I picked up crocheting pretty easily because I was a little kid when I learned and even though it didn’t come naturally, it was like play, it was fun. Knitting. Don’t get me started. It was a struggle. I wanted to learn though so I could make those gorgeous Fair Isle sweaters that I really loved. My mom tried to help me once, I think, and she knit English style, which was basically almost impossible for me to get the hang of. Fast foward, oh 15 more years before I tried it again because it was so frustrating. I finally figured it out with lots of help but here are 5 things I wish I’d know then that would have made it easier.
There’s no right or wrong way to knit. There are lots of different styles, in fact in my research I found at least five: English, Continentintal, Lever, Portugeuse, Shetland….and all the variations on those and then there are those people who can actually walk and knit at the same time. And then there are the different methods of knitting - Western, Eastern, & Combination (that’s mine) which have to do with different ways of wrapping the yarn. And you know what, it’s all good. Find one you like and just go for it. If you figure out how to walk and knit at the same time, please let me know because I’d like to learn that!
There’s no right or wrong yarn to use. If you can afford the luxury hand-dyed go for it. Maybe you’re vegan and prefer to not use animal fibers. Fabulous. Maybe you like cheap acrylic just ‘cause. Spinning your cat’s hair into yarn? Sure, why not if it makes you happy. Ever tried hardware store twine and rope? It’s weird and interesting. There’s a whole universe of fibers out there to explore and it can be so fun.
It requires a lot of patience. A lot. Like learning anything new, there’s a huge learning curve and it just takes practice to get the basics down. Practice, practice, practice. Don’t expect to knit that gorgeous Fair Isle sweater the day after you pick up the sticks. But you’ll get there.
It’s ok to frog it. Rip it, rip it good! Undo it all and start over. That is part of any creative process from painting to poetry to….whatever other creative processes you can think of. It is also ok to leave a mistake in and just keep going. Most of the time you’ll be the only one who knows.
Be brave and find others to knit with. I wish I’d done that much sooner instead hiding out knitting all by myself. You learn things from each other but also it’s fun and it can be like a little informal support group. You know how they have these wine & painting nights? Yeah like that but maybe at a coffee shop and for knitting.
Yeah, ok there are 6. Knit at the beach whenever you can. It really is THE BEST.