Knitting for beginners can seem intimidating at first, but with the right knitting tutorials, anyone can learn how to knit. However, when you are first getting started with knitting, learning to how to read knitting patterns can seem quite daunting. If fact, to some the patterns can seem like they are written in a foreign language! These knitting for beginners tips will help you decipher your knitting pattern, and give you the confidence you need to get started on –and complete– your first knitting pattern.
- Choose patterns based on your skill level. While advanced knitting patterns are amazing, but being completely overwhelmed isn’t!
- Much like we were taught at school, when you are first learning how to read knitting patterns, it’s important to read the entire pattern first. If you read the pattern first, there will be no surprises.
- Highlight or circle any important information; such as the size you are making, color changes or other special steps.
- Make note of anything unusual, any stitches you are not familiar with or perhaps there is a unique finishing technique. If there is something you are not familiar with, be sure to practice these things first. YouTube is a great tutorial source if you need visual demonstrations.
- Make sure you have the correct size needles, and even a size above/below just in case your gauge swatch indicates you need to change sizes. Remember that the needles sizes given in the pattern are just a suggestion, and you may need different sizes depending on your tension and knitting style.
- When choosing your yarn, you do not have to use exactly what the pattern designer chose. Be sure that you get the correct weight yarn and that you have enough yardage.
- Listen to the pattern when it says to make a gauge swatch. You will thank yourself later. When learning how to knit, making a gauge swatch gives you the opportunity to practice the stitch pattern and make sure that your finished product will be the correct size. You will be able to adjust your needle sizes before starting, adjust your tension or even decide that yarn isn’t the right choice.
- Keep a pen or pencil handy to jot down notes to yourself to remind you that “X means this,” or do this “Y times,” or to simply remind yourself where you left off in a pattern if you have to put it down.
- Follow instructions carefully, row by row. It is often very helpful to check off a row as you complete it, and to use something to help your eye follow the exact line you are working on, like a sticky note or a ruler.
- Recognize that a stitch letter followed by the number indicates how many of that stitch are called for. If your pattern says Row One: P10, K10, you should purl ten stitches and then knit ten stitches on your first row.
- When you see asterisks, brackets, or when the pattern says “X times” – you repeat the instructions inside the notations.
- If your pattern has a chart, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the symbol key. Also be sure to note which direction the chart is read from. Some designers choose Left to Right, and others choose Right to Left. The direction will always be indicated.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Reach out to the great communities online that will help you with whatever questions you have
- Don’t be scared to try new things. Just work one row at a time. Don’t focus on the big picture when learning how to knit; instead, focus on one step at a time.
For more beginner tutorials, don’t miss the free eBook: Knitting for Beginners: 9 Free Tutorials.
What other tips do you have for the beginning knitter?