Knitting: where and how to start?

When starting something new like knitting, you experience a rollercoaster of emotions. At first, you are scared and maybe intimidated. 

The question “Will I like it?” and “Will I be good at it?” comes to mind. As you start to knit, there are screams of excitement, gruntled facial expressions, and finally a time to pause until next time. After the first session, you ask yourself if it’s worth it to go through it all over again. Yes, it is!

As I was knitting a shawl for my mom I realized how smooth and fluid my knitting has become. When I learned to knit in college my stitches were uneven and the movement of my hands holding the needles was awkward. 

I joined a knitting group in Illinois and I remember seeing some women knit so fast the yarn flew off the needles and I was mesmerized! To this day there are times when my face scrunches up in concentration and I get nervous while making a new stitch. 

Then I place my arms on my lap and take a deep breath. I did it. Now I need to do that 100 times more.

How do you start knitting? 

First you need your supplies. The basics would be: yarn, needles, stitch marker, and darning needle and all can be purchased at your local craft store (Joanns, Hobby Lobby, or Michaels).

To begin you’ll need to cast on your yarn and I prefer a long tail cast on. There are several methods, and this is the one I use most often. Here’s a tutorial on it.

From there you can make a square or keep going and make a scarf! By knitting the knit stitch on both sides, you’ll create a ribbing design. 

The first project I made was a scarf. But if you get bored or tired of it, make a potholder/dishcloth which is a knitted square! It’s quicker and you’ll feel the joy of finishing it. 

I prefer circular needles to straight needles so my yarn doesn’t slide off. There are many options and I started with Clover bamboo. They are affordable. 

Now I use Chiaogoo and they are my favorite! 

When trying something new it’s hard to stick with it. But the idea of creating something with your hands is exciting! 

How much time and energy can you dedicate to knitting? 

Start out small and work for about ten minutes each day to get in the habit. Grab a cup of tea and find a cozy spot. Put on music, a podcast, or your favorite TV show. Or keep it silent and enjoy the clicking of the needles. It’s very therapeutic. After that you’ll begin to look forward to knitting often!

What is the easiest knitting stitch to learn? 

The knit stitch! It’s pretty funny that the main stitch for knitting is called the knit stitch. 

When I began knitting my fellow knitting friends told me if I knew how to knit and purl, I could knit anything! I’ve been knitting for about 3-4 years consistently and I can say that’s true. Here is a tutorial on how to do the knit stitch.

how to start knitting
Knitting with a sleepy kitty is more fun!
What stretches and movements are good after knitting?

You might find yourself stiff and in need of a good stretch after knitting. After looking down and keeping your arms in the same position, do these movements to open your shoulders and chest.

I love doing the finger exercises called castanets after knitting. My fingers can feel tight and cramped and after the castanets they feel stretched and alive. My forearms feel the work too!

You can knit anything: scarves, hats, clothes, you name it! I love knitting so much that I made a Pilates hat and Coffee hat. These are warm and one of a kind, there is only one left of each. Purchase your hat today before they are gone!


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