Knitting 101: My Recommendations, Resources & Tips for Total Beginners

by - 11/06/2019


If you'd had said to me a couple of years ago that I would one day be knitting every evening I would have said 'hell no'. I've tried to learn in the past with varying success but nothing ever stuck. Until the end of last summer. Fast forward a year, I have a collection of me made knits, a bunch of patterns and wool stashed around the flat (shhh) and 3 projects on the go at once. I'm obsessed.

I hate to use the phrase but, I get a lot of DMs about knitting, about how I learnt, recommendations for patterns and yarns and a lot of messages saying they're nervous to try or can't find their flow and what advice do I have for them. SO, you guys have inspired me to start a new Knitting 101 series on my blog, sharing everything I know and my favourite resources for troubleshooting your knitting problems. Hopefully this series will inspire you to pick up your needles, learn or fall back in love with knitting.

My preferred style of knitting chunky, squishy and simple, so if you're after tight knit or fitted garments, this probably won't be for you. My attention span doesn't last long enough to tackle that style, I've tried but honestly it just doesn't interest me. I like to be able to complete my knitting projects within a couple of months, I'm too impatient and want to wear everything NOW. With that being said, lets get into it...

Online classes:

I initially kickstarted my knitting with a beginners scarf class on Skillshare. The class advised what size needles and yarn to go and buy, then you follow along with the class video. This appealed to me as I wanted to be able to watch someone knit each step and really hold my hand throughout the process. You can also see other people's projects and reviews who also took the class, a part of Skillshare I really like and find very helpful.

As I'm a Skillshare ambassador, you can get 2 FREE months of Skillshare through me. CLICK HERE to sign up and start exploring today! I've also checked out tutorials on weaving (great for yarn leftovers!), embroidery, crochet and tech stuff. I've found it to be a really useful platform for creatives and I am proud to be an ambassador and to be able to offer you a freebie!

YouTube:

For literally any issue you have with your knitting project there's a video to help you out. I'm a big fan of Wool and the Gang's YouTube channel and recommend it to everyone who needs some help. The videos are short, close up and simple. Slow down the speed, pause and replay to your heart's content. That's what I do!

--

This is a great video for  probably the most common knitting problem - learn how to pick up a dropped stitch: HERE

--

Other channels I'd recommend checking out for knitting explained are Sheep and Stitch and We Are Knitters. 

Knitting Kits:

Knitting kits are my jam. Without these guys I think I would have lost interest in knitting pretty quick. If you grab them in the sales (of which there are lots), buying kits is a great way to knit in my opinion. You get everything you need, nothing more, nothing less, to make your project. And as someone who has trouble figuring out how much yarn you need for a pattern and what size needles, this takes all the fuss out of it. I'll always praise kits and recommend them, because without them I think I would have given up trying to learn.

Of course some of these kits can be pricey, and if you're happy to figure out your yarns and patterns for yourself then that's great. But as a newbie, kits were a breath of fresh air when I felt overwhelmed by knitting supplies and trying to piece everything together became stressful instead of fun.

Knitting kits brands that I love:

--

 Get £10 off your 1st purchase at We Are Knitters with my referral code: MGM9VDFLT

--


Here's a couple of beginner kits I started with:


My affordable faves:

I've experimented with expensive yarns and affordable yarns, but as a beginner (or just in general) more affordable and budget friendly options are more appealing. They also don't feel too precious. Here are some of my favourite affordable brands:

Paintbox yarns - I've used this brand a lot and have been really pleased with the quality and the awesome colour range. They also have a selection of free patterns, I've got a bunch downloaded!

Stylecraft - Remember my pink cardigan I shared recently? I made that out of Stylecraft Aran weight yarn and I love it.

Rico - Rico have an amazing selection of yarn weights and styles, I've got lots on my wish list to try next. Definitely check out their patterns too, there's lots of styles that will appeal to all ages.

In general, I'd recommend visiting Love Crafts, my go-to knitting supply shop. You can browse patterns, yarn and more and filter the searches to suit your needs. It's an easy to navigate website and is full of inspiration.

--

Want to find a cheaper alternative to the reccommended yarn? Check out Yarn Sub!

--

Picking projects:

A scarf is a great place to start and that's what I recommend to people looking to start. You can get a feel for how you hold the needles and yarn, and you can see if you're a tight knitter or loose. You'll learn about good tension and it will help you move onto your next project. Plus if you end up hating it, you haven't invested a lot in supplies.

After I cracked the scarf and found my flow, I knew I wanted to stick with simple and chunky. But I couldn't knit scarves forever. Luckily there's lots of simple jumper and cardigans out there.

I thought any knitted jumper would involve increasing, decreasing and lots of complicated sizing and measurements and.... maths (eek!). WRONG. I'll be sharing my jumpers and cardigans in my next Knitting 101 blog post. Stay tuned!

--

Before I wrap up this post I wanted to share some miscellaneous tips with you:

  • When I first shared on social media I was learning to knit, everyone and their dog recommended Ravelry to me and told me to join ASAP. Honestly it feels like another social media/forum site to me, one that I'll never keep up with. I've found it useful to snoop on other people's projects when I was planning projects (which I'd rather do on Instagram), or advice on cheaper yarn alternatives but otherwise I've not found it particularly helpful. You might do, so have a look if you fancy. But I don't use it, so please don't feel like you have to to be considered a knitter (which was a little how I felt!). 
  • Don't be put off by certain styles, find your flow! Because my blog had a vintage aesthetic, I was recommended a lot of tight knit, fitted cardigans with traditional decorative pattern work, and honestly that's not me at all. I'm very happy to stick to oversized, chunky knitting where sizing isn't an issue and you can finish a project in a month. My ambitions go as far as chunky cable knit, but more about that later. Knitting can be simple as you like!
  • Don't buy full price! The big brands I've recommended above nearly always have promotions on, sometimes up to 30 - 40% off, and Love Crafts always have promo codes floating about. So make sure to sign up to the email newsletters and you'll save yourself lots of ££. 
  • Instagram hashtags! I LOVE to snoop on other people's makes before I get started, and this is my favourite way to do it. Nowadays, most designers will have a hashtag for all their designs. I also love to see patterns made up in different colours too as it helps me choose my own. Get snooping!

--

Instagram accounts to follow for some serious #knittinggoals

@clubknit
@theknitter
@goldfreckles
@nowaycrochet
@seeyaknits

--


I hope this post has been helpful to you and has demystified knitting a little and at least persuaded you to check out some projects. I feel silly for avoiding it for as long as I have, its brought so much to my life and has inspired me when I've felt out of whack with my sewing. Now it's my favourite lazy craft to do in front of the TV in the evenings. I still feel productive and there's a squishy piece of knitwear waiting for me at the end.

Next up, I'll be sharing my journey into knitting garments!

Thanks for reading!
Abi xo

Disclaimer: contains affiliate links.

You May Also Like

0 comments