This is the third part of a series of articles I’ve written on beginning to knit. In the previous two, I discussed the needles and the yarn that are used for the knitting itself, and now I’m going to write about choosing a first project and the steps you should take to actually become proficient at the skill.
To find a beginners project, it is easy to look online, where they will have loads of knitting patterns for beginners. This is also the best place to learn the techniques of knitting itself. These can be found in diagram form, but what I prefer is videos, since they are the easiest to understand, and pictures can sometimes be a little confusing. Unfortunately I cannot teach you these skills myself on here, since it would be very difficult to understand without a visual representation, but good places to find videos are on YouTube and other more specific knitting sites. There are just a few simple techniques that you’ll need to learn for your first project. The first step is learning to ‘cast-on’, which is how you make your first row of loops on your needle. This involves a fairly simple technique, which is repeated as many times as you want for your project. The number of loops that you cast on will result in the wideness of your piece of knitting. Next you must learn the knit stitch, which will be the most used stitch in your project, since it is repeated to create all of the rows in the knit. At this stage, learning just one stitch to use for your entire project is probably a good idea, and the garter stitch is made by repeating rows and rows of the knit stitch. Purling is a slight variation on the knit stitch, and once this is learnt, various combinations of the knit and purl stitch are used to make a great deal of more complex knitting designs. Videos online are a great way to learn many crafts and how I learn a lot of the techniques I know and write about in my articles.
The beginner’s project idea that I’d probably recommend is a scarf. This is a simple shape that can just involve repeating the knit stitch or purl stitch a lot of times along its length, giving you lots of time to practice the basic techniques before moving on to harder things. The good thing is with a scarf as well, that you can make it as long as you like, so if you want more practice, you can keep going, and you can keep improving on it. Also, though you should probably start with the basic techniques, there is no reason to say that you can’t try out new techniques here as well. Once you’re comfortable with the basics, you can try and switch to another colour along the scarf, or try and switch to a different type of stitch. Scarves offer lots of chance to practice your basic techniques and advance on them. The beautiful thing about knitting as well is that if you mess up early on, you can just unravel what you’ve made and start again, and none of the wool will have been wasted. Also, using a technique called double-knitting, you can knit several projects at once on the same needle, meaning that you don’t have to go out and buy several sets of the same needles.
Hopefully, these few beginners’ articles on knitting have helped you get started, so now go away and start learning the basic stitches. Soon enough you’ll be able to do much more complex projects, and in a little while, I may write some articles for the more proficient knitter to really test how well you’ve got on with it.
Image from: http://sabrinadent.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/knit1.jpg