Learn to Knit

Reading has always been my way of de-stressing after a long day at work or busy weekend. But ever since I started grad school, I’ve found I don’t have the brain power or energy to read after a full work day and several more hours of school work. I still needed a way to slow down my over-active brain and relax before bed.

Luckily my boyfriend has my back (as always) and suggested I try knitting. Both of my grandmothers were big knitters and I still have blankets and clothing they made for me. This was probably where boyfriend got the idea – he had one of my Grammy’s blankets on his lap at the time!

Taking his advice, I browsed Google, Pinterest and YouTube to learn how the basics and hit up my local craft store to pick up some supplies.

Interested in learning to knit? Here are some tips I’ve picked up over the last few months since I started…

IMG_2403.JPGThese are some of the projects I’ve been working on lately.

Picking Yarn and Needles
There are a variety of yarn weights (thickness) and needle size. The combination determine what your final product will look like.

For beginners, I would suggest one of the following:
Red Heart Soft yarn with US size 11 needles
Lion Brand Woolspun with US size 13 needles

I’ve used both of these yarns and love them! They make for a warm and soft scarf. One ball should be enough to make a decent-sized scarf, but it can never hurt to pick up an extra ball.

One thing to be aware of is that many yarns have what’s called a “dye lot”. Yarns with the same dye lot were colored at the same time, so they will be identical in shade. If you’re planning to use multiple balls of yarn for a project, make sure they all have the same dye lot so you don’t have color variations midway through!

Knitting Basics
I suggest searching YouTube for beginner knitting videos. The first thing you need to learn is how to “cast on”, which is getting the stitches on the needles. Then you need to learn the knit stitch itself. There is also the purl stitch but I’d suggest mastering the knit stitch first before adding more into the mix.

You can also take classes at your local craft store. I’ve taken a few at the Michael’s near my work and they’ve been super helpful.

Pick a Pattern
Start small! Try a thin scarf with a very basic pattern. Eventually you’ll be on to knitting lots of cool patterns, but there’s no need to drive yourself crazy the first time around.

Good luck my fellow knitting newbies! I’m no expert, but I’m happy to try to answer any questions!

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