My First Handmade Scarf
I finally finished the first handmade scarf that I knitted myself! It feels like such an exciting accomplishment! I really had no idea what I was getting myself into when I picked up this hobby. It was one of those things that I had in the back of my mind. A skill that I wanted to learn but I didn’t think I had the time for. Then I stumbled upon the most beautiful yarn shop in Edwards, CO. I was inspired to create my own clothing that I could design myself. I loved the idea of creating clothing all my own so I could customize every detail. Now that I am a knitter I am not only excited to try new knit projects but this has created an exciting path where I see myself one day learning how to sew.
What I Learned and Tips for Beginners
In this blog, I am sharing my beginner’s tips for people who are just starting to learn how to knit. I learned many things along the way that I had not considered when starting my first project. So I wanted to share my insights and beginner’s perspective with you so you can get a better idea of what you’re getting yourself into if your thinking about learning how to knit. There is a lot to learn and with this hobby and you are always learning from your mistakes.
Learn The Lingo
Every craft has its own language and as a beginner. It’s hard to understand when someone throws in a knitting word without explaining what they are talking about. Here you can find a quick glossary of knit terms that way you have a reference when you hear a knitting term from a more experienced knitter. And with each word described you have a better idea of what you are doing. For instance, when I was searching the web for a pattern I picked the garter stitch because it was pretty. And many people said it was an easy pattern for beginners. But after looking at this glossary I learned a garter stitch is a knit a pattern using a knit for every stitch and every row. This repetitive pattern makes it easiest for beginners.
As you go into more advanced patterns and projects the lingo gets more intense and confusing so make sure you have good resources that can help you. Like a local knit shop with knit lessons. A good knit blogger with beginner tips. Beginners’ books (from the library) and trusty ol’ google should always do the trick. A few great knit shops in Colorado are Maker and Stitch (Edwards, CO), Fancy Tiger Crafts (Denver, CO), and The Lamb Shoppe (Denver, CO).
The Bulkier The Yarn the Better
Before you get ahead of yourself and buy the prettiest yarn you can find. I highly suggest making sure that the size gage is “bulky”. It should say “bulky on the skein (ball of yarn). The lady at the shop recommended starting with larger sized yarn because it is a quick and easy way to make your first project. One of the easiest projects to start with is a scarf. Every row is the same length and you just have to keep knitting the same way until you have a long enough scarf. The bulky yarn I used is from Blue Sky Fibers. The yarn I used is made of 50% alpaca and 50% wool making it an extra cozy choice for a winter scarf. Plus it comes in all kinds of colors that you can find here. Blue Sky Fibers creates all kinds of consciously crafted and high-quality natural fibers. Including cashmere, silk, organic cotton, wool, and alpaca.
Invest in Good Needles
The lady that helped me buy all the tools I needed for my first project handed me the Lykke Needles and I am so glad she did. These needles are beautifully handcrafted out of driftwood. They are smooth and lightweight making them easy to handle. If you go to their website here they have various sizes and sets that you can purchase that I highly recommend.
Beginners Cast-On Technique
Alright, your ready to get that yarn on your needles right? I’ll stop blabbing and show you the video I watched on youtube that showed me how to “cast on” meaning getting the yarn tied to your needles and ready to knit! Find the video here.
Find a Pattern on Youtube
I spent some time online trying to find knitting patterned that looked easy and looked like a nice style that I would enjoy wearing. Then I came across the garter stitch technique on the All About Ami blog. I love how pretty and chunky her scarf turned out. Plus her video for the garter stitch was really easy to follow once I watched it a few times.
Tieing Yarn Together
I had bought four skeins for my long scarf. Once I had finished knitting one I had to figure out how to tie the new roll on. I was looking for a seamless solution. One that would not fall apart. So I found a video for the magic knot here that did just the trick.
Practice Makes Perfect
I highly suggest practicing several rows so you can get the hang of what you are doing. When your first learning how to knit it requires an extreme amount of focus. You have to make sure you are going the right way every time. It takes practice to get the hang of it. When you’re just starting out don’t turn on any distractions like the TV, podcast, or music. If you get distracted and lose track of what your doing it can be a real headache. But after you get your practice round in then you will be able to mindlessly knit with any kind of surrounding. At least with the basic garter stitch.
Casting off Technique
When I was getting down to the wire with the last of my yarn I was really pushing through and wasn’t paying attention to the end of my yarn. So I just kept going until I only had a few inches left. Well, this was a mistake. I didn’t have the skills to backtrack what I already knitted. I had to knit really tightly to make it work. It was a mess but I got it to work in the end. Now I know that I just need to have some extra yarn handy. And I need to practice undoing and redoing a row just in case another uh oh happens again. The cast-off technique that I used can be found here. And make sure you have a tail that you can sew into the seam.
I hope this post is helpful for anyone interested in trying out knitting for themselves. And I cant wait to share more projects with you soon!