Thursday, 4 March 2010

my top five knitting tips

People often ask me what little tips and tricks I can give them to help with their knitting, especially when they are beginners. I have compiled my Top Five with regards to practicality - how to try to prevent strained wrists, tennis elbow and cramp, finishing - different techniques for a professional finish, and enjoyment - how to make knitting as relaxing as possible. So here goes...

1. Try to have at least two projects using differing weights of yarn on the go at the same time. I find it eases any RSI related aches and pains – a knitting project and a crochet project is especially good at varying the repetitive motions. Also, don't knit for long periods at a time - especially as a beginner; build up your tolerance to the repetitive motions.


2. Always buy more yarn than you think you need – most good yarn shops will allow you to change that extra ball if you find you don't need it later.

3. Learn a few different cast ons – they all have specific jobs, like durability or stretchiness – which will suit different projects.

4. When learning to knit, get into the habit of counting your stitches at the end of each row so you can catch mistakes when they have just happened – it is easier to rectify straight away, and you usually don’t have to frog, you can correct most mistakes on the next row.

5. ...and most importantly – Practice makes perfect! Anybody can knit, it just takes practice and patience at first - you will soon be doing it without thinking, in front of the telly and really quickly. Push on through all your first 'beginner' mistakes and don't get too precious at first - remember the mantra 'knitting is relaxing!', don't tense your shoulders, try not to think about what you are doing too much and most importantly, don't forget to breathe!
Next, I shall try to compile my top five for more experienced knitters (although all these 'beginner's' tips can apply to you too). If you crocheters out there think I have forgotten you, maybe I will get round to my crochet 'top five' too!

4 comments:

littleblackduckblog said...

Tip no.4 is so true, just checking your work at the end of a row is so important. I am in the middle of a project and have just found out I made a mistake 14 rows back and I am only 4 rows away from finishing. I am huffed! Frogging is a job for tonight

claire montgomerie said...

oh no! how annoying - hope you manage to save it....

Amy said...

Great tips - definitely agree with no 4 too! My OH bought me a counter to keep track of my stitches; I think he was getting tired of the cursing & stomping when I got things wrong! But like you say, practice makes perfect, and that was 2 years ago - I'm much better now, with the knitting & temper! :D

claire montgomerie said...

I am so glad you pushed on through amy - so many people give up and say that they just cannot knit - i don't believe that, I think anyone can knit - they just need patience and practice!