My Tips for a Beginner Knitter

21 Oct

At this time of year, when the evenings are getting darker and people are thinking about taking up a cosy indoor pursuit, we get a few more new knitters turn up to our knitting group Knit in Notts. So I thought about what useful information I could pass on to a beginner knitter.

There are so many useful resources out there but sometimes it can be daunting knowing where to start, so here a few pointers from a knitter who not so long ago was also a beginner.

1. Hopefully you’re lucky enough to have a LYS (Local yarn shop), a bit if knitters lingo for your there, my local yarn shop, Knit Nottingham, has a great range of yarn & very knowledgeable staff. You will often find that your LYS will run workshops or would be more than happy to teach you to knit. If you’re unsure of a pattern or yarn, your LYS owner should be a great person to ask advice from – I still do now.

2. Blogs – there are so many talented knitters out here on the world wide web & many of them share their successes & failures for all to see. Not every knitting project you start will end up how you anticipated & it’s comforting knowing you’re not the only one who has knitting miss-haps! Here’s just a few I read… This lady is my fave hand knit designer, I love the way she writes her patterns. I love seeing projects in progress & reading about the ups & downs along the way. Basically the diary of a LYS owner

knit nottingham

3. Ravelry – a great online community for knitters & crocheters – this website can bit a little baffling for a novice knitter, however as soon as you get your bearings it really is a wonderful place. It is always my first port of call when I’m looking for a new project, with very helpful search facilities for narrowing down the possibilities. Once I’ve found a pattern I like to see all the different variations people have already knitted, seeing finished projects on all different shaped & sized people also helps me decide whether a finished garment will actually suit my body shape (always good to avoid that horrible moment when you realise the garment you’ve spent so long creating looks terrible on when it’s finished).


4. Knit Club – if you have a local knitting club, you will find a whole wealth of experience and knowledge which, knowing knitters, they will happy share with you and help any beginners in their midst. Not to mention it is a great way to meet like minded people and create new friends. If you haven’t got a local knitting club why not read my previous blog post about how I set up Knit in Notts, which has now being going for over 6 years.

5. A basic knitting book (although can seem old fashioned in a digital age), however having a go to book with all the knitting abbreviations you’d ever need is wonderful. You can’t always rely on always having enough battery or internet connection to get the right webpage up! My handy, small, go to book is Field Guide to Knitting by Jackie Pawlowski, which as well as having basic terminology has basic lovely stitched with great photos.

field guide to knitting

6. Knitting & you tube – if you have no one on hand to help you in person, using the internet to find videos of specific techniques (casting on, casting off, increase etc) is a great way of learning. I find watching someone else is the best way for things to sink in, especially if you can pause & re-play as many times as you need to.

7. Pinterest – great for keeping a record of videos & tutorials of technique you’ve used & may well want to look back at. There are also loads of great patterns on Pinterest, why not go pin crazy (I do) I certainly will not get around to knitting all of the 100’s of thing on my knitting board & some of them I perhaps don’t know how I would. However even as a beginner, you can keep going back to your board of knits & as your skills grow you can browse though and think ‘oh I know what that stitch is’ or ‘Ah so that’s ‘intarsia’ and it is always good to have projects to aspire to create.

Pinterst knitting board

8. Pick the right first project! Everyone almost always chooses a scarf, however when you’re new to something it’s good to be able to see your progress as it’s easy to get impatient wanting to see the finished results and scarves can take a while. Simple hand warmers are often a great first project (knitted square, sewn up with a hole left for your thumb), they’re small & manageable, plus you should end up with a useful wearable item that spurs you on to starting your next project.

I hope my list is useful to any potential new knitters out there. If you have any additional helpful hints & tips feel free to add them as a comment below this post. Happy knitting!


One Response to “My Tips for a Beginner Knitter”


  1. Knitting in the bag! | Nettynot Craft - May 20, 2015

    […] I written blog posts about knitting and the group before, so rather than repeating myself (and save some of you from having to read it again) you can see them here  I also wrote some tips for beginner knitters here […]


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