I mentioned in the earlier post that over the years I have taught many people how to knit. Here are some tips that I amassed over the years that may be useful to the new knitter and those who help new knitters learn this art.
- Your first practice piece should be with a yarn that feels nice under your fingers.
- Use yarns for your first couple of projects that are (1) smooth, and (2) of lighter color. That way:
- it is easier to see your mistakes (yes, you will make some),
- it will be easier to unravel or pick up stitches (learning to recognize mistakes and repair them is of great use to knitters of all skill levels) and,
- best of all, you will see what a great job you’re doing!
- I recommend a wool or wool/acrylic blend as a beginning yarn. Wool has a stretch or give to it that, I believe, makes learning to knit a little easier. And if a friend who’s a knitter is teaching/helping you, s/he undoubtedly has a stash of left over skeins or partial skeins. (I have several large containers worth!)
- Your first “real” project should be something fairly small and straight forward.
- Don’t start off with an afghan or a large cabled sweater.
- A long scarf is often selected as a first project. Remember those can be rather long and you may get either bored (especially if it’s in garter stitch) or discouraged (will you never be done with it?!).
- That said, you could also knit a long scarf that’s a sampler: change the pattern every 4 or 6 inches. That way you can feel the accomplishment of finishing each section as you knit the long scarf.
Brace yourself: When your friends see you learning to knit, you will be flooded with “Oh, will you make me a sweater/hat/scarf/afghan?!” Those people have no idea of the skill, time, and patience involved in knitting – not to mention yarn cost. It may be your impulse to say, “of course!”
Practice now saying, “No, but I am happy to get you started knitting and then we can knit together!” That puts a damper on those who want freebies but draw in future fiber aficionados. 🙂