Things I’ve learned about knitting

I learned to knit a few years ago. This isn’t much of a surprise; I like making things with my hands, and wool is cheaper than plywood. However, as a beginner, I made several mistakes that I’m sure “veteran knitters” already know about. If I’d had a page of advice, like what I’m about to list but moreso, it would’ve helped a lot. Anyway:

  • The yarn really will stay on the needles. Even if you’re using double-pointed needles. You don’t need to keep pulling on it to keep it tight.
  • Don’t knit so darn tight.
  • Don’t knit at the points of the needles, knit at the barrels. If you knit with only the points, your stitches will be too tight.
  • Gauge really is important, even though it’s a pain in the neck.
  • If you live in Texas, don’t start with a scarf. There’s like maybe 6 weeks in the year when you’ll wear a scarf in Texas. Make a coffee sleeve or something.
  • No, really, the yarn will stay on the needles all on its own. Even if you’re using cheap aluminum needles and you’re knitting with really slick acrylic yarn. Friction will keep the needles from dropping out.
  • Blocking works. If you think something is too small or doesn’t fit quite right, block it into shape before you give up and rip it all back.
  • Seek out good videos (on youtube or similar) that show you “POV” angles of what you’re trying to learn. I liked when I started, and recommend it to you.
  • If you’re using double-pointed needles, the first couple of rows will feel like all you’re doing is making a giant bird’s nest. Don’t worry. Unless the pattern you’re using is to make a bird’s nest, chances are that after 3 or 4 rows it’ll even out and get significantly easier.
  • If you use a long-tail cast-on, chances are you made your tail too long. I always do. Either trim the tail back to 4-5 inches after you finish your first couple of rounds, or (if the stitch pattern allows) knit with two strands (the tail and the working end) at the same time until it’s effectively woven in.
  • The staff at your local yarn shop can be AMAZINGLY helpful. Talk to them if you run into a problem.

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