Quick knit tips for beginners

A basket of different coloured balls of wool.

Oh hello new knitters. Are you confused, frustrated and slowly slipping into madness? Don’t panic, I was like you once. Actually, that’s a dirty lie – I’m still like that. I started knitted this year to level up my yarn-based skills. However, whilst little things are fine, I haven’t quite cracked that all-important first jumper.

I’m determined to knit something that will one day be wearable. In the meantime, I thought I’d share with you a few things I’ve learnt so far. Perhaps these little pearls of wisdom will aid your attempts to master this dark art.

Don’t get cocky (to begin with)

I hate the idea of ‘practise pieces’ – I’d much rather get stuck in straight away. However, failed attempts to learn to knit have taught me not to be too ambitious at the start. Scarfs are dull but there are plenty of other small and easy patterns out there to try. Punch above your yarn weight and you’ll end up disheartened and properly pissed off.

Keep counting

It’s a pain in the arse to count the stitches after every row you knit – especially if you’ve casted on 50+. However, taking a minute to check you’re on track is preferable to realising 12 rows in you’re missing a stitch or four.

Supersize your knits

When you start knitting, go chunky. Seriously, it’s much easier to see what you’re doing when you’re wielding fat needles. It also means you knit at satisfyingly super sonic speeds.

Chunky knitting on a large needle

Go bold and bright

Continuing the “seeing what on earth you’re doing” theme, pick a brightly coloured yarn for your project. A bright lamp to knit under works wonders too.

Don’t be an eco warrior

Does anyone else try to leave the shortest tail possible of wool/thread? Stop that now. It’s one thing not to be wasteful and another to leave yourself half an inch of wool that is impossible to weave in properly.

Use your common sense

It’s not a perfect world that we live in and sometimes the knitting pattern you pick will have a mistake. I’ve found this with crochet patterns. When you get a little more experienced, you can spot an error and figure out a work-around. As a beginner though, you’re left floundering. When in doubt, find a tutorial on YouTube. Seriously, they’re damn handy.

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