So many people have taken up knitting in the last year, and it is easy to see why. It is relaxing, soothing, creative and transformative, and you need just two needles, a length of yarn and three techniques to get started with creating some wonderful organic clothing.
There are a lot of project ideas to get started with that will help you gradually learn the basics of knitting, let you try various techniques and help you learn what works best for you.
Before You Start
Before you start creating your own projects, there are a few techniques, tools and materials you need to get started.
To start with, you need knitting needles. There are varying materials you can choose from but for beginners, bamboo or wood needles are a little easier to use. The reason for this is that when casting on, the loops of yarn are more likely to stay on the needle.
You also need yarn. There are a lot of choices for different yarns, but 100 per cent organic yarn is better for the environment and creates a better result in the end.
As well as this, you should have a pair of scissors, an embroidery needle and thread as well, which will let you finish off projects.
After you have your materials, you need to know three knitting techniques:
Some people learn the purl stitch as well, as this opens several types of patterns and more complex stitches to you as well.
Once you are comfortable with your basic techniques and have your materials to hand, it’s time to get knitting! Although with that said, there is one question we need to answer first.
Should You Start With A Scarf?
The scarf debate has been raging since time immemorial amongst knitting circles, as people have rather strong views about whether a scarf should be the first knitting project someone should try.
There unfortunately is no real answer to this. It is both a great way to start and a project that can put some people off knitting, and both issues are related.
Scarfs are very simple to make. They are a straight, long stitch of the same width, so a new knitter does not need to add or remove loops when they work on it. It’s therefore a great starting point to practice the basics and try out new patterns or even new colours.
The problem is that scarfs are long, and the thinner your yarn, the longer they will take to make. At some point, everyone should try making a scarf, especially as the weather gets colder, but it does not have to be your first project.
Bookmarks are a great starting project because they are very small, but also the same rough shape as a scarf until the end where they can taper off if you choose.
They do not require a lot of yarn to make, although they do require smaller needle sizes and superfine yarn so that is a point to bear in mind.
An alternative starting project for many knitters is a neck warmer. It is relatively simple, like a scarf but is much smaller and allows you to learn techniques to create loops and connect a project back to itself.
Alternatively, neck warmers and cowls are a good way of learning how to knit in the round with circular needles, which provides a more seamless stitch.
Hats are a little more complicated than scarves but they are also a very quick project and so quite a few beginners will try and make a hat as their first project. Unlike other projects, it is important to knit a gauge swatch to ensure that the project is big enough to fit you.
Using stretchy cast ons may be an option as well to avoid your project turning out too small to wear. They teach you how to create a round using decreases to shape the crown of the hat.
A lovely baby shower present is a baby blanket, and whilst it is a bigger project than even a scarf, the motivation of it being for a little one can often help people push themselves to complete it.
There is a lot of creativity involved in blankets, and whilst you could create a large rectangle as you would for a scarf, you can also create circular blankets and learn how to increase, or even add patterns, stripes and other colours to give your little one a unique look.