A few beginning knitting tips


I’ve talked before about the importance of crafting with friends, and I can’t say it enough: group knitting (or spinning) is the best way to get inspired to work on a project and have fun while you work. So when Mom told me that she and a couple of lady friends were getting together to have some “intro to the rake loom” time (with wine and food, of course), I was thrilled. Unfortunately, our camera shy ladies were not so thrilled with the idea of having their faces floating around the internet, so we have no evidence of the event to present. Boo, ladies, boo.

The ladies were all working with rake looms, but a few tips that might help beginning knitters and crocheters emerged from the afternoon:

  1. Choose the right yarn. Your first project will not be your best, so experiment with something cheap and resilient. You may be pulling out a lot of stitches. Art yarns often have a non-standard ply, which makes it difficult to tell what you should be picking up or dropping.
  2. Choose the right tools. I’d stay away from narrow needles, small crochet hooks, and rake looms with very close pegs. These all produce smaller stitches, and it can be harder to tell what’s going on with your yarn when it’s packed tightly together.
  3. Learn from someone, a real, living and breathing person. Now, I’m being hypocritical here, since I learned to spin from YouTube, but that’s definitely the hard way. An experienced crafter can show you how to avoid common pitfalls, and offer encouragement when your scarf ends up wider on one end than the other. The internet isn’t known for being super supportive.

That’s all I can think of, other than this: go for it! Creating something, whether it be yarn or scarf or hat, is very rewarding.

About cliffhousealpacas

Once upon a time, my dad drove by some funny looking animals standing on little dirt hills in a field. Thus, the dream of an alpaca ranch was born. Now, we are embarking on a grand adventure of raising alpacas and becoming fiber artists.
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2 Responses to A few beginning knitting tips

  1. audreyln says:

    Great tips! I think having access to a real, living, breathing person when learning to knit is good but I learned the most from YouTube when I was just starting out. I wasn’t embarrassed to ask YouTube to show me how to purl one…more…time… or pause in the middle of a step to let me catch up. Although the person I learned how to knit from is pro (literally) and she would whip through stitches at warp speed even when she was going “slower” to teach me.

    However, having an experienced knitter around to help answer questions when you don’t even know what you did wrong is also important. It takes a while to learn how to “read” your knitting to know where the issue was before you can even go to YouTube to sort it out.

    • You know, that’s a good point. The longer we do something, like knit or spin (or write computer programs, for that matter), the harder it becomes to break it down and teach it to others. When I’m trying to someone to spin, it often goes like this:
      Them: “Wait. How did you do that?”
      Me: “I…well, so you have to…the fiber is kind of…uh. I just did it. Quit asking such completely logical and reasonable questions.”
      YouTube doesn’t judge, no matter how many times you need something demonstrated. 🙂

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