I’ve been knitting for over five years. In that time, I’ve made countless dishcloths, about a dozen pairs of socks, a few sweaters, scarves, mitts, hats, and so much more. Knitters are some of the best people I’ve met who are always helpful and quick to offer advice, and today, I’m going to do the same. These are five things I have learned in over five years of being a knitter.
1) YOU can do it.
Yes, you! Knitting is a simple activity, making a fabric out of loops. Many, many loops. My friend, who happens to blog over at Keep Calm, Knit On once said that every project, any knitted item ever produced, is made from knits and purls. That’s it. If you know the knit stitch, and if you know how to purl, there isn’t any pattern you can do.
When I first learned to knit, the first night, I was so frustrated, unable to truly wrap my head around this new thing I was trying. I posted to Facebook about these frustrations, and many were quick to offer support and words of encouragement. If I ever meet someone who is just starting out, I offer them the same advise that my friends did to me. Keep at it. You can do it.
2) Have patience.
This is somewhat of an ongoing self-improvement thing for me. Patience is not a strong suit. I’ve had to learn patience with knitting. No, I will not make a sock in an evening. It will take time for that gorgeous lace shawl to come together. Having to tink or rip back is even more time consuming, so best to pay attention in the first place. You’re going to make mistakes, especially if you’re trying something new, but mistakes are how you learn. That sweater you’re making for your father might be one of the largest projects you’ve ever made and will take months to complete with so many cables that you never want to see a cabled project ever again, but oh will the end result be worth it! (And I wasn’t really serious about the cables. I love them and will continue to make projects with cables and twists, even though they are time consuming!)
Patience is a knitter’s best friend.
3) Join a knitting circle.
Speaking of friends, if you’ve never been to a knitting circle, I would HIGHLY recommend doing so. I’ve met wonderful people through a local knit circle and I’m so glad that one night, I put myself outside of my comfort zone and tried something new.
4) Splurge on the good stuff.
Learn what makes a yarn ‘good.’ It has taken me quite some time to learn the difference between good yarn and good yarn, but what a difference! You’ll learn to understand fibre content, weight and gauge, and what brands you like and more importantly, what you don’t. Some of the good stuff might cost a little more, but I can certainly notice a difference when I see the end result. An adequate yarn does an adequate job. A good yarn take a finished object to the next level.
The same can be said about needles. I have several adequate anodized aluminum needles sitting in my knitting bag, but time and time again, I reach for my lovely Knitter’s Pride wood needles. They (easily) cost double what the cheep metal ones did, but they get used time and time again. It’s worth the investment in your tools.
5) Try something new.
You may be the best sock knitter ever. You may knit shawls and shawls and shawls, and this makes you happy. Maybe sweaters are your raison d’etre, and you can set in sleeves like it’s your job. This is fantastic. It really is.But every so often try something new. Try a technique you haven’t before. Pick up a new type of project. Challenge yourself, for it is through challenges that you’re able to grow and become the best knitter you can be. You tried something new the first time you picked up a set of needles and yarn, and look how far you’ve come.