18 Oct Learning to knit for beginners: My top 5 tips for getting started!
In my last post (LINK) I listed my top 7 reasons why it is worthwhile to start knitting.
Now are you wondering how best to start? Which material do you need? How do you hold the knitting needles correctly and knit the first stitches correctly? Actually, you can’t quite imagine how a ball of wool will turn into a hat. Don’t worry, because learning to knit is much easier than you might think.
Today I’ll tell you my top 5 tips for beginners to make it easier for them to get started in the world of knitting:
1. Choosing the right knitting project
As a first knitting project, choose a piece with a simple pattern and a clear shape, such as a scarf or a small blanket. At the beginning I advise against a sweater that consists of several parts or even a fancy pattern. One of my all-time favorite projects for beginners is actually the good old pot holder. Yes, yes, I know. Doesn’t sound particularly exciting at first. Nevertheless, I recommend it to you, and for good reason: A pot holder is knitted in no time and you will soon hold a finished piece in your hands. You will not only develop your knitting skills step by step, but you will also experience a sense of achievement super quickly. So you can develop fun and joy in your new hobby and stay motivated.
2. The appropriate needles
For your first knitting project you should definitely choose knitting needles that are at least 5mm thick. For beginners, thicker needles are simply easier to handle and can therefore be better gripped. There are knitting needles made from a wide variety of materials. Whether wood, bamboo, plastic or metal – there is something for every taste! I personally recommend needles made of wood or bamboo, because here the stitches do not slip off the needle as quickly as with other materials and this is definitely an advantage for you as a knitting beginner. Over time you can knit your way through all the materials and choose your personal favorites.
3. The right wool
The selection of needles and wool goes hand in hand when knitting. Since I have already advised you to use knitting needles with a thickness of at least 5mm, the wool must be selected accordingly. Or vice versa: You choose a wool, look at the banderole and buy the matching needles, but more on that in a moment. The advantage for you as a knitting beginner to work with a thicker wool is, on the one hand, that it can be knitted more easily and quickly, and on the other hand, that you can recognize and correct errors in your knitting better. A yarn with a smooth structure, which is not too hairy, is particularly suitable at the beginning because it is easier to unravel and does not knot as quickly.
If you have actually decided on the tried and tested pot holder as your first project, then when choosing the wool, make sure that it is heat-resistant. Pure cotton is recommended here. In this case, you should rather refrain from using synthetic yarns.
4. The information on the banderole
The banderole that is wrapped around each ball of wool gives you important information about the respective yarn. Here you will find, for example, the exact composition of the material, care instructions, whether the wool is machine-washable, the weight of the ball and the run length as well as information on wool consumption. The information on the recommended needle size is particularly important for you, because now you can combine the wool with the right needles. You should keep the banderole or create a knitting book where you write down all the important key data. You will also find the lot number on the banderole. With this number, balls of a color can be assigned. With every new production batch, there may be small color deviations. If you discover in the course of working on your project that you still need more yarn, you can easily reorder the right yarn by entering this information.
5. Gauge Swat
Before you start your knitting project, you should always make a stitch sample. This ensures that your knitted piece really fits, or that it has the desired dimensions at the end. Because, one person knits more loosely, the other one more tightly. You can also find information about the stitch sample on the banderole. A mesh sample indicates how many stitches and rows (length x height) on 10cm (square of 10cm x10cm) of the respective wool are required. While the information on the yarn itself relates to the pattern in stocking stitch, the stitch sample in a knitting instruction refers to what is shown in each case