When you are an absolute beginner at knitting, all the many knitting-related techniques and terms can seem completely incomprehensible, and it is almost impossible to interpret a pattern, that is full of abbreviations and strange knitting terms.
However, we would claim, that everyone can learn to knit. All it takes is the right starter project, watching a lot of YouTube videos with knitting techniques and a good deal of patience.
In this blog, we have compiled 10 great tips for the absolute beginner within knitting, so you can get well off the ground with your very first knitting projects.
- Start by knitting a cloth
It is a good idea to borrow a pair of needles and some random yarn from a friend and try to cast on and knit plain garter stitches. Then you get a feel for the most basic knitting techniques and you get a quick result. Perhaps knit a dish cloth, as this is an easy and manageable project.
- Read the pattern
When you initiate your very first knitting project, you should read the pattern - the entire pattern - before you start knitting. Partly so you get an impression of what is required of you, and partly so that you can form an inner picture of the "construction" of the product should are knitting and last, but not least, so you can make sure that you have all the tools and accessories you need, in order to complete your knitting project.
- Needle sizes and knitting swatches
It is always stated in a pattern, which needle size you need and of course you should always try to find the specified size. But it is important that you do a knitting test to find the right needle size that you need, to get the best result. If your gauge does not fit, your project will be either smaller or larger than the dimensions specified in the pattern. Also, keep in mind that you must constantly measure your gauge while knitting. May we suggest that you read this guide to swatches and getting your gauge right. Our Easy Peasy collection is designed on the basis that the final result can either be a little too big or a little too small compared to the pattern, and both is fine.
- Choose the right size to knit
Measure yourself - what is your size? Measure the place on your bosom, where you are biggest – this determines your size. We design all our patterns from size XS - 3XL, ie. from approx. 85 cm to 130 cm in width. In each pattern, we write how the design is meant to be in terms of positive ease. For example, if you measure 97 cm in width (around your bosom) and there is 5 cm positive ease in the pattern, then you need to knit the size closest to 102 cm, which will often be size M. And always rather knit a little too big than a little too small…
- Get to know a garter stitch from a purl stitch
It is a good idea to study the appearance of the stitches, so you can distinguish a garter mask stitch from a purl stitch. For example, it is very important when you knit rib edges, that you keep knitting purl stitches on purl stitches and garter stitches on garter stitches from round to round - otherwise you get a very funny looking rib.
- Don't panic if you drop a stitch.
It can be fixed - either by picking up the stitch from the last round, and then knitting it again - or otherwise you can camouflage the mask you dropped, by simply sewing the hole together afterwards.
Another reason for studying the stitches is for you to be able to distinguish the stitch from the previous round, from the one you are knitting on the current round. That way you can pick up the stitch that you dropped...
- What to do if you have too many / too few stitches in the end?
It is not an unknown problem for new knitters that the number of stitches does not match, with the number stated in the pattern says you should have. Hopefully it's just a matter of a couple of stitches and not 10 or 20 - because then it's fixable. If you have too many stitches, knit a round where you decrease the number of stitches that you have too much (by knitting two stitches together). If you have too few, you will need to increase the number of stitches that you are missing on the next round.
- Watch videos - lots of videos.
There are an endless number of great videos on YouTube explaining all the many techniques that one gradually encounters as a knitter. Take advantage of these videos and watch them again and again, preferably in slow motion, while trying out the technique in question. Sometimes you have to watch a video 10 times before it makes sense - but it usually does in the end.
- Ask for help
If you know a skilled knitter, it is a good idea to have him / her on standby so you can get help when you are about to give up and close to throwing your knitting project out the window. Otherwise you can always ask questions in Önling's knitting community and get help with your knitting project. There are lots of experienced knitters there, who are happy to provide answers and guidance if you encounter a problem ... You can join this community HERE.
- Choose the right yarn
Always choose the yarn that is described in the pattern as it is carefully calculated and tested, for you to end up with a product in the right size sweater. Unless you have someone to help you recalculate the yardage of yarn, thickness and needles sizes, do not replace the yarn in which the sweater is designed, with another type of yarn. You just end up getting a sweater that is completely wrong in size, too flabby or too tight. My advice is to wait until you have knitted a lot more, before you start replacing the recommended yarn for other types of yarns, because it is a mathematical exercise in itself,
Önling has launched a couple of great and classic designs, that are made for the absolute beginner within knitting. Once you have tried knitting your first cloth, and are ready to tackle your first “real” project, we recommend starting with the Easy Peasy Basic Sweater, which is designed to be the very first knitting project for the absolute new knitter.
This pattern is written completely without the use of abbreviations, and it is very descriptive and instructional. In addition, the pattern contains video references, so you can click and watch a video that describes exactly what technique you should use at the time you need it.
Happy knitting :-)