The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
I learned to knit when I was 9 in an elementary school knitting club, but I recently picked it back up after seeing the awesome knitting community on Instagram. Being able to see the huge, welcoming community and all the beautiful knits inspired me to pick up my needles and cast on the Louisiana Sweater by PetiteKnit. These are some tips for beginner knitters that I wish I’d known before I started.
- YouTube is your friend!
My 4th grade knitting adventures were limited to casting on, garter stitch (and even my garter stitch was passably mediocre at best), and casting off. I used YouTube to learn the basic stitches, increasing and decreasing methods, and pattern abbreviations. There are so many videos out there, and it’s been so helpful.
- Interchangeable Needle Set
If knitting is a hobby you think you’re going to hold on to in the long-term, I highly recommend getting yourself a quality set of interchangeable knitting needles. For every project you knit, there will be different yarn, needle size, and cable size recommendations. For example, if you’re knitting a hat with really thin yarn, you may need to use smaller needles. While on the other hand, if you’re knitting a chunky, squishy sweater, you may need to use bigger needles. Though the prices on some of these IC needle sets can be lofty, you save money in the long run because you don’t have to buy different sets of fixed needles for each project. I personally love my Lykke interchangeable needle set, but I have heard that Chiagoo, Knitpicks, and Knitter’s Pride have great options, as well!
- Start off with easy patterns
When you’re first starting out knitting, the millions of pattern options and instagram inspo posts can be overwhelming to say the least. To start, I recommend picking out one pattern and focusing on it. In my opinion, this will help you stay calm throughout the process and make learning how to knit more enjoyable. For me personally, I knitted a super basic top-down raglan sweater, and it helped me learn some of the fundamental skills (Louisiana Sweater by PetiteKnit). I learned basic increases, decreases, ribbing, and a couple of other skills. I found that basic bottom-up knits are also nice for beginners because I was able to try it on as I went, which made length and ribbing decisions a lot easier.
- Be smart about your yarn purchases (and prioritize pattern gauge!)
One of the most surprising things I learned when I started knitting was that knitting is an expensive hobby! Yarn is expensive, needles are expensive, and then there’s all the little costs in between (buttons, tapestry needles, etc). And especially as a college student, it’s hard to find affordable, high-quality yarn. My biggest advice to cut costs is to buy yarn online in bundles of skeins, keep an eye out for sales, use knitting influencers’ discount codes, and try to cap purchases at a predetermined price. Lastly, make sure to match gauge when you are buying yarn. Otherwise, at least for beginners, it’s hard to make sure your garment will come out the right size in the end. And there’s nothing worse than putting your heart and soul into a project for days and finally trying it on, just to see that it fits weird (or doesn’t fit at all, in some cases of gauge disasters!).