Those who are experts in knitting already know which tools are most suitable for this hobby, those who are beginners and want to learn need to know where to start.
Here, then, is a step-by-step guide for those who want to learn to knit: here you will find information on materials and basic techniques for your first knit project.
Knitting made easy: tips and tricks for beginners
We all know it by now: knitting has become a very popular hobby not only among women but also among men! This is why it is quite easy to see people knitting not only at home but also outside, in the most disparate places (at the bar, on the train, on the plane, in a doctor’s waiting room…).
We may never know for sure the reason for this great success of knitting, but it could depend on the fact that knitting is:
- A fun and rewarding activity;
- A great way to spend time with friends;
- A way to create unique and personalized items;
- A way to challenge yourself and overcome your limits;
- It’s a hobby for everyone;
- You can take it anywhere;
- It’s relaxing and good for your health!
This post is dedicated to providing useful tips and tricks for beginners who want to learn how to knit with ease.
Here you will find all the information you need to start knitting successfully. Join us to learn all the creative ways to weave threads and find out how much fun it can be.
Knitting: what a beginner need to get started
If we had to summarize in short what a beginner need to start knitting we would say: a ball of yarn and a pair of knitting needles. You don’t need anything else because these are the essentials to get started.
Actually, the list of materials is a bit wider:
- A pair of knitting needles
- Measuring Tape
- Sewing needle
- Metal Stitch Markers or Knitting Stitch Markers
YOU MAY NEED
The right yarn to start knitting
To start knitting with ease, it is important to choose the right yarn.
The most suitable yarn to start knitting does not necessarily have to be a simple leftover or the cheapest one.
It’s true that, when you start, you often only make swatches, but using a good yarn can only give you great satisfaction and encourage you to complete a project.
There are various kinds of yarns: different compositions, thicknesses, and lengths. Finding your way around is certainly not easy for a beginner.
Our advice is to choose according to the type of project you want to create and your taste. Wool and alpaca are the best for winter garments, while cotton yarns are more suitable for summer garments.
Consider its composition and texture.
It is advisable to learn to knit with a yarn that does not create difficulties. Choose a soft and elastic yarn, that slides well on the needles, preferably in a solid color: in this way, you can see the stitches well. Avoid, at least at first, those yarns that are too thin, “fancy yarns” and fuzzy yarns (such as Kiss Me Mohair or Alpaca Brush, although very soft) because stitches are not well defined and unravel will be difficult.
The simplest yarn to work with is undoubtedly Cool Wool, a ball of chunky wool, perfect for beginners and for all those knitters who want to make something “fashion”. It’s an excellent yarn for newbies knitters. You can easily learn to knit with Cool Wool because the stitches are well-defined and the work flows quickly: in a short time, you can complete your project!
Another excellent wool suitable for this purpose is Woolpaca. This is also a single-ply yarn but thinner than Cool Wool. It has therefore the advantage of preventing the needles from “getting stuck” in the yarn.
Another aspect to consider is the color of the yarn. If you want to learn to knit quickly, we recommend choosing a yarn with a light, lively shade, as the stitches will be seen more easily. Furthermore, why not choose a color suitable for your palette, according to the principles of Colour Analysis?
Knitting needles: the most suitable to learn
There are straight, circular, double-pointed needles. Each of these types is suitable for different projects.
However, the choice of knitting needles also depends on the type of material. You can choose between wooden, plastic, and aluminum needles.
There are various types of knitting needles on the market. At Bettaknit we prefer wooden needles. They are more pleasant to the touch and less slippery than metal or plastic needles (in this way you avoid losing stitches!) and, above all, they are resistant and durable, that means more sustainable.
Beechwood knitting needles have a smooth and even surface, which allows the stitches to slide easily.
The most suitable needle size to start knitting is a medium size (5 – 6 mm / 8 – 10 US) if you choose to work with Woolpaca, or a large size (12 mm / 17 US) if you choose to learn to knit with our chunky wool, Cool Wool.
You can also opt for circular knitting needles.
When purchasing circular knitting needles, it is important to pay attention to:
- the cable (it must be soft)
- the tips junction point (it must be smooth).
However, consider the purchase of knitting needles as a real investment. Knitting needles, in fact, not only have to last over time but they also have to be comfortable and of high quality.
On Bettaknit you will find two types of circular knitting needles. Beechwood circular knitting needles with 60 or 100-cm cables, Maplewood circular knitting needles with 40-cm cables, and even with 20-cm cables in 12 mm gauge, perfect for hats and other accessories!
Other materials you need to start knitting
In addition to the yarn and the needles, to start knitting you will also need some other materials, such as a pair of scissors (to cut the yarn once the work is finished) and a sewing needle (for any seams or to weave in the ends).
It is also important to keep on hand a measuring tape (it’s essential to measure the sample swatch of your project!), stitch markers (useful especially if you are working in the round), but also a crochet hook to pick up stitches or to finishings.
How to knit for beginners
Once you figure out what kind of yarn and needles to use for your first project, it’s time to learn the basic stitches of knitting.
There are 3 main techniques to start knitting:
- Casting on
- Knit Stitch
- Casting off
These techniques are easy to learn, especially thanks to our video tutorials.
Here on Bettaknit’s site, there are a few videos that will help you learn how to cast on, how to knit and purl, how to cast off, or how to increase and decrease. They will also help you to master the most important stitches.
Easy projects to start knitting
Once you’ve got all the material you need to start knitting, and after practicing with the video tutorials, you’ll be ready to start your first knitting project.
You can create small knit projects by yourself by knitting simple shapes, such as a scarf, a neck warmer, a blanket, or a pillow. But if you still don’t feel confident, you can follow Bettaknit knitting patterns which are designed to help beginner knitters to make their first knit projects.
Among the beginner-level knit kits, we suggest the two easiest to get started:
- Aileen Scarf: it’s a scarf made in knit stitch. You can decide to fold the edges to create nice pockets or to enrich it with fringes.
- Snood for Good: it’s a neck warmer designed especially for beginners. It’s a simple knit stitch rectangle. When you’re done, sew it along the narrow sides and your wool accessory will be ready!
Both of these projects are a good way to practice knitting and get familiar with the basic techniques.
How to fix knitting mistakes
The important thing is to start knitting and not be afraid of mistakes.
When you’re a newbie knitter, it’s frequent to make mistakes, especially losing a dropped stitch.
Don’t be discouraged: all is not lost! Take a break, and watch this video tutorial:
Conclusion: becoming an expert knitter
Knitting might scare beginners, but with a little patience and practice, we’ve shown you that even beginners can learn how to make beautiful, personalized knits.
Here is the summary of our advice for beginners who want to take their first steps and learn a new hobby:
- Learn the basic techniques: the basic knitting techniques are casting on, knit stitch, and casting off. Practice until you feel confident.
- A bit of patience: learning to knit takes time and patience, but with practice, you will get better and better.
- Practice: Practice is key to becoming a master knitter. Work on different projects and try out new techniques. This way, you will gain confidence and skill.
Finally, if you really are fond of knitting, we suggest you subscribe to our newsletter to get notified on news and awesome stuff: you will immediately receive a discount voucher for orders on the shop!