Tips for New Knitters

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.  🙂


About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
This entry was posted in Knitting. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Tips for New Knitters

  1. Thanks! Tomorrow my blog will focus on the teacher end of things.


  2. Great tips on teaching! Thanks!


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