wool have been mistaken for yarny footballs. I’m pretty possessive with my craft things unfortunately this does not discourage people. They also will probably feel the need to constantly be touching your knitting. Not a good idea if your working with a light coloured yarn as it will end up looking pretty grubby pretty quick.
- Sites such as Instagram pinterest and Raveley are amazing resources for patterns, inspiration, tips and tricks etc. However, they can be addictive and often browsing for patterns takes up more of your time than actually knitting the pattern.
- It’s a good idea to learn to read charts as well as written patterns. This will help enormously if your having difficulty with a pattern. It’s also great for colourwork or lace work. If you get a little more confident you can even fudge your way through foreign patterns without having to know the language. For some reason the best patterns always seem to be written in a foreign language.
So hopefully you will find some of these pointers useful especially if you are a newbie knitter. I really hope you can find your own happy knitting place like I have 😊
Take care lovelies and happy knitting