As you might have noticed, I’ve been on a bit of a knitting kick lately. I’m still quilting, but my handwork time (evenings, in the backyard, in the car, etc.) has shifted from hand piecing to knitting lately. I still believe that hand piecing can save your sanity, but that psychological benefit really applies to knitting as well.
I’ve been getting quite a few emails and comments from people from my podcast who are interested in learning to knit. Well, nothing pleases me more, and so I’ve put together a few resources to help you along the way. I’m a self-taught from the internet knitter–so if I can do it, so can you!
Knitting is so visual–I think that just about everyone benefits from watching someone teach you how to do a stitch, rather than reading about it. Buying a book about knitting was my first attempt at this and it was an unqualified disaster. YouTube is your best friend for anything that you need to know about knitting.
The cool thing about knitting is that there are very few skills that you need to learn. The basics are:
- Casting-on (this is getting the yarn on the needles)
- Knit stitch
- Purl stitch (which is just a backwards knit stitch)
- Binding off (getting the project off the needles)
Just about every pattern is some variation of knit and purl. How hard could it be?
Here are some links to get you going:
When I need to figure something out with knitting, this is the first place I head. I originally found her videos by just googling different things I was curious about, but I trust the quality and content of her instruction so much that now I usually just head straight to her channel to look things up. Take a look around there, but I also put together a YouTube Playlist of how to cast-on, knit, purl, increase, decrease, and bind off. This would be a great place for you to get started.
Most of what I learned early on was from KnittingHelp.com. This was before YouTube and it was a life-saver. They have a complete Get Started and Learn How to Knit series in three parts. I think these are the original videos that they created over ten years ago, so the quality is not fabulous–but the content is great quality. What is really cool about this site is that she shows every stitch in both American and Continental style knitting. These are just different ways of holding the yarn to make the stitches. Here is a video that shows the difference. I knit Continental because I think it’s faster. In fact, first learned American style, but after a month, retaught myself Continental style and I’m glad I did–there is just so much less wasted motion.
3. Knit Picks
Knit Picks is a online yarn and needles shop with good quality supplies at good prices. They also have a great YouTube channel. They have a great Learn to Knit playlist (it’s old and not great quality video, but the basics are there). If you don’t mind hairy man arms demonstrating techniques, their KP Quicks playlist has great videos. And if you are ready to tackle a larger project, they have a free Beginner Blanket Class you might want to check out. Knit Picks also is a great place to buy some decent starter needles and yarn, without actually having to leave the house.
All the places I’ve listed so far are free internet tutorials and they will totally get you knitting in no time. But if you get really obsessed (it happens!) You might want to check out Craftsy for awesome quality classes on specific techniques and even certain types of projects (socks, shawls, sweaters, etc.). (affiliate link)
5. Beginner Projects
Feel free to cast on any type of project that appeals to you, but I do want to mention that there is many a scarf thrown into the back of a drawer because it just got too boring to continue. So after you just knit for the sake of knitting for a while, I encourage you to cast on a project that really appeals to you, in a nice quality yarn. It makes such a difference to use nice materials–so don’t short-change yourself by buying cheap acrylic yarn. Splurge on a bit of wool and it will make all the difference.
Here is a little round-up of beginner projects from a few websites:
And don’t forget the handknit dishcloth round-up I did here.
Would you be interested in a “Learn to Knit-Along”? We could pick a simple project and spread it out over a few weeks. Let me know in the comments.
Also, I’ve put together a knitting Pinterest board, if you are looking for some knitting inspiration.