Best beginner advice?

I am going to try my hand at knitting. I am going tomorrow to get some needles, beginner book etc. Will be learning from a beginner book. I have done some crochet before.

I have wanted to try knitting for a long time. A close friend said she didn’t care for knitting, but loves crochet. I really want to knit afghans, socks, and baby clothes.

Any advice for a beginner just learning knitting?

Best tips?


Check out the how-to videos on this site, find a friendly yarn store with friendly workers willing to help and most of all: remember it is a hobby, meant to be fun! Welcome to a wonderfully enjoyable pasttime!

Use size 8, 9, or 10 and a smooth, light colored, medium (worsted) weight yarn. Don’t use a fuzzy yarn till you have a good grasp of basic technique. Keep on knitting even if it isn’t perfect. It doesn’t matter if the stitches are uneven or wonky at first.

Check the videos on this site and you can also look here for more help if you like still photos.

And most of all be patient. It feels awkward for everyone at first. :thumbsup:

I agree with Jan… no matter how weird it looks just keep going!!! As a good friend once told me (and I honestly think of this qoute to this day!!!) “It’s just yarn!”

I’m gonna agree with Jan on this. One of the things that I did a lot when I first started was I would notice that my stitches weren’t even and I would frog it all the way back and start over. It was remarkably frustrating. So even if they aren’t even in the beggining just keep going. The evenness will come over time.

Another thing I would suggest is to start by making scarves or dish cloths. They’re short projects, they’re usually easy, you can embellish them with different patterns as you get better.

Don’t use fuzzy yarn to learn on. You’ll just end up crying. I know some of the softer and fuzzy yarns are so pretty, but its really hard to determine your stitches and its really hard to make sure that you haven’t split your yarn on a stitch.

Remember that knitting is a skill. You’ll only get better as you practice and you’re not going to be very good at it when you first start. You’ll get frustrated when you drop a stitch or when you can’t figure out where that extra stitch came from, but just post here and vent and ask for help and everyone here will be more than willing to help you out.

Don’t invest in any really expensive yarns until you are satisfied with what you are working on.

A lot of my first projects had tension issues, and I am glad that at first, I was using your basic yarns.

Start with a light, solid color yarn so you see every stitch. Pay attention to what they look like so you can recognize the difference between front and back (and eventually knit and purl).

STAY LOOSE! (Tension) The biggest mistake most beginners make is making their work too tight. Hold your yarn loosely. Watch the free videos here to learn how to hold your yarn. Practice that part by itself until the yarn feels comfortable going through your fingers and you don’t have to think about what to do when you change needles or pick up your knitting after a break.

Relax, be patient with yourself. Laugh. Enjoy. :thumbsup:

just take the patterns one line at a time. Doing it that way you can pretty much ignore their “difficulty levels”.

I also try to find new patterns for things i want to make that will teach me one new thing when it comes to knitting…

You can hold your yarn the same way you do for crochet. Buy circular needles instead of straights; you’ll be happier in the long run. Thre are a lot a videos on Youtube under Knitting. Have fun

Relax with it. It’s supposed to be fun! If it stops being fun, or you’re stressed out over it, put it aside until you’re ready to try again. After awhile, you’ll probably be able to do it almost without even thinking about it!!

…and, this is the best site ever for advice and venting. :thumbsup:

Everyone has different ways that work best for them to learn things. My suggestion is to figure out what makes knitting fun for you and do that. :slight_smile: Personally, it didn’t work the jillion times I tried to learn to knit to use cheapo yarns and cheapo tools. What worked for me was when I used fiber and yarn I loved in a design I really really really wanted to make and wear.

If I’d tried to make dishcloths, I’d probably have thrown the needles through the window and the yarn out into traffic. :slight_smile:

Everyone has different ways that work best for them to learn things. My suggestion is to figure out what makes knitting fun for you and do that. :slight_smile: Personally, it didn’t work the jillion times I tried to learn to knit to use cheapo yarns and cheapo tools. What worked for me was when I used fiber and yarn I loved in a design I really really really wanted to make and wear.

And that shows how everyone’s different. I taught myself using mom’s package string and swiped some tinkertoy sticks from my brother and sharpened them. So using real needles and cheapo yarn was a big step up!

I haven’t made a dishcloth yet, and I didn’t make any scarves until a few years ago… 40 years after I began to knit.

I recommend you do various little swatches of your stitches to practice before taking on any kind of first project. For example, just knit little 4x4 squares of garter, stockinette, and seed to get your tension and technique down.You don’t want your first project to come out all uneven! I would also recommend watching videos of people knitting to see the various techniques people have for holding their yarn to create tension. If you do crochet, you may be more comfortable knitting continental.

A few things to remember as you’re learning to knit…if you make a mistake, it’s just yarn! There are NO knitting police. If you drop a stitch don’t panic. Many people hate to have to rip out their projects, but when I was first learning to knit I picked out a cabled dog sweater as my first project! Ummm…yeah, I always jump feet first into the fire. I’d knit several inches, not like how a cable came out, and rip rip rip it. Then I’d start all over again. I think I knit that first several inches probably 5 or 6 times at least, but I got tons of practice time with it. And, in the end, my dog gained a nice sweater! LOL! By picking that sweater to start with I’m now not afraid to try anything because I know that even though it might seem hard at first later on it’ll become easier and easier.


Debra in NC

Thanks for all the tips! I bought a laminated knitting instruction sheet, leaflet with few easy projects, knitting mag, Boyle 7&9 size 14" needles and also set of Boyle size 8,9,10 size 10" needles. I already had some light blue 7oz acrylic yarn. I also have some medium turqoise chenille yarn.

Will either type yarn above work well for beginning?

Also what yarns are good to use other than the cheap acrylics? Any good yarns at Hobby Lobby? I prefer less fuzzy yarns anyway.

I am actually scared and also excited to start, if that makes sense :slight_smile:

I plan on trying my first stitches Monday. As my weekend is just busy. But am reading Stitch 'N Bitch the knitter’s handbook by Debbie Stoller in the mean time.


Yes those yarns will do well, though the chenille can be difficult to work on, even for experienced knitters. It also doesn’t like to be ripped out and reknit, so start with the blue yarn. Hobby lobby has some nice acrylics that are soft - I love this yarn, caron simply soft and the Bernat yarns. Not all their yarns are fuzzy or furry.

Hi and welcome.

I took up knitting in June and have been entirely taught by videos on-line. I haven’t mastered knitting in the round [I]at all[/I]. My top beginner tips are: count your stitches regularly, check out more than 1 instructional video for each tecnique as they all offer something different, keep your knitting away from children and/or cats and just keep trying.

I personally felt it a big help to make a real thing rather than practice pieces and it helped me keep focus. My 1st project was the Linen-stitch bag (using the pattern on this site) in worsted. It was really just a big rectangle sewn up the side and a handle but I was so proud when I finished it I almost burst!

My ambition when I started was to make something to wear. I have just finished a shrug. If I can do it, so can you!

Happy Knitting, irishmam

Glad to see that someone else does this as well. I usually have one thing going that I consider my educational project. Its usually got something that I’ve never done in it so that I can teach myself how.

Thanks for the thread!

I’m a beginner coming from crochet and all these posts have been really helpful.

I consider myself pretty competent in crochet so its a bit of a letdown how incompetent I am in knitting. I’ve been ripping out a lot of rows.

I learned the Continental method and for me, coming from crochet, its a lot easier than the English way. My right hand rebels at having to do anything with handling the yarn feed from the skein.

Our very own “MGM” has a wonderful site with videos of all types of needle crafts.

Check out: