As we settle into a rhythm of life that requires spending lots of time at home (whether it’s a quarantine or any other life event such as an illness, injury, or caring for a loved one), there’s nothing more helpful than having a handcraft like knitting to keep your hands and mind busy. Knitting provides a sense of calm, peace and joy along with a feeling of productivity. It’s nice be able to look forward to holidays and birthdays while preparing special gifts.
This month, we’re featuring a roundup of online resources for learning to knit. Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to re-learn knitting after many years, there are so many helpful tutorials available. Everyone has their own style, so check out a few of the channels and see which one clicks with you.
Here are a few options for video lessons:
Expert Vickie Howell gives you the knitting foundation to flourish with this series of totally doable skills.
Staci shares videos in slow motion of basic stitches: for very visual learners
Of course there’s no substitute for learning face-to-face, but there’s no reason not to get started knitting now! When you have the opportunity to take a class or get help from a local yarn shop, you will have already built a foundation of basic skills.
We are frequently asked what kind of yarn is best for learning to knit. Learning with a natural fiber yarn like wool or cotton is so important – the stitches will hold their shape and be more easily defined than an acrylic yarn which is slick and slips around on your needles. A single ply wool yarn like our Lanaloft is ideal for your very first learn-to-knit stitches. Worsted weight is perfect for learners because it’s not too thick or thin to handle and stitches are easy to see. Many knitters love Lamb’s Pride worsted for learning to knit, too.
So, what skills do you need to start with? The basic knit stitch is all you need to know to make a ton of simple projects. You’ll also need to learn how to cast on (to begin a project) and bind off (to finish it). From there, you can build some more basic stitches into your repertoire like the purl stitch, increases, and decreases for creating different shapes.
Sometimes written instructions are helpful, too. Here are a couple of options that include written instructions along with video:
Once you feel comfortable with the basics, it’s time to start a real project! Don’t expect your first project to be perfect – just focus on the learning process. Someday you will look back fondly on your imperfect first knitting project, because it was the start of your knitting journey!
Here are some suggestions for beginner level knitting projects. These are all very doable for a brand-new knitter.
My words of encouragement are to work through a little bit of frustration when you’re first learning to knit – just like riding a bike, it’s not going to be automatic. But with enough practice, your hands will develop muscle memory to knit thousands of stitches without even thinking – it’s amazing what our minds can do! So stick with it and get through the frustrating part so you can enjoy knitting for years to come.
Creativity and learning something new gives us a wonderful opportunity to make the most of whatever situation we’re in. Happy knitting!
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