I’ve heard from a few commenters that there’s some interest in how to get started with knitting. I wanted to share my experience with knitting, where/how to start and a few of my favorite simple projects!
Knitting is proven to lower stress levels and increase overall health. My dad recently sent me a New York Times article that discusses the health benefits of knitting. The article states that “the repetitive action of needlework can induce a relaxed state like that associated with meditation and yoga.” (Brody, 2016). As someone who is prone to mental chatter and anxiety, I find that I can really slow myself down when I’m doing something with my hands. The added bonus is the satisfaction of making something and having it be totally unique.
So let’s get down to business. Where and how do you learn? I personally learned from my mom when I was a little girl. There’s a real benefit in learning in person for a number of reasons; the first is that you can ask all the questions you want. You have a better chance of not getting frustrated when someone else is there to help. There’s also an incredible sense of community that arises when you’re learning a skill from someone in person.
Now, with that being said, some of us don’t have access to a family member who can teach us their knitting ways. No worries…there’s this thing called the internet! YouTube has lots of videos on how to cast on (that’s the term for adding stitches onto your needle to start your project) to a variety of stitches you might need to complete whatever project you choose. Two of my favorite yarn companies, Wool and the Gang and Loopy Mango, have lots of instructional videos. Here are the basics:
1. Casting on.
2. Knit stitch.
3. Purl stitch.
4. Casting off.
If I were starting with knitting right now, I think I’d like this video. It’s really informative and you’ll get a cute scarf out of it when you’re done. I’d actually make a few scarves before I start any other project.
Then I’d go for a sweater. I’ve been having a lot of fun with some of the easy level sweater knit kits from Wool and the Gang. The Julia Sweater was very simple, but time consuming. I’m knitting the Cocoon Sweater right now and it’s a fast project and really fun (it’s the project pictured above!) It’s what I would recommend first after a scarf and hat.
Just remember to be patient and knitting isn’t about rushing to the finished piece. It’s also not about producing something perfect. Have fun and let me know if you have any questions!