Friday, April 03, 2015

Knitting tips, tricks, and websites for beginners - Content notice: Cat

Some of these tips are some that I have come to realize over the years.  Some are recommended by knitters, some are mentioned on the very silly but practical Tumblr page called Knitpool (Deadpool spoof)



Tips:

*  Take your time with learning new techniques.  You don't want to frustrate yourself.


* The internet is a wonderful tool, but if you get stuck, always ask another knitter.  Having someone show you versus reading the diagrams in a book or on a webpage is very helpful.

* Ravelry.com is an amazing resource.  You can ask for help in your local groups, find local yarn stores or locally made fiber, tonnes of free patterns or amazing ones sold by other knitters....or engage in various discussions with people from across the world.   Personally, I don't know what I would do without it.

* There are different methods and styles of knitting. Every knitter has found their own method that works for them. Just because it looks different, doesn't mean it's wrong.  As long as you get the same results, its all gravy.

* crochet hooks and safety pins can be invaluable tools when learning how to knit.  Especially to help count rows, pick up dropped stitches, or to help hold something in place. (I still use both)

* Stitch and row counters can be a lifesaver.

* Learn your core basic stitches to make learning other stitches and techniques easier.  Knit, purl, cast on, cast off, increase, decrease.  Once you learn these, you can make almost anything.

* There are all sorts of knitting needles out there.  Plastic, Wood, Bamboo, Metals.  Other knitters have insisted that bamboo helps with wrist problems.  Plastic can break if it gets cold cause it gets brittle (also with age), but this also depends on the manufacturer.  Aluminum is light, but I find in thinner gauges it can bend fairly easily. 

* It will take some time to get the tension right.  I used to knit super duper tight. Some people knit loose and it causes huge gaps.  Keep practicing....as they say practice makes perfect.

* If you get frustrated, do something else for a little bit, then come back to it.

*Try and avoid what I call "stress knitting".  I have noticed that my stitches get super tight when I'm trying to knit when I'm super stressed out.

* Be careful how you store your projects and needles.  I've stabbed myself with my double pointed needles on multiple occasions.  Needle point protectors are wonderful things to have in your stash. (i have red and green sock shaped needle protectors in my collection of knitting tools)

*Setting goals for yourself is always a good thing.  Just make sure they are YOUR goals.

*Stretching and taking breaks is always a good thing, and crafting self-care is important.  Don't get so wrapped up in a project that you forget to eat or drink. Stretching your hands every so often will also prevent knitting or crafting related injuries.

*You can work at your own pace.  Not everyone works at the same speed.  It's ok if it takes a month (or years) to finish a project, so long as you enjoy doing it.












 

Websites:

Ravelry.com - Social site for knitting, crochet, and other fiber related activities.  Patterns, groups, yarn references, stash cataloging, needle cataloging tools, and yarny shopping.

The Anticraft - Knitting and Crafting for the dark and sinister.  Some NSFW topics or topics not safe for minors.  Wonderfully macabre ideas and patterns for knitting and sewing (and some recipes too). 

Knitty.com - Ezine for knitters with free patterns, and located right in the heart of Toronto, Ontario.  They feature quite a few local knitter's patterns. Published semi-quarterly

http://www.lionbrand.com/ - Lion Brand Yarn's website.  You have to make an account to get access to their patterns, but they also have an online row counter, as well as full pdf's for how to knit and crochet that you can print out for free.

YouTube - There are so many free tutorials and how-to's on youtube. 


If any other casual knitters would like to suggest websites, please comment on this post. 





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