I first picked up a pair of knitting needles more than 20 years ago. I wanted to learn to knit but didn't have anyone to ask to teach me so I purchased a "Teach Yourself to Knit" kit and some acrylic yarn and set out to teach myself. My first project was a cabled afghan. It was this creamy ivory color and I could imagine it laying across the back of my couch.
Not long after I started knitting that afghan I met a lady through a friend who was a seasoned knitter. I was excited to talk to someone about knitting, especially someone who had been knitting for so long and knew so much. I couldn't wait to soak up all the advice this lady had to offer. Her advice to me: you can't knit a cabled afghan for your first project.
My knitting dreams were squashed in that very moment.
Knowing what I know now, I wish I hadn't taken that advice and I wish I had just continued doing what I was doing. Because I ended up ripping out that afghan and putting down my knitting needles. I didn't start knitting again until 2012.
If you're a new knitter you might be looking for some advice. So, here are seven things I wish I had known when I started knitting.
- YouTube is your best friend. - There are a ton of knitting tutorials on YouTube for just about anything, if not everything. Take full advantage of them.
- Don't be afraid to rip it out. - If you make a mistake, rip it out. Start over. It's ok. A mistake is not a fail, it's a learning experience.
- If it seems intimidating, knit it anyway. - That's how you learn and grow. It's only yarn. And if you're unsure see #2.
- It's ok not to finish. - Really. It is. Maybe your project isn't turning out quite the way you had planned. Maybe you didn't choose the right yarn. Or maybe you just changed your mind. It's all ok. Rip that baby out and use the yarn for something else.
- Socks ARE worth knitting. - Trust me on this. I was reluctant to knit socks. It just seemed like a whole lot of work for something you just crammed into your shoes. But once you make yourself a pair of handknit socks you are going to want twenty. Just give them a try. And it may take you a few times to get them going. Socks can be tedious to get started. But just keep trying. You'll get it and then you'll see what I'm talking about.
- You CAN knit a sweater. - Again, trust me. Sweaters and cardigans really aren't as hard as they seem. And there are so many seamless patterns that make it soooo easy. The sooner you give it a try the more sweaters you will want to knit. So...just do it. And if you feel intimidated, again, see #2.
- There is no wrong way to knit. - Yes, you read that right. There is no wrong way to there is only your way. And your way is the right way.
Oh, and you can knit that cabled afghan for a first project. You can knit anything you like. And if you're feeling intimidated...see #2.