Thursday, May 3, 2012
Ten things I have learnt about knitting
1. Perseverance is key. In first learning to knit as well as in each piece that you knit. There are many many stitches in a garment or a blanket. But one by one each stitch adds up. (However, even perseverance has it's limits. If you count your stitches three times and get a different number each time, it may be time to call it a night.)
2. Other knitters get it. Knitting in public, an enormous stash, the highs and lows, yarn lust. It's good to have at least one knitty friend whose eyes won't glaze over when you start talking about your knitting. (Also, another good reason to blog.)
3. Ravelry is a wonderful resource. It's a treasure trove of patterns, advice and community. As well as a way to share and document your projects and stash. (Though beware of it's addictive and time sapping qualities.)
4. If gauge scares you, knit projects where it isn't so important, like shawls, blankets and scarves. Even with children's clothes, if you err on the side of caution and work on making them a little big they can always be grown in to.
5. Keep checking. Read and re-read your pattern. If it doesn't sound right, it probably isn't. Keep counting your stitches at the end of each row or section. It's much easier to keep checking than to have to start over, or at least to pick up a mistake early so as not to have to rip back so much.
6. Mistakes are part of knittitng. Most mistakes are fixable. Whether it be by un-knitting, picking up a dropped stitch, asking another knitter for help, checking sites like this one, googling your mistake or checking out this fabulous blog - TECHknitting.
7. Finding out what sort of learning style you have will make it easier to learn. Are diagrams and written instructions the best way for you to learn, or would watching a clip on Youtube be more helpful? So many people don't get diagrams, but if actually shown how to do something they can do it themselves no problem.
8. If you build on your skills with each new knit you undertake you will surprise yourself. Don't be afraid to work up to projects that scare you. For me it was cables and double pointed needles. Both of which were so much simpler than I had ever imagined. Everything you could want to learn is probably out there on the web.
9. This is an excellent way to keep track of your growing left over yarn stash and one I shall be copying.
10. Knitting is good for what ails you. It's relaxing and meditative. It's challenging, productive and addictive.
(And kids look cute in hand knits.)